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Beaufort County’s middle, high school athletes making the grade

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Nearly all Beaufort County School District student athletes met the district’s academic participation requirements during the 2018-19 academic year.

Ninety-seven percent of Beaufort County’s high school and middle school student athletes maintained their academic eligibility by meeting the district’s minimum 2.0 GPA participation requirement.

Of 2,855 high school athletes in the district, 2,754 met the academic requirement during the first two academic quarters and 101 did not. Of 1,561 middle school athletes, 1,518 met the requirement and 43 did not. 

The overall district-wide GPA for high school student athletes for the 2018-19 academic year was 3.86. The overall district-wide GPA for middle school student athletes for the 2018-19 academic year was 3.70.

“Eight years ago our district raised the academic bar for athletic participation, and today our student athletes continue to meet that challenge,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said. “They compete in their chosen sports and also in the classroom.”

A number of teams maintained overall GPAs higher than 4.0. Those included girls and boys cross country, golf, swimming and tennis, and also girls volleyball, lacrosse and softball. Middle school volleyball teams maintained a GPA higher than 4.0.

More than 40 students graduating with the Class of 2019 signed college athletic scholarships.

After a series of community forums in 2011, the Board of Education approved the 2.0 GPA requirement for athletes. Only one other South Carolina district (Richland District 1 in Columbia) has a similar requirement. 

The district’s middle and high schools have after-school tutorial programs to assist students who are in danger of falling below the 2.0 requirement. Interim reports, report card grades, teacher/sponsor recommendations and coaching staff requirements are used to identify students required to attend after-school programs.

The South Carolina High School League’s statewide minimum GPA requirement is 1.0.

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