SHARON SCHOOLS Panel drafts revised policy

Pupils would have to meet PIAA academic requirements and maintain passing grades in core curriculum subjects.
SHARON, Pa. -- The latest version of a proposed "No F" academic policy for Sharon middle and high school pupils doesn't exactly ban them from extracurricular or interscholastic activities if they are failing a course.
That isn't what School Director Richard Mancino envisioned when he first proposed toughening academic standards in the district two years ago, but he said he can live with the compromise because it does raise those standards.
Mancino originally proposed that any pupil with a failing grade in any course be prohibited from participating in interscholastic sports and any nongraded extracurricular activity such as clubs and school plays.
That plan has undergone a number of revisions and the latest version presented at Wednesday's school board work session would allow pupils with a failing grade to continue participating.
The plan was put together by an 18-member committee comprised of parents, faculty, administrators and school directors. Mancino was one of those members.
Revised proposal: The plan, as outlined by William Dunsmore, Case Avenue Elementary principal, would follow the basic Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association standard that a pupil need only be passing four credits to remain eligible to play sports.
Sharon would hold all pupils to that standard, not just athletes, and go one important step further, requiring all pupils to maintain passing grades in the core curriculum subjects of English, math, science and social studies.
That means, however, that a pupil could be failing a noncore course and still participate, Mancino said.
Options: Those who fail to meet the PIAA standard and the core course requirements would have to attend tutoring sessions to maintain their eligibility. Failure to attend would result in forfeiture of eligibility.
If the pupil is still failing after five weeks of tutoring, ineligibility would apply on a weekly basis until such time as a passing grade is achieved.
The policy would apply to all pupils in grades seven through 12 and would be implemented with the next school year.
School directors like the tutoring concept, and Mancino said the plan is to offer it to any pupil who wants it, not just those who must accept it because of failing grades.
The proposal will now be drafted as official policy, which must be ratified by the board before it takes effect.

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