RHS ATHLETIC ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Ritenour High School (RHS) has increased academic eligibility and supports for student athletes, beginning for the fall 2018 sports season. The Ritenour Board of Education approved a new policy at its Aug. 9, 2018 meeting that exceeds academic eligibility standards for high school students involved in athletics and activities sanctioned by the Missouri State High School Athletics & Activities Association (MSHSAA).
RHS students now must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA each semester as part of their commitment to school athletics or activities sanctioned by MSHSAA. Students achieving less than a 2.0 GPA at the end of first semester this school year will not be eligible to participate during second semester.
“The Ritenour Board of Education recognizes the priority that “student” comes first for our student athletes and students in MSHSAA-sanctioned activities,” said Drew Lohnes, RHS athletic director. “By increasing academic supports and raising eligibility requirements, we are positioning our students for greater opportunities upon graduation. We want our students to know that we will provide the academic supports needed so they can also excel in their athletics and activities.”
The district is committed to helping students earn academic eligibility with increased supports in place. Academic support sessions, where students can get extra help in their courses, will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. Students will not be able to compete, participate in sports practices or attend activity meetings if they are required to attend the academic support sessions.
The athletic and activities office will run grade checks of all students who participate in any MSHSAA-sanctioned sport or activity every month so coaches and activity sponsors are aware of any team member whose grades could be in jeopardy. Coaches and sponsors will continue emphasizing the importance of academics with all of their team members.
Students who participate in all MSHSAA-sanctioned athletics and activities who have GPAs below 2.0 at the end of each month will be required to attend the support sessions until their GPA improves to a minimum of 2.0. Students who are required to attend support sessions will have their grades checked weekly until their GPAs meet the new standard.
Talented high school students with higher GPAs, good citizenship and good attendance have a higher probability of getting recruited with scholarships in college, Lohnes said.
“This new policy gives our students who want to pursue college a better chance of earning scholarships that will pay for their undergraduate degrees,” said Lohnes. “It also provides them a stronger academic foundation that prepares them for the grit required in college courses.”
What is Ritenour High School’s new athletic and MSHSAA-sanctioned activities eligibility requirement?
Ritenour High School (RHS) students now must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA each semester as part of their commitment to school athletics and activities sanctioned by the Missouri State High School Athletics & Activities Association (MSHSAA).
When do the new requirements go into effect?
The new requirements go into effect starting August 2018. All freshmen, as well as RHS students in grades 10-12 who earned 3 credits in the Spring 2018, regardless of their GPA. MSHSAA has had a long-standing eligibility requirement of earning 3 credits per semester.
Why did Ritenour make this new policy?
By increasing academic supports and raising eligibility requirements, Ritenour is positioning RHS students for greater academic, athletic and extracurricular opportunities upon graduation. District administrators, teachers, coaches and the Board of Education want our students to know that the district will provide the academic supports needed so they can also excel in their extracurricular endeavors. This new policy gives RHS students a better chance of earning scholarships that will pay for their undergraduate degrees.
What is the actual policy that the Board of Education approved?
The policy that the Ritenour Board of Education approved unanimously on Aug. 9, 2018 regarding interscholastic athletic and activities academic requirements is IGDJ. For the complete policy in BoardDocs, click here.
What sports and extracurricular activities does this include?
RHS students who participated in any sport or activity that is sanctioned by MSHSAA must meet the 2.0 GPA requirement. For an entire list of MSHSAA-sanctioned athletics and activities, go to the MSHSAA website. Ritenour High School offers many of the MSHSAA-sanctioned sports and activities.
Does this just effect the varsity level athletes?
No, this policy applies to all levels – freshmen teams, junior varsity and varsity. It also applies to RHS students in all grade levels who are involved in MSHSAA-sanctioned activities.
Does my student need to have a minimum 2.0 GPA in every class?
No, students must have an overall GPA of at least a 2.0. If it falls below a 2.0, then students will be required to attend academic support sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4 p.m. until the GPA improves to a 2.0.
When will students’ grades be checked by the Athletics & Activities office?
The athletics and activities office will run grade checks of all students in athletics or activities every month so coaches and sponsors are aware of any team member whose grades could be in jeopardy. Students who participate in all MSHSAA-sponsored athletics and activities who have GPAs below 2.0 at the end of each month will be required to attend the academic support sessions until their GPA improves to a minimum of 2.0. Students who must attend academic support will have their grades checked weekly until they improve to meet the new GPA standard.
If my student’s GPA is below 2.0, will they miss the entire practice or meetings on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons?
Answer: No, they will only miss the first hour of practice or activity meeting, from 3 to 4 p.m. when they are in academic support sessions. They will then be expected to re-join their teammates in the remainder of practice for that day. Coaches and sponsors will have a list of students who are required to attend academic support sessions.
What if my student has a game/competition on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons and they are required to attend academic support sessions?
Home competitions that start after 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays will not affect participation by students who must attend academic support sessions. For away competitions, if the team/activity group must leave RHS prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, students in academic support sessions will be able to participate if they have their own transportation or if a parent/guardian can take them to the event and the parent/guardian communicates their plan with the athletic director or activities director prior to the date of competition.
Who will be providing tutoring and support in the Tuesday/Thursday after-school sessions?
Ritenour High School teachers will be providing extra help in core subjects (math, science, history and English language arts) during academic support sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additional volunteer tutors also will be available.
Will there be any before-school academic support sessions?
As of Aug. 15, 2018, academic support sessions are only scheduled from 3-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Athletics and Activities office is looking into other time frames for future academic support sessions.
Are grades monitored for student athletes outside the season when they are participating in sports? For example, if a football player does not participate in a winter or spring sport, will his grades still be monitored after football ends?
Yes, to participate in MSHSAA-sanctioned sports and activities at RHS, students are expected to keep their GPA at 2.0 or above even in the off-season because they will need to meet that academic expectation at the end of the semester prior to starting their athletic season, as well as during the season. Grade checks will be made regularly throughout the school year.
If a student’s GPA falls below 2.0 in the off-season, will he/she be required to attend academic support sessions if he/she wants to participate in sports that falls in the following semester?
Yes, an RHS student who participates in MSHSAA sports and activities whose GPA falls below 2.0 in the off-season will need to attend academic support sessions to improve so he/she can be eligible. A student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the semester prior to participating in a MSHSAA sport/activity.
What if my student is enrolled in less than 3 credit hours during the semester he/she participates in a sport or during the semester prior to when the sport is in season? (For example, five classes that are each ½ credit plus study hall)
To participate in MSHSAA sports and activities at RHS, students must be enrolled in six classes (each worth ½ credit) each semester, to total 3 credits. Students must pass six ½-credit classes with a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain eligible.
Will my student be benched by the coach or sponsor for competitions if he/she has a GPA below 2.0?
No, the district’s position is that students with a GPA below 2.0 will be allowed to compete. However, they must meet the expectations set by the coaches and sponsors and other eligibility requirements set by MSHSAA. For complete MSHSAA requirements, click here on their website. Contact your student’s coach or sponsor for expectations specific to the team or activity.