STOW — Student athletes failing a class may not automatically be deemed ineligible after the school board approved a change to its eligibility policy.

The change to require a 2.0 grade point average of grades seven through 12 was approved unanimously at the board’s meeting Wednesday; Board Member Gerry Bettio was not present.

The board members voted without commenting on the issue but in previous meetings expressed a desire to align their policy with that of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

The previous policy mandated that a student must maintain at least a 1.5 GPA if they are in grades seven and eight, a 1.75 GPA in grade 10 and a 2.0 GPA in grades 11 and 12.

In the amended policy, language was taken out that a student "must not have received a failing grade in any course for the grading period prior to the grading period in which s/he wishes to participate." 

The school board also added that a student "with a grade-point average below 2.0 will remain eligible as long as he/she is participating in an intervention program and has shown satisfactory progress toward achieving the minimum grade-point average." The previous policy also had a provision for students in an intervention program, but did not mention a GPA.

A provision under the old policy was eliminated that called for the standards to apply to all other co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Stow-Munroe Falls High School Principal Jeff Hartmann said in previous meetings that this provision was unenforceable, since there isn’t a similar statewide body enforcing eligibility policy for activities such as the high school play that the sports teams have, with OHSAA.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, ahelms@recordpub.com, or @AprilKHelms_RPC