California Supervision Policy for Extracurriculars

Are any California school-based teams forced to have certificated teachers, not just paid/volunteer coaches, be present during lab hours?

According to the California Code of Regulations:

All extracurricular activities conducted under the name or auspices of a district school or any class or organization of the school, regardless of where the activities are held, shall be under the direct supervision of certificated employees. (5 CCR 5531)

But athletics on the other hand can have non-certificated coaches supervise…

All athletic team activities, wherever held, if conducted under the name and auspices of a public school or of any class or organization thereof, may be under the direct supervision of a temporary athletic team coach. (5 CCR 5591)

A “temporary athletic team coach” is a certificated or noncertificated employee, other than a substitute employee, hired to supervise or instruct interscholastic athletic activities as a temporary employee in a limited assignment capacity. (5 CCR 5590)

Somewhat expectedly, the wording is 1) pretty confusing and 2) seemingly biased towards athletics over other extracurriculars. I’m interested in hearing how different school districts and administrations are handling this and what that translates to for lab hour supervision on your team.

Is this new? I’ve never seen this enforced statewide. I know some individual schools who have this rule, but even then it’s not too strictly enforced. There are some teams that require supervisors to be district-approved, but it’s an easy process any adult can go through and is enforced only at the school district level.

FWIW On my early years as a student, Team 3925 was given quite a lot of freedom and the teacher would let parents borrow the keys and open it on weekends. :yikes: We have always been a class. in the past year or so the district has been locking down and enforcing a very strict “One out of two teachers must be present at all times, no exceptions.” They have even begun pushing more regulations and forcing a teacher to be present anytime a student runs a machine or power tool. there have been days where district employees drop in and check if we were breaking the rules… I guess we were a huge liability.

That was my impression all along, but recently there was some eyebrow raising at our school administration level about adequate supervision, so I thought I’d check it out… and was pretty surprised by what I found.

I’m curious if any districts / schools actually hold their teams to the awfully strict requirements found here.

We are required to go through paperwork, training, and checks that school employees have to go through. A lot of paperwork has us sign as employees even though we are “certified” volunteers.

I’m not clear on all of the details, but we are required to have someone certified at every meeting on campus.

Interesting about the athletics, but yes, this is basically how it works in our school district.

In Alabama anyone who interacts with students as part of any school function must be accompanied by certified personnel at all times. It’s common for a member of the community to coach or direct a school activity. The school board has to hire a certified teacher to be there at all times and be the coach of record.

We have students lift heavy robots sometimes, so for my money, it counts as athletics.

Obviously, not California here…

In order to be the lead mentor for 1923, I have to be a ‘certificated employee’ in New Jersey - but the minimum to meet that bar is a Substitute Teacher certificate. All I needed for that in my school district was 60 college credits, a background check, and the registration fee.

All of our volunteer mentors are still fingerprinted, background checked, and verified by the school board… but only the Advisor & Asst. Advisors are required to have a certificate.

I don’t see the ‘other than a substitute’ line in the extracurricular segment, so might be worth checking if something like a sub certificate is enough for this as a FIRST team supervisor?

I’m not sure about the current situation in CA but I know they have dealt with extreme teacher shortages in the past and had a very easy process to issue an emergency teaching certificate. I know of a local teacher who got his start that way. They could not find someone to teach physics and after much begging he agreed to take the teaching job and they quickly got him an emergency certificate, which he later turned into a full certificate.

I’ve been doing FRC for 8 years and it has always been a requirement for extracurricular activities to have a certificated employee present.

Extracurriculars and athletics have very different requirements:
Extracurriculars typically are related to school subjects, just organized in some manner that doesn’t fit into the school day.

Athletics often require two or three coaches and need long hours after school. So having the flexibility to have non-credentialed adults run the show makes it easier to fill the positions.

Of course, these rules where written before FRC was anywhere near as popular as it is currently. The athletics description I wrote about sounds like FRC to me.

This is policy at Sacramento City Unified School District.

This is a trade-off that teams have to consider: do they take money and support from the school if doing so means complying with the school rules.

Our team went to Houston two years ago in a passenger van. Had we been subject to school rules, it would have been a coach with a paid driver. And, that would have cost enough that we would not have been able to go at all.

In Georgia it is a bit of a racket. The colleges certify that you meet the requirements for a certificate. That generally means that you have to get an undergraduate teaching degree from that institution. IE if you already have a 4 year or higher degree and just need the education specific classes you have still have to go back and the undergraduate education degree. That changes a little bit with a shortage or if some one with pull really wants you.

In California, I would argue that FRC should function under the same rules as athletics. A lot easier to go pro in stem than football, and arguably better for society.