April 8 Work Session: Proposed Athletic Policies

HN Athletic Director Jeremy Markham and HN Principal Pat McLaughlin discuss proposed policy changes
Posted on 04/09/2024
HN Athletic Director Jeremy Markham and Principal Pat McLaughlin

Huntington North Athletic Director Jeremy Markham and Principal Pat McLaughlin presented the board with documents outlining the proposed homeschool athletic participation policy and the relevant IHSAA bylaws. While it wasn't an action item for voting during this session, the board engaged in a detailed discussion to gather feedback from the community.

Director of Secondary Education Chuck Brimbury clarified that while the IHSAA provides a baseline policy for homeschool participation, individual school districts have the flexibility to establish additional criteria. Mr. Markham provided insight into the IHSAA policy, highlighting that it requires homeschooled students to have three successive years of homeschooling before they can participate in public school athletics. They must also take at least one class in the public school and undergo standardized testing.

Mr. McLaughlin elaborated on the proposed Huntington County School Board policy, which suggests raising the bar from the one-class requirement set by the IHSAA to three classes. This recommendation aims to strike a balance between providing opportunities for homeschooled students to participate in extracurriculars while ensuring they engage meaningfully with the school community.

The board emphasized that the policy isn't solely about athletics but also about integrating homeschooled students into the school culture. To achieve this, the proposed policy mandates that students attend and pass a minimum of three full credit subjects offered within the member school building. At least one of these subjects must be taken on campus, with the option for the remaining subjects to be completed virtually through the Huntington County Community School Corporation.

This discussion stemmed from a lack of a concrete policy regarding homeschool participation in athletics in the past. The board recognized the need for a clear and consistent policy to guide decision-making, ensuring fairness and transparency for all stakeholders involved.

Moving forward, the board plans to continue refining the policy based on feedback received during the meeting and aims to finalize it for implementation in the 2024-2025 school year. The ultimate goal is to provide homeschool students with opportunities for engagement while upholding the integrity of the school district's academic and extracurricular programs.

See documents below. All documents are in review and have not been adopted, approved, or voted on as of the publication date of this article.
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