Innovative Districts hear from KSHSAA

The Coalition of Innovative Districts on Thursday discussed with the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) the impact of alternative credit-granting on students’ eligibility for high school activities.

KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman told coalition members meeting in Topeka that he would not rule out the possibility of the association someday accepting “competency”-based credits to qualify students for KSHSAA eligibility. He cautioned, however, that the association’s extensive rule book is in place for a variety of legitimate reasons. Coalition schools, and other schools in Kansas, should not expect alternative credit-granting schemes to be exempt from KSHSAA rules, Musselman said.

The innovative school districts have discussed the possibility of granting high school credits based on “competencies” rather than “seat time” in an effort to meet diverse student needs. The coalition requested the KSHSAA meeting in order to forestall future problems or conflicts.

Musselman said the association’s rules are already “very accommodating” of local districts’ certification of coursework that satisfies the basic requirement that students earn five core subjects of credits to be eligible for KSHSAA activity participation. Age limits and attendance rules also apply.

Student needs are diverse but rules must promote statewide consistency, Musselman said. “We are here for the educational development of young people … we want to be in step with the times,” he said, but cautioned that too much flexibility could lead to little or no accountability in the determination of KSHSAA eligibility. “You have to follow the rules,” he stressed.

Coalition members agreed to continue consultations with KSHSAA as the innovative districts work to further define their mission and goals.

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