Public Comment Sought on Amendments to Policy IQD, Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities

The Montgomery County Board of Education is proposing amendments to Board Policy IQD, Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities, and is seeking public comment on the amendments from now until February 12, 2021.   As a district committed to nondiscrimination, equity, and cultural responsiveness, the Board seeks to balance the state and collegiate expectations with its interest in making extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports, accessible to as many students as possible. The proposed amendments seek to help more students remain engaged in school activities and consequently enhance their social and academic development.  The presentation reviewed by the Board on November 10, 2020 is available here .

Academic eligibility standards for participation in athletic activities are necessary to prepare students for participation in athletic competitions at the state-wide level and to prepare them to meet the academic eligibility standards requirements at the collegiate level, should they desire to pursue sports beyond high school. 

Academic eligibility requirements for middle school students participating in interscholastic sports are unchanged, and require a 2.0 grade point average with no more than one failing grade in the previous marking period, beginning in the second marking period of middle school.

Highlights of the Board's amendments include the following topics:  

  • Remove academic eligibility requirements for middle and high school students participating in extracurricular activities other than interscholastic sports, such as student government, fine arts, and academic teams.
  • Set forth academic eligibility requirements for high school students participating in interscholastic sports, with certain exemptions from these requirements, such that -
    • the 2.0 grade point average remains unchanged for high school students participating in interscholastic sports with no more than one failing grade in the previous marking period;
    • however, the amended academic eligibility requirements begin in the second year in any high school, as determined by the student's marking period average in the fourth quarter of their first year of high school. 
  • The adjustment to high school eligibility takes account of the following:
    • Many students struggle with the adjustment from middle to high school during the first few marking periods.
    • Previous requirements (in the existing policy) are based on the first marking period only, and allow students in fall sports (which take place during the first marking period) to participate without a minimum grade point average in their first year.  However, an adjustment is needed so that students participating in winter and spring sports have the same opportunity to participate during their first year without a minimum grade point average. 

Public comments may be submitted here