Senior Research Analyst
KSA 72-7114 et seq. establishes that the authority and responsibility to regulate, supervise, promote, and develop activities such as athletics, music, forensics, dramatics and any other interschool extracurricular activities by students from grades 7 through 12 lies with an association comprised of a majority of the high schools within the state.
Statute makes further requirements of the organization, such as making an annual report to the State Board of Education and outlining the size and composition of the organization’s governing board.
The organization that fulfills this role within the Kansas is the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA).
Kansas State High School Activities Association
Formed in 1937 and incorporated in 1956, KSHSAA is a private, nonprofit association governed by a 70-member board of directors comprised of elected officials, school administrators, educators, and coaches.
The board of directors is responsible for making rules and bylaw changes while a nine-member executive board is elected from within the board of directors to manage policy, conduct hearings, and manage the affairs of the organization.
KSHSAA is comprised of 350 senior high and 408 middle or junior high schools. While member schools can be either public or private, they all must be accredited by the State Board of Education.
Part of KSHSAA’s regulation of interschool extracurricular activities is to determine eligibility requirements for these activities. In order for a student to be eligible to participate, they must meet the following criteria:
- Have passed a minimum of five new subjects the previous semester;
- Be enrolled in and attending a minimum of five new subjects during the present semester; and
- Be a bona fide student in good standing per KSHSAA guidelines.
To be considered a bona fide student in good standing, the student must meet the following requirements:
- Be attending the school in which they wish to participate with;
- Not be under a penalty of suspension;
- Have character and conduct that does not discredit the school or student;
- Be in good standing (1);
- Does not use anabolic steroids; and
- Not be competing under an assumed name.
Regarding nontraditional students, the eligibility requirements from KSHSAA become more restrictive. A student attending home school(2) would be ineligible to participate in interschool extracurricular activities, as they would not meet the eligibility requirements of being a bona fide student at the school or being enrolled in the requisite amount of subjects at the school.
The exception for nontraditional participation made by KSHSAA is for students attending a virtual school. A policy adopted by the executive board permits students attending a virtual school accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) to establish eligibility at the KSHSAA member public school in which they reside. In order to be eligible, the student must meet the following criteria:
- Be attending a KSDE-accredited virtual school;
- Be currently enrolled in and attending a minimum of one class at the KSHSAA member public school (3);
- Pass a minimum of five units of credit the prior semester; and
- Be enrolled in a minimum of five units of credit not previously passed for the current semester.
Additionally, the local school district must approve a dual-enrollment agreement with the virtual school.
- Guidelines state that the use of tobacco products, illegal drugs, or alcoholic beverages at school events by a student automatically deems the student not in good standing.
- Home schools are classified as “non-accredited private schools” by the Kansas Department of Education.
- If eligibility is sought in music, debate or speech activities then KSHSAA requires they be enrolled in the course.