Parent's Guide to Athletics
The philosophy of Jackson Public Schools (JPS) Athletic Programs is based upon the development of the scholar-athlete from the inside out. JPS Athletic Programs seek to transform lives by altering hearts not behavior. JPS Athletic Programs strive to teach scholar-athletes to become self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored and self-corrective while operating in a team-first environment.
High School Eligibility
A student is not considered eligible to participate in practice or games until the following documents are on file and data has been entered in the DragonFly eligibility program. These forms are only good for one calendar year and need to be completed at the start of each season. It is the responsibility of the head coach of each sport to see that all of the required documents are secured from each student and parents before he or she is permitted to participate. The NFHS sportsmanship program course needs to be completed once during the athlete’s career, unless the athlete is ejected from a contest.
- Parent Consent
- NFHS Sportsmanship Certificate
- Minimum of 70 average in all classes for the semester
Middle School Eligibility
A student is not considered eligible to participate in practice or games until the following documents are on file and data has been entered in the DragonFly eligibility program. These forms are only good for one calendar year and need to be completed at the start of each season. The NFHS sportsmanship program only needs to be completed once during the athlete’s career, unless the athlete is ejected from a contest.
- Parent Consent
- NFHS Sportsmanship Certificate
- Must be promoted to the next grade having passed the four core courses (English, Math, Science and Social Studies), and the average of these four core courses must be 70 or above.
Age and Entry Requirements
- If a student becomes 19 on or after August 1, he / she shall be eligible for the remainder of the school year, if he / she meets all other eligibility rules.
- A seventh grader must not have reached 14 years of age prior to August 1.
- An eighth grader must not have reached 15 years of age prior to August 1.
- A ninth grader must not have reached 16 years of age prior to August 1.
A student that was not enrolled in JPS the year prior to sports participation is considered a transfer student. Before transfer students are eligible to participate in contests, the TRANSFER form must be completed by a previous school and MHSAA. Transfer students must also have all other information in the DragonFly eligibility program before they are eligible to compete in contests. No student that is enrolled in another school district will be allowed to participate in practice or games in JPS. This also includes summer league games and practices.
Jackson Public Schools expects each coach, athlete, and fan to represent his or her school with the very best sportsmanship. The Mississippi High School Activities Association has stringent rules against unsportsmanlike behavior for all involved in athletic contests. Remember that school athletics are learning experiences for students and that mistakes are sometimes made. Praise student-athletes in their attempt to improve themselves as students, as athletes, and as people.
- Know that a ticket is a privilege to attend, not a license to verbally degrade others.
- Eliminate all types of baiting and taunting from sports activities. Behavior like angry finger pointing, “pistol shooting,” obscene gestures, and racially derogatory comments must be avoided and must be penalized consistently when they occur.
- Realize that spectators represent the school just as members of the team do.
- Show respect for the opposing players, coaches, spectators, and support groups. Treat them as you would treat a guest in your own home.
- Use only those cheers that support and uplift the teams involved.
- Give participants (including cheerleaders) the right to compete in an atmosphere without boos and derisive comments.
- Learn the rules of the game so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations take place.
- Respect the judgment and integrity of officials, realizing that their decisions are based upon game conditions as they see them. They are doing their best to help promote student athletes. Respect their willingness to participate in the full view of the public.
- Refrain from the use of any controlled substance (alcohol, drugs, etc.) before and during games and afterwards on or near the site of the event.
- Recognize that good sportsmanship is more important than victory, and demonstrate that by applauding the good play of either team.
- Be modest in victory and gracious in defeat.
- Schools and coaches may be fined or put on probation for misbehavior before, during, and after an athletic contest.
- Schools may be, and have been, reprimanded or put on probation when their fans become unruly or incite behavior deemed to be unsportsmanlike. Also, fans may be banned from attending athletic events for unsportsmanlike behavior.
College-Bound Scholarship Criteria
High school student-athletes must meet the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) minimum criteria for college preparatory courses, grade point average, and standardized test scores in order to participate in sports in college. The minimum requirements for Divisions I, II, and III have increased in recent years. For the most up-to-date requirements, refer to the Eligibility Center on the NCAA's website.
The Jackson Public School District has an option for parents to choose voluntary coverage for their students. Visit the K12 Student Insurance website to browse rates, sign up and pay for the coverage. Once you get to the site, follow the steps below to obtain coverage.
- Click on 1. Browse rates at the top of the webpage.
- Click on State and choose Mississippi. Then pick your school district, Jackson Public School District, and it will show the parents their rates that they can choose from.
- Then click on 2. Open New Account and enter the requested information.
- Then click on 3. My Account Login to complete the transaction.
For details, including coverage options and eligibility, refer to the HSR Voluntary Student Accident Insurance brochure (PDF).