Athletic Handbook / Code of Conduct

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Co-curricular activities are an integral part of the Paw Paw Public Schools and participation in them is a privilege, conditioned on meeting additional expectations. All student involved in co-curricular activities are expected to exemplify the expectations presented in this policy.

Failure to comply with the athletic code or the coaches’ rules may mean suspension or expulsion from a squad. Paw Paw Schools expect your best effort at all times.

Each athlete is responsible for his/her athletic equipment issued to him/her by the coaching staff. If this equipment is stolen or lost he/she will be held responsible for the cost of replacement.

By its nature, participation in interscholastic athletics includes risk of injury, which may range from minor to perhaps severe disabling injuries. Although serious injuries are not common in supervised school athletic programs, it is impossible to eliminate the risk. Participants can, and have the responsibility, to help reduce the chance of injury. Players must obey all safety rules, report all physical problems to their coaches, follow a proper conditioning program, and inspect their own equipment daily.

Purpose and Authority
  • The Paw Paw High School Athletic Code is established under the authority of the Paw Paw Board of Education. The purpose of the Athletic Code is to establish standards of academic performance and behavior for students involved in interscholastic athletic programs and the penalties for failure to meet the standards. The privilege of being permitted to participate in the Paw Paw High School Athletic Program is subject to compliance with these standards.

    Paw Paw High School interscholastic athletic programs are affiliated with the Michigan High School Athletic Association (M.H.S.A.A.). The standards of this code meet or exceed the standards of the M.H.S.A.A.

    Reference: “Handbook of the Michigan High School Athletic Association for Junior/Middle Schools and Senior High School.”

    1. Athlete Defined
      1. Those students who have expressed an interest in being on an interscholastic team or who are trying out for an interscholastic team.
      2. Members of any athletic team, cheer team or dance team.
      3. Team managers/statisticians/trainers.
      4. Club sports participants.
    2. Team Membership Athletes may join a sport after the season starts, however, they may not join a sport after the season starts in order to serve an athletic suspension. Athletes may switch sports within one week of making a team. After the one-week period, athletes have two options; to remain on the original team or to not play a sport that season. The term season, as defined in this code, shall be identified as a fall, winter, or spring season.
    3. Duration The athlete is subject to all provisions of the code effective his/her initial enrollment date in high school or when trying out for an interscholastic team, whichever comes first. The athlete is subject to the code at all times and places whether school is in session or not.
    4. Athletic Jurisdiction
      1. Student athletes and their parents must sign code of conduct forms before the first practice session of any high school sport. In most instances, this will take place during “Parent Night” activities.
      2. Student athletes and their parents will be required to sign only one code of conduct per school year, but they are required to attend “Parent Night” meetings prior to each season of participation.
      3. Student athletes will not be allowed to participate in any practice session or competition until the following are on file with the athletic director:
        1. Physical examination card completed and signed by a physician (M.D. , D.O., P.A. or N.P.); and
        2. Code of conduct, signed by the student athlete and a parent, acknowledging receipt of the Redskin Athletic Handbook and pledging to comply with all rules.
      4. Any student who tries out for any athletic team (including cheerleading) must have a physical on file in the Athletic Director’s office BEFORE going to the first practice. Physicals must be dated April 15th or later to be acceptable for the next school year.
    5. Attendance Requirements
      1. A student athlete must be in attendance in all classes to be eligible for practice or competition on any school day. Exceptions may be made only by the principal or a designee, and only if the absence is arranged in advance.
      2. A student athlete who is suspended from regular school attendance for any reason will not be allowed to participate in or to attend any athletic activities during the suspension.
    6. Academic/Citizenship Standards
      1. Eligibility - Previous Semester In compliance with rules established by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, no student shall be eligible for athletic participation unless four (4) hours of classes have been successfully completed during the previous semester of enrollment. A student who has failed to pass four (4) hours of class work in any semester will not be eligible to participate in athletics anytime during the following semester.
      2. Eligibility - During a Semester The Michigan High School Athletic Association also requires member school to maintain ongoing checks on student athletes. Following are the procedures used at Paw Paw High School in maintaining current checks on the academic progress and citizenship of all Redskin athletes. When determining a student’s grade for eligibility purposes, the grade will be figured on a cumulative basis from the beginning of the semester. Grades will be checked electronically every Monday at 9:00 a.m. Students falling into any of the following categories will be declared ineligible for competition throughout the balance of that calendar week (Monday through Sunday).
        1. Failing grades (E) in two or more classes.
        2. A combination of a failing grade and an unsatisfactory citizenship rating from one or more faculty members and/or administrator during any week.
        3. Two or more unsatisfactory cityizenship ratings in one week.
    7. General Rules, Regulations and Penalties The rules governing interscholastic athletes are set forth below. The rules are in addition to the rules established in the Student Code of Conduct and the Athletic Code arising out of the same incident. Students suspended under the Student Code of Conduct are not allowed to practice or participate in any way with their athletic team during the term of the suspension. Students suspended under the Code of Conduct for Student Athletes are allowed to practice with their athletic team during the term of their suspension. Regardless of the type of offense, a second or third violation of the code of conduct will incur the corresponding penalty.
      1. Specific Offenses/Penalties
        1. Use or possession of tobacco in any form at any time. Includes possession or use of “e-cigarettes”.
          1. First offense: Consecutive suspension from ¼ of season contests;
          2. Second offense: Consecutive suspension from ½ of season contests
          3. Third offense: Suspension for twelve consecutive calendar months.
        2. Consumption, possession, or under the influence of alcoholic beverages at any time; use, possession, or under the influence of illegal, controlled or behavior- altering non- prescription drugs or substances (including substances purported to be hallucinogenic or illegal drugs or to have the effects of such drugs, i.e., ‘look-alikes’) at any time.
          1. First offense*: Consecutive suspension from ½ of season contests; * First offense penalties may be reduced to ¼ of season contests if student offender enrolls in and completes a counseling/treatment program.
          2. Second offense: Suspension for twelve consecutive calendar months.
        3. Sale or distribution of illegal, controlled or behavior- altering drugs or substances (including substances purported to be hallucinogenic or illegal drugs or to have the effects of such drugs, i.e., ‘look-alikes’) or the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages at any time, as well as any other felony-type offenses.
          1. First offense: Suspension from all athletic contests for twelve calendar months;
          2. Second offense: Suspension from all athletics for the remainder of the athlete’s high school career.
        4. Misdemeanor-type stealing or acting as an accomplice to an act of stealing any articles, or destroying, damaging, or defacing school property or equipment in connection with any athletic practice or activities in Paw Paw Schools or other schools.
          1. First Offense: Consecutive suspension from ¼ of season contests;
          2. Second offense: Consecutive suspension from ½ of season contests;
          3. Third offense: Suspension for twelve consecutive calendar months.
      2. This code specifies the major problem areas affecting student athletes and is not to be deemed all-inclusive. Any behavior unbecoming of an athlete and/or constituting gross misconduct - occurring in or out of school - which is of such nature as to bring discredit to the athlete, parents, school or team will be dealt with as follows:
        1. The disciplinary penalty shall be determined by the athletic director in consultation with the building principal and may range from a suspension of one athletic contest up to suspension from all athletic participation, depending upon the particular unacceptable behavior. School officials have the option to notify police authorities, and in case of major violations, may press charges. If the police authorities are notified, legal guardians will be contacted. Any action taken by police authorities will be in addition to action by the school. School officials, guided by District procedures, will cooperate with police authorities during investigations.
        2. Late Season Suspension Procedure - If a suspension occurs late in the season and the number of contests remaining in the season is less than the number of contests required by the suspension, the suspension will extend into the next competitive season in the sport he/she actually becomes and remains a member of for the entire season. Athletes will not receive their letter/certificate until after the completion of the suspension.
        3. In-Between-Season-Violations Procedure - If a suspension occurs between seasons, then it will be enforced in the next season of participation by the athlete in which he/she actually becomes and remains a member of the team for the complete sport season.
    8. Reporting Violations/Procedures and Timelines
      1. An administrator/athletic director will promptly investigate all observed and alleged violations. The basis for an investigation may be as a result of, but not limited to:
        1. Personal observation of an administrator/athletic director or coach.
        2. Reports by a faculty member or other school employee.
        3. Law enforcement records/reports.
        4. An athlete’s admission of a violation.
        5. A written report by a responsible adult who is at least 18 years of age and is willing to confront the accused with their testimony. All such reports are to be made within 72 hours of the time when the alleged infraction becomes known to the adult.
      2. Following consultation with the athlete and coach, the athletic director will determine the validity of the reported violation and determine the disciplinary penalty to be imposed on the athlete by code.
      3. The athletic director will attempt to notify parents by phone of the violation of the code by an athlete and the penalty that will be imposed the same day that a determination is made. Within three (3) school days after the penalty is determined, the athletic director will notify the parent of the athlete, in writing, stating the nature of the violation and the penalty.
    9. Appeal Procedure
      1. Within three (3) school days following the day on which the student/parents were first informed of the penalty, the student/parent may appeal the decision in writing to the athletic director stating why they object to the determination made by the athletic director.
      2. The Athletic Council, composed of the athletic director, principal, and coach of the athlete’s present sport, or the coach of the athlete’s next sport, will meet to hear the appeal as soon as practicable.
        1. During the hearing the administrator/athletic director will state the charges and the evidence.
        2. The accused will be given an opportunity to present his/her case.
        3. The athlete’s coach, in most cases, will be present.
        4. The person reporting the violation may attend if requested.
      3. Upon completion of the hearing, the administrator/athletic director will notify the accused of the result. Verbal notification can be expected within three (3) school days. Written notification can be expected within five (5) school days.
      4. While under appeal, the athlete cannot play.
    10. Other Information
      1. Conflicts in Extra-Curricular Activities
        1. Despite all scheduling efforts by the administration, conflicts will develop between extra-curricular activities. The Athletic Department recognizes that each student should have the opportunity for a broad range of experience in all extra-curricular activities.
        2. Students who participate in two sports during any one season will be asked to identify one of the sports as a “major” sport. The schedule of the major sport will take precedent in case of scheduling conflicts unless otherwise determined by the coaches of the two sports.
        3. In the event that conflicts arise between an athletic activity and a “non-athletic” activity, it is the responsibility of the ATHLETE to report these conflicts immediately to the coach. The Athletic Department will do everything to attempt to work out all conflicts to the satisfaction of all parties.
      2. Coaches’ Discretion
        1. Coaches in each sport may add specific rules for their teams. These rules must first be approved by the athletic director and both he/she and each athlete must have a copy of these rules before practice begins.
        2. Coaches may suspend student athletes from participation for one practice period and one contest. Suspensions for longer periods of time will be made only after consultation with the athletic director.
        3. Parents should be notified promptly of all suspensions. Such notification is the responsibility of the coach.
        4. All decisions to remove a student athlete from participation for the balance of a season or longer will be made only after opportunity has been given for a hearing, and such decisions will be reported to parents in writing.
      3. If an athlete quits a team once the scheduled practice has commenced and the one-week grace period has ended, he/she shall not be allowed to participate in any concurrent sport. Exceptions may be made by the athletic director after meeting with the student athlete and his/her parent if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the student.
      4. Awards Programs Student athletes are expected to attend all Awards Programs at which they will be recognized. Parents also are encouraged to attend these functions.
      5. Insurance Paw Paw Schools does not carry insurance on students. Expenses incurred by accident or injury are the responsibility of parents or guardians. Student insurance to cover accidents and/or injury is available through a private firm. Applications are available upon request at the high school office. Applications for this insurance must be submitted at the beginning of the school year.
      6. Parent Night Prior to the beginning of each sport season, a Parent Night will be scheduled. Athletes and at least one parent/guardian are expected to attend. Athletic rules for all students will be discussed. Coaches will discuss their plans for the coming season.
    11. Michigan High School Athletic Association -Eligibility Rules
      1. Enrollment - You must have been enrolled in a high school not later than the fourth (4th) Friday after Labor Day (1st semester) or by the fourth (4th) Friday of February (2nd semester).
      2. Age - You must be under nineteen (19) years of age at the time of contest unless nineteenth (19th) birthday occurs on or after September 1st of a current school year, in which case you are eligible for the balance of that school year.
      3. Physical Examination - You must have passed a physical examination for the present school year. Record of this examination must be on file in the high school office.
      4. Semesters of Competition - You must have not competed for more than four (4) first and four (4) second semester seasons in a sport beginning in the ninth grade.
      5. Semesters of Enrollment - You must not have enrolled in grades nine to twelve (9-12), inclusive, for more than eight (8) semesters. The seventh and eighth (7th and 8th) semesters must be consecutive. Enrollment in a school for a period of three (3) weeks or more counts as a semester. Participation in one (1) or more interscholastic athletic contests also constitutes a semester of enrollment.
      6. Undergraduate Standing - You must not be a high school graduate.
      7. Previous Semester Record - You must have received credit in at least four (4) classes during your last semester.
      8. Transfers - You must have moved out of your former school district and into a new school district accompanied by the persons with whom you were previously living. Check with your principal.
      9. You must not accept any award for athletic performance that exceeds $15.00 in value. An award may not include cash, merchandise certificates or negotiable certificates of any value.
      10. Amateur Practices - You must not accept any money or other valuable consideration (merchandise, etc.) for participating in any form of athletics, sport, or games, for officiating in interscholastic athletic contests, or have signed a contract with a professional athletic team (See A.D. for more detailed information)
      11. Limited Team Membership
        1. After you have started practice with your school in an individual-type sport, you may participate in a maximum of two (2) individual sport meets or contests, during the sport season of a school year while not representing your school;
        2. You must not participate in any so-called “all-star” charity or exhibition contests in any sport sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association before graduation from high school.
      12. Reinstatement of Eligibility - A change in status for an athlete who has been ineligible occurs on the first full day of the new semester on which regularly scheduled classes are held rather than the last day of the previous semester.

    The student handbook states:

    Attendance Requirements

    a. A student athlete must be in attendance in all classes to be eligible for practice or competition on any school day….

    An absence is only excused for athletic purposes if the athlete has an appointment that requires him/her to miss any part of the day. The athlete MUST bring back an excuse from the office where the appointment was held upon return to school. The athlete MUST be in attendance at least 3 hours of the school day, even with a medical note. If the appointment is at the end of the school day, the athlete must take the note to their coach for verification. Failure to do so will result in being unable to participate in athletic activities for the day. Exceptions may be made only by the athletic director or a designee.

    Examples of excused appointments:

    1. Doctor
    2. Dentist/Orthodontist
    3. Counseling
    4. Court

    Examples of reasons NOT excused for athletic participation:

    1. Oversleeping
    2. Illness
    3. Running late
    4. Hair appointment

    If you have any question whether an absence will be excused for participation, please contact the athletic office. I have read and understand the above attendance policy for athletes. I will abide by the rules set forth above.

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    Athlete Signature Date

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    Parent/Guardian Signature Date