VINELAND — A one-year pilot program will require Vineland High School students to maintain a 2.0 grade point average if they want to play on a sports team or participate in an extracurricular activity.

The program announced Tuesday for the 2013-14 school year covers a wide range of programs that include things such as the marching band, and foreign language, drama and sign language clubs, district officials said.

Assistant Superintendent for Administration Ruth Ann Polof said the program stems from a Board of Education decision to put an emphasis on the students’ academic achievement and attendance. Some Board of Education members would “like to see the academic standards be higher” for students who participate in sports and extracurricular activities, she said.

“The determination of whether to keep the program for the 2014-15 school year will be based on an analysis of the number of students that met the requirement to participate in extracurricular activities,” Polof said.

A 2.0 grade point average is the equivalent of a C average.

Students who lose their academic eligibility while participating on a sports team “in which the season or district competition extends beyond the marking period will be allowed to continue participation until that particular season ends,” according to the program rules.

Students will be dropped from other extracurricular activities, such as the marching band and various clubs, when their grade point average drops below 2.0, Polof said. Those students could rejoin the club when their grade point average climbs back to at least 2.0, she said.

The program allows students to appeal their suspension from the high school activity from which they are dropped because of a too-low grade point average. Appeals will be heard by a team composed of the high school’s athletic director or club adviser, along with the high school principals and a guidance counselor.

The 2.0 grade point requirement also applies to special education students, according to the program rules.

The New Jersey Schools Interscholastic Athletics Authority has requirements regarding student participation in sporting events. Those requirements deal more with failing courses and not grade point average.

The NJSIAA outlines the percentage of credits a student must pass to be eligible to play on a sports team.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.