Dayton Public Schools may lower GPA requirement to play sports

Dayton Public Schools is beginning a multimillion-dollar renovation of 73-year-old Welcome Stadium, where thousands of local athletes have competed in football, track and other events. The project includes a new turf field and running track, plus upgrades to restrooms, locker rooms, technology, accessibility and other features. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Dayton Public Schools is beginning a multimillion-dollar renovation of 73-year-old Welcome Stadium, where thousands of local athletes have competed in football, track and other events. The project includes a new turf field and running track, plus upgrades to restrooms, locker rooms, technology, accessibility and other features. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Students at the bottom end on GPA have to take part in a tutoring program to stay eligible

Dayton Public Schools will consider lowering the academic requirements for students to be involved in school sports, a bar that the district has moved up and down in recent years.

In 2017, the school board lowered the eligibility minimum to a GPA of 1.0, but students who were between 1.0 and 1.49 had to participate in a tutoring effort.

ExploreDayton schools to raise GPA requirement for sports eligibility

In 2020, the board toughened the policy, so students with GPAs between 1.5 and 1.99 were required to do the same intervention efforts to be eligible to play sports. Anyone who had over a 2.0 GPA was automatically eligible.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association does not mandate a minimum GPA — only that a student passes five one-credit classes.

Dayton school board President Will Smith said the athletic committee was continuing to meet and consider what the district was doing around athletics and academics. DPS planned to hold listening sessions with the public on the topic. One was scheduled for Wednesday evening at the downtown Dayton Board of Education building.

DPS is also considering adding bowling in all schools and women’s wrestling, he said, to add some options for students.

Smith said some other districts have lower requirements than DPS to play.

ExploreDPS lowers GPA for sports eligibility, adds mandatory tutoring

“We also then look at data and show that suburban districts that outperform us academically have lower standards,” Smith said. “So then we’re looking at a system where districts that have resources, family resources, community resources, also have ... a low floor.”

DPS’ current policy lines up with multiple large Montgomery County district eligibility requirements. Kettering Schools requires at least a 1.5 GPA and academic intervention to play, according to their website. In Huber Heights, the athletics website says junior high school students must have at least a 2.0 GPA, and in Beavercreek, the athletics department says high school students must have at least a 1.5 GPA to play sports and be passing five classes.

Smith said having a sport or outside activity is important for students. It’s something that can guide them through the day and help them get through a rough day at school.

“No matter what bumps in the road, my day, I know I’m gonna have this thing that I really love, guide me through,” Smith said.

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