Dayton lowers GPA rule for school sports: What it means

Dayton Public Schools changed its policy regarding grade-point averages needed for students to take part in sports, lowering the score and setting up mandatory tutoring for those with lower scores.

FIRST REPORT: DPS lowers GPA for sports eligibility, adds mandatory tutoring

Here are key points about the policy:

1. State rules were lower. The Ohio High School Athletic Association has required students to pass at least five one-credit courses or the equivalent during the most recent quarter. Schools can set higher standards, which Dayton had in place prior to Tuesday's board of education vote.

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2. What is changing? Dayton's policy had required students to earn at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in order to play. The new policy will allow students between 1.0 and 1.99 to participate — if they enroll in their school's Athletic Academic Intervention Program.

To stay eligible, those students must “remain enrolled for at least one calendar year, must attend all study tables, and must make satisfactory progress toward the established goal of a 2.0 GPA each academic quarter.

3. What do other schools do? Fairmont High School rules ineligible anyone at 1.49 and below and requires academic intervention for student-athletes with GPAs between 1.5 and 1.99. Fairborn High School requires a flat 2.0 minimum GPA to take part. Stebbins requires only the OHSAA minimum of passing five one-credit courses.

4. Why did Dayton do this? Superintendent Rhonda Corr said the plan could help keep some students in school. She said students could "get that relationship with a coach or teacher or someone who's important to them, and have the study table policy … I think it might take a child who was ready to (drop out), and this could be the catalyst that keeps them there."

Board President Robert Walker emphasized the newly designed intervention programs that give students more academic support if they are struggling.

5. Did any school official oppose it? Board member Joe Lacey cast the lone no vote. He said the district has done well athletically with the existing 2.0 policy, and that the change would look bad after last year's very public eligibility problems on the Dunbar football team.

Adil Baguirov abstained and Ron Lee was absent.

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