Home-school and charter school students could participate in Beaufort County School District sports and other activities next school year, but there may be a fee.
The Beaufort County Board of Education heard an update Tuesday on how new state laws allowing those students to participate in some activities might affect the district.
Charter school students can participate in any extracurricular activities not offered at the school they attend, student services chief Gregory McCord said. Programs could include sports teams, clubs, academic quiz team, band or chorus if it’s outside of class time or any district-run, after-school programs.
Home-school students can participate in interscholastic activities — any school-sponsored program outside the regular school day, McCord said. That could include sports teams, clubs, quiz teams or band and chorus if it’s outside of a formal classroom course.
Home-school and charter-school students would not be able to participate in ROTC programs, field studies, yearbook, career organizations, field trips or school dances.
The board is expected to discuss draft application and permission forms at its two-day work session on Thursday and Friday.
Students will likely have to present proof of residence, report cards, physical examinations and a copy of a birth certificate.
The draft forms for sports include a fee — $32 for middle school students and $55 for high school students. McCord said the money would be used to cover insurance costs.
Applications would be processed by the district office rather than individual schools, McCord said.
McCord said students will have to meet the same requirements district students meet to participate, including the district’s new policy that student athletes must maintain a 2.0 GPA. That policy is set to take effect in January.
Board members Earl Campbell and Bill Evans raised concerns about how that policy might be enforced.
District student athletes must participate in an tutorial program if their grades slip, Campbell said. It’s not clear how charter- or homeschooled-students would fulfill that requirement.
Evans pointed out that students are also subject to conduct standards, but that it will be hard to enforce them when students don’t attend the school.
More debate is expected at the board’s work sessions.
In other action, the school board approved:
- A $2,499 donation from Hargray to the Hilton Head High School Girls’ golf team.
- A $30,000 donation from Hargray for the district’s Back to School Expo.
- A $1,500 donation from Parent's Anonymous for food at the Back to School Expo.
- A $288,000, five-year contract with GCA Services for the maintenance of non-athletic fields at schools in the Battery Creek, Beaufort, Whale Branch and Bluffton clusters. Board members Michael Rivers, Campbell and Ron Speaks voted against it; board member Steven Morello was absent.
- A $72,000, five-year contract with Valley Crest for the maintenance of Hilton Head cluster schools’ non-athletic fields. Rivers, Campbell and Speaks voted against it.
- A $401,000, five-year contract with Valley Crest for the maintenance of all schools’ athletic fields. Rivers, Campbell and Speaks voted against it.