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PAUL KNOX MIDDLE SCHOOL
Kyle Smith - Principal
Cheryl Morris - Athletic Director
Paul Knox Middle School Athletics:
Participation in athletics at Paul Knox Middle School is an extra-curricular function offered to our 7th and 8th grade students. Extra-curricular indicates that athletics are in addition to a student’s main focus: academics. Participation in athletics is a privilege and our student-athletes are expected to represent the school in a positive manner at all times. Any student that engages in behavior that is judged by the administration to be detrimental to the reputation of Paul Knox Middle School may be dismissed from the athletic program.
The Athletic Handbook cannot possibly cover every situation that may arise in our athletic department. The Athletic Handbook, along with the Student Agenda, addresses the majority of issues that take place in athletics. In the event that guidance is not offered in the handbooks, the Paul Knox Middle School administration will dictate policy and procedure.
Philosophy of Athletics at Paul Knox Middle School:
At Paul Knox Middle School, we consider athletics an integral part of the educational experience. Athletics provides opportunities that will help students develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. We view the competition of athletics as a healthy educational and physiological activity because it challenges each student to excel, to discover his or her physical limits, and to work cooperatively with team members. While winning is a natural goal in the pursuit of excellence, the principles of good sportsmanship and enjoyment of competition take precedence at all times and enhance the educational value of contests.
Paul Knox Middle School is a member of the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) and adheres to all regulations set forth by the league. Paul Knox teams participate in the Aiken County Middle School Athletic Conference.
Athletic Team Information
Standards for Participation:
In order to participate in organized athletics, all student-athletes must have a current physical on file with the school athletic department, and satisfy all academic requirements for eligibility.
An up-to-date physical examination must be on file with the athletic director prior to the start of participation. A physical examination is valid from April 1 of the current year through the following school year.
Satisfaction of all eligibility requirements of the South Carolina High School League and Aiken County Schools.
Birth Certificate - Each student must submit a certified state or local birth certificate to the athletic director. A photocopy of this birth certificate is kept in the athletic director’s office. The original birth certificate will be promptly returned to the parents.
Proof of Insurance - All student-athletes must provide evidence of insurance coverage.
Adhere to the Athletic Code of Conduct - All student-athletes must exhibit respectful behavior and adhere to standard policies of conduct. See page 6 and 7 of this handbook.
Parent acknowledgement of athletic policies - Parents and students should review and sign the athletic policies found on page 9 of this handbook.
Though the unique nature of each sport dictates its specific objectives, all teams will attempt to
Emphasize the development of basic skills, appropriate attitudes, values and team concepts.
Allow students as possible to participate and share the experience and benefits derived from team membership.
Compete competitively within the Aiken County Middle Schools Athletic League.
Participation at the middle school level is generally limited to the most highly skilled players and those with the ability to interact constructively with other players for team success. The coaching staff will determine the level of play for each student-athlete based on what would be most beneficial to the development and progress of each player and team. It should be understood that playing time could be limited.
***Middle School athletes are permitted (per SCHSL regulations) to participate on many North Augusta High School athletic teams. Please contact the North Augusta High School athletic department for more information concerning these teams and tryouts, regulations, etc.
Difficult decisions are made on a regular basis by members of our coaching staff that generally include which athlete should start a contest, which athlete should play at what position, and the amount of playing time an athlete will be given. Our coaching staff makes these difficult coaching decisions after weighing a considerable number of factors.
Team Tryouts / Selection:
During the tryout period, each coach will provide an explanation of his/her expectations. It is the duty of the student to demonstrate to the coach that they can fulfill these expectations. If a student is not selected for a team, he/she may contact the coach personally for an explanation.
The coaching staff of each sport has the sole responsibility for selecting members of the team, determining the level of play, and apportioning the amount of playing time for each student athlete.
Each member of an athletic team MUST:
Commit to being present at all team activities, including try-outs, practices, meetings and contest with other schools.
Dedicate time to becoming an excellent team member and school citizen.
Strive to continually improve as an athlete.
Demonstrate pride in team performance and as a member of a team.
Practices are held daily for approximately 1½ to 2 ½ hours, or as appropriate to the activity. Practices may be held on weekends. Any team member who must be late or miss practice, games, or meetings must confer with his/her coach. Practice and game schedules, particularly in the case of winter and spring sports, include school vacation weeks. Students and families should take this into consideration when deciding to try-out for a team.
Generally, the most competitive and skilled team members will play the major portion of contests. Variables such as attitude, attendance, effort, behavior, etc., are also used to make these decisions. However, the final decision on who will play is the head coach’s decision.
Teams cannot be successful without committed players who may not play often. All athletes must work to help make their respective teams as competitive as possible and be ready at all times to step forward to compete. They must also demonstrate the perseverance and commitment to strive to advance to a starting role.
Absences: Unexcused absences from practices may jeopardize retaining a position on the team, an opportunity to earn a varsity letter, and/or playing time at the coaches’ discretion.
Excused absences from practices may impact position on the team and playing time, not as a punitive measure, but for the safety of that individual, fairness to the rest of the team, and strategic reasons.
Injuries and Illnesses:
During the course of an athletic season, you may find it necessary to seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner. Please remember to obtain medical clearance from your practitioner stating when she/he can return to sports participation.
Expectations for Parents and Spectators:
Athletic contests can become highly emotional. However, proper behavior at athletic events will be in place at all times during athletic events. The following guidelines are expected at all times at Paul Knox Middle School athletic events.
1. Respect the playing of the game and the efforts of the participants. 2. Recognize the officials as persons of integrity and qualification, and respect their decisions. 3. Refrain from creating disturbances that would be detrimental to the game and/or the safety 4. Respect all players, coaches, and officials, regardless of team loyalty. 5. Be a positive supporter and role model by encouraging the positive aspects of play. 6. Refrain from sideline coaching. 6. Maintain a respectful distance from players and coaches during games and contests. 7. Refrain from providing food or drink to players during games and contests. 8. The use of name calling or badgering is prohibited.
Parents and spectators who cannot abide with these expectations will be removed from the athletic contests. Extreme misbehavior can result in banishment from future contests.
Athletic involvement can be highly emotional and issues about playing time, team selection, honors and awards can arise. It is very important that these issues be addressed as soon as possible, and as directly as possible, so that they can be resolved promptly. The following model will be used when a problem arises.
STEP ONE: Personal Contact between Student-Athlete and Coach
As a general rule, the issue should be presented as soon as possible to the coach by the individual student-athlete. If this recommended route is not successful, the coach should be contacted by the student-athlete’s parent(s) at an appropriate time. Times to be avoided are:
Either prior to or immediately after a competition
During a practice session
During a time when other students maybe present or when it may be readily apparent to others that a discussion is taking place
At a time when it is apparent that there would not be sufficient time to provide for a complete discussion.
STEP TWO: Personal Contact Between Coach, Student-Athlete and Athletic Director
If a satisfactory resolution is not reached through direct contact with the coach, the student-athlete and/or parent(s) should contact the Athletic Director. As a courtesy, the coach should be informed that this contact is being made. If this discussion does not result in a satisfactory conclusion, then a meeting will be scheduled involving all concerning parties in an attempt to reach a satisfactory resolution. It is very important for all student-athletes and their parent(s) to know that any comments, concerns, or issues raised to the athletic director will be addressed with the coach. Issues concerning coaching personnel may or may not be communicated to others.
It is strongly recommended that the student-athlete join their parent(s) at this meeting to ensure that all sides of the issue can be thoroughly discussed.
STEP THREE: Student-Athlete – Administration Contact
If there is not a satisfactory resolution, the student-athlete and/or parent(s) should contact the Principal. As a courtesy, the Athletic Director should be informed that this contact is being made. While there is no guarantee that all parties will agree with all resolutions or findings, a thorough, respectful discussion can lead to more productive relationships and clearer understandings in the future.
School Athletic Equipment Policy:
Students are responsible for and expected to maintain proper care of all equipment issued to them. Students are responsible for payment of any lost, stolen or damaged items. Each item not returned will be assessed at a rate comparable to the current replacement cost. All equipment is to be returned at the completion of the season. Grades will be withheld for those who do not return or pay for lost/damaged equipment. Additionally those student athletes will not be allowed to participate in another sport. Student-athletes are not to wear uniforms, either practice or game, at any time other than those allowed by specified team regulations.
When Paul Knox MS provides transportation to and from athletic events, student-athletes are expected to travel via school transportation. The members of the athletic staff feel it is in the best interest of team unity that everyone travel together and share the game experience. As the "guardian" during these trips, the athletic staff must be able to account for the whereabouts of all student-athletes and insure their safety. It is expected that our student-athletes will conduct themselves appropriately while on bus transportation. Any misconduct will result in a penalty including and up to dismissal if warranted. Student-athletes will be responsible for any damages to bus property and subsequent costs to repair or replace.
In the event that there are extenuating personal circumstances, a parent may take responsibility for the transportation of his/her son or daughter. The parent/guardian must provide written notice to the coach requesting the exception in advance. A parent/guardian must also present himself/herself to a member of the coaching staff informing the coach that his/her child is leaving with him/her. Student-athletes may then ride with their parent/guardian.
Athletic Code of Conduct:
Any student-athlete absent from school the day of scheduled game or practice session will not be allowed to participate in that game or practice. A student must be in school for a minimum of 3 ½ hours in order to participate.
Students in "Good Standing":
All athletes must be a student in "good standing" in order to participate in athletics. "Good standing" is defined but not limited to:
Adherence to school rules that regulate behavior and attendance
Respectful behavior towards all members of the school community
Respectful conduct with respect to other individuals on and off the playing field.
A student is considered not to be in good standing during the season of play/activity if he/she has a suspension, or is involved in inappropriate behavior on or off school grounds. A student found not to be in good standing will be denied the privilege of participating in an interscholastic sport or extracurricular activity.
Students will plan their time so that they will devote sufficient energy to their studies to ensure grades representing their true abilities.
Bullying/Taunting, either as an active team member or as a spectator, at a sporting event is forbidden and may lead to suspension or elimination from the team.
Honesty and Integrity:
Honesty is expected at all times. Stealing and lying will not be tolerated and, subject to due process, will result in immediate dismissal from the team. Any individual who is found in possession of another individual’s personal property will forfeit their privilege to participate on any Paul Knox team for the remainder of the year. Participation on any athletic team after the suspension will be contingent upon the outcome of a hearing comprised of the Principal and the Athletic Director.
Student-athletes are considered representatives of the school at all practices and contests and events. Students will conduct themselves properly when traveling as they represent the community, school and team.
Respecting the Spirit of the Game:
Students will realize that officials do not lose a game, but are there for the purpose of insuring the game they are playing is a fair and safe contest for all participants. The officials will be shown courteous respect at all times. Student-athletes will also not employ illegal tactics to gain an advantage.
Respect for the Coaching Staff:
Students will understand that their coaches have their best interests in mind as they plan and guide the athletic team. They will obey the specific rules of the coach.
Respect for school buildings and grounds:
Students will understand that damage to the school building, grounds, or school equipment will result in immediate suspension from the team. The length of such suspension will depend on the severity of the damage as determined by the Athletic Director and Coach. Please note, cleats are not to be worn in the building or on the track at any time.
Social Media Policy:
Playing and competing for Paul Knox Middle School is a privilege. Student-athletes are held in the highest regard and are seen as role models in the community. As a student-athlete, you are responsible to portray your team, your school and yourself in a positive manner at all times.
Texting, Facebook, Twitter, OregonLive.com, Instagram and other social media sites have increased in popularity globally, and are used by many people in one form or another.
Student-athletes should be aware inappropriate social media behavior will result in suspension and dismissal from a Paul Knox athletic team.
Examples of inappropriate behaviors concerning participation in online communities may include, but are not limited to, depictions or presentations of the following:
- Photos, videos, comments or posts showing the use or depiction of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or illegal activities.
- Photos, videos, and comments that are of a sexual nature.
- Content online that is unsportsmanlike, demeaning or threatening toward individuals or entities.
- Content online that would constitute a violation of team, school, and league rules (examples: commenting publicly about a coach, teammate, opponent, official, student or staff member).
- Information that is sensitive or personal in nature or is proprietary to the team or the school, which is not public information.
MESSAGE TO ALL SPECATORS AND PARENTS:
We urge you to support Paul Knox MS Athletics by:
Attending sporting events.
Being a positive influence at school, practices and games.
Lending positive support to players and coaches.
Encouraging all players without regard to their role on the team.
Encouraging athletes, spectators and parents maintain an appropriate sportsmanlike attitude.
Showing respect for the authority of the game officials.
Enjoying the athletic experience.
Paul Knox Middle School Athletic Policies
1. The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) determines eligibility.
2. Each season begins on the official SCHSL starting date.
3. A student-athlete is expected to be committed. A student who quits one sport may not participate in another sport without the approval of both coaches of the teams involved, the athletic director, and the principal.
4. A student-athlete is expected to attend school. A student-athlete must attend school at least three class periods of the day to be eligible to participate in any athletic event on that day.
5. A student-athlete is expected to behave. A student-athlete recommended for expulsion will not be permitted to participate in any sport for the remainder of the year even if the student athlete is re-admitted to the school.
6. A student athlete is expected to behave. A student-athlete suspended from school cannot practice or participate in any athletic event until the student athlete has completed the suspension.
7. A student athlete is expected to behave. A student-athlete who is suspended twice within a season will not be permitted to participate in PKMS or NAHS athletics for the remainder of the sport’s season.
8. A student athlete is expected to behave. A student-athlete who is suspended three times in a year will not be permitted to participate in PKMS athletics or NAHS athletics for the remainder of the school year.
9. A student-athlete is required to comply with additional rules that govern practice, games, and participation, which have meet with the joint approval of the head coach, athletic director and the principal.
10. A student-athlete must be aware inappropriate social media behavior will result in suspension and dismissal from a Paul Knox athletic team.
11. A student-athlete is expected to bring honor to PKMS. Misconduct, whether or not occurring on school premises or at school-related events, which bring dishonor to a school or team merely by the association of the student so charged with the school or team. Such misconduct is considered unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action ranging from short-term disqualification to total exclusion from participation in athletics. All student-athletes are governed by Aiken County Board policy JJIC-R.
*The South Carolina High School League website is www.schsl.com.
**A suspension is defined as in-school suspension (ISS) or out-of school suspension (OSS).
I have read the Paul Knox Middle School athletic handbook and understand the policies.