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Academic probation is under scrutiny
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The Ripon Unified school board continued to mull over the proposed Academic Probation policy.

At last week’s meeting elected officials looked at the options as presented by Ripon High Principal Lance Morrow.

Twice, they had trouble agreeing on a plan – Trustee Kit Oase was absent, leaving it as a four-member board – deadlocked 2-2 on the voting.

Co-curricular activities were the sticking point.

”We need our fifth (board) member here,” said new Superintending Siegrid ‘Ziggy’ Robeson, who made the suggestion on putting together a subcommittee.

She along with Morrow, board President Ernie Tyhurst and Trustee Chad Huskey will make up that group.

The policy in place for the past two years is in compliance with the California Interscholastic Federation bylaws which determine eligibility.

But it’s not board-approved. Trustees are looking for one that’s consistent with the RUSD academic policies in place.

As it stands, the student athlete must have an un-weighted 2.0 grade point average with no “F’s” during the previous grading period in order to practice and play in game.

Academic probation helps those with GPAs of 2.0 and above but with one failing grade.

Under the proposals, the board is OK with students applying for this once in their four years at RHS in order to remain on the team. He or she, however, is prohibited from playing in games until the grades improve to eligibility standards. A coach or an advisor monitors the weekly progress reports.

Freshmen could continue to come in with a ‘clean slate’ regardless of failing grades on their final eighth grade report cards.

All of the above is part of Proposal A along with certain co-curricular activities, according to Morrow.

“The determining factor for co-curricular is if the activity is graded as part of the curricular,” he said. “For example, a student participating on an FFA judging team is not part of a grade in an Agriculture class and would be (academically) eligible to take part in this activity.”

Ditto that for those on a JROTC Raider team.

Proposal B removes any activity associated with curricular programs from the requirements of academic eligibility. Students would have to maintain the eligibility requirements to take part in extra-curricular activities.

In Proposal C, the student athlete must be academically eligible to participate in any extra or co-curricular activity.

Board President Ernie Tyhurst and his colleague Mike Fisher believe that co-curricular should be separate policy from that of the Academic Probation proposals.

The RHS administration and coaches including boys varsity basketball coach Rod Wright support Proposal A.

“It’s the one we’ve been using for the past two years,” he said. “I love this policy the way that it’s written – it works.”