504.3 Student Academic Eligibility and Good Conduct Policy

Spirit Lake High School offers a variety of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities for high school students, designed to enhance their classroom education. Participation in school extra- curricular and co-curricular activities is a privilege. School activities provide the benefits of promoting additional interests and abilities in the students during their school years and for a lifetime.

Students who participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities serve as ambassadors of the school district throughout the calendar year, whether away from school or at school. Students who wish to have the privilege of participating in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities must conduct themselves in accordance with board policy and must refrain from activities which are illegal, immoral, or unhealthy.

Students who fail to abide by this policy and the administrative regulations supporting it may be subject to disciplinary measures. The principal shall keep records of violations of the good conduct rule.


The following activities are covered by the board's policy and these rules:

Extra-curricular activities: school-related activities and events outside the school day in which the student represents the school; these activities (e.g., all types of competitive sports, speech contest) are optional to students and do not affect a student's grade in a course.

Co-curricular activities: course-related activities and events which may be outside or during the school day in which the student represents the school and participation is expected or recommended as part of a curricular class; being withheld from such activities (e.g., marching band performance, Pan Am Club activities) for a Good Conduct Rule violation will not affect the student's grade in the course, although alternative activities may be required to maintain the student's grade. Activities subject to this policy shall also include all activities of the district where there is a sponsor or coach who receives compensation from the district.

Eligibility Requirements

a. All contestants must be enrolled and in good standing in a school that is a member or associate member in good standing of the organization sponsoring      the event.

b. All contestants must be under 20 years of age.

c. All contestants shall be enrolled students of the school in good standing. They shall receive credit in at least four subjects, each of one period or “hour” or the equivalent thereof, at all times.

To qualify under this rule, a “subject” must meet the requirements of 281-Chapter 12. Coursework taken under the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 261C, postsecondary enrollment options, for which a school district or accredited nonpublic school grants academic credit toward high school graduation shall be used in determining eligibility. No student shall be denied eligibility if the student’s school program deviates from the traditional two-semester school year.

(1) Each contestant shall be passing all coursework for which credit is given and shall be making adequate progress toward graduation requirements at the end of each grading period. Grading period, graduation requirements, and any interim periods of ineligibility are determined by local policy. For purposes of this subrule, “grading period” shall mean the period of time at the end of which a student in grades 9 through 12 receives a final grade and course credit is awarded for passing grades.

(2) Subject to the provision below regarding contestants in interscholastic baseball or softball, if at the end of any grading period a contestant is given a failing grade in any course for which credit is awarded, the contestant is ineligible to dress for and compete in the next occurring interscholastic athletic contests and competitions in which the contestant is a bona fide contestant for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days, which begins at 3:40 p.m. the afternoon of the 3rd weekday following the end of the grading period. For purposes of this sub rule, a “bona fide contestant” means a student who presently is or previously has competed in the interscholastic athletic activity to which the student’s period of ineligibility herein applies.

(3) If at the time the student has a failing grade, and he/she is out for a sport and the season ends before the thirty (30) days are served, the days carryover to the next sport he/she participates in.

(4) At the end of a grading period that is the final grading period in a school year, a bona fide contestant in interscholastic baseball or softball who receives a failing grade in any course for which credit is awarded is ineligible to dress for and compete in interscholastic baseball or softball for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days following the end of the final grading period.

d. A student with a disability who has an individualized education program shall not be denied eligibility on the basis of scholarship if the student is making adequate progress, as determined by school officials, towards the goals and objectives on the student’s individualized education program.

e. A student who meets all other qualifications may be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics for a maximum of eight consecutive semesters upon entering the ninth grade for the first time. However, a student who engages in athletics during the summer following eighth grade is also eligible to compete during the summer following twelfth grade. Extenuating circumstances, such as health, may be the basis for an appeal to the executive board which may extend the eligibility of a student when the executive board finds that the interests of the student and interscholastic athletics will be benefited.

f. All member schools shall provide appropriate interventions and necessary academic supports for students who fail or who are at risk to fail, and shall report to the department regarding those interventions on the comprehensive school improvement plan.

g. A student is academically eligible upon entering the ninth grade. No student shall be eligible to participate in any given interscholastic athletic sport if the student has engaged in that sport professionally.

h. No student who has been a member of a college squad or who has trained with a college squad or participated in a college contest shall be eligible for any athletic contest.

i. A student who is eligible at the close of a semester is academically eligible until the beginning of the subsequent semester.

j. The local superintendent of schools, with the approval of the local board of education, may give permission to a dropout student to participate in athletics upon return to school if the student is otherwise eligible under these rules.

Good Conduct Rule

To retain eligibility for participation in Spirit Lake High School extra-curricular and co- curricular activities, students at all levels of participation, in grades five (5) through twelve (12), must conduct themselves as good citizens both in and out of school at all times. Students who represent the school in an activity are expected to serve as good role models to other students and to the members of the community.

The Board, the administration and other employees of the District have no control or responsibility for any student when the student is in the custody and control of the student’s parent, guardian or other non-school related agency, except as outlined below.

Some conduct, although it may occur after school hours and/or off school premises, is so severe that it may cause a student to lose eligibility for participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. A student may lose eligibility under the Good Conduct Rule for any of the following behaviors (this list is not exhaustive):

* possession, use, or purchase of tobacco products, regardless of the student's age;

* possession, use, or purchase of alcoholic beverages, or any substance containing alcohol

* possession, use, or purchase of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia or the unauthorized possession, use, or purchase of otherwise lawful (prescription) drugs;

* joint possession of drugs and/or alcohol;

* engaging in any act that would be grounds for arrest or citation in the criminal or juvenil court system, excluding minor traffic offenses, regardless of whether the student is cited, arrested, convicted, or adjudicated for the act(s), including joint possession of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances

* inappropriate or offensive conduct at school or school events such as fighting, insubordination (talking back or refusing to cooperate with authorities), hazing or harassment

* failing to follow reasonable training and conduct rules that are established by the sponsors and coaches of the activity in which the student is participating and have been approved by the principal and/or athletic director.

If a student transfers to Spirit Lake High School from another school or school district and the student has not yet completed a period of ineligibility for a violation of a Good Conduct Rule in the previous school or school district, the student shall be ineligible at SLHS until the full period of ineligibility has been completed. Once that time period of ineligibility has been completed, the student is then immediately eligible at Spirit Lake High School as far as the Good Conduct Rule is concerned. Any violation of the policies of the Spirit Lake Community School will be separate from violations at prior school districts.

Additional Information on “Joint Possession”

Joint possession is defined as “A student who is in a car or in attendance at a function or party where alcohol or other drugs are being consumed illegally by minors and who has "knowledge" of the alcohol or other drugs but "fails to leave," despite having ample opportunity to do so, is in "joint possession." The student knows there is alcohol and/or illegal drug use at the function and may not be participating in the illegal activity, but he/she has chosen to stay. This student could be charged by law enforcement and is in violation of the Good Conduct Rule.”

Joint possession is included as an offense under the Good Conduct Policy for the following reasons:

* Even in moderate amounts, alcohol and drugs have an unhealthy impact on growing bodies.

* This country and this community have a serious problem with drug and alcohol use by teenagers and even younger children.

* Federal and state laws require schools to educate students about drug and alcohol use and abuse. Many laws have been passed and grant money has been made available to impress upon students the message against any type of chemical involvement.

* The message sent, when a student attends a party where drugs and alcohol are being used by minors, even if the student doesn't participate him/herself, is one of approval. This is true for the so-called responsible activity of declaring a "designated driver" who will abstain from use while his/her peers engage in illegal consumption of the chemicals.

If a student finds him/herself in a situation where alcohol or other drugs are being consumed illegally by minors, the student's options are:

1. Leave immediately. An "intention" to leave is not a defense. Nor is being the "designated driver."

2. Stay and risk loss of eligibility for extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.

These actions could result in the following possible scenarios:

1. If a student without transportation calls home or calls someone else for a ride and waits outside the party and off the property, that will be interpreted as "leaving."

2. A student who accepts a ride from an adult who has groceries in the car, including beer, is not in violation.

3. A student would have to be drinking or using drugs or in attendance at a social function or party where alcohol or other drugs are being consumed illegally by minors to be in violation.

4. A minor who drinks wine at the family Christmas dinner or takes a drink of champagne at a wedding, assuming the student's parent/guardian is also present, is not in violation, because parents can legally provide alcohol to their minor children.

Penalties for Violation of Good Conduct Policy:

When the administration believes it is more likely than not that the student violated the Good Conduct Rule, during the school year or summer, the student is subject to a loss of eligibility as follows:

First Offense within the student's high school career: 1 event suspension

Second Offense within the student's high school career: 3 event suspension

Third or Subsequent Offense within the student's high school career: 10 event suspension

Students who go 14 months without a subsequent good conduct policy will have their initial good conduct offense(s) erased from their good conduct record.  This reset can only be used one time during the student's high school career.  An event cancelled due to inclement weather will not count as an event missed for the good conduct policy.

The period of ineligibility from extra-curricular and co-curricular activities begins immediately upon a finding of a violation, and events must be missed in the order in which they occur, without student selection, unless the student is already under violation, in which case the second violation starts after the first one is completed. An ineligible student shall attend all practices or rehearsals, but may not "suit up" nor perform/participate.

If a student drops out of an activity prior to completion of the period of ineligibility, the penalty or remainder of the penalty will attach when the student next seeks to go out for another activity, subject to a 12-month limitation above. When a student under suspension for a violation seeks to join a new extra-curricular activity without completing the previous activity, the coach of the new activity will have discretion whether to allow the student to participate, the decision subject to review by the Activities Director.

If the offense results in an out-of-school (O.S.S.) suspension, including, but not limited to, threatening another student or staff member; vandalism to, theft of, or unauthorized possession of the property of any school; or harassment of others. Any events during the O.S.S. would count towards the Good Conduct Rule penalties.

Academic Consequences for Violation of Good Conduct Policy

Unless the student violated the Good Conduct Rule while on school grounds or at a school event or activity off school grounds, there will be no academic consequences (e.g., detention, suspension from school) for the violation.

National Honor Society has its own separate policies with regard to good conduct.


Any student who is found by the administration to have violated the Good Conduct Rule may appeal this determination to the superintendent by contacting the superintendent within three days of being advised of the violation. The penalty will be in effect pending the superintendent's decision.

If the student is still dissatisfied, he or she may appeal to the school board by filing a written appeal with the board secretary at least 24 hours prior to the next board meeting. The review by the board will be in closed session unless the student's parent (or the student, if the student is 18) requests an open session. The grounds for appeal to the school board are limited to the following: the student did not violate the Good Conduct Rule; the student was given inadequate due process in the investigation and determination; or the penalty is in violation of the Handbook Rule or Board Policy. The penalty will remain in effect pending the outcome of the meeting with the board.

If the school board reverses the decision of the administration, the student shall be immediately eligible and shall have any record of the ineligibility period and violation deleted from the student's record.


Approved: 11/15/67                                  Reviewed:   6/10/19                                        Revised: 6/11/12; 5/13/13, 7/11/18