Haywood County Schools to review home-school sport rule

HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. — The Haywood County Public School Board Policy Committee will review their current restrictions on home-schooled students participating in sports next week. 

The current policy requires students to attend school for a full day of classes to play on a sports team. 

But the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and surrounding school districts’ rule says that home-schooled students must only attend a half day of classes to participate. 

Parents in Haywood County fall on both sides of the issue.

One Waynesville mother who home-schools her two daughters says she recently enrolled her son at Pisgah High School for him to play soccer.

“We found out that Haywood County required a full day of attendance, kind of an all-or-nothing package, so we decided to put him in full time,” said Daphne Alt, who used to work as math teacher.

Alt said she chose homeschooling for her children, not only because she felt it was her responsibility, but also because it allowed her to nurture their gifts and adapt the lesson to fit their individual learning styles. 

She said she knew her son would be OK with the change but worries that her daughters, who perform better in the home environment, will not get the chance to play the sports they love because of the rule. 

“It would provide so many extra opportunities for them, and I think we are in this together. We are raising the kids in the same community, so why are we not offering the same options,” Alt said.

The policy committee will meet on Oct. 19.

The district’s superintendent, Dr. Trevor Putnam, said if they do make a recommendation on the issue, the school board would still have to approve the decision.