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Series 604 - Cocurricular Student Activities

Adopted: January 1979
Revised: June 2013

1. Definition - Cocurricular student activities are district-sponsored and directed athletic, fine arts and academic activities for which the student receives no credit toward graduation, which are designed to provide opportunities for students to improve skills through group or individual activities at school and public events.

2. Responsibility

2.1 The administration is responsible for all cocurricular activities held in the schools or on school grounds.  When it appears to be beneficial and in the best interest of the district to conduct school activities outside the district, the board may authorize such activities to be conducted under such regulations as the administration deems necessary.

2.2 In accordance with state laws, the school district may take appropriate action to protect the free, proper and lawful access to and egress from district property and the proper use of district property and equipment, free from interference or disruption.

2.2.1 The school district may prohibit a parent or other visitor from attending one or more cocurricular activities if that person has been engaged in inappropriate conduct at a cocurricular activity.

2.2.2 The school district may exclude from one or more interscholastic athletic activities sponsored or participated in by a District 196 school, any person who assaults a sports official in connection with an interscholastic athletic activity.

2.3 Student participation fees for cocurricular activities will be set by the School Board (Administrative Regulation 507.2AR, Student Fees and Fines).

2.4 Schools may award cocurricular letters and other honors to students, as they deem appropriate.

2.5 Schools will make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to participate in cocurricular programs.

3. Student Behavior

3.1 Behavior expectations and consequences for misbehavior for students participating in cocurricular activities shall be the same as for students in other school or district activities, as described in Policy 503, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and Administrative Regulation 503.3AR, Student Behavior Expectations and Consequences for Misbehavior.

3.2 Students participating in cocurricular activities will also be required to abide by the bylaws of the Minnesota State High School League, regardless of whether the particular activity is sponsored by the League.

4. Cocurricular Athletic Activities

4.1 Opportunities to try out for a wide variety of cocurricular athletic activities are available to all students in grades 7-12 regardless of sex, race, religion or disabling condition.

4.1.1  Students in grades 7-12 who participate in a Minnesota State High School League-sponsored activity must comply with the game and eligibility rules prescribed in the Official League Handbook of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), and district rules and regulations including requirements for medical eligibility.

4.1.2 The board subscribes to the MSHSL's control, supervision and regu-lation of interscholastic athletics and other cocurricular activities.

4.1.3 Gifted Athletes

4.1.3.1 Participation by students on secondary school athletic teams shall usually be limited to those students representing the school which they attend for regular classes.  Such teams constitute an integral part of the total educational program and are primarily designed to serve the needs of only the students of that school.

4.1.3.2 On rare occasions a middle school student may be so physically and emotionally mature and athletically gifted that consideration may be given to allowing that student to leave his or her middle school team and participate on a junior varsity or varsity athletic team at the high school they will attend in ninth grade. Such a decision requires a thoughtful and critical look at those elements inherent in deciding what will be in the best interests of the student, as well as the effect on the middle school and the high school programs.  The needs and total welfare of the student, concern for the student's academic, physical, mental and emotional well-being, and the student’s best interests will be of highest priority in any such consideration.

4.2 Athletic activities offered may differ from school to school, as determined by student interest.  When the district, or a district high school or middle school studies the possibility of adding or dropping a cocurricular athletic activity, the following criteria must be considered:

4.2.1 The proposed activity must meet the full definition of a sport, as defined by the Minnesota State High School League;

4.2.2 The activity to be dropped must be evaluated against the activity to be added in light of gender equity, unduplicated and duplicated student participation counts and cost per participant;

4.2.3 The proposed activity must enhance female or male (depending on the activity) participation opportunities;

4.2.4 The proposed activity must be evaluated in terms of Minnesota State High School League and/or conference sponsorship;

4.2.5 The proposed activity must be evaluated in terms of community support, community programs and facility availability;

4.2.6 Significant student interest for the proposed activity must be determined through focus interviews and high priority interest as reflected in student survey data, and

4.2.7 The proposed activity offers more competitive opportunities for students than the activity to be dropped.

4.3 If a cocurricular athletic activity is dropped or added by the Minnesota State High School League, the district will consider dropping or adding the activity, using the criteria described above.

5.  Student Clubs - Students are encouraged to establish clubs consistent with the philosophy and goals of the district.  Before receiving administrative approval for a proposed club, students must submit clearly defined goals supporting the reasons for the existence of the club.

6. Booster Clubs and Booster Organizations

6.1 Booster clubs and booster organizations that promote a positive relationship between the school and the community are encouraged. 

6.2  The primary purpose of booster clubs and booster organizations is to help the school recognize, promote and support school activities.

6.3 The administration shall establish regulations for school relationships with booster clubs and booster organizations that encourage cooperative efforts, and support for school programs and activities (Administrative Regulation 801.3AR, Booster Clubs and Booster Organizations).   Principals are responsible for maintaining close communication with booster clubs and booster organizations to ensure the organization's harmony with the policies and goals of the district. 

7.  Field Trips - The board recognizes that a properly planned, well-conducted and carefully supervised field trip may be a valuable part of a cocurricular program.  As such, trips of significant value are encouraged.

7.1 The expenses of trips that students are required to participate in as part of the cocurricular program shall be covered by the school, except for students' meals.  No student shall be excluded from a trip because of lack of funds.

7.2 The expenses of supplemental trips may be covered by the students, the school, school-related organizations and/or non-school groups.

8. Promotion of Cultural Diversity - Travel, as well as intranational and international visitation, is recognized as a valuable educational experience.

8.1 The board may sanction such activities when proper precautions have been set for the students' welfare and when the cost of such activities are not substantially in excess of the normal range of costs for district activities.

8.2 To insure equal educational opportunity, activities shall not be approved that may cause undue hardship on any student in terms of cost or time.

9.  Publications - All student publications shall be published under the supervision of the school principal and his or her designated representative.

10.  Competition - Because of funding limitations, the district will not provide financial support for students to participate in national competitions, or to attend national festivals or tournaments.

References:

  • Gender Equity in Athletics:  A Manual to Assist Minnesota High Schools to Conduct a Self-Review of Their Athletic Programs, Minnesota State High School League, January 1993
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Manual on Activity Fund Accounting (MAFA) Student Accounts (Chapter 14 UFARS Manual)
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.49, Extracurricular Activities, Insurance
  • Minnesota Statute 624.72, Interference With Use of Public Property

Policies/604/06-10-13