McCOOK, Nebraska -- A new eligibility policy put into place last year at the high school has identified between 26-28 students not meeting academic standards.
Superintendent Grant Norgaard updated the McCook School Board Monday night at the regular meeting on the progress of the eligibility policy that the board approved last year.
The policy, as stated in the student handbook, states that all students who participate in activities must maintain passing grades in all but one class in order to remain eligible for participation or competition.
Ineligible students will not be allowed to participate in any activity, including but not limited to: athletic contests, dances, prom, homecoming and color day royalty, non-academic performances or club activities, until the eligibility requirement has been met.
Of the 27-28 students identified, between four to seven students are involved in extracurricular fall activities, Norgaard said. High school teachers are positive that these students are capable of getting their work current, he continued, instead of waiting until the end of semester to do it.
When the policy was first approved, initial concerns were raised that school organizations or sports would lose individuals, but that hasn't been the case, he said.
For those students who are not involved with any extracurricular activity, Norgaard said brainstorming will have to be done to "find the carrot" to get these students to succeed.
Board member Shane Messersmith noted that one of the parents of the four to seven students came up to him and told him that the eligibility policy was "the best thing you've ever done."
According to the policy, beginning the third week of classes each quarter, any student failing two or more classes will be ineligible to represent McCook High School.
The first time each semester that a student fails to meet the criteria for eligibility, the student will be given a one-week "grace period" of eligibility to improve their grades to meet the requirement. Thereafter, no "grace period" will apply and the student will be deemed ineligible immediately.
Students who are deemed ineligible will be placed on the ineligible list and barred from participation or competition from Monday to Sunday the following week.
During the ineligible period and "grace period," students will be required to attend "Assignment Recovery Sessions" after school from 3:30 to 3:55. Assignment Recovery Sessions will be conducted by the high school detention teachers. Students must also meet with the teacher of the failing class so the teacher and student may form a plan for the student to improve his/her grade.