'Individual Plan' Helps 6 Of 10 Students

January 13, 1991

The "individual plan" option is helping only six of 10 students whose grades drop below a C average, the standard for eligbility for sports or other extracurricular activities, a study of the option has concluded.

The study, which covered the third quarter of the 1989-1990 school year, was a university student's project done without cost to the school system, said Maurice F. Kalin, associate superintendent for planning and support services.

Kalin presented the study to the school board at its meeting Thursday.

Author Caskie Lewis-Clapper found that 63 percent of the 65 students who signed up for individual plans during the third quarter of the school year brought up their grade-point averages to the required 2.0.

That rate "should not be accepted as satisfactory," Lewis-Clapper concluded in her report. "It is evident that this alternative route to eligibility is working for some students, but there are a significant number of students it isn't working for."

Students whovolunteer for the individual plan option clearly want to participatein extracurricular activities, so their success rate should be higher than three out of five, the report concluded.

The evaluator based her study on reports from six of the eight county high schools. Shedid not identify the two schools that did not respond, and Kalin said he did not know which schools they were.

The academic eligibility policy that went into effect at the start of the 1989-1990 school year requires students to maintain 2.0 grade-point averages to participate in extracurricular activities during that quarter.

Students whose grades fall below 2.0 can sign an "individual plan" to improve their grades, which includes regular attendance, participation in class and promises by parents to monitor the students' performance and see that homework assignments are completed.

Students on individual plans can practice with their teams, but cannot participate unless interim grades, calculated about one month after the start of the individual plan, show that they have brought their grades up to a 2.0.

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