WM Policies

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 111 POLICIES/PROCEDURES/EXPECTATIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS IN SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES

Your attendance at a preseason or early season meeting is expected each season you participate.  Activities may also schedule such meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to identify and discuss Minnesota State High School League rules, school expectations and team policies.  You and your parents will have the opportunity to meet your coaches, learn about practice and contest schedules, purchase team wear and find out other important sport/activity specific information.  It is your responsibility to be informed about these meeting times.

General Statement of Policy

School activities provide additional opportunities for students to pursue special interests that contribute to their physical, mental and emotional well-being.  They are of secondary importance in relationship to the formal instructional program.  However, they complement the instructional program in providing students with additional opportunities for growth and development.

MISSION STATEMENT……ADOPTED MAY, 2011

The mission of our athletics/activities program is to inspire participants to work hard in practice, competition and while performing to accomplish their goals and learn the values necessary to be contributing members of our society.  We will offer programs that enhance the mental, physical and emotional growth of our student-athletes.

BELIEF STATEMENTS……….ADOPTED MAY, 2011

We believe that…….

  1. Athletic/activity participation is a privilege, not a right.
  2. Athletes and activity participants are students first.
  3. The priority of our competitive athletic/activity programs is to develop a championship mentality in all participants.
  4. Varsity level teams should enter every competition with the goal to win.
  5. Playing time is to be earned and it is to be based on attitude, work ethic, behavior, skill set and how players fit together as a team.
  6. The step by step progression within our total program must be clearly defined so that expectations at each level are understood
  7. Participation in athletics/activities should be a rewarding and positive experience for all participants.
  8. Athletics/activities should promote good sportsmanship while competing. 
  9. An effective, successful athletics/activities program must have strong leadership, well qualified coaches, clear policy, adequate resources and effective organization.
  10. Athletic/activity participation gives students opportunities to develop leadership skills and learn other important life skills like teamwork, respect for others and oneself, time management and goal-setting.  Sports and activities provide educational opportunities beyond the classroom.
  11. Collaborative relationships between the school, parents and community are vital to student success and to the success of the total sports/activities program.

Communication and Conflict Resolution Protocol

Parents are asked to follow a “24 hour rule” if they have an issue to discuss with a coach/advisor or a complaint to make.  In other words, parents should wait 24 hours before contacting a coach with a concern.  It is important that coaches/advisors and parents have time to process whatever may have happened that has upset a player or parent and also time to have one’s emotions under control.  Please also follow the protocol below.  Note that it is extremely important to have the participant and coach/advisor work to resolve any issues before others get involved.

A. The student-athlete should approach the coach/advisor and express the concern and ask questions to clarify and/or better understand the issue.

B. If this does not resolve the concern, it is recommended that the parents contact the coach/advisor and schedule a time to meet to discuss the concern.  It is also recommended that the student be part of any conversation with the parent(s) and coach.

C. If the first two steps do not resolve the concern, the activities director should be contacted.

D. The principal is the next school official to contact if necessary.

E. Contact the superintendent if the concern is still not resolved.

Rules and Regulations

MSHSL rules and consequences are a minimum standard that must be followed.  Individual schools may adopt and enforce stricter standards and consequences.  In some cases, WMHS consequences are different than those of the MSHSL. In addition to what is printed in this document, all other MSHSL rules/policies apply to participants in athletics and activities.  The MSHSL eligibility brochure identifies MSHSL rules/policies.

Category Definitions

The Student Activities Policy covers all students in grades 7-12 participating in any
Activity, including the following:

  • Category I:All athletic activities, Speech, Knowledge Bowl, Mock Trial
  • Category II:    Band, choir, all theater activities, FLA/FHA, BPA, Science Olympiad, FFA, NHS, Student Council, Ecology Club, Watonian, Class Officers, Leadership and any other activities not listed that represent District 111.

Code of Conduct and Responsibility

All student-athletes and activity participants represent our school and community.  Therefore, good citizenship is required for participation in co-curricular activities.  Because of their visibility and status as role models, proper conduct and abiding by school rules, MSHSL rules, local and state laws are expected of all participants.  In addition, it is vital to have the cooperation and support of parents as they have the most influence on the behavior of their children.  We expect that all parents will help their children clearly understand our expectations and encourage them to make positive choices in all that they do.

A.  The school board expects all students who participate in school sponsored activities to represent the school and community in a responsible manner.  All rules pertaining to student conduct and student discipline extend to school activities.

B.  The school board expects all spectators at school sponsored activities, including parents, employees, and other members of the public to behave in an appropriate manner at those activities. Offenders will be held accountable for their actions and appropriate consequences will be imposed.

C.   Unsportsmanlike conduct by a participant toward an opponent, official, coach/advisor, spectator, or the use of profanity during practice or contests will result in counseling by the head coach/advisor and/or the Activities Director and consequences may be imposed.  An ejection from a contest will automatically result in a minimum suspension from the next scheduled contest, event, or performance per MSHSL rules.
    
D.  We believe that participants do know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.  However, in order to ensure understanding, The Student Code of Responsibilities of the Minnesota State High School League is used to explain the basic concepts of good citizenship and appropriate behavior. It is the responsibility of the student-participant to behave in a way that makes the school and community proud to have him/her represent us as a member of a Royal activity.  The MSHSL Code is as follows.  Participants are to:
    1.  Respect the rights and beliefs of others and treat others with courtesy and
         consideration.
    2.  Be fully responsible for their actions and the consequences of their actions.
    3.  Respect the property of others.
    4.  Respect and obey the rules of their school and the laws of their community, state
         and country.
    5.  Show respect to those who are responsible for enforcing the rules of their school and
         the laws of their community, state, and country.  

A student whose character or conduct violates the Student Code of Responsibilities is not in good standing and is ineligible for a period of time as determined by the principal or designee.  In addition, the principal or designee may count a code of conduct violation as one in a sequence of other Category I or II MSHSL violations.  No appeal may be made to the MSHSL regarding Code of Conduct penalties.  However, an appeal may be made in the local school district to the direct supervisor of the person who made the initial determination. If no resolution is reached a final appeal may be made to the superintendent. The superintendents decision stands.

Chemical Violations/Sexual Harassment and Violence/Hazing

1.  Use and Possession/Harassment/Hazing for Category I and II Activities: (Reference bylaws 205 and 209)
The use and/or possession of any alcoholic beverage and/or tobacco or tobacco product as defined in MSHSL bylaw 205 is prohibited.  This includes any product used to deliver nicotine like an E cigarette.  In addition, the use and/or possession of illegal drugs as defined by State Law or the possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited.  The use, possession, buying, selling or giving away any substance or product to induce intoxication, excitement, or alter the nervous system unless under the direction of a medical doctor, is prohibited.  Such substances or     products include, but are not limited to, synthetic drugs, gasoline, glue, aerosol devices, bath salts and any other substances addressed by Minnesota or Federal Law. A student shall not violate the harassment and violence or hazing bylaws of the MSHSL     or the     harassment and violence or hazing policies of the school district.


2.  Consequences of Violations for Category I Activities:
A.  First Violation:  After confirmation of the first violation, the student shall be suspended from the next two (2) scheduled events, performances or contests, or a minimum of two (2) weeks of the season, whichever is greater.  Suspension weeks only apply to actual weeks of an activity season, not between sports.  In addition, weeks or events only count if the athlete was otherwise eligible to participate.  A suspended participant is expected to practice and attend all contests/performances unless told otherwise but may not be in uniform.

B.  Second Violation:  After confirmation of the second violation, the student shall be suspended from the next six (6) events, performances or contests, or a minimum of six (6) weeks of the season, whichever is greater.  Suspension weeks only apply to actual weeks of an activity season, not between seasons.  In addition, weeks or events only count if the student was otherwise eligible to participate.  A suspended participant is expected to practice and attend all contests/performances unless told otherwise but may not be in uniform.

If this violation occurs during the same season as the student’s first violation, this suspension would be in addition to the first violation suspension.  

After confirmation of the second violation, the participant shall receive counseling that is satisfactory with the administration and/or school counselors.

C.  Third Violation:  After confirmation of the third violation, the student shall lose all eligibility for one (1) calendar year.
    
If after the third violation, the student, on his/her own volition (choice) becomes a participant in a certified chemical dependency program or treatment program, the student may be eligible for reinstatement in co-curricular activities after a minimum period of six (6) weeks.  Approval of reinstatement shall be considered by the Watertown-Mayer Review Board, consisting of the Activities Director, High School Principal, and Superintendent.  Certification of successful completion must be issued by the director or counselor of a certified chemical dependency treatment center before reinstatement will be considered.

3.  Consequences of Violations for Category II Activities:
Some clubs/organizations may have more severe consequences for violations.  If so, those must be approved by the Principal and/or Activities Director.  Participants must be informed in advance of those consequences. (example: NHS may dismiss a member for any alcohol violation.)  Consequences imposed on theater participants may be different than what is listed below if the occurrence was prior to the start of a play versus once rehearsals have begun.

A.  First Violation:  After confirmation of the first violation, the student shall be suspended from the next two (2) scheduled events, performances or contests, or a minimum of two (2) weeks of the activity, whichever is greater. Suspension weeks only apply to actual weeks of an activity season, not between activities.  In addition, weeks or events only count if the participant was otherwise eligible to participate.  A suspended participant is expected to practice and attend all contests/performances unless told otherwise but may not be in uniform.

B. Second Violation:  After confirmation of the second violation, the student shall be suspended from the next six (6) consecutive weeks of the activity.  Suspension weeks only apply to actual weeks of an activity season, not between activities. In addition, weeks or events only count if the participant was otherwise eligible to participate.  A suspended participant is expected to practice and attend all contests/performances unless told otherwise but may not be in uniform.

If this violation occurs during the same season as the student’s first violation, this suspension would be in addition to the first violation suspension.  

After confirmation of the second violation, the participant shall receive counseling that is satisfactory with the administration and/or school counselors.

C.  Third Violation:  After confirmation of the third violation, the student shall lose all eligibility for one (1) calendar year.
    
If after the third violation, the student, on his/her own volition, (choice)  becomes a participant in a certified chemical dependency program or treatment program, the student may be eligible for reinstatement in co-curricular activities after a minimum period of six (6) weeks. Approval of reinstatement shall be considered by the Watertown-Mayer Activities Review Board, consisting of the Activities Director, High School Principal, and Superintendent. Certification of successful completion must be issued by the director or counselor of a certified chemical dependency treatment center before reinstatement will be considered.  


4.  Conditions and Duration of Suspensions:
A.  The rules and regulations in this policy shall apply to any violations on or off school premises during the entire calendar year.
B.  Penalties shall be accumulated beginning with 7th grade and ending at high school graduation or the end of a participant’s season.
C.  Multiple penalties will be served consecutively.
D.  Any penalties/suspensions not completed or fully served during a given season or school year will be carried over into the participant’s next activity season until fully served.
E.  All suspension periods begin from the date of the confirmation of the offense.

5.   Cooperation and Honesty:  
A.  A student shall be disqualified from participation in all athletics and activities for nine (9) additional weeks beyond the student’s original period of ineligibility when the student denies violation of the rule, is allowed to participate and then is subsequently found guilty of the violation.
B.  If at any time a student participant is found uncooperative and dishonest regarding his/her statement(s) concerning testimony as it relates to a violation of the rules for participation, the following suspensions will be administered:
    a.  First Offense:  The individual will be suspended from the activity for five (5) school
    days and/or one (1) contest/performance/event, whichever is greater.  The suspension will be above and beyond any other suspension that will be and/or has been administered.
    b.  Second Offense:  The individual will be suspended from the activity for the next ten
10) school days and/or two (2) contests/performances/events, whichever is greater.  This suspension will be above and beyond any other suspension that will be and/or has been administered.









Academic Eligibility

Academic eligibility for participants in athletics and activities will be based on student’s making adequate progress towards graduation and not having any failing grades at designated grade marking periods. The process to monitor academic eligibility will be as follows:

Passing Grades

  • Mid-Quarter and Quarter progress reports will be reviewed and any participant with an “F” at mid-quarter will be given a letter stating he/she is on academic probation for two calendar weeks.  Any failing grade must be raised to a passing grade by the end of the two week period.  Students will be responsible for taking that letter home, getting it signed by a parent or guardian and returning it to the A.D.  During that probationary period, the participant may practice and compete.
  • At the end of the probationary period, the participant will need to show proof of a passing grade in all classes to the A.D.  If the participant is passing all classes, he/she maintains his/her eligibility.
  • If at the end of the probationary period, the participant is not able to show proof of passing grades in all classes, he/she will lose competitive eligibility for a two week period.



In summary, there will be 8 times during the school year that participant’s grades will be checked and academic eligibility will be reviewed.  Participants on probation for an F at mid-quarter will get two weeks to fix that problem.  Participants who are ineligible at the end of a quarter will not be able to regain eligibility until the next scheduled progress reporting date.



Credits
Credits will be counted at the end of each semester.  Participants must have enough credits to be making satisfactory progress toward graduation.   Our specific credit requirement is as follows for this school year:

9th Grade, Class of 2021:  16 credits possible.  6 needed at the end of the first semester and 14 at the end of second semester.  Participants who do not earn the required number will not be able to participate in athletics or activities until they are once again making satisfactory progress toward graduation.  Summer school and night school credits will count toward the total.

10th Grade, Class of 2020:  32 credits possible. 22 needed at the end of the first semester and 30 needed at the end of second semester.  Participants who do not earn the required number will not be able to participate in athletics or activities until they are once again making satisfactory progress toward graduation.  Summer school and night school credits will count toward the total.

11th Grade, Class of 2019:  48 credits possible. 38 needed at the end of the first semester and 46 needed at the end of second semester.  Participants who do not earn the required number will not be able to participate in athletics or activities until they are once again making satisfactory progress toward graduation.  Summer school and night school credits will count toward the total.

12th Grade, Class of 2018:  64 credits possible.  61 needed to graduate.  53 needed at the end of the first semester.  Participants who do not earn the required number will not be able to participate in athletics or activities until they are once again making satisfactory progress toward graduation.  Summer school and night school credits will count toward the total.

Please note that the above credit requirements are for this school year.  Each class has its own specific credit requirements.  In general, participants will not be able to fall more than 2 credits behind the total they could have earned and stay eligible.

Attendance

In order to practice, compete or perform in a scheduled activity on the same day, a student must attend a minimum of half of the regularly scheduled school day hours which means the student must be present for the start of 3rd block. In addition, he/she may not leave prior to the end of second block except in case of an emergency.  An exception may be made if the student had a pre-approved absence. A note from a doctor or parent verifying the need to miss school for a medical appointment will be acceptable. A student who misses more than half of a school day (morning or afternoon) due to illness will not be allowed to participate. In addition, students who consistently miss class or come late to school in the morning, risk being ineligible for practice and/or competition.  Student-athletes are expected to be in school all day unless there is good reason for them to miss. Consistently coming late to school even though that student-athlete is here for more than half the day will not be acceptable.

Unexcused absence or truancy from school or class during the season may result in the following consequences:
A.  First Offense: Suspension from one contest, event or performance.
B.  Second Offense:  Possible suspension for the next two (2) consecutive scheduled events, performances or contests, or two (2) weeks of the season, whichever is longer. In school or out of school suspensions will be counted as unexcused absences. A multiple day suspension will count as one offense.

Expectations for Captains and Officially Designated Team Leaders

Captains or anyone named as an officially designated team leader regardless of the title used, are expected to lead by example and always follow the rules and regulations of the MSHSL, school and the law. Athletes who receive a penalty for a MSHSL violation will not be allowed to be a captain or officially designated team leader for one calendar year from the date the violation is confirmed. A leadership position may also be taken away for Code of Conduct violations. Captains and officially designated team leaders are expected to be positive leaders and role models at all times. Failure to behave in an appropriate manner will result in loss of that leadership position.

Team Discipline

Each coach/advisor at all levels will have discipline rules for minor infractions.  Those include attendance issues, failure to follow directions, inattentiveness, horseplay, tardiness, etc.  These rules shall be put in writing, approved and kept on file by the Activities Director.  These rules shall be given to participants at the beginning of their respective seasons.

Vandalism and Theft

Theft or malicious destruction of any school or individual’s equipment will not be tolerated. The school reserves the right to assess financial restitution for the damage or destruction of property. Theft of property or equipment will also require restitution. In any case of vandalism or theft, other appropriate consequences will be applied as well.

Travel

Student participants must travel to and from all scheduled events in transportation provided by the school.  The only exceptions are as follows:
A.  Injury or illness to a participant which would require alternate transportation.
B.  Verbal and/or written arrangements made in advance between the participant’s
parent(s), the coach/advisor and the Activities Director.  Students may only ride with their own parents.
C.  Parents may talk directly with the coach/advisor at the activity to make arrangements to transport their own child from the event.
D. Any other extenuating circumstances requiring an exception to the norm must be approved in advance by the Activities Director.

Failure to abide by the above policies may result in disciplinary action.

Drop/Add a Sport

NO student participant may quit one activity and start another after the season has begun without the mutual consent of both coaches/advisors and the Activities Director.  All MSHSL rules regarding the last date to join a team will also be followed.

Open Gyms and Captains’ Practices

The school does not organize or provide supervision for captains’ practices.  Arrangements to use school facilities for such activities must be made through community education.  A nominal charge may be assessed and adult supervision will be required.  Captains and other team members are encouraged to stay in shape and work on sport specific skills in their off season but any organized activities must be arranged by the athletes themselves.

Activity Fees and Dues

In general, all fees and dues paid are nonrefundable.

Injury or Illness

A student who has been injured and has had medical treatment cannot participate again until a physician certifies in writing the student’s readiness for participation.  A student who has been injured but does not seek medical treatment after being so advised by the coach/advisor or athletic trainer must submit a written statement form his/her parents/guardians indicating their consent for the student’s continued participation in an activity.  The Activities Director reserves the right to refuse to allow participation without a doctor’s approval to do so.

Participants who have had a significant illness causing an absence from school and the activity must have a written note from a physician certifying the student’s readiness to again participate.

Insurance

The school district does not carry insurance that covers injuries to student participants or loss of property.  Consequently, the parents/guardians and the students may be solely liable in the case of an accident, injury or loss of property.  The school district will only be liable if an injury or damages to property was caused by negligence of the district or its employees acting within the scope of their duties.

Transfer Rules

The MSHSL has multiple stipulations regarding the eligibility of transfer and exchange students.  Please see the Activities Director for specific information about your eligibility if you are a new student to Watertown-Mayer High School.  A new student is a person who starts in ninth grade after the school year begins or a student in grades 10-12 who didn’t begin his/her high school career at Watertown-Mayer.  If you are a transfer or exchange student, do not assume you are eligible.

Tennessen Warning

Please be advised that school officials reserve the right to search lockers and any personal belongings of students while they are participating in activities or during the school day.

State Tournament Attendance

A.  All team participants, coaches, managers and statisticians will be excused from school and provided transportation to participate in a state tournament.   The participants will be under the supervision of their coaches or approved designees.
B.  Student spectators will be excused from school if they ride in vehicles supervised by school employees, provided such transportation is made available.
C.  Student spectators will be excused from school if they comply with Policy 503: Student Attendance.  The school district does not accept supervision responsibility for students traveling to/from activities in non-school vehicles.
D.  A school site may be closed for all or part of the school day if at least 40% of students in that school will be attending a state tournament that begins before 5:00 p.m.
E.  Athletes in a sport who are not participating may be excused from school to attend the state tournament in their sport provided they have parent permission.   In general, no more than a one day absence will be allowed.

Awards

Participants must finish their respective season/activity in good standing, as per coach/advisor discretion, in order to qualify for a letter or other team/activity awards.  A letter or awards may be withheld from a student suspended during the season.

Special awards like the Athena Award, AAA Award, Excel Award and Bud Hahn Award will be given following a specific selection process.  Information about the criteria and selection process for each award will be made available to qualifying students.  School officials pledge to implement a selection process that is objective as well as subjective.

Seniors who have earned an athletic letter through at least their junior year and are “in good standing” will be invited to the annual senior athletic banquet.  Students who have unfulfilled MSHSL and/or school suspensions are not eligible to attend.