CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—The The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) announced on Wednesday that they have approved a limited waiver to WVBE Policy 2436.10, which means that the 2.0 grade point average eligibility requirement will be waived for the first nine weeks of the fall 2021 semester to allow kids to practice with athletic teams, the band and club activities.
The Board recognized that the past 18 months have been inconsistent for students because of the pandemic and that many counties struggled to offer consistent in-person instruction. This means that kids had limited access to athletics and other extracurriculars during this time. The Board said that students faced academic losses as well as social-emotional struggles.
“We do not see this limited waiver as an excuse for low academic performance, but instead an avenue for students to re-establish consistent engagement with their schools and benefit from the social-emotional, academic and extracurricular supports schools offer,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “These children have had so much taken away from them, and it is important that we look for ways to keep them connected so they can learn and thrive.”
The limited waiver provides the following:
- All students’ grades will be evaluated after six weeks from the start of school. If the student has obtained a 2.0 GPA, and thus achieved academic eligibility, the student will then be permitted to participate in contests, performances and competitions. Students who have not obtained a 2.0 GPA will continue to be permitted to practice under this limited waiver until the nine-week evaluation.
- Additionally, students’ grades will be evaluated after nine weeks from the start of school. If the student has obtained a 2.0 GPA, and thus achieved academic eligibility, the student will then be permitted to participate in contests, performances and competitions. Students gaining full eligibility at six weeks must also maintain academic eligibility at the nine-week evaluation.
- The limited waiver does not extend past the nine-week evaluation point. Students who fail to become academically eligible at the nine-week evaluation point will not be permitted to continue practicing, and academic eligibility will thereafter be determined under the existing provisions of Policy 2436.10.
“Our students and teachers are working hard to recover from the loss of instruction, engagement and time because it is all reflected in those indicators of child success that we watch so closely,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Returning to school this year will require we move forward collectively, cautiously and compassionately because the needs of our children will be significant as we address learning, social-emotional well-being and the need to acclimate to the ever-changing face of COVID-19.”
For more information, parents can contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.