As a result of House Bill (HB) 487, community (AKA charter) school and STEM school students may now participate in extracurricular activities in certain school districts under RC 3313.537. The changes became effective on September 17, 2014. 

What are the changes?

A student enrolled in a community or STEM school must be given, by the superintendent of the district in which the student is entitled to attend school, the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity at the district school in which the student would otherwise be assigned to attend under RC 3313.64 or 3313.65. However, if the district operates more than one school that serves the student’s grade level, as determined by the superintendent based on the age and academic performance of the student, then the student must be given the opportunity to participate in the extracurricular activity at the school to which the student would be assigned.

What happens if a student is not entitled to attend a school in the district? May he or she still participate? 

Yes. The law now allows (but does not mandate) a superintendent to permit a student enrolled in a community school or STEM school, who is not entitled to attend a school in the district, the opportunity to participate in the district’s extracurricular activities if certain criteria are met. 

What are those criteria?

First, the school that the student attends must not offer the extracurricular activity, and the extracurricular activity may not be interscholastic athletics or interscholastic contests or competition in music, forensics or drama. The student must be the appropriate age and grade level, as determined by the district superintendent for the school that offers the extracurricular activity. The student is required to fulfill the same academic, nonacademic and financial requirements that any other participant is required to fulfill. 

In addition, HB 487 prevents a school or district from imposing additional rules under RC 3313.537 for students to participate in extracurricular activities that are not applicable to other students participating in the same extracurricular activity.

If you have any questions, please contact OSBA’s Legal Services Division. 

Posted by Candice Christon on 9/24/2014