On Monday, the District 308 school board voted to allow non-public students in the area to participate with its marching band, sports teams, and other school groups.
“It gives them the opportunity to come in, and participate, and do what they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do,” said Dr. Kyle Freeman.
Freeman is the WCHS Superintendent. He said this new policy carries a wealth of advantages for home-schooled students.
However, it comes with one sticking point.
Students joining the school’s extracurriculars must physically attend at least two periods per day at the high school.
“Ultimately, when they wear the "W" for Washington they represent the students and the community, said Freeman, “So, it's important that they spend a little time in the school with the other students and get a feel for what our community is about [and] our student community.”
He said this involvement outside of the classroom teaches students valuable lessons for the future.
“They're learning about behavior. They're learning about teamwork. They're learning about how to get along with others.”
Freeman added that they’re also learning how to problem solve and deal with issues thrown their way.
“[Students] learn how to deal with loss. It's tough but if you're an athlete, you're not going to win every game,” the superintendent explained. The chances are you're going to lose a few games, and you need to know how to get back up and get back out there and do it better the next time.”
With this new plan in effect, Freeman said he expects a small group of homeschoolers. However, he sees a big impact being made on the community.
“On the athletic field, in the bandroom, in our extracurriculars… they're not just learning a skill or a sport, but they're learning more about how to be a good citizen. We expect that of our students.”
WCHS administrators will have to first approve of the curriculum being used by any home-schools. They want to make sure it is us to their standards before any student can participate in their activities. Those new students will also have to meet any other regulations required of current WCHS students.
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