Recent headlines have been buzzing with possible changes happening to our charter school students’ ability to participate in local school district extracurricular activities, particularly athletics. In typical media fashion, they make it sound like our students’ eligibility to take part is being taken into consideration. But this is not the case, and we’re here to help set the facts straight.
The 2014-15 school year was the first year allowing charter school students the ability to go to their neighborhood school district and sign up to join extracurricular activities within the district’s schools, ie: band, drama club, sports, etc. A glitch in the plan surfaced with high school sports. When urban schools in Columbus welcomed charter school football players to their teams, the students were also being counted toward enrollment figures, per the guidelines of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). The slight rise in enrollment caused many of the schools to have to compete in a higher and thus harder division than before, which the schools were not monetarily, mentally or physically prepared to do. Rather than risk financial hardship on districts, or injury to students and staff, OHSAA simply decided to NOT count charter school students in enrollment figures. Our students will continue to be allowed to participate and play, just as they were last year and district high school sports will remain in their appropriate division.
We are so excited that all students are being given the chance to participate, no matter what school they choose to succeed in. We sincerely hope the confusing media coverage has not deterred families from jumping at this opportunity.
If your student is planning to enroll in a district activity, CLICK HERE to download a printable document you can reference and take to your local school to help with this new topic. We’d also love to hear of any activities you participated in last year or are planning to participate in this school year. Feel free to comment on our Facebook page!