Students are encouraged to be involved in athletics, which develops teamwork, decision and leadership skills. Educational studies have shown that students who are involved in athletics maintain higher grades and better attendance, and graduate at a higher rate than students who do not participate. Athletics is an integral part of the school program, and schools offer their students the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of teams. Schools require academic and behavior standards in order to participate in athletics. In high schools, athletics are required to meet rules of eligibility set by the North Carolina High School Athletics Association, Inc. Middle Schools also follow the NCHSAA rules. Parents and students should educate themselves on these criteria. Information is provided by the school’s athletic director.
To be eligible to participate in athletics, the athlete must meet rules of eligibility set by The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, Inc. including, but not limited to the following:
- Be a properly enrolled student at the time of participation.
- Be enrolled no later than the 15th day of the present semester.
- Be in regular attendance.
- Have been in attendance for at least 85% of the previous semester at an approved school.
- Not exceeded six consecutive semesters of attendance or have participated more than three seasons in any sport since first entering 6th grade.
- Must be under 15 years of age as of August 31, 2021.
- Live with parents or legal guardian. (Reference the NC High School Athletic Association handbook for further clarification.)
- Live in the school attendance district.
- Have received a medical examination by a duly licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant within the previous 395 days.
- Have passed one course less than the number of required core courses the previous semester, and met promotion standards.
- Having been promoted from 5th grade to 6th grade for the 2021 Fall Semester determines eligibility for athletics the first semester of the 6th grade.
Other eligibility restrictions may apply. Please contact your school’s principal or athletic director for clarification as special situations or circumstances arise.
Cheerleading is recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletics Association, Inc. as an activity and is recognized as a team sport by Wayne County Public Schools. All students that try-out for cheerleading are to receive Board Policy 3546, which governs cheerleader safety and selection.
All students participating in any sport for the current school year must be covered by insurance paid for by the Wayne County Board of Education. Any questions regarding athletic insurance should be directed to the school’s athletic director. Parents are urged to purchase school insurance if they do not have a primary policy.
Good attendance is extremely important! Students should be engaged in school, either face-to-face or remotely, as assigned, each day. Should students be absent from school on days they are assigned to be present face to face, parents are required to send a note of explanation when the student returns. If the student will be absent three or more days, a phone call to the school and/or teacher is requested. With reasonable explanations, our teachers will work closely with students and parents to make-up missed lessons and work.
When students are attending school face-to-face, North Carolina law requires a student be present one-half of the school day in order to be counted present. A student must arrive at school no later than three and one-half hours after the school opening time in order to be counted present for the day. In addition, if a student leaves prior to three and one-half hours before the school dismissal time, the student is counted absent for the day. Middle school opening and dismissal times are listed on the inside back cover of this handbook. Students who miss classes to attend a school-sponsored activity will not be counted absent.
If students have been approved to attend school remotely, they must actively participate in synchronous online lessons with their teacher(s) to be counted present for that class. Note that for remote students, additional asynchronous daily work will also be assigned. Virtual students are not permitted to participate in on campus activities, including athletics, clubs, field days, etc.
WCPS Policy No. 4400: Attendance (K-12) and AR 4400: Attendance Administrative Procedures (K-12)
There is no substitute for the interaction between teachers and students in the classroom environment, both face to face and remotely, where learning experiences are carefully planned by the teachers. Students with regular and consistent engagement in daily lessons generally achieve higher levels of learning than those with poor attendance.
The primary responsibility for good school attendance (face to face and remotely) lies with parents and guardians of students. Students are expected to be in attendance each day. Whenever a child is absent, a written excuse, signed by the parent, must be presented to the teacher when the child returns to school. All absences require a note signed by the parent that states the reason for the absence. Excused absences are limited to those criteria established by Board Policy. The following constitute lawful reasons for absences:
- Illness or injury
- Death in the immediate family
- Medical or dental appointments
- Court or administrative proceedings
- Religious observances
- Educational opportunity
- Absence due to deployment activities
If a student is expected to be unable to participate in their assigned face to face and/or virtual learning environment for an extended period of time due to injury, illness, or other disability, the child’s parent/guardian should confer with a school counselor as soon as possible. CDC guidelines require that schools suspend attendance awards temporarily as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Students should not attend school if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or if they do not feel well.
Unlawful and Unexcused Absences
A grade 6-8 student is expected to attend school for 185 days unless absent for the reasons noted in the previous section. Unlawful and unexcused absences are absences defined by the N. C. Compulsory Attendance law, and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education, as “a child’s willful absence from school without the knowledge of the parent, or a child’s absence from school without cause and knowledge of the parent.” The term “unlawful absence” applies only to children between the ages of 7 and 16 who are subject to the Compulsory Attendance Law. Any student who accumulates and exceeds 6 unlawful or unexcused absences for any course during a semester is in jeopardy of receiving a failing grade and receiving no credit for the course. Suspension or exclusion of students for misconduct may NOT be used for compulsory attendance violation actions.
Each school has designated a time at the beginning of each instructional block to note the attendance of their students. Students who arrive to class later than that time of day are marked as being “tardy”. Arriving late for class and/or leaving early prevents the maximum amount of instruction to take place, not only for that particular student, but also for other students in the class.
Each school has a procedure to follow when a student arrives after the instructional day begins, or leaves before school is dismissed for the day. The procedure for your school is to be followed closely to ensure the student avoids being counted as absent.
Once a student arrives on campus, he/she becomes the responsibility of the school; therefore, he/she will not be allowed to leave without permission from the office. Early dismissals will be granted to students with authorized permission only. Each school has a procedure determining when and how early dismissals are permitted. It is the responsibility of each student to closely follow these procedures.
Enrollment & Student Records
All new students who wish to enroll in school are to report to the School Counselor’s Office. The student MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Records of prior attendance, grades and shot records are required. The following items must be supplied before the registration process may begin:
1. A report card, which lists all courses from the previous school year.
2. Withdrawal forms from previous school (after school year begins).
3. Address and phone number of previous school.
4. A copy of the immunization record.
5. A copy of the birth certificate.
6. A copy of the social security number.
7. Proof of guardianship (legal/court document).
8. Proof of residence—2 items are required.
9. Safe Schools document signed and notarized.
For more information about the enrollment process, go to www.waynecountyschools.org and click on “Enrolling Students/Reassignment” under the “Parent Resources” tab.
Students who withdraw will need a parent/guardian to come to the school to fill out withdrawal forms. All books and fees must be paid before withdrawing from school. Students who transfer to one school from another school within Wayne County Public Schools must provide withdrawal forms from the previous school before enrolling. Before transferring from the student’s assigned attendance area school to a school within Wayne County Public Schools which is not in the student’s assigned attendance area, the student must have written permission from the Wayne County Public Schools district office.
Students planning to withdraw should notify their counselor of their intentions two or three days in advance. All fees should be paid and all books including library books should be returned. Records will not be forwarded unless fees are paid and books are returned. On the day of withdrawal, the student should report to their school counselor before 1st period and get a withdrawal form and instructions for completion of the form. Lockers should be cleaned out and all books returned to teachers. Parents must make contact with the school for withdrawal to take place.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The rights of eligible students (18 years or older) and parents as required by FERPA are governed by Wayne County Board of Education Policy 4700 “Student Records”. Wayne County Public Schools guidelines for implementation of FERPA can be found by clicking on the FERPA link under the “Student Resources” and “Parent Resources” tabs on the district website: www.waynecountyschools.org. If you do not have Internet access, a copy can be requested by calling Ken Derksen at 919-705-6125.
Parents who have a child under the age of 18 enrolled in a WCPS school can also request student records using the online Student Records Request Center, located at www.waynecountyschools.org under the “Student Resources” and “Parent Resources” tabs. For more information, contact 919-705-6090.