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Policy 7120 - Coaches and Advisors of High School Extracurricular Activities

The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria for the employment of both interscholastic athletic coaches and advisors of high school extracurricular activities.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County believes that a comprehensive and well-rounded program of education-based student extracurricular activities will be made available to high school students in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). To provide high quality instruction and supervision during these activities, the Board also believes it is essential that the advisors and interscholastic athletic coaches of these activities have appropriate qualifications and training for their responsibilities.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish criteria for the employment of both interscholastic athletic coaches and advisors of high school extracurricular activities.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Advisor – An individual who instructs, supervises, and provides leadership to students in an approved extracurricular activity. Advisors are categorized in the following hierarchy:

    1. Certificated Advisor

    2. Emergency Advisor

    3. Volunteer Advisor

  2. Approved Extracurricular Activity – Board-sanctioned activity for which coaches or advisors receive stipends.

  3. Certificated Advisor – Teacher or other certificated employee of the HCPSS who instructs, supervises, and provides leadership to students in an approved extracurricular activity.

  4. Certificated Coach – Teacher or other certificated employee who instructs student athletes in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs individual/team strategies.

  5. Certificated Employee – A contracted employee possessing either a current teaching certificate in the state of Maryland or other acceptable teaching certification.

  6. Coach – Individual who instructs student athletes in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs individual/team strategies. Coaches are categorized in the following hierarchy:

    1. Certificated Coach

    2. Credentialed Coach

    3. Emergency Coach

    4. Volunteer Coach

  7. Credentialed Coach – An individual who, after July 1, 2010, possesses Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA)/Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Coaches Certification prior to the start of their fourth year as an emergency coach.

  8. Education-Based Activities – Approved extracurricular activities that promote learning while contributing to the educational program of the HCPSS and to the development of good citizenship.

  9. Emergency Advisor – Individual who instructs, supervises, and provides leadership to students in an approved extracurricular activity in the absence of a regularly appointed certificated advisor.

  10. Emergency Coach – Individual who instructs student athletes in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs individual/team strategies in the absence of a certificated coach or credentialed coach.

  11. New Employee – Any employee who was not in active employment status during the previous school year.

  12. Volunteer Advisor – Individual who assists a certificated advisor or emergency advisor.

  13. Volunteer Coach – Individual who assists a certificated coach, a credentialed coach, or an emergency coach in the instruction of fundamentals and the implementation of individual/team strategies.

IV. Standards

  1. All coaches and advisors will be teachers or other certificated employees of the HCPSS, provided they are qualified and acceptable.

  2. If a qualified and acceptable certificated coach/advisor is not available, high schools may employ either a credentialed coach or an emergency coach/advisor.

  3. If a qualified and acceptable certificated coach is not available, high schools may employ a credentialed coach if the individual:

    1. Possesses MPSSAA/MSDE Coaches Certification

    2. Has two years of successful coaching as an emergency coach in the HCPSS

    3. Has spent the previous year as a successful emergency coach at the school of hire in the position of hire

    4. Is eligible to hold a Maryland certificate.

  4. An emergency coach or emergency advisor must at minimum:

    1. Be at least 21 years old

    2. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent.

  5. Schools may permit a volunteer coach/advisor to assist their coaching/advising staff if the individual:

    1. Is at least 21 years old

    2. Possesses a high school diploma or equivalent

    3. Works under the direction of the head coach/advisor only. (Exceptions may be granted by the Coordinator of Athletics for volunteer coaches, or by the principal for volunteer advisors.)

  6. In sports having more than one coach, emergency coaches may not comprise more than 50 percent of the sport staff for any team.

  7. The number of volunteer coaches/advisors may not exceed the total of all emergency, credentialed, and certificated/teacher coaches/advisors for any sport team/activity.

  8. Prior to reporting for his/her assignment, all coaches must complete:

    1. A state-approved one-credit course in the care and prevention of athletic injuries (being enrolled in this course is acceptable)

    2. An approved safety and risk management session on bloodborne pathogens

    3. An approved concussion education session

    4. An approved Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)/Automated External Defibrillator (AED) course

    5. Child abuse training consistent with Policy 1030 - Child Abuse and Neglect.

  9. Band front, pom pom, and emergency advisors must complete H.2., H.4., and H.5. above.

  10. The assignment of a coach or student activity advisor will be voluntary and is only for one season/year.

  11. All coaches will be processed by Human Resources prior to reporting for their assignment.

  12. All coaches must attend the annual rules clinic sponsored by the HCPSS.

  13. The principal/designee will assess the qualifications and acceptability of candidates for coaches/advisors and will make recommendations for employment.

  14. The Coordinator of Athletics is responsible for final approval of all coaches.

  15. Principals will be responsible for final approval of all advisors.

  16. The principal/designee will evaluate coaches/advisors annually.

  17. Stipends for certificated, credentialed, and emergency coaches, and certificated and emergency advisors will be paid exclusively by the HCPSS. Coaches/advisors may not accept compensation from any other individual or organization.

  18. Volunteer coaches/advisors may not accept compensation from any organization or individual.

  19. If an individual coaches activities that run concurrently, he/she will be compensated for only one activity unless approved by the Coordinator of Athletics.

  20. Elimination of an activity by the Board may result in an appointment not being renewed.

V. Compliance

  1. The Coordinator of Athletics is responsible for:

    1. Final approval of all coaches

    2. Assuring that coaches have completed a state-approved course in the care and prevention of athletic injuries

    3. Assuring that coaches have completed an approved session on bloodborne pathogens

    4. Assuring that new coaches have completed an approved CPR/AED course.

  2. Principals are responsible for:

    1. Final approval of all advisors

    2. Assuring that coaches have completed an approved concussion education session

    3. Assuring that coaches have renewed CPR/AED certification

    4. All coaches attending the annual rules clinic.

  3. Principals/designees will recommend coaches/advisors and will evaluate them annually.

  4. The Office of Human Resources will be responsible for:

    1. Processing coaches/advisors

    2. Child abuse training.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is directed to develop and implement regulations and procedures for selecting and assigning interscholastic athletic coaches and student activity advisors.

VII. References

  • COMAR: 13A.06.03

  • FEDERAL STATUTE: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Public Law 92-318

  • MARYLAND STATE ANNOTATED CODE: The Fitness and Athletic Equity for Students with Disabilities Act of 2008

C. Other

  • The Handbook of the Maryland Public Schools Secondary Athletic Association

  • National Federation of High Schools Handbook

VII. History

ADOPTED: June 15, 1984

AMENDED: May 28, 1992, May 27, 1999, January 13, 2011

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2011