The Upper School program provides opportunities for students to develop individual fitness and sports skills through a variety of activities including team and individual sports. Our program also offers a health class and some non-traditional fitness activities such as yoga. Dance is part of both the physical education and the arts curriculum. The core of our program is the sequential lifetime fitness classes that emphasize an appreciation and desire for physical training and fitness as a lifetime goal. These classes are supported by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and our new state of the art weight room and training center.
In order to graduate, students must pass 11 of 12 seasons. Students in grade 9 – 11 must pass all three seasons of each year. Seniors must must two of the three seasons, with an allowance for one season off. If a senior would like to take a season off, he or she must inform the department in advance of that season.
Team and PE Class Registration
Students sign up through the online Student Portal each spring for the upcoming school year. Students must sign up for a team or PE class for each season. Sign ups for PE classes have capped registration and spaces are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cap for team registration – teams are determined by tryouts.
If a PE class is full, students may contact the Athletics Office to be added to the wait list. Students are added into classes as space becomes available. Students can ask to be waitlisted for multiple classes.
Students have until two weeks after the start of the season to withdraw from a team or switch PE classes without penalty. After that date, a student may not change his/her PE class and any player who quits a team will not receive credit for that season.
Please note that course offerings are subject to change based on staffing, faculty availability and student registration.
Grading will be based on attendance, attitude, improvement, and effort. Students in non-competitive activities will receive letter grades. Students on teams receive a pass/fail mark. Written comments will be provided to all students. Grades are included on a student’s official transcript. Grade reports are posted to the student and parent portal after each season.
Interims concerning student performance are posted to the student and parent portals. An email is sent to the student, advisor, and parents/guardians when it is posted.
Students who fail a season lose the privilege of taking a season off during senior year. Instead, a student must use the third season to make-up the failing grade for credit. A senior who fails the spring season must make up 24 hours of physical education before receiving their diploma.
Students must participate in a minimum of 80 percent of all classes/practices to receive credit for a season. Daily attendance will be recorded by instructors and coaches.
Students must make up any excused absences (illness, pre-excused doctor’s appointments) to fulfill the attendance requirement. In order to be an excused absence, the student must contact his or her teacher before class. Excused absences will not be granted retroactively. Students are not allowed to make up unexcused absences.
Students with a short-term injury should check in with his/her instructor or coach, and then report to the athletic trainer for treatment.
Any student athlete that has been seen by a physician must have a written release from the treating physician in order to resume practice. The physician’s note must be provided to both the athletic trainer and the athletic director before a student will be allowed to return to practice.
Students with a long-term injury or illness can – subject to approval of the Athletic Director – receive credit for a season by:
Serving as a manager for a team, as approved by the coach;
Establishing a rehabilitation program with the athletic trainer;
Applying to the athletic director for a medical exemption. Any request for an exemption must include sufficient medical documentation. Exemptions are granted by the athletic director in consultation with the athletic trainer;
Taking the season off without credit and making it up before graduation.
Students interested in an independent study must demonstrate a high performance level in their requested field. In order to receive credit for an independent study, students must submit an application by the required deadline to the Independent Study Committee for its consideration. An application must be submitted for each season – deadlines are listed on the application form for each season. The applicant must agree to participate on the school’s team in that sport as a prerequisite for applying.
Independent study forms can be downloaded from the athletics webpage under “Forms”. Please refer to the form for more specifics about the application process.
Travel time together can be an important element in forming team cohesion and players are expected to travel to games together on the team bus. Parents may take their child directly home after games but must receive positive acknowledgement from the coach before departing so that those riding back to school on the team bus do not lose time searching for a teammate who has already departed. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Athletic Director.
All students must have complete medical forms on file with the school prior to participation in any pre-season athletic practices or games.
The concussion testing policy is available on the Parent Portal under the Health Services link, “Impact Concussion Testing”. Upper School athletes are tested every two years to ensure an accurate baseline profile.
Starting in the 2015-16 school year, all students will perform a fitness test twice each school year. Pre- and post-test results will be provided to students.
All interscholastic programs are encouraged to have team parents to provide support with communications to parents and team functions. Interested parents may contact the head coach to volunteer.
Inclement Weather and Lightning Policy
Cancellations due to inclement weather are posted to the Sidwell Athletics webpage. Parents and students can subscribe to iCal feeds in order to receive notifications when games are cancelled.
In addition, League policy stipulates that all outdoor activities must be suspended immediately if thunder is heard or lightning is observed. Once activities have been suspended, teams must wait a minimum of thirty minutes following the last sound of thunder or observation of lightning before resuming an activity or returning outdoors. All participants and spectators must move indoor for safety during a delay.
In accordance with guidelines for fundraising listed in the School Handbook for Parents and Students under the section, “Stewardship, Donations and Fundraising”, team fundraising must be pre-approved by the Athletic Director and, if appropriate, the Administrative Council. Fundraising activities should be designed to enhance the community’s experience, such as concession sales at home games. Funds raised should be for team activities such as travel to tournaments or camps and end of season celebrations, and not for team gear.
While the athletic department appreciates the desire of teams and athletes to celebrate achievements and promote team unity by purchasing specialized gear or jackets, the department must also ensure parity among teams and athletes and avoid burdening individuals and families with additional costs.
Any team that wants to purchase gear must first seek approval from both the team’s coach and the Athletic Director. Once approved, all purchases must be made through the Fox Den and the cost of the item will be billed to each student’s account prior to ordering.
It is expected that all team athletes will make a sincere commitment to the team. Teams can neither go up against strong competition nor meet the rigors of existing schedules without a commitment and understanding from all athletes of the expectations. Each athlete should commit him/herself to his/her teammates, the sport and Sidwell Friends. Additionally, athletes should:
attend all games and practices, putting forth 100 percent effort
come prepared and on time for practices and games
work to improve essential skills and knowledge of the sport
display respectful and appropriate behavior toward teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, managers, bus drivers, athletic staff, spectators, the game and its rules at all times
be responsible for the care and return of your uniforms and equipment
report any injury to your coach and the athletic trainer
represent the school and its commitment to Quaker values in all aspects of participation
Expectations of Spectators
The School encourages parents, students, and other members of the school community to support student athletes at competitions. It is expected that all who attend will:
demonstrate positive support of the coaches, student-athletes, and the school’s athletic program including its policies, strategies, and team rules.
adhere to the leagues’ sportsmanship codes of conduct.
demonstrate and encourage good sportsmanship, including appropriate cheering and supporting all teammates at games
approach games in a positive manner, treating officials with courtesy and not challenging their calls
refrain from interfering and interacting with players, coaches, and members of the opposing teams during competition or team activities.
Parents with concerns relating to a team or their child’s athletic experience should make an appointment to speak with the coach privately and, if unresolved, contact the athletic director.
Use of Facilities
The Athletic Performance Center (APC) is open for all current students daily from 6 am – 6 pm.
Students must adhere to the department’s athletic training and athletic performance center usage policies. These policies are in place to ensure the safety of all students and the proper maintenance of the facilities.
Please see the sections below for detailed policies for athletic training and usage of the Athletic Performance Center.
Use of School Name in Competition
The School does not sponsor or allow athletes to engage in competition under the Sidwell Friends name except in the following circumstances:
Varsity, JV, or middle school teams competing in interscholastic league play
Existing club teams formally recognized in the school’s curriculum (currently crew and Ultimate Frisbee)
The School’s liability insurance will not assume coverage arising from competition other than in the circumstances described above. Accordingly, no sponsorship or recognition can be extended by the school to athletes in competition other than in the categories listed above.
College Recruitment of Student Athletes
The athletic department works collaboratively with the college counseling staff and plays an active role in supporting and promoting students who aspire to play in college. Coaches serve as the primary point of contact for college coaches and will assist any student with the recruiting process. This includes writing recommendations, communicating with schools, developing game tapes, and encouraging students to attend camps in the summer at colleges of interest. The athletic director has an open-door policy and will meet with any student and/or parents/guardians to discuss the recruitment process.
Additionally, each January, the Athletics and College Counseling departments jointly host a breakfast for parents focused on college recruitment of student athletes. The departments convene a panel of college coaches to discuss the recruitment process and field questions from the audience.