GPA Requirements and Penalties

Yes, it has been discussed before . . .but not in a bit. I am curious as to what your team does.

  1. Do you have a GPA or grade requirement to remain on the team?
  2. How often is GPA determined if so. . If not, why not?
  3. What are the penalties for not fulfilling this obligation?

Best. . .

We do not have a GPA requirement, however you are not allowed to be failing any classes. I don’t think we check that often. And if you’re failing anything you just can’t be at the meetings or events until you’re passing again.

No GPA requirement, but we do make sure that students stay on top of their work. If it seems like they are slipping down to poor grades, we request they take a few days off to catch up on homework. If they really fall behind and start failing and such, we ask them to leave until the grades get better.

That kinda answers all 3, I suppose.

Members of 2220 are held to the same standards as participants in any other sport or competition at the school-- minimum 2.0 GPA, cannot have failed or be failing any classes in the current trimester.

Failure to meet these requirements means a suspensions from team activities (as it is school policy).

In practice however, due to peer tutoring and similar internal programs that support students in getting whatever help they need to stay involved with the team, it is very rare for a member to be suspended from the team (as in, out of the ~150 students that went through the program between 2011 and 2014, I can only remember maybe a single person that had to take a leave from the team).

We have the same requirement as many of the other athletics and extracurricular organizations at our school; you must be passing all your classes at all times, if you’re failing, you need to bring them up before you can participate in any further robotics activities.

However, for as long as I can remember we haven’t had this rule apply to anyone on the team.

We have the same minimum GPA requirement as sports teams, which, if I recall correctly, is around a 2.0. The numbers are officially updated every quarter and mid-quarter. We submit a list of student members, and our teacher automatically receives notification if a student drops below the minimum. There are school policies in place about dropping below that cutoff, and, for us, they dictate that students cannot travel with the team but may still attend meetings.

My team is not just a club, but also a class, so we cannot restrict team participation to those enrolled in the class. Those in the club are not necessarily held to the same standard. We do have a GPA requirement, and that is applied to competition days that occur on school days. If a student with a GPA below 2.0 or has a D or F in any class, regardless of having a > 2.0 GPA, they are not allowed to go to a competition, except if a competition day lies on a weekend, holiday, or break. The exception to this is for travel out of state or far away regionals, where the student must fulfill these requirements to travel, even if the trip takes place over school off-time.

Furthermore, to qualify to go to competition for our drive team, they must not only fulfill the minimum GPA requirement, but also have a minimum of 50 hours outside of class for the school year by the end of the build season. These hours are for out of class time activities such as build work, fundraising, and community service. We have a total 50 hours required first semester, 100 hours second semester for a total of 150 hours requirement outside of class for all students, in order to have a good grade in the robotics class. Because of this, whoever is on the drive team already has good standing in the class. This also restricts drive team members to those enrolled in the class. If there is someone exceptional who is only in the club, who puts in lots of time and knows the bot, we can be flexible with this.

We don’t meet often/ long enough for it to be a problem, but some peoples’ grades to take a toll during the season (4.0 to 3.5). Mostly strict parenting and culture gets people to keep their grades good.

Decade plus I’ve been involved, worst I’ve seen is a “What’s going on?” talk and one student lose their spot at backup driver.

I think we also have the same GPA setup as sports teams. Never had to enforce it overly strictly. Even being a small team, there’s often on student that won’t be working on the robot or related projects. So it’s an unofficial rule that they work on homework.

We don’t have any grade requirement for participation, but we do require that anyone traveling to regionals with us be currently passing all of their classes. We do try to time our regional attendance so that they happen close to the beginning of a grading period so that everyone will be passing.

The way I see it, the people who FIRST would help the most are the ones who are not fairing well academically, so why should we prevent them from participating due to their academic standing?

Our requirement is that “students must remain in good academic standing in accordance with their parents expectations.” This is a talking point at both fall parent meetings, is a line on the parent page of the FRC team application, and then is confirmed again prior to selecting drivers and pit crew. There’s a school requirement as well (minimum 2.0 and not failing any classes or something similar) but it’s way more lax than any of our parents’ expectations so it’s not particularly useful for much of anything.

Primarily we (mentors) try to maintain a united front with parents so that they know we’ll back them up with whatever the family rules are for each student. Our expectations are made clear to prevent any room to play games (i.e. - students going to a parent and telling them “but I have to do xyz it’s mandatory” when it’s really an optional meeting that they just want to go to, or a student coming to us and saying “but my mom said I have to do homework tonight so I can’t come to meeting” when really they just wanted to go socialize). We haven’t really had any grade related problems so far (only going into our second season) so we haven’t had a reason to flesh out policies on academic performance yet.

Super conveniently, their first semester ends before winter break so we go into build season with a brand new semester and thus we aren’t balancing week 3 of build with finals. It also gives a nice basis for comparison between a semester with just general meeting once per week, and a semester with build and competition season. It seems like so long as everybody maintains their performance between second semester and first semester we’re all satisfied.

I suppose the answers to your questions are…

  1. No. It’s based on family expectations rather than a hard number.
  2. It’s not. We communicate with parents pretty regularly though.
  3. None specified.

From the school policy:

To remain eligible for clubs and organizations students must pass 5 full credit subjects in the previous semester and maintain passing grades in the current semester determined by nine weeks grades. Semester grades will take precedence at the end of the semester. Audits do not count as subjects. First semester freshmen are exempt from this rule. In order to participate in any club or organization, the student must sign up for the school’s DAT (random drug testing) Program.

From our team handbook:

Team members are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 prior to build season and have no failing grades. Grades are scrutinized weekly by the coaches during Build Season. Any student with a GPA lower than 2.0 will be on Academic Probation and will be barred from participation in build activities Monday-Thursday during build season so they can focus on their school work. Any student with a failing grade will not be permitted to work on the robot or other team activities until the grade is improved. Exceptions may be made for grades due to illness. Every effort will be made to offer tutoring during robotics meetings. Doing homework alone or in groups is encouraged during any robotics team activity.
Any student with an F in the 3rd Nine Weeks will be barred from travel to all events.
For clarification, we meet 7 days a week during build season, so students on academic probation are able to meet F-Sun

With a large team, you start having to enforce this. It’s not unheard of us having to bar a student from travel because of failing grades. Several years ago, we had students blaming their poor performance in the classroom on build season, which of course endeared us to the teaching staff… It’s one of the reasons we are so attentive to grades now.

We check grades regularly and have meetings with every one of our students to talk about grades, whether they’re straight A’s or have D’s and F’s.

We used to have a higher GPA requirement of 2.5 and had a big debate when we lowered it to 2.0. I actually had parents advocate for leaving it at 2.5, because the higher requirement (compared to sports teams) motivated their kids to do their school work and bring up grades.

I don’t know how strictly it was enforced, but last year, we instituted a “no pass, no play” policy, and everyone had to get all of their teachers to sign a form every week that said that they were meeting the requirements of all their classes and, if not, how they intended to change that. If the form wasn’t signed, we couldn’t participate.

More importantly, though, we maintain a policy of leaving a one-hour gap between when school lets out and when the meeting begins to leave time to finish homework.

Our team’s policy is the same as listed above. You have to be passing all your classes to travel and you’re encouraged to do your homework rather than come to the meeting if you are.

We also get an hour before meetings to do homework, which is really helpful.

We have a district policy regarding eligibility for extra-curricular activities. So students have to be passing at least five credits and have a 2.0 GPA. Students can get one waiver (for a quarter) in grades 9-10 and one waiver in grades 11-12. Sometimes FRC can bring a bright unmotivated student around and get them to start taking school more seriously, so we will work with kids to get them on the right track in classes. I also coach track & field and cross country, and the eligibility standard is the same. We definitely look at how kids are performing in class and if kids are at risk of not being eligible we will meet with them (and often their parents) to try to make a plan to get them back on track.

Our district policy is modeled after the UIL policy of no pass, no play. (failing any class and you cannot compete) While you are allowed to be in the club, work on the robot, etc, we cannot take anyone who is failing on field trips, which include regionals and demos.

The coaches give what they define as a portfolio to every student. It’s a Power Point template where each member keeps track of what work he/she has done throughout the season. A couple years ago, a second one was added so now each student has one fore pre-seaon and another for the regular season (build, competition, etc.).

The objective of the pre-season file is for the students to get a feel for tracking their effort within the team so when the time arrives for them to log their regular season activity, the coaches will have an accurate understanding of who is allowed to miss school to attend competition (though forming the NEFirst district has eliminated a good portion of that issue).

The above, and academic grades, are the two deciding factors of building our potential travel team for the season.

We also follow the school’s extracurricular policy. I don’t have a copy, but basically you need a 2.0 (of 4) average, checked at the end of each marking period when grades are delivered. Less than 2.0 means you cannot participate.

  1. Do you have a GPA or grade requirement to remain on the team?
    It is required that you have no less than a C in all of your classes and that you maintain a 2.5 GPA at least. With a new principal this is really being enforced.

  2. How often is GPA determined if so. . If not, why not?
    GPAs and grades are checked a week before any competition and at the start of build season.

  3. What are the penalties for not fulfilling this obligation?
    No competitions if you do not meet the requirements.

WildStang has been a class in the district for more than fifteen years. It carries a grade that is applied to your GPA. To remain on the team every member must having passing grades in all classes, robotics included. To travel, grades in other classes should be better than just passing and robotics grade should be C or above (In addition to a variety of other factors). To be on pit crew or drive team, all other classes should be C or higher and robotics should be an A. Some pit crew members and at least one drive crew member over the years, thought they were more valuable than grades. They were pulled from their respective teams until grades rose to minimums. One of those included a Champs trip.