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Code of Conduct

The athletic program is an integral part of the educational process within the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District. The program should promote a greater desire in our student body and community to take an active part in our athletics program, either as participants or as spectators.
Our aim is to develop a competitive athletic program, but not to lose sight of educational values, such as sportsmanship, health, and scholastic attainment. The program is to occupy a position in the curriculum that is comparable to that of other subjects or activities and to aid in promoting excellent student morals.

The number one priority of Midlakes High School is to educate the whole child, first by stimulating the student’s intellect academically and then by providing a number of common experiences designed to develop the social, physical, and ethical values necessary to be a productive member of society. Extracurricular programs help to provide such experiences and thus are considered to be an integral part of our school’s curriculum. Interscholastic Athletics is an extension of the classroom.


I will help to ensure a positive experience for my child by helping him/her to understand and comply with the following regulations:

Code of Conduct 

Midlakes student-athletes are expected to develop positive habits and to make decisions that are supportive of their athletic preparation and contributions to the team. Participation in interscholastic sports is a privilege, not a right; it comes with the responsibility of preparing your mind and body for your best possible athletic performance and of making decisions that reflect appropriately on you, the school, and the community you represent. The expectations for appropriate and positive behavior will apply to the student-athlete at all times during the athletic season, and the school year, regardless of location or affiliation with the school or athletic program.

Student-athletes who fail to meet these expectations will jeopardize their participation in the Midlakes athletic program. Student-athletes may be suspended or removed from the athletic program for school-related and non-school related offenses, as determined by the athletic director and principal according to the guidelines set forth below. Suspensions may carry over from one season to the next, including from the spring athletic season of one school year to the fall athletic season of the next school year. When a suspension is assigned based upon a percentage of the maximum regular season contests allowed in the specific sport and carries over to the next season, the athletic director and principal will determine the conversion of the length of suspension based upon the maximum allowed regular season contests in each sport. The following shall constitute prohibited behaviors and consequences for violations. Consequences are specified; however, the board of education and/or administration shall retain the right to exceed any consequences depending on the seriousness of the offense. The code of conduct covers one calendar year. 

Consequences for Breaking the Code of Conduct
The consequences for breaking the code of conduct can range from a game suspension to a year suspension from participation, based on the nature of the misconduct, the level of its severity, and the number of times it occurs. The process will begin with an informal meeting between the student-athlete and the athletic director or an administrative designee. Should the student-athlete at that time be found to have broken the code of conduct, the administrator will handle the consequences as outlined below. Should the student decide to appeal the decision, his or her parents must contact the athletic director and superintendent in writing within seven days of the suspension to initiate the appeals process.

Training Rules
Student-athletes on interscholastic teams at Midlakes will refrain from the use and/or possession of alcohol, tobacco products, drugs, illegal performance-enhancing substances, vapes, electronic cigarettes, and other illegal, non-prescription drugs not used as intended.

Possession by Association

If a student-athlete attends (and stays at) an event where alcohol or illegal products are in evidence, the student is deemed to be in possession (by association). If an athlete finds himself or herself in such a situation, he or she should encourage as many teammates as possible to leave immediately with him or her. LEAVING MEANS LEAVING IMMEDIATELY.

The following sanctions will be recommended for violations

Penalty for Violation (During A Sports Season) 

1st Offense: Suspension from participation in 25% of the regularly scheduled contests of the team on which he/she is playing.

2nd Offense: Suspension from participation in 75% of the regularly scheduled contests of the team on which he/she is playing.

3rd Offense: This will end an athlete’s eligibility at Midlakes. A superintendent’s hearing may be requested.                                                                                                                                        

NOTE: If not enough regular season games are left, then the penalty will carry over to the athlete’s next sports season. The athlete will miss games equivalent to the percentage of the season during which the violation occurred.

Penalty for Violation (Out of Season) 

An athlete who violates training rules while his or her sport is not in season will be subject to the following consequences: 

1st Offense: Suspension from participation in 20% of his or her contests of the next season.
2nd Offense: Suspension from participation in 40% of his or her contests of the next season.
3rd Offense: This will end an athlete’s eligibility at Midlakes. A meeting with the superintendent may be requested.      

NOTE: Violations of the Code of Conduct are cumulative from season to season and year to year throughout the student athlete's high school career. In-season or out of season violations still move the athlete up the discipline ladder.

Self-Referral In Season and Out of Season

We encourage students to self-report violations, thereby taking responsibility for their actions. If a student violates this code of conduct and self-reports to an advisor, coach, building administrator, or athletic director prior to the beginning of an investigation into that violation, the student will attend an online substance abuse class and perform 8 hours of community service, 2 hours of which need to be served before the next competition. This provision may be used only once by any participant during his/her high school career on a first offense. A one-year probationary period becomes effective, and a future violation will be handled as a second offense.

Implementation of Suspension
Suspensions will commence immediately from the time an athlete is determined to be in violation of the regulations and all subsequent penalties will carry over from year to year throughout the student athlete’s high school career.

Behavior Unbecoming a Midlakes' Student-Athlete

Participation in the Midlakes athletic program is a privilege, and student-athletes are expected to behave in a manner that will reflect positively on their teams and on their school. As representatives of the athletic program and the school district, it is the responsibility of the student-athletes to make positive decisions at school and in the community. Behaviors that violate these expectations and reflect poorly on the student-athlete, athletic program, and school will be met with proportional consequences. Such behaviors will be identified at the discretion of the athletic director and principal but may include pictures of using and/or possession of alcohol, tobacco products, drugs, illegal performance-enhancing substances, vapes, or electronic cigarettes, as well as bullying, harassment, hazing, vandalism, theft, assault, and illegal acts resulting in police involvement. Offenses of this nature will be evaluated on an individual basis and may result in suspension or removal from the athletic program, as determined by the athletic director and principal. Alcohol and drug-related offenses that result in police involvement may also be treated as “behavior unbecoming a Midlakes student-athlete” and may result in consequences in excess of those outlined in the athletic code of conduct and school code of conduct. Student-athletes who are suspended for “behavior unbecoming a Midlakes student-athlete” will continue to support his/her teammates by attending all competitions, but not be dressed in any portion of the team uniform. Competitions that the student-athlete does not attend will not count as competitions served toward a suspension, unless the principal and athletic director approve this in advance.

Appeal Process
The parent must contact the athletic director and superintendent to initiate an appeal within seven days of suspension. Athletic suspensions are appealable to the superintendent of schools. The superintendent will communicate a decision on the appeal within 72 hours. The decisions of the superintendent regarding athletic suspension are final and may not be appealed.

NOTE: All suspensions will stay in effect during the appeals process.

School Guidelines for Athletes 

Attendance: A student-athlete must be in attendance for a minimum of 4 periods to participate in practice and/or compete in a contest unless legally excused by the Principal or Athletic Director. A doctor’s note would be needed to explain why the student needed to miss more than 4 periods in a day.

Physical Education Participation: Student-athletes who are unprepared for or do not participate in physical education classes may not practice or play in a scheduled contest that day.

Other Disciplinary Actions: Any student placed on In-School Suspension or Out-Of-School Suspension will be ineligible to play or practice on the day of suspension. The student may not attend games or practices on any day on which he/she is on In-School or Out-Of-School Suspension. Conduct that leads to ISS or OSS will be subject to review by the athletic director.

Spectator Behavior

The Midlakes Athletic Program and school community are committed to positive sportsmanship and to maintaining an environment in which our student-athletes can engage in fair play and rigorous competition with the support of family, friends, and neighbors. Creating and maintaining such an environment must be a collective effort. Therefore, parents, teachers, administrators, staff members, the student body, and the student-athletes themselves are all expected to do their part in promoting a safe and supportive environment for athletic preparation and competition. Likewise,  those who attend Midlakes athletic events, home or away, are expected to behave in a manner that reflects positively on our school community and that promotes good sportsmanship. Spectators who fail to conduct themselves appropriately may be removed from the competition site and may be subject to a long-term ban from attending Midlakes athletic events. The Phelps Clifton Springs Central School District campus is a tobacco-free, drug-free, and weapon-free environment in accordance with state and federal law.

  • Spectators are an important part of the games and are encouraged to cheer positively for the good of the game.
  • Enthusiastic cheering for one’s own team is encouraged.
  • Spectators should at all times respect officials, visiting coaches, players, and cheerleaders as guests in the community and extend all courtesies to them.
  • Booing, whistling, and disrespectful remarks shall be avoided.
  • Spectators should encourage each other to observe courteous behavior. Improper behavior should be reported to school authorities.
  • Spectators will respect and obey all school officials and supervisors at athletic contests.

Communication Process

Please use the process outlined below as a guide to address concerns should the need arise during the sports season. This will ensure communication that will benefit all parties involved.

Step 1: Athlete discusses the situation with the coach 
Step 2: Parent discusses the situation with the coach 
Step 3: Parent discusses the situation with the Athletic Director 
Step 4: Parent discusses the situation with the building principal 
Step 5: Parent discusses the situation with the superintendent 

Parent-Coach Relationship
Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of others and to better help the students. As a parent, you have the right to understand what expectations are placed on your child when your child becomes involved in a school’s program. This begins with clear communication among the coach, parent, and the student-athlete.

Communication You Should Expect from Your Child’s Coach

  • Expectations the coach has for your child as well as players on the squad.
  • Location and times of all practices and contests.
  • Team requirements, for example, fees, special equipment, off-season programs, clinics.
  • Procedures should your child be injured during participation.
  • Team rules and guidelines. 
  • Notification of any schedule conflicts in advance.                                                       

Appropriate Concerns to Discuss with the Coach

  • The treatment of your child both – mentally and physically.
  • Ways to help your child to improve.
  • Concerns about your child’s behavior.

It is very difficult to accept your child not playing as much as you desire him or her to. Coaches are professionals. They make judgments based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the team and all of the students involved. Certain things can and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other things such as the following must be left to the discretion of the coach.

Issues Not Appropriate to Discuss with the Coach

  • Playing time
  • Team strategy
  • Play calling
  • Other student-athletes

Some situations may require a conference between the coach and the parent. These are to be encouraged. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedures should be followed to help to promote a resolution to the issue of concern:

Procedure to Follow to Discuss Concerns with the Coach

  • Call the coach to set up an appointment 24 hours after the event.
  • If the coach cannot be reached, call the athletic office to ask for assistance in setting up a meeting.
  • If you have concerns, before or after a contest, please take the night to look at all sides of the situation and then make arrangements to discuss concerns when free time is available. Right before and after a contest can be emotional times for both the parents and the coaches. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution. Please consider the coach’s responsibilities at this time, as well as the safety of all the athletes involved in the program.

If the meeting with the coach does not provide a satisfactory resolution to your concerns, call and set up an appointment with the Athletic Director to discuss the situation.