MIDDLE SCHOOL CHEERLEADER CONSTITUTION

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1 GEORGETOWN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT Department of Fine Arts MIDDLE SCHOOL CHEERLEADER CONSTITUTION Georgetown Independent School District 603 Lakeway Drive Georgetown, Texas A School District of Excellence

2 GEORGETOWN ISD MIDDLE SCHOOL CHEERLEADER CONSTITUTION Article I Mission Statement Middle School Cheerleaders in Georgetown ISD will make a positive difference in the lives of its members and the entire student body of all GISD Middle Schools by developing unity, competitiveness, creativity, leadership, personal growth and success through its membership. Cheerleaders will dedicate the time and energy needed to make the school outstanding in all areas of competitiveness. Article II Tryout Eligibility Each student must be enrolled as a 6 th or 7 th grader at a GISD Middle School. Each student must have had no GAP placement for the present school year. Each student must not have more than three days out of placement such as BIC or out of school suspension for the present school year. Each student may not have more than one outstanding office demerit. Article III Selection Process Section 5 Candidates will receive a copy of the guidelines prior to try out. Candidates and their parent/guardian will read, sign and return all permission forms and applications to the appropriate campus cheer sponsor by a designated date. There will be a student/parent meeting held in advance of the tryout. All tryout candidates and parents are required to attend. Relating to attendance at this meeting - extenuating circumstances of which the cheer sponsored has been notified will be handled on a case by case basis by campus administration. Prior to the audition, each tryout candidate will be notified about his/her eligibility status. Based on that status, students will be informed concerning an inability to participate based upon eligibility. The Director of Fine Arts will schedule the tryout. The tryout is closed to the public. No one is allowed to videotape try out material during the pre-tryout clinic, however, an audiocassette tape or CD may be provided to allow students to prepare for the tryout outside of the scheduled group practice times. Clinic/practice dates and times to be held in advance of the actual tryout will be set by the campus cheer sponsor(s) and announced well in advance. Because try out material is taught at all practices, attendance at each practice is highly recommended. Students attending all practices are more likely to have successful tryouts.

3 Section 6 Section 7 Section 8 Section 9 Attire for tryouts - Every candidate should wear cheer shorts in school colors (no basketball shorts) and a white t-shirt with white socks. Footwear should be comfortable - cheer shoes are permitted. Hair should be pulled out of the student s face and white ribbon used if appropriate. No jewelry will be allowed. Scoring procedures - Five judges will be used for scoring the audition. The highest and Lowest scores will be dropped. The remaining three scores will be used to determine the final results. Cheerleader candidates will be scored by the panel of judges on the following skills: x Tumbling x A cheer (to be taught at the clinics) x Three advanced jumps: one of which must be toe touch x A group dance (to be taught at the clinics) Results will be posted the evening of tryouts. If requested, parental viewing of their own child s scores will be allowed after the results are posted. All scores are final. Judges will evaluate each candidate based on cheer motion and technique, jumping ability, voice projection, poise, spirit and overall appearance. The cheerleader teams will consist of up to 12 7 th graders and 12 8 th graders at each GISD middle school. There will be no alternate positions. Both squads will cheer for both 7 th and 8 th grade events as determined by the sponsor. Article IV. Obligations Section 5 Section 6 A cheerleader will serve from the day of selection. At all times, cheerleaders must remain in compliance with the Cheerleader Constitution, the respective middle school campus handbook, and the GISD Code of Conduct. Particular attention should be paid to the section of the Code of Conduct that pertains to extracurricular activities. Cheerleaders will cheer for middle school activities as determined by the sponsor. Cheerleaders will cheer at home football games and home basketball games. The specific events and cheer group(s) assigned to those events will be determined by the cheer sponsor. Additional obligations of a GISD middle school cheerleader may include some or all of the following: x Cheer at all designated pep rallies x Organize and run pep rallies x Participate fully in any sponsor designated fund raisers x Participate only in events in which the sponsor or designated representative is present x Create locker and spirit signs for athletic teams x Participate in any other function designated by the sponsor and/or administration Cheerleaders will not cheer at more than one after-school activity per week. This excludes required practices. Cheerleaders may have up to two practices per week as determined by the sponsor(s). Cheerleaders will be required to attend all practices and performances as well as any sponsor designated camps. Summer practices will consist of mandatory sessions prior to camp and other designated practices before the start of school. All dates and times are to be announced well in advance. The sponsor retains the right to change practice dates and times as best fits the needs of the squad in order to limit conflicts.

4 Section 7 Section 8 Absences - Cheerleaders are required to attend all practices and performances. Unexcused absences from any cheer activity result in three demerits. All absences are considered to be unexcused except for the following: x Attendance at other school sponsored activities as discussed in advance with cheer sponsor x Illness with a note from a medical doctor x Special circumstances pre-approved by the cheerleader coach such as family funerals, family weddings, etc. x Other activities as agreed to in advance by the cheer sponsor and the cheerleader Two unexcused absences from a cheer related activity may result in suspension from up to two cheering events as defined in Article X, All cheerleaders/mascot must arrive on time to games and practices wearing required uniform. Each cheerleader must remain at the required activity for the entire duration and assist with post-activity clean up. Article V. Conduct Section 5 Section 6 Section 7 Section 8 Cheerleaders are school representatives and should act accordingly. This includes meeting all requirements of the GISD Dress Code and GISD Student Code of Conduct. Cheerleaders are responsible for crowd response and conduct. Cheerleaders should lead appropriate cheers and chants in an effort to avoid inappropriate crowd response. Cheerleaders should respect the authority of the cheer sponsor at all times. This includes following all directions given by the sponsor. Concerns should be voiced to the sponsor in an appropriate manner during school hours. Cheerleaders are never to use profanity, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or use illegal drugs either in uniform or out of uniform as described in the GISD Student Code of Conduct relating to extracurricular activities. Consequences for this type of misconduct may include suspension or dismissal from the cheerleading squad as determined by the cheer sponsor and the campus principal. Cheerleaders should never allow team conflicts to be evident while they are performing. Cheerleaders are not to make derogatory remarks about the school, squad members, game officials, the opposing team, the sponsor or any school representative. Cheerleaders should conduct themselves as positive leaders in the classroom. Information provided to the cheer sponsor about cheerleader misconduct will result in a student-sponsor conference. A second offense will result in a sponsor, teacher, cheerleader, parent conference. The third offense will result in suspension from one cheer related activity as defined in Article X, Game Etiquette - Cheerleaders are not to converse with each other or with people in the stands during a game/performance. Cheerleaders should be attentive to the game and lead cheers/chants when appropriate. When not cheering, cheerleaders should stand in formation with hands behind the back.

5 Article VI. Demerits Section 5 Section 6 Cheerleading demerits will be assigned by the sponsor. An accumulation of 10 or more cheerleading demerits will result in dismissal from the squad. Cheerleading demerits are not to be confused with office demerits. Cheerleading demerits will accumulate separately from office demerits. The accumulation of seven cheerleading demerits will result in suspension from all cheer activities until all demerits are removed. At this time a letter will be sent home notifying the parent and cheerleader of their status. It is the cheerleader s responsibility to uphold probationary requirements and approach the sponsor about earning merits by ways outlined in this constitution. 14 days will be given to remove demerits. Demerits will be assigned for unexcused absences or for excused absences (as described in Article IV, Section 7) where prior notification was not given to the sponsor. Cheerleaders will not be exempt from classroom disciplinary procedures to which they have been assigned. If a cheerleader receives a detention which occurs simultaneously with a game or practice, detention will be served at the appointed time. Failure to do so will result in additional consequences by the teacher and/or administrator. In addition, the cheerleader will receive an unexcused absence and any other consequences or demerits that may be associated with this absence, including suspension from the next cheer event as defined in Article X,. Cheerleader demerits will be given as follows 4 Demerits x One office demerit 3 Demerits x Office referral (or any referable offense) x Unexcused absence x Leaving a cheer event without permission x Disrespect toward the sponsor (including arguing) x Reckless behavior while stunting or stunting without permission x Negative behavior report from a classroom teacher x Conduct unbecoming of a GISD middle school cheerleader 2 Demerits - x Failure to turn in required paper work x Arguing with team members x Visiting while on the sidelines or during a performance x Talking or horseplay during a practice x Wearing uniform to an event not approved by the sponsor 1 Demerit x Being tardy to a game or practice x Dressing inappropriately to practice x Wearing jewelry to a practice or performance x Wearing fingernail polish (other than clear) while cheering x Wearing incomplete uniform (including bow) or wearing a dirty uniform

6 Section 7 The demerit system is a guideline for behavior and conduct of a cheerleader. At any time, the demerit system may be waived and a cheerleader may be dismissed from the squad for insubordination, non-participation, failure to cooperate, or any other serious violation of GISD policy or law. Grounds for dismissal will be determined by the cheer sponsor and the campus principal. Parents will be notified. Article VII. Merits Merits will be given by the sponsor to cheerleaders who wish to clear demerits from their record. Merits CANNOT be earned before a demerit is received. All merit points will be decided by sponsor. Two merits earned erase one demerit. Demerits can be worked off in any appropriate manner designated by the cheer sponsor. These activities should be directly related to helping the cheerleading group and can included items such as teaching a chant/cheer, choreographing a routine, making locker signs, etc. The cheerleader must consult the sponsor for approval prior to any merit work being performed. Article VIII. Expenses Cheerleaders should be prepared to meet the monetary costs incurred while cheering. Uniforms and summer camps will be the main expenses. Fund raising opportunities will be made available to assist students and parents purchase essential, required items. The approximate initial cost of cheerleading is $550 to $750. This amount covers much of the cost for camps, uniforms and personal equipment. Uniform and shoe fittings will take place as soon as possible after the completion of tryouts. All money will be due prior to the close of the school year in which the cheerleader is selected. Article IX. Rules Concerning Uniforms Cheerleaders are not allowed to let any other person wear the uniform at any time. Cheerleaders are not to wear their own uniform at any time other than those designated by the cheer sponsor (i.e. games and appearances). Appropriate conduct should be displayed while in uniform. If any part of the uniforms are damaged or lost, it must be replaced at student expense, at the then-current catalog cost. Team uniformity is a must. When in uniform, cheerleaders must wear identical shoes, shoelaces, socks, bows, etc. Jewelry is never part of a cheerleader s uniform and should not be worn at school or during games/events; this includes all body piercings. Only school-approved uniform items are to be worn. Typically, the GISD Middle School approved cheerleading uniform consists of: x One skirt and one shell x One pair of cheerleading shoes

7 Article X. Suspension and Ineligibility x Hair bow or ribbon(s) x One pair of bloomers/briefs x White athletic low cut socks x Cheer sweatshirt x Cheer leggings x Cheer uniform/equipment bag Cheer sponsor may alter this list as appropriate. All approved uniform parts are ordered by the sponsor for the group. Failure to wear complete uniform while participating in cheer event will result in not cheering at the game/event. Once a student has been selected as a member of a GISD middle school cheer squad, that student will be allowed to be a member of only that school s team. Students will not be allowed to cheer as a member of a different campus cheer team or continue cheerleading at the original campus after enrollment status changes. Suspension of a cheerleader is defined as a period when the student is not allowed to cheer at games and activities. However, for the duration of the suspension, at the discretion of the sponsor, a cheerleader may be expected to attend cheer related activities including games, practices, fundraisers, and sponsor designated events All students must maintain extra-curricular eligibility as defined by the Texas Education Agency and the University Interscholastic League in order to perform at extra-curricular events. If a cheerleader is suspended due to ineligibility the following procedures will be followed - x Student must attend all cheer events and sit with the sponsor as defined in Article X, x Student must submit a weekly grade sheet to cheer sponsor x x Student must attend tutorials three times a week in the failing subject If failing more than one subject, student must attend tutorials daily, on a rotating basis, for each class being failed Members may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the squad, for any behavior which the sponsor deems inappropriate, including but not limited to unsportsmanlike conduct, insubordination, or lewd, profane or inappropriate internet behavior. A conference will be held with campus principal and parent before a student is removed from the squad.

8 Article XI. Special Situations The GISD Director of Fine Arts, after consulting with campus principals, may alter any part of this constitution at any time if it is determined to be in the best interest of the GISD Cheerleading Program. Sponsors and students will be advised of changes. Any special situations which may arise and are not specifically addressed in this constitution will be dealt with on an individual basis by the sponsor, campus administration and/or GISD Director of Fine Arts. Cheerleaders are encouraged to participate in other school activities. Any cheerleader may try out and /or participate in other campus activities. Students and parents are encouraged to determine how well the student can manage multiple activities and commitments. Practice time will be shared between cheerleading and all other campus organizations. Cheer sponsors and other activity sponsors will decide how best to divide the time of the student with attempts made to allow each cheerleader the opportunity to be successful at multiple activities. It is the cheerleader s responsibility to bring conflicts to the attention of the activity sponsor involved well before a conflict arises. Failure to give notice to the sponsor may result in consequences including suspension.

9 Acceptance of the Constitution Parents and Cheerleaders, After thoroughly reading the GISD Middle School Cheerleader Constitution and determining that the student and parent fully understands the responsibilities attached to selection as a middle school cheerleader, sign the following statement. Return this signed page to the campus cheer sponsor. I have read the Georgetown ISD Middle School Cheerleader Constitution and the GISD Student Code of Conduct relating to Extracurricular Activities. I have a complete understanding of the responsibilities of the position. If selected, I pledge to fully abide by the rules and regulations outlined in this constitution. I understand that failure to abide by these policies could result in dismissal from the squad. Candidate Signature Date Parent/Guardian Signature Date

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