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Series 604.4.1.3AR - Middle School Student Participation in High School Junior Varsity and Varsity Athletic Activities-Gifted Athletes

Adopted: February 1983
Revised: January 2013

1. Definition - A gifted athlete is a seventh or eighth grade student of exceptional physical and emotional maturity who has the ability to be a consistent starter on a junior varsity or varsity high school team.

2. Process

2.1 A request to participate in high school athletics may only be initiated by the student, the student’s parent or guardian, or the student’s middle school coach by contacting the athletic director of the middle school the student attends. Initiation of the request shall not begin with or involve any high school staff member.

2.2 Upon receipt of a request, the middle school athletic director will provide the student and the student’s parent or guardian with the appropriate forms (District Procedures 604., Notification of Request for Middle School Participation in High School Junior Varsity or Varsity Athletic Activities—Gifted Athlete; 604., Parent Request Form, and 604., Student Request Form) and a copy of District Policy 604, Cocurricular Student Activities, regarding athletic participation by middle school students at the high school level.

2.3 A prospective intradistrict transfer student or a student who seeks to be open enrolled through the state enrollment options program must declare at the time of application for their first high school sport (grades 7-12 or gifted athlete) which high school will be their school of attendance for ninth grade. This can be accomplished by attaching District Procedure 502.4P, Student Transfer Application, or District Procedure 502.4.1P, Application to Participate in State Enrollment Options Program, to the gifted athlete request forms cited in section 2.2. The enrollment application will be processed in the spring of the student’s eighth grade year.

2.4 Gifted athlete registration deadline - The gifted athlete registration process must be completed before high school sports registration closes for the sports season in which the student seeks to participate.

2.4.1 After the forms have been completed and returned to the middle school, the middle school athletic director will investigate the physical, emotional and social growth levels of the student through contact with the middle school coach and appropriate staff members and, if necessary, the school psychologist. The athletic director will also investigate the high school program offerings and transportation considerations (see District Procedure 604., Staffing Summary for Middle School Student Participation in High School Junior Varsity or Varsity Athletic Activities – Gifted Athlete).

2.4.2 If a student has recently moved into the district, or the middle school does not offer a similar program at the junior varsity or varsity level, or there is minimal information from a middle school coach’s perspective, the high school varsity coach will be permitted to evaluate the student’s athletic abilities on a “tryout basis.” If a tryout is offered, the high school coach will then share his or her evaluation with the middle school athletic director.

2.5 Upon receipt of all relevant staff information, the middle school principal, athletic director, head coach and school psychologist, if appropriate, and the high school principal, athletic director and head coach will discuss the application and make a recommendation to the director of secondary education, stating the major reasons for recommending acceptance or denial (see District Procedure 604., Administrative Staffing Summary).

2.6 Upon receipt of the committee’s recommendation and compiled data, the director of secondary education will review and approve or deny the request.

3. Communications

3.1 Upon receipt of a decision, the middle school athletic director will contact all appropriate parties upon receipt of the decision and make sure the student’s parent or guardian is given a written copy of the decision.

3.2 When a middle school student is accepted for participation in a high school athletic activity, the high school athletic director shall communicate regularly with the appropriate middle school athletic director and high school coach for the duration of the sports season in which the athlete participates.

4. Evaluation – At the end of the season, an evaluation form will be disseminated by the middle school athletic director to the student, parent or guardian and high school head coach (District Procedures 604., Student Evaluation, 604., Parent or Guardian Evaluation, and 604., High School Coach Evaluation).

4.1 The student, parent or guardian and high school coach will return the completed forms to the middle school principal.

4.2 The evaluations of participant involvement (District Procedures 604., Middle School Administrator Evaluation, and 604., High School Administrator Evaluation) and process will be shared at the end-of-the-year district athletic directors’ meeting.