- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon school district will no longer allow students from a local charter school to participate in its middle school sports programs.

The Argus Observer reports (https://bit.ly/1MCSMOi ) that Ontario School District Superintendent Nicole Albisu says the district won’t accept Four Rivers Community School students for extracurricular activities during the next school year.

The district’s policy allows public charter school students to participate if space and materials are available. Albisu wrote an email to Four Rivers Superintendent Chelle Robins citing increased difficulty monitoring grade eligibility, attendance and behavior as one reason for the change.

Alibisu also wrote that adding charter school students can disrupt school culture and take roster spots away from district students. Four Rivers administrators, students and parents packed a March school board meeting to protest the district’s decision.

The policy applies exclusively to students who attend the charter school, not private school students. Albisu said in a fact sheet emailed to about 300 people that Four Rivers students had been allowed to participate in Ontario Middle School sports in the past “because we believed they would be entering our high school.”

The situation involving sports hasn’t been the only point of contention between the school district and Four Rivers Community School. The charter school announced in December that it was looking to open a high school starting in 2016-17 with a ninth-grade class.

The charter school has launched a petition against the district’s decision regarding athletics. Robins said about 500 signatures have been collected and those will be delivered to the Ontario School Board on Thursday.

“The intent was to positively inform the community about an unresolved issue,” Robins said.

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Information from: Argus Observer, https://www.argusobserver.com

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