The Freeman Public School Board made no change to its ineligibility policy at a special meeting held via Zoom Thursday night, Dec. 10, but may consider additional leniency because of COVID-19 challenges in the future.
Thursday’s meeting, which is accessible via the district’s YouTube channel and held one night before Freeman Public's basketball openers, revealed that 24 students in grades 6-12 are currently ineligible from participation in extra-curricular activities, meaning they either have two F’s or the overall GPA is below 50%.
Of those 24, seven participate in athletics, according to Superintendent Kevin Kunz. That’s 5 percent of the 6-12 student body.
Several board members suggested the district should be more lenient because of the challenge created by the hybrid learning model Freeman Public has gone to in recent weeks because of the spread of the coronavirus locally, but any change in policy requires two readings by the board, which meets monthly, and wouldn’t be effective until next year.
The current policy, adopted a year-and-a-half ago, says that grades are checked at the midterm of each semester — 4 ½ weeks. Those who are ineligible have two weeks to improve their classroom performance and become reinstated, or else wait until the next grade check at the quarter/semester intervals.
Board member Mark Miller suggested that the two-week period be reduced to one week, at least until the COVID-19 threat subsides, but said the issue should be revisited in January.
Both Slade Ammann and Corey Gall spoke in favor of leaving the policy as is, which was also the recommendation from Kunz.
The board meets again in regular session Wednesday, Dec. 15.