Dare school board agrees to let home-schooled students play high school sports

Published 6:33 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

With some minor adjustment, the Dare County Board of Education unanimously approved a new policy allowing home-schooled students in the county to enroll and try out for high school athletics.

The new Policy 3105, titled Part-Time Admission of Home-School students in Grades 9-12, was adopted in a special board meeting held Jan. 30, 2023, so those students who want to participate in spring sports can meet the deadline for declaring intent to try out.

Another policy, Policy 3620 titled Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations, was revised to be compatible with new policy.

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The meeting was held at the administrative offices of Dare County Schools. It was broadcast online.

Dare Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight briefed the board and the audience about the new policy.

Basnight emphasized that the actions taken apply to all Dare County student-athletes. The information required of home-school students is already on file for current in-school athletes, said Basnight. No additional information is required for current student-athletes.

The first step for home-school students is to notify in writing the principal of the assigned school of the student’s intent to try out for an athletic team 10 days before the first practice.

The notice of intent is due to the principal Friday, Feb. 3.
The first day of practice for all spring sports is Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. The first contest for all spring sports can be scheduled for Feb. 27, per the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The first step for interested students is to apply for part-time enrollment. For that to happen, the following documents must be provided:

—Academic records from previous and current years

—A transcript

—Attendance record

—Record of immunizations

—Proof the home-schooled student has been enrolled in a North Carolina Registered Home-School for the previous 365 days

—Results of an achievement test, taken within the last year, indicating the student is on-grade level

For home-school students to participate in high school athletics, the following 10 items, as listed in Basnight’s presentation, must be met:

—Attend high school in the student’s attendance zone (Policy 4120)

—Be enrolled in two classes (Policy 3105)

—Take at least one class on campus (Policy 3105)

—Pass all classes in which enrolled to maintain eligibility (Policy 3620)

—Maintain continuous dual enrollment or be ineligible for 365 days (Policy 3620)

—Participate in all required district, state and federal testing (Policy 3105)

—Adhere to the Dare County Schools Student Code of Conduct (Policy 3105)

—Participation will be determined by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and all other defined parties (Policy 3620)

—Parent/guardian assumes responsibility for transportation to and from school (Policy 3105)

—Student must maintain attendance with an active, North Carolina registered home-school (Policy 3620)

Throughout the sports season, the student-athlete or parent must provide sports season coaches with updates on attendance and academic progress.

In discussion, board member Carl Woody suggested that home-school be defined. The final copy will show “North Carolina registered home school.” Woody also wanted it clear that this policy only applies to students in grades 9 through 12.

Regarding the requirement to take one course on campus, the adopted policy says “as available,” meaning the home-school student does not necessarily get his/her choice of course.

School board attorney Rachel Hitch, participating electronically, told the board that she would prepare amendments to the school assignment policy and the policy speaking to evidence of domicile to build in flexibility to address space issues.

She reported that First Flight High School has come concerns about student numbers.

Board member Mary Ellon Ballance thanked the attorney for meeting with administrators and board Chairman Ron Payne and Basnight for making this happen quickly.

“The path is there,” said Ballance. “All Dare County children can participate.”

She finished with “it’s a big win for Dare County.”

Spring sports listed by North Carolina High School Athletic Association

North Carolina High School Athletic Association has seven spring sports listed.

First day of practice for all spring sports is Feb. 13, 2023 and the first contest can be scheduled for Feb. 27. The playoff schedule varies.

For baseball and softball, playoffs start May 9.

For men’s golf, regionals are set for May 8 or 9.

For lacrosse, states are scheduled for May 19 and 20.

In women’s soccer, playoffs start May 12.

In men’s tennis, the first round starts May 3.

Track and field has regionals starting May 12.

If home-schooled students want to play spring sports in a Dare County high school, a letter of intent to tryout must be delivered to the principal of the assigned school on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.