Monday, August 11, 2008

From One Parent To Another!

Written by Jackie Nunley

Well, we have come to the end of yet another track season and I have to say I am so thankful that we made it through. This year along with the victorious triumphs has not been without its pain and what sometimes felt like the agony of defeat. As one track mom put it to me when I started this journey 3 years ago with my sons we are not only parents but we are dream makers and facilitators for our children. As we prepare to send one son to the next level (college) and help the other son continue to grow on his current level. I have to say that as a parent you are your child’s best advocate and don’t let anyone fool you into thinking other wise. I don’t care what extracurricular activity your child decides to partake in you had better be ready to know all of the ends and outs from the administrative to the logistics of the activity. Speaking first hand I can tell you that in the end if your child doesn’t succeed to the best of his or her ability then it will fall back on you. I don’t mean to in anyway take away from the great coaches, instructors, teachers or administrators that are involved in your child’s life; if you are blessed to have them there. My sons have had and currently have some great coaches with regards to their athletics. However, they have also had 1 or 2 who only had their own interest in mind.

I say this not to discount all of the efforts of those who will play meaningful roles in your child’s life but to tell you not to leave anything to chance where your child is concerned. Know your local and state rules with regards to the academic and eligibility requirements of your child who participates in athletics. We were and are very active in our children’s academic and extracurricular lives however; an eligibility rule slipped by us and caused our son to miss the second half of his senior season. At no fault of his own in the end he was held solely responsible. Parents, Students and anyone who is close to a student that participates in athletics please alert them to know all of the rules that govern them; especially, those in their Junior or Senior year of high school.

As a result of what happened I have had many parents from around the country come up to me at meets and tell me that they have become more aware of the rules and that their schools have stepped up making sure that Parents and Students are more aware of all of the eligibility guidelines that affect all extracurricular activities. Our son was blessed he had already secured an athletic scholarship and with a strong support system outside of his school he was able to go on and compete and close out his senior track season during the summer with 3 National Championships and a Silver Medal from an international competition. However for many it sets them back and it is hard to recover from. I also heard from many of those families as well about how similar guidelines or eligibility rules had sidelined their children and how they lost their motivation or opportunities to advance to the next level. With my sons permission I am posting this bit of information on their blog so that it may help you the Parent and Student to be aware of the rules governing school athletics.

Below you will find links to some helpful sites and information.

Students interested in participating in high school athletics in the 2008-2009 school year should familiarize themselves with the following general regulations, academic and attendance requirements, and athletic policies.

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for tryouts, practice, or participation in interscholastic athletic contests, a player must meet all North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) and Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) eligibility requirements and policies:
• Must not participate if he/she becomes 19 years of age on or before October 16, 2008.
• Must follow NCHSAA rules, which have an 85% attendance requirement (approximately 13.5 days) for the previous semester and includes all absences.
• WCPSS requires the athlete to be present the entire day in order to participate in activities or practices.
• A student, upon first entering grade nine (9), is academically eligible for competition on high school teams. All requirements must be met the first semester (fall) in order for this student to be eligible for athletic participation the second semester (spring).
• Must meet promotion requirements at their school to be eligible for the fall semester
• Must earn passing grades in five subjects, or three for block schedule schools, or six for schools on an A/B form of scheduling, during each semester in order to be eligible for participation during the succeeding semester.
• WCPSS also requires a cumulative overall grade point average of 1.5 or above.
• Must participate at the school to which he or she is assigned by the local board of education based on the residence of the parent or legal custodian within the administrative unit. The athlete must live with the parents or legal custodian. According to WCPSS Board Policy 6201 a “legal custodian” is a person or agency awarded legal custody of a child by a court of law.
• Must be a properly enrolled student in a member school of the WCPSS district, must be enrolled no later than the 15th day of the present semester, and must be in regular attendance at that school.
Medical Examination
• Must receive a medical examination once every 365 days by a duly licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.
• Must be released by a licensed physician if absent from athletic practice for five or more days due to illness or injury.
Other NCHSAA Requirements
• Must not participate at the high school level for a period lasting longer than eight consecutive semesters beginning with the student’s first entry into grade nine or participation on a high school team.
• Must not participate at the high school level for more than four seasons in that sport (one season per year).
• Must not be convicted of a felony in this or any other state, or adjudicated as a delinquent for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult in this or any other state.
• May not play, sit on the bench, or practice if ineligible.
• To maintain amateur status, the athlete must not accept money or awards having utilitarian value (golf balls, clubs, tennis rackets and balls).
• Must not have signed a professional contract, played on a junior college team or be enrolled and attending class in college.
Other WCPSS Policy
• May not participate in practice or play if assigned to In-School Suspension (ISS) or Out-of-school Suspension (OSS).
• May not participate at a second school in WCPSS in the same sport season.

Quoted by a Loving Mom
As a parent you either chase your child down doing good things or you will chase them down doing bad things. The choice is truly yours!

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