South Bend school board likely to vote Monday night on lowering GPA requirements for student athletes

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

The South Bend school board could vote Monday night, Aug. 3, on a proposal to lower GPA requirements for middle school and high school student athletes at South Bend Community School Corporation schools.

Under the proposal, freshmen students would need to maintain at least a 1.5 GPA, sophomores would need at least a 1.67, juniors would need at least a 1.85 and seniors would need at least a 2.0 in order to play in sports. Students who fall below their minimum GPA would be required to attend study tables and show an improvement in order to play.

The proposed standards are stricter than the current Indiana High School Athletic Association requirements, which deems students eligible to play sports if they are passing at least 70 percent of their classes.

The proposal would drop GPA requirements for middle school students, instead allowing them to follow the IHSAA minimum.

As of now, all students in grades 6 through 12 must maintain a 2.0 GPA to be able to play sports, which equals at least a C in every class. 

The proposal put together by the superintendent’s athletic committee rolls back standards that were implemented from 2009 to 2012, according to the South Bend Tribune. The committee found that the stricter standards disproportionately affected minority students and put South Bend teams at a disadvantage because neighboring schools don’t have the same standards.

Penn and Mishawaka, for example, follow the IHSAA minimum standards only, the Tribune reported.

The school board meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the South Bend Community School Corporation Administration Building, 215 South St. Joseph St. The meeting is open to the public.

Follow editor Krystal Vivian on Twitter at @KrystalVivian.