In a standards-based grading system, co-curricular academic eligibility is determined by assessing students’ Preparedness standard in the Habits of Work. At DCS/FMS, the 2016-17 school year is a pilot year for teaching and assessing Habits of Work (HOW). For eligibility purposes, students need to be demonstrating, preparedness, by producing school work in a timely fashion and showing up to class ready to learn. In order to participate in co-curricular activities, including athletics, students need to turn in their schoolwork on time and be ready for class.
If a student has fallen behind in their work, they will be placed on academic probation, and will need to make a plan with their teachers to get caught up on their work. This plan may involve before school or after school time with the teacher. If students are showing steady progress, using their plan to make up their owed work and showing up to class ready to learn, they can continue to participate in athletics and co-curricular activities. If they stop following their plan or do not make enough progress, they will move from academic probation to being academically ineligible to practice, play in games, or otherwise participate.
We know that each student is different from a developmental standpoint. Every student in a grade is not going to be meeting the same academic standards at the exact same time, so we don’t want to base co-curricular eligibility on an Academic Standards Grade. For example, if a student is working hard to master some math skills, but isn’t quite able to do them yet, we don’t think that is a reason to keep them from being part of the Yearbook Club, or the Basketball Team. If a student is not meeting their Preparedness Habits of Work standard, they need to talk to their teacher(s)and make a plan about how they need to improve, and take steps to bring those grades up.
Co-curricular eligibility is checked five times during the year; at the middle and end of the first two trimesters, and at the middle of the third trimester. Also at any time a student is not meeting the preparedness habits of work standards, teachers and administrators may place a child on an improvement plan or determine they are not eligible. We encourage students and parents to track student grades online throughout the trimester so that there are no surprises when we get to these eligibility check-ins. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s grades, please feel free to contact his or her teacher for more information.