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updated: 4/17/2013 3:02 PM

IHSA clarifies transfer, international student rules

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Daily Herald report

The Illinois High School Association board of directors approved interpretations on a pair of bylaws for the 2013-2014 school year at its regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Tuesday.

In January, IHSA member schools voted to approve all 11 bylaws that were proposed by the membership, which will officially take effect on July 1.

The two bylaws that required additional interpretations by the Board on Monday were Bylaws 3.034.3 and 3.043.3.

The proposal for bylaw 3.043.3 reads: "Removes the automatic eligibility provision for first-time transfers from a private school to a home public school, or from a private school to another private school, and requires in the case of any transfer not accompanied by a change in residence to another high school attendance area that the transfer be necessitated by (a) a change in the family's financial position or (b) extenuating circumstances documented by the sending school."

The board interpretation on 3.043.3 centered around what date should be considered the first day of attendance by a transfer student in this scenario. The Board ultimately decided that a transfer is not official until a student begins attendance at the school in the fall or participates in a practice or tryout for a fall sports team on or after August 14. Additionally, for the purpose of this bylaw, summer school attendance shall not count toward the student's attendance.

"This interpretation simply reaffirms the timeline that the schools and our office will work with when determining eligibility in transfer situations related to this bylaw," said Hickman. "It is an interpretation that is consistent with what has been done in the past with changes to the residence and transfer bylaws."

The proposal for Bylaw 3.034.3 reads: "Limits eligibility of international students to those students in foreign exchange programs approved by the IHSA and the Council on Standards for International Education Travel (CSIET), for a maximum of one school term."

The board ruled that international students who participated as eligible student-athletes during the 2012-13 school term under the provisions of the previously applicable bylaw shall not lose eligibility under the new bylaw.

"This ruling means that International students who participated last year will remain eligible until their eligibility is exhausted," said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. "All other international students will now need to be placed in a member school via a placement program that is approved by both CSIET and the IHSA in order to be eligible for athletics."

Both of the bylaws that the board made interpretations on during Monday's meeting were proposed by a Residency/Transfer Ad-Hoc Committee that met during the fall of 2012.

"Both of these bylaws, 3.034.3 and 3.043.3, represent pretty significant philosophical changes in the IHSA's residence and transfer rules," said Hickman. "The fact both passed unanimously shows that our membership felt that changes were necessary to deal with a changing high school landscape."

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