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Board considers increase in GPA for student activities

Article Date: 
23 May, 2014 (All day)

While the Morgan County School Board reviews the student activities policy, some board members are considering increasing the grade point average for students involved in sports and other school activities.
Currently, the district’s policy is students must have no failing grades and at least a 2.0 GPA.  This is slightly more stringent that the state’s policy allowing one F and a 2.0.
But board member Jody Hipwell thinks the local board should be even more restrictive in its requirements by raising the minimum GPA to 2.5.
“2.0 is nothing; it is ridiculous,” Hipwell said.  “I feel we need to expect more of these kids.”
Board member Neil Carrigan said students can earn their high school certificate with GPAs lower than 2.0.
“You’re not worried if they can graduate, just if they can play football?” Carrigan asked.  “That doesn’t make sense to me.”
But for students struggling to keep their grades up, involvement in student activities may be the only thing enticing them to attend school, board member Ken Durrant said.
The guidelines would apply not only to sports, but also drama, band, choir and other student activities.
The board plans to ask the high school and middle school community councils research how many students the change from 2.0 to 2.5 could affect before making a change.  If a policy change is initiated, the board would likely allow a transition period.
Superintendent Doug Jacobs is worried that increasing the GPA would be an “exclusionary” move.
“What would be the point of doing that if we already have a high amount of students participating in student activities?” he asked.
The item was on the board’s May 14 agenda as a discussion only item.  The board may vote on a policy change on a future agenda, although a change to 2.5 would probably not be officially considered until after this fall.