GPA Requirement For Extracurriculars Temporarily Waived
By TYLER BENNETT
For the Intelligencer
CHARLESTON — With the start of winter sports next Monday in West Virginia, state Superintendent Clayton Burch announced Wednesday that a limited waiver will allow students with a grade point average below 2.0 to participate in extracurricular activities.
The announcement came during Wednesday’s West Virginia Board of Education meeting.
“The pandemic has been difficult on our students,” said Burch, who also serves as a Hurricane High School assistant wrestling coach. “It’s been very difficult. We’ve heard the stories of straight-A students, of 4.0 students struggling with virtual remote.”
“I will tell you, personally, it’s a very hard struggle because I want to look at even my own wrestlers and say, ‘academics is first.’ It has to be first. But at the same time, I’m torn because if they’re not connected to me and they’re not part of that team, back in some normalcy of structure, I feel I will lose them. I’m hearing from coaches and principals across the state that the extracurricular activities are really important to these students.”
The change will not only allow students to improve their GPAs until March 19, Burch said, but also re-establish eligibility by reconnecting with teachers, coaches, counselors and their peers for positive impact after suffering from academic and emotional challenges.
“Now that schools have reopened and students can reconnect with the numerous caring adults in our schools, both in the classroom and through school activities,” Burch said. “The goal with this limited waiver is not to diminish the importance of academic achievement, but rather to support it. During this limited waiver period, students will have the opportunity to reestablish eligibility by reconnecting with teachers, coaches, counselors, and their peers.”
Students will also be eligible to participate in games when winter sports start in early March, but after March 19, the 2.0 GPA requirement to participate in activities will be put back into effect.
The current policy says that a student is ineligible to practice or compete until the nine-week grading period.