Cf: IDE, IDFAA
The Rapides Parish School Board believes that the competitive athletic program is a part of the overall educational program of the school system. It also believes that the athletic program should be closely coordinated with the general instructional program of the school, and that the aims achieved through athletics should justify its inclusion in the overall educational program. The athletic program shall also be based on a spirit of non-professionalism so that participation is regarded as a privileged opportunity.
Interscholastic athletics may be made available for students in the schools of the school district. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall develop and maintain an athletic program in the school district that emphasizes participation of all students. The conduction of all athletic programs within the school district shall comply fully with regulations of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) and policies of the School Board. The Board shall allow students to participate in as many sports activities and academic activities as he/she is capable of participating in without fear of reprisal.
In addition, each year either before or immediately after school begins and before the jamborees start, the Superintendent and/or designee shall meet with the principals of all high schools and their coaches/athletic directors to review all aspects of the athletic program regarding drug testing, eligibility, or any other concerns about the athletic program.
No student shall be permitted to practice or participate in any interscholastic athletic program in any public school of the Rapides Parish School Board until such student shall have furnished to the principal of the school documentation that he/she has met the following requirements:
1. Evidence of having had a physical examination by a licensed physician who shall have completed documentation as required by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA).
2. Properly complete a School Entrance and General Health Exam Form/LHSAA Medical History and pass a medical examination by a licensed physician prior to the first time he/she participates in a sport in a LHSAA school. Physicians may continue to use the original LHSAA Sports Physical Form in performing sports physicals. In addition, parents shall be required to complete the Authorization for Release of Confidential Information.
3. Once a student passes the initial medical examination and completes an LHSAA Medical History Form prior to the sports season in which he/she participates, he/she shall annually pass any medical screening or medical examination required by a licensed physician and shall update his/her LHSAA Medical History Form as required.
4. A copy of all completed and signed medical examination and participation/release of information forms (and any others required by the School Board) must be on file at the school for every student before he/she practices or participates in interscholastic athletics during that school year.
5. An agreement signed by the student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to hold the School Board and its members, employees, agents, assigns and insurers harmless from and against any liability for any accidents involving the student while participating in such athletic activities and any injuries suffered by the student during, or as a result of, such participation. The agreement shall also authorize team physicians to treat the student in the event of an injury requiring emergency treatment. Parents shall be responsible for an excess not covered by supplemental insurance.
6. Student athletes and their parent(s)/guardian(s) shall sign both the LHSAA Substance Abuse/Misuse Contract and the Rapides Parish Student Athlete Drug Testing Consent Form consenting to drug screening in order to be eligible to participate in any athletic activity. Student athletes testing positive for any legal or illegal drugs or performance enhancing substances may be denied the privilege of participation in any athletic activity in accordance with Board policy. (See policy IDFAA, Drug Testing of Student Athletes)
At every middle/junior high school, student athletes, coaches, and administrators shall follow the guidelines and policies set by the LHSAA regarding interscholastic athletics.
Adherence to the rules of athletic representation and participation shall be strictly enforced by the Board. Any violations of athletic rules shall be immediately reported to the Superintendent by the principal. In the event that a member school, member school principal, or member school coach is penalized or cited by the LHSAA due to a violation, the athletic director, principal, and coach involved shall provide a full report to the Superintendent. If found warranted, the Superintendent in turn shall make a report to the School Board with pertinent recommendations for disciplinary action.
The School Board endorses the scholastic eligibility requirements as a condition for participation in high school extracurricular activities as stipulated by the LHSAA.
In order to remain eligible for athletic participation, the participating student shall be required to successfully pass six (6) subjects and maintain at least a “C” average, unless the student is a senior. In the case of a senior, the student shall be required to take and successfully pass the minimum number of courses (four) required and enumerated in the eligibility rules of the LHSAA.
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall have the responsibility in the school district to identify risks to students participating in athletic activities. Participants in the various sports shall be instructed in proper techniques to practice for maximum safety in the contact phase of a game.
The Rapides Parish School Board shall require injury prevention techniques be promoted by all coaches to all athletes. All players and parents of players shall be provided information concerning the physical risks to students participating in varsity athletic programs. Before any student shall be allowed to participate in athletics, the athlete and his/her parents shall sign a statement certifying that they have been provided the safety information required.
An election by the student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) either (a) to decline student insurance and be fully responsible for all bills associated with any injuries suffered by the student as a result of participating in any Rapides Parish School Board public school interscholastic athletic programs, or (b) to purchase student insurance and be responsible for any bills not covered by such insurance.
No students shall be allowed to practice or participate in interscholastic athletics until this requirement has been met.
Revised: July, 2010
Revised: October, 2010
Revised: December, 2013
Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:169, 17:176; Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, Bulletin 741, Louisiana Department of Education; Official Handbook, Louisiana High School Athletic Association; Board minutes, 6-2-94, 11-13-95, 2-6-02, 6-17-02, 7-6-10, 10-5-10, 12-3-13.