Tri-Village News

Extracurriculars now open to home-schoolers, more

Superintendent expects impact to be minimal

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The state's new budget bill included additional provisions that could allow some students who don't attend a Grandview school to participate in the district's extracurricular activities.

Superintendent Ed O'Reilly reviewed the new rules at the Aug. 20 meeting of the Grandview school board.

State law previously did not allow private-school students and home-educated students to participate in activities at the district school they would otherwise be assigned to attend, O'Reilly said.

An extracurricular activity is defined as athletics or any student activity a school district operates and that is not included in graded course of study, he said.

The latter category includes such programs as Power of the Pen, FIRST and Science Olympiad, O'Reilly said.

The new state law affects grades 7-12, he said.

Students who attend a nonpublic school will be "afforded" the opportunity to participate in an activity if the school he or she attends does not offer the activity, O'Reilly said.

A number of students from Trinity Catholic School have expressed interest in participate in Edison's middle school soccer program, since Trinity is not offering soccer this year, he said.

A home-schooled student who lives in the district also will now be allowed to participate in Grandview's extracurricular activities, O'Reilly said.

The new provisions also give a superintendent the authority to allow a nonresidential, home-schooled student to participate in an activity if the district to which the student is entitled to attend does not offer the activity.

A home-schooling family who, for example, lives across the street from Grandview's football stadium but resides in the Columbus school district may also be able to ask that their child be allowed to participate in a Grandview activity, because Grandview's school is actually closer to them than the Columbus building, O'Reilly said.

"My initial feeling is that there is a lot of gray area there and we may not want to go down that road," he said.

Students at a community school can participate in an activity only if the community school is sponsored by the home school district, O'Reilly said.

The district's insurance would provide coverage to private-school or home-schooled students who participate in extracurricular activities, he said.

O'Reilly said he believes the new provisions will have only a minor impact on the district.

Along with the soccer program, most inquiries the district has received regard nonathletic middle school activities such as Power of the Pen, he said.

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