Older Atchison Public School students involved in sports and activities will be subject to different eligibility requirements for the forthcoming school year.

USD 409 Board of Education members unanimously approved Activities Director Jason Schroeder’s proposal as part of business Monday night, June 1 during their regular meeting.

Schroeder serves as activities director and assistant principal at Atchison High School. He said his expectations are that the new policy might serve as more of a motivational tool for students. The plan applies to students showing two failing grades on their Needs Improvement Report each week deeming them ineligible. However, under the new eligibility requirement they have ability to gain immediate eligibility if they obtain a signed note from their instructors that they are no longer failing or have raised their grade to show they are not failing two classes on the next weekly report. Students that remain at the ineligible status can continue to practice, even though they might not be able to participate in games or completion events.

Although the consequences will be more immediate, so will be the motivation to improve their grades, Schroeder wrote in his agenda report for board members. The old policy allowed students to continue participation while failing two or more classes.

AHS students are required to pass a minimum of six new subjects each semester. The minimum requirement is five subjects for Atchison Middle School students.

The new requirement for next school year is intended to be less confusing than the one imposed in the current school year, Schroeder said.

Schroeder also told board members that Kanas State High School Activities Association officials announced they are waiving the basic five-subject rule passed for students to participate in sports/activities for the forthcoming school year, which AHS requires six subjects. Schroeder the waiver is based on the fact that students have not had a fair chance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Board members unanimously voted to follow KSHAA lead and waived the rules in place for the 2020 fall semester at AMS and AHS with the intent to re-visit the matter for the 2021 spring semester.

Concerning other matters, board members:

Accepted the resignation of Board Member Dr. Pam Rizza, effective Tuesday, June 2. Board member thanked Rizza for her service. Rizza was elected in November 2019, and began her 4-year term serving as a board member in January. Rizza said she took her commitment very seriously, but some things have changed. She told her colleagues they have been an amazing group to work with.

Heard an update from Sarah Tschauder about the AHS Campus Cupboard.

Took action concerning personnel matters following an executive session.

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