Boys & Girls High School's SCHOLAR-ATHLETE POLICY of Higher Standards, Expectations

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With last year’s valedictorian and salutatorian being scholar-athletes, Principal Bernard Gassaway at Boys & Girls High was inspired to set the bar higher for athletes at the school. Below is the school’s new 2011-2012 athletic policy.
Purpose
The purpose of this school policy is to develop excellence in character, citizenship and scholarship among our scholar-athletes. Our goal is to prepare all Boys and Girls High School (BGHS) students for college and career readiness. Scholar-athletes are role models and ambassadors of our school community; they greatly influence school and community cultures. Since scholar-athletes are privileged to participate in sports, more is expected of them.
At BGHS, it is imperative that scholar-athletes conduct themselves as exemplars of scholarship first, then as athletes. In order to participate in sports at BGHS, scholar-athletes must adhere strictly to the New York City Discipline Code. In addition, they must meet the extended requirements imposed by BGHS. Extended requirements include adherence to the school’s academic requirements for athletes, school-wide dress code and community service.
Vision Statement
We believe students achieve success and embrace learning when they feel safe and are supported by competent and caring adults.
Mission Statement
The mission of BGHS is to prepare our students to achieve their full potential, make positive choices and have a plan for life after high school. This will be accomplished by teaching our students to think critically and conscientiously about themselves, their community and their global village.
Attendance Requirement
In order to participate in athletics at BGHS, students are expected to achieve at least an average daily attendance goal of 85%. This includes attending all of the classes on their schedules, on time and prepared to work. Athletes who cut classes may be prohibited from participation on sports teams.
Academic Requirement*
IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE ON SPORTS TEAMS AT BGHS, SCHOLAR-ATHLETES ARE REQUIRED TO PASS THEIR FIRST PERIOD CLASS IN ADDITION TO ALL THE FOLLOWING.
Sophomore and junior athletes are only allowed one failing grade per marking period in order to participate on sports teams and are to achieve an average of 70% or higher. Seniors are required to pass all classes each marking period in order to participate in sports and are to achieve a grade point average of 70% or higher. This includes classes that are taken before, during and after their sport seasons. Students who fail to adhere to this policy may be prohibited from participation. The length of the prohibition may range from six games to the entire season. A coach or parent may appeal to a committee consisting of school staff (coaches, parents, faculty). Their task would be to review the appeal and make recommendations to the principal, who will make the final decision. This decision extends to any team-related participation in athletics associated with BGHS, including but not limited to PSAL and non-PSAL, after school, weekend, holiday and summer tournaments.
Regents Requirements
Sophomore scholar-athletes must pass at least two Regents examinations prior to the beginning of their season; junior scholar-athletes must have passed four Regents examinations prior to the beginning of their season, in order to participate on sports teams at BGHS. [This requirement will begin effective September 2012.]
Dress Code
Athletes are expected to strictly adhere to the school’s dress code. As ambassadors and role models, scholar-athletes are expected to comport themselves as model citizens. This includes wearing clothes as outlined in the school-wide dress code. Any athlete seen violating this code may be barred from participating in team sports at BGHS.
NYC Discipline Code
Athletes are expected to strictly adhere to the discipline code. Again, athletes are young ambassadors to the school. Any athlete failing to follow the school’s discipline code may result in penalties ranging from a three-game suspension to removal from team sports for that season. If infractions occur during the latter part of the school year, the suspension from team sports may extend into the following school year.
Community Service
All scholar-athletes are required to satisfactorily complete at least 30 hours of community service each year. Students will be given a menu of service opportunities, though they may choose their own. This program will be managed internally.
Freshmen Policy Considerations
Standard PSAL policy may apply to incoming freshmen as it relates to basic eligibility requirements in addition to our first period pass policy. All other aspects of our school policy will apply.
Transfer Students
All aspects of this policy apply to transfer students, effective immediately.
Additional Eligibility Requirements
The coach of any sports team may recommend additional rules to the athletic director. These rules must be written in the form of a contract which will be signed by the athlete, parent and head coach.
NCAA Clearinghouse
“[NCAA Initial – Eligibility Clearinghouse]: All high school students who plan to participate in college athletics at a Division I or Division II school must be certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The forms may be obtained in your guidance counselor’s office or from the athletic director and should be completed by the end of the student’s junior year. Any athletes who wish to allow our school to issue unofficial transcripts to college athlete recruiters must have their parents sign a release form.” [modified for BGHS]
PSAL
Note that this policy augments PSAL policy/eligibility, not replace it.
Note: A student should realize that these guidelines apply at all times throughout the student’s school career, including off-season and all vacation periods. The guidelines are not limited to the time period in which the student participates in a particular sport, nor are the guidelines limited to student behavior at school-sponsored sports or on school property.
*A higher grade point average requirement may be phased in beginning school years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
The principal and his leadership team commits to ensure that tutorial services be available for all scholar-athletes, as well as all students. It is incumbent upon all scholar-athletes to take advantage of the services that will be provided. Ultimately, whether a student participates in sanctioned sports at BGHS is his or her choice. All that will be required is desire, commitment and hard work on the part of the scholar-athlete. Finally, the coaches have a fundamental responsibility to put education first. They, like the scholar-athlete, will be held accountable for their actions.
This policy is a living document and is therefore subject to periodic review and changes.