At the Thursday September 14 Board of Education meeting another parent questioned the appropriateness of the School District's Athletics Policy which expels students from sports teams for having a certain number of unexcused absences. Excused absences are limited to personal illness, a death in the family, a religious observance, or a doctor's appointment to address an injury incurred during participation in the sport. If a varsity athlete misses practice three times for any other reason, he or she is dismissed from the team. After several parents spoke out over the past two years against the rule for being too narrow in its definition of what constitutes an excused absence and the draconion nature of the penalty, the district's Athletic Policy Committee created a similar rule for the Middle School's modified sports program last February.
The parent questioned whether policy was consistent with the mission of a modified sports program, which seems to be intended to introduce young middle schoolers to sports - not only to develop skills and certain character traits but also to explore areas of interest. His 7th grade daughter, he explained had chosen to join the Middle School Cross Country team a few days into the season, but withdrew after realizing that she could only afford no additional absences. "She's 11, he said.
Several parents have questioned the appropriateness of the policy at the high school level over the past few years, arguing that the reasons for "excused" absences is much too narrow, and the penalty far too draconian.
Following these complaints, the Comittee revisited the policy and made revisions in February 2017.
and in the Spring of 2017, then Superintendent Edward Melnick and Trustee Joanna Commander stated in response to questions from a parent, that the policy no longer regarded one day academic field trips