Athletic Policy

The Athletic Program is an integral component of the total SMWS educational program. At Shining Mountain, the movement curriculum recognizes that healthy physical activity lays the foundation for healthy brain and neural development; enhances physical, emotional, ethical and spiritual aspects of the human being; and provides a vital pathway for self-exploration. We structure our program to strengthen different abilities at each stage of development with cooperative games in the early grades yield to competitive sports in middle and high school.

The program provides for the safety and well-being of each individual participant. Athletes are supported to experience the sheer fun and enjoyment in their sport.

There are no “cuts” and all SMWS students are encouraged to participate regardless of experience or ability. Each athlete and coach shall be respected as a human being, challenged to be the best they can be, and inspired to be a contributing member to society.

The community, school personnel, coaches and all athletes shall strive to be competitive. However, SMWS Athletics does not support a “win at all costs” mentality. In other words, the short-term goal of winning shall never override the long-term participation objectives of guiding student athletes to develop physically, emotionally and socially.

A healthy competitive attitude is a goal for each student. Knowledgeable coaches vigorously teach the fundamental skills and strategies of each sport.

It is our hope that athletics will be enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding.


  • The Athletic Department will emphatically clarify to athletes that playing on a team is a privilege, not a right.  A positive attitude in class, as well as earning good grades, is expected and required.  Coaches and faculty need to consistently remind students that team sports are not an excuse for not getting homework done, being lazy in class, or not having time to study.
  • The Athletic Director will prepare and monitor a feedback system between High School faculty and coaches, thus enabling the coaches to help support the student-athletes and teachers in academic pursuits and expectations.
  • “Notices of Concern” will be sent to the AD as well as parents.  Advisors need to work with the athletic department to help students-athletes make good choices in terms of time-management.
  • During the period of athletic participation, all student athletes must be enrolled in courses which offer, in aggregate, 2.5 Carnegie units of credit per semester.  In addition, they may not fail any assignments or tests.

Eligibility Periods:

  • At the end of a semester grading period – If a student has not met eligibility requirements, they are ineligible for participation for the next 6 weeks (on the date pre-determined by CHSAA), at which time they become eligible if their grades in progress then meet the eligibility standards.
  • A Weekly Certification Day – This eligibility period occurs throughout the individual’s athletic season. All student-athletes must meet eligibility requirements at these times. Eligibility requirements will be checked on every Thursday, and individuals failing to meet these requirements will be ineligible to participate in practices or meets for a seven-day period beginning on the following Monday. If this seven-day period falls during a period of school/sports inactivity, the period of ineligibility will begin in the next week of school/practice. Students may be cleared to practice if they can remedy any academic problems within the ineligibility period, as agreed upon by teacher(s) and Athletic Director.
  • There shall be no adjustment made to class planning in order to accommodate athletics.  In other words, the student athletes will be expected to complete the defined classroom curriculum.


  • In August, the Athletic Director will be actively involved in the calendar creation for the year, working with the High School Coordinator (for the overall events of the high school) and the Music Director (to coordinate scheduling of music and theatrical events with athletic events.)
  • Athletics may be scheduled 5 times per week during the regular season (ex. 3 practices and 2 games). Athletics may be scheduled a maximum of 8 times per week during the pre-season (before the first game) and post-season. The pre-season period is approximately two weeks in duration and the post-season period will be determined by the duration of the team’s playoff and state tournament participation.
  • The goal should be 40% of the athletic season can be scheduled 5 days /week and 60% of the athletic season can be scheduled 4 days/ week.
  • Except for extraordinary circumstances having to do with the scheduling of athletic contests, all sports will refrain from Friday activities.
  • Saturdays and the week of February Teachers’ Conference can be used to schedule athletics, when needed.
  • The early release schedule will be created during the summer for volleyball, cross-country and basketball and by the end of January for Track & Field.
  • Throughout the year, as the athletic schedule changes, the Athletic Director will send early student release times and changes on the athletic schedule to all of the HS faculty and the HS Coordinator.
  • The HS faculty should take advantage of reviewing the Athletic Department calendars and updates to keep apprised of how their classes may be impacted at different times of the year by our athletic program.
  • The Athletic Director will attend as many Thursday faculty meetings as possible.
  • The Athletic Director will plan to be on the high school faculty meeting agenda as necessary for communications regarding our athletic program.