Hale Varsity Cheer Program Guidelines

MISSION

The Nathan Hale High School Cheerleading program will be a collaborative effort of cheerleaders, coaches, sponsors and administrators emphasizing promotion of school spirit and dedication to excellence.  We will strive to ensure that each member of the program receives the following benefits:

 *          Increased physical fitness and performance skills in a safe environment

*          The ability to work as a contributing member of a team sharing a common 
            goal and purpose

*          The ability to respect themselves, peers and adult authority figures

*          Opportunities for leadership and community service

*          A clear understanding and demonstration of the rules of good sportsmanship

PURPOSE

It is the purpose of the cheer squad(s) to:
            1.  Promote and uphold school spirit.
            2.  Represent Nathan Hale High School to the highest degree.
            3.  Set an example of good behavior at all times (whether in uniform, or not)     
                 including games, competitions, and all school functions.
            4.  To promote friendship between all levels of the cheer/pom program, schools 
                with whom we compete, and members of our own squad.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

CHEERLEADING SQUAD: The primary function of the cheerleading squad is to promote and rally school spirit and support for Nathan Hale High School and HALE community.  As a member of a sports team, the cheerleading squad will attend camp, compete 2-5 times during the school year, and cheer at all varsity football and basketball games.  The cheerleading squad will incorporate all elements of cheerleading, tumbling, building, dancing, and cheering at athletic events, competitions, and pep assemblies.  Cheerleaders are expected to be positive examples at all times for Nathan Hale High School.   *Members should have a background in gymnastics and/or dance.

*Varsity Cheer will consist of all grade levels.  There will not be a specific number of students selected from each grade and all grades do not have to be represented on a squad. There will be no pre-set numbers for any squad.

CLASS GRADE

Cheerleading is a class.  Members will receive a letter grade and physical education credit for this class.  Class will be 7th hour.  Members are expected to EARN their grade.

This grade is based on the following:

        1.  Attendance and participation at all practices, fundraisers, and special events – 50%
        2.  Attendance and participation at all football games– 25%.  
        3.  Attendance and participation at all basketball games– 25%. 

If a student is dismissed or leaves the program prior to the end of a grade period, his/her grade will be based on policies outlined by the Nathan Hale High School administration.  Actions may include an incomplete, pass/fail, or an actual letter grade at the time of the student’s departure.

ATTENDANCE

Attendance is required at any function designated by the sponsor or coach including, but not limited to games, practices, pep assemblies, fund raisers, community service projects, and competitions.  In the cheer program, there are only three permissible excused absences and:

            *          Illness or serious injury (doctor's note may be required) 
            *          Family emergency
            *          School function that goes towards a grade

Vacation, work, family events, and outside activities ARE NOT excused absences.  Every effort has been made to adhere to a specific schedule for practices and games with ample notification given in most every instance.  Refer to your cheer calendar when planning for jobs, church, family activities, etc.

Each cheer member is allowed two free absences per school year (1 per semester) beginning when the squad returns for practice in late July.  Free absences may be used for anything, however, must be cleared with the coach or sponsor at least 24 hours prior to the event.  Failure to notify the coach or sponsor of any absence will result in the absence being counted as unexcused.  Only one squad member can use a free absence at any single event.  Free absences are approved on a first come, first served basis.  The coach or sponsor also has the right to deny a free absence request at his/her discretion (peak season of playoffs, competitions, another squad member already asked for that day off, etc.).  Cheerleaders who do not use their free absence will earn 3 merits (up to 6 merits total).

In the case of an absence or tardy, the cheer member or parent should notify the sponsor or coach by phone or note.  Only if the coach or sponsor cannot be reached should the cheerleader or parent then contact a cheer captain.  Failure to notify will result in the absence being counted as unexcused.  Excessive absences can lead to dismissal from squad, and lowering of grade.

Tardies:  Being on time is essential to the smooth operation of our program.  Being on time means arriving in uniform and being ready to go. Walking in the door on time but then going to the restroom to change, put on makeup, or grabbing a bite to eat means you are NOT on time. Oversleeping, traffic, forgotten items, or late carpoolers are not considered excused and will result in demerits.  Likewise, if a cheerleader’s ride is more than 15 minutes late at the end of a game or practice, the cheerleader will earn demerits.  Cheerleaders cannot be left unsupervised at the end of practices or games.  All cheerleaders are expected to leave school property as quickly as possible at the end of all games, practices, or events.

School attendance:  Skipping class or practice will result in an immediate benching or dismissal from the cheer program.  On game days or pep assembly days, cheer members must attend at least 1/2 of a school day to be eligible for participation at the event (4 out of 7 periods).  For weekend events, cheerleaders must attend ½ of the previous school day to be eligible for participation.

Other extracurricular activities:  If a cheer member is involved in another Nathan Hale High School sport or extracurricular activity, he/she must realize that those schedules may conflict with those of cheer.  If these activities go toward a letter grade, they are considered excused.  However, cheer members will be expected to divide time equally between these activities.  If it comes to the attention of the sponsor or coach that a member's time has been divided unequally, the member's grade will be lowered and/or the member will be dismissed from the program.  Due to the long learning curve in cheerleading, first year cheerleaders cannot participate in a fall sport.

CONDUCT

Membership in the Nathan Hale High School Cheer  program is a privilege and students are expected to demonstrate appropriate and respectful behavior.

The following are some general guidelines:

*          A student whose conduct or character at school is under discipline or whose conduct or character outside of school is such to reflect discredit upon the school or the cheer program shall be ineligible until reinstated by the principal or sponsor.

*          Violation of the Nathan Hale High School Student Code of Conduct will result in immediate benching or dismissal from the squad.

*          The following are examples of unacceptable behavior and will result in the enforcement of appropriate punishment outlined for the infraction under the discipline section:

            a.  public display of affection in uniform
            b.  profanity
            c.  disrespect to authority figure or adult
            d.  smoking, drinking or engaging in illegal activity
            e.  verbal or physical outbursts/fighting
            f.  behavior that the sponsor/coach deems unacceptable

 GAME BEHAVIOR:

*          Members will pay attention to the entire game, staying in position at all times.
*          Members will refrain from excessive talking and horseplay.
*          Members will not talk or move about during the national anthem.
*          Members will not sit down, lie down, or leave during a game without permission from the coach or sponsor.
*          Members will not eat, chew gum or drink during games without permission from the coach or sponsor. Water is allowed along the fence during football games.
*          When sitting in the stands, members will sit with their squad, facing the front and focusing on the game.
*          Members will refrain from making derogatory remarks or sounds such as booing that demean opposing teams, fans, or other spirit squads.
*          Members will refrain from engaging in verbal confrontations with fans and spectators from other squads, teams, and schools.

***Because all circumstances cannot be identified in these guidelines, the coach and sponsor reserve the right to determine acceptable behavior as they see fit.

ELIGIBILITY

Academic performance is a top priority for the cheer program and members should be committed to maintaining high academic standards for both grades and classroom behavior.  Eligibility for participation will be determined weekly using OSSAA guidelines.  The sponsor will receive notification from the assistant principal of all members currently carrying a D (this is a courtesy warning) or F in any class.

For the first week that a student appears on the eligibility list with an F or two or more Ds, he/she will be notified by the sponsor or coach and placed on probation.  If the student receives an F (or two or more Ds) for a second week in a row (in any class), the parent will be notified by the coach or sponsor in writing and/or by phone.  The student will also be ineligible for one full week of cheer  activities.  Students who are ineligible will attend and participate at all practices, but will not perform at any games, pep rallies, or competitions.  The ineligible student must attend the game in uniform and sit with the sponsor.  The student may resume activity as soon as his/her name no longer appears on the ineligibility list.  Cheerleaders who are academically ineligible may be required to attend 7th period study hall and/or after school tutoring.  Long term ineligibility (more than six weeks or at sponsor's discretion) will result in dismissal from the cheer program to allow the student to concentrate on school.

A failing grade on semester report cards will result in the student being ineligible for the first six weeks of the following semester.

To be eligible for try-outs, all potential cheerleaders must have no more than 1 F or two Ds, on their previous semester’s report card, no current Fs and no more than two Ds on his/her incidental, and no behavioral suspensions during the current school year.

PRACTICES

Practice/class attendance is required for all squads in the cheer program.  Practices may increase to before and after school prior to a special event, game, or competition.  Proper notification will be given by the coach.  A cheer member may be required to sit out on any particular performance, as deemed necessary by the coach, should he/she miss any practices immediately preceding the event or if he/she cannot master the routine.

*          No physical activity (stunting/dancing) should be engaged in during a required practice unless the coach or a designated adult is present.
*          Students should never leave the practice area without the permission of the coach.
*          Appropriate stretching must take place to prevent injury.
*          Proper attire, including shoes, is REQUIRED at all practices. NO JEWELRY.
*          Injured students who are not participating should have a note from a parent or doctor. 
*          Prolonged injuries should be accompanied by a doctor's note specifically stating the injury and what extent of activity the student will be allowed to perform as well as date of return.  Students must be released from the doctor’s care before they will be allowed to return to participation.
*          Food or drinks are not allowed at practice without prior approval of the coach and will be kept in designated areas. 
*          Missing lunch/dinner is an unacceptable excuse for eating at practice, games, etc. 
*          Gum is NEVER allowed during cheer activities.

SUMMER - CAMP

Each cheer member is required to attend a summer camp during the last week of May.  Students will also be expected to attend all practices scheduled by the coach leading up to summer camp.  Camp practices will be after school immediately following try-outs, from 4:00pm – 6:00 pm, in the cheer gym, as scheduled in the attached cheer calendar.  No cheer member will be allowed to miss more than three practices total, nor any the week immediately preceding camp.  If this occurs, the cheer member will be dismissed from the team.  The free absence policy may not be applied to summer camp practices.

Attendance at camp is mandatory. Camp absence will result in probable removal from squad.

Camp Dates:

All members must attend camp sponsored by National Cheerleading Association at the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK.  May 26-29, 2009

*Cost is $270 per member, not including transportation, souvenirs, or snacks.  ½ of this cost must be paid by May 1st ($135).  Cheerleaders must pay the remainder $135 by October 1, 2009.

*Camp outfits cost $100-140. (Fundraisers including car washes almost every Saturday prior to camp can help offset these expenses)

Cheer will take a vacation for eight weeks during the summer (June and the three and a half weeks of July) and will resume practice in July 27.  There may be fundraisers during this time, but these are OPTIONAL.

DISCIPLINE

DEMERITS:  Demerits will be given for minor offenses by squad members and can be issued by the coach and sponsor.  Ten demerits will result in an automatic benching.  Fifteen demerits will result in dismissal from the squad.

MERITS:  Cheerleaders may work off up to 10 demerits by doing physical activities or community service type events that are pre-approved by the sponsor/coach. Examples of physical activities include 50 crunches, 25 push-ups or 2 minute splits for 1 merit credit.  Once a cheerleader reaches ten demerits, he/she loses the privilege of working current or future demerits off.

            Unexcused absence                                                                           3
            Unauthorized use of cell phone during practice or game                  3
            Failure to notify sponsor of an absence at least 1 hour in advance   3
            Leaving during a game or event                                                        3
            Overdue paperwork or funds                                                             3 per week late
            Skipping class                                                                                    5 
            Improper uniform                                                                              2
            Jewelry or improper hair                                                                   2
            Improper practice attire or equipment                                              2
            Tardy (up to 15 min.)                                                                       1
            Tardy (over 15 min.)                                                                        2
            Insufficient knowledge of material                                                 2
            Profanity or verbal outbursts                                                          3
            Disrespect to authority figure or adult                                           5
            Public display of affection in uniform                                           3
            Excessive disruption at practice                                                    3
            Improper conduct                                                                 *VARIES*

 BENCHING:  Benching is the removal of a cheer member from one or more performances.  Members may be benched for the following:

             *Ten or more demerits
            *Violation of the Nathan Hale High School Student Code of Conduct
            *Violation of the Nathan Hale High School Cheerleading Guidelines
            *Attitude or behavior problems
            *Academic ineligibility
            *Disrespect to adult or authority figure
            *Misconduct or actions that are damaging to the reputation of the program

 While benched, a cheer member must attend all practices.  Students will also attend games in uniform, yell along with the cheerleaders, and sit with the sponsor.

DISMISSAL FROM THE SQUAD:  Should a cheer member quit or be dismissed from the squad, he/she will not be allowed to tryout for the following year.  Reasons for dismissal will include, but are not limited to:

        *Use or possession of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
        *Academic ineligibility for longer than six weeks
        *Fifteen demerits
        *Act or deed that is unbecoming to the reputation of the program and/or Nathan Hale High School
        *Violation of Nathan Hale High School Student Code of Conduct (including behavioral suspensions)
        *Violation of Nathan Hale Cheerleading Guidelines 
        *Uncooperative attitude or behavior

ALL BENCHINGS AND DISMISSALS WILL BE ENFORCED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE COACH AND SPONSOR.  THE COACH AND SPONSOR RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHEER PROGRAM AS THEY SEE FIT, EVEN IF THE CIRCUMSTANCE IS NOT CLEARLY STATED IN THESE GUIDELINES.

COMMUNICATION

Parents and cheer members are requested to follow the chain of command in the events of questions, concerns, or appeals of decisions:

Appeal Final Say: Principal

Appeal Start: Athletic Director OR Assistant Principal of Student Activities

Final Say: Sponsor/Coach

Captains


Start: Squad members/Parents

 Communication throughout the season will be made via memos, phone chains, and parent meetings.  Please do not accept any information as fact from any other source than that which is listed above.

TRAVEL

Members are responsible for their own transportation within Tulsa County.  Per TPS policy, it is not the coach or sponsor’s responsibility to transport students at any time.  Travel throughout Oklahoma and/or the United States will be expected of all members in the Nathan Hale Cheer program at different times during the year.  While traveling away from Tulsa County, specific guidelines must be followed:

*    Squad members will be accompanied by the squad sponsor/coach or school-certified personnel.
*    No member will be allowed to leave the squad without the Coach/sponsor's permission.
*    No member is allowed to go ANYWHERE alone.  Members should always be accompanied by a partner or group from the squad.
*    All members will ride the required transportation (bus or van) to and from the performance, game or competition. 

School policy, as well as the Nathan Hale Cheer program, views travel as a privilege.  Failure to abide by the above guidelines or misconduct on a trip will result in disciplinary action.

UNIFORMS

Cheerleaders have a minimum of two cheerleading uniforms and a warm-up outfit.  One uniform is property of each squad member and the other belongs to Hale High School.   Each member is responsible for purchasing all uniform components except for the uniform provided by Hale, and keeping those uniforms in excellent condition at all times.   Each uniform is worn for four years, with a new uniform every two years. Warm-ups are worn as long as possible, based on the condition of the outfit.

Members will be responsible for purchasing all accessories and uniform pieces required by their coach/sponsor.  A complete listing of which items will be required, as well as approximate prices, is included in this set of guidelines.  This will include such items as camp clothes, shoes, uniforms, hair ribbons, briefs, warm-ups, sports bras, socks, etc.  Some of these items could be available for purchase from former cheer members at the scheduled uniform assignment meeting after tryouts.  These will be used items, priced accordingly and on a first come first served basis.  It is not guaranteed that a member will be able to purchase used items.  Uniforms loaned from the school must not be altered and must be returned in excellent condition.

FUNDRAISERS

Members and their families will have the opportunity to participate in various fundraisers throughout the season.  All monies earned by any student through school fundraisers are to be used for Nathan Hale Cheer purposes ONLY.  Understand that these funds are raised in the name of Nathan Hale Cheer and will be spent accordingly.  This could include, but is not limited to costumes, uniforms, camp, trips, competitions, supplies, events, choreography, coaching, etc.  Money not turned in on time will result in demerits.  Prolonged non-payment of fundraising money will lead to dismissal from the squad.

**Fundraising is the squad member and his/her family’s responsibility,
not that of the sponsor or coach.**

TRYOUTS

ELIGIBILITY-Each candidate will be required to attend a mandatory pre-tryout information meeting. A parent or guardian must also be present with each student.  Student must have no more than 1 F on the previous semester’s report card, no current Fs and no more than two Ds on his/her incidental, and no behavior suspensions during the current school year.

CLINIC-All candidates will participate in a 4-day clinic prior to the day of tryouts to learn the required material and skills.  Attendance at all 4 days of clinic is mandatory.  Clinic attire should be practice wear such as a t-shirt or tank top, shorts, and cheer-appropriate shoes.  Please understand that everyone, with the exception of 4-year Seniors, must tryout and current cheer members are NOT guaranteed to make a following year’s squad.

Clinic/Tryout Schedule:

  • Cheerleading Clinic – February 23-26 (Monday-Thursday) - 4:00-6:00pm, Cheer Gym.  Tryouts are February 27, 2009 beginning at 4:00 in the Cheer gym.  Mandatory meeting for all new squad members immediately following try-outs.
  • It is customary that the new squad and their family/friends go out to a celebratory dinner together following the mandatory meeting, however this is not required.

Candidates will be required to provide on the first day of clinic: 

  • Incidental grade card with No Failing Grades and no more than 2 Ds
  • Completed Teacher/Coach Evaluation forms
  • $25 clinic fee (if paying by check, make payable to HALE HIGH SCHOOL, Cheer)
  • All appropriately signed tryout forms, i.e., application, contract, etc.

*LATE PAPERWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  Candidates will not be allowed to begin clinic if any part the aforementioned is incomplete.

TRYOUT PROCESS-Each candidate will perform the required routines and skills taught during clinic week on a specified day for a panel of judges.  Outside judges will be brought in to evaluate the candidates.  The outside judges will be qualified professionals approved by the coach and sponsor.  The outside judges will not be students or employees of HALE nor related by blood or marriage to any prospective squad member.  Tryouts will be closed to everyone, excluding judges, sponsor, coach, runners/score calculators, and administrators.  Evaluations from teachers and sponsor/coach and will also contribute to the scoring for each candidate.  At the conclusion of try-outs all candidates will exit the school building via the east parking lot doors, and await the posting of the list of successful candidates.

SCORING-A copy of the score sheet to be used at tryouts will be provided at the pre-tryout meeting.  This will be the format followed by the outside judges.  The coach will develop specific criteria for his/her own score sheet and will make candidates aware of the criteria at the pre-tryout meeting.  Teacher Evaluations will show classroom behavior and academic performance.  The coach's score will address additional categories from that of the outside judges such as attitude and behavior as well as work ethic, etc.  The judges' scores and coach's scores will then be combined to give each candidate a total.  The scores will be arranged from highest to lowest and the natural point break will be determined.  The cutoff will then be determined by the coach and/or sponsor.  NO PRE-SET numbers of candidates selected for any squad will be given.  Results will be posted on the east parking lot doors within 45 minutes of the conclusion of try-outs.  All new squad members and their family members will be invited to come back inside for the meeting.

TRYOUT ATTIRE-The coach and sponsor will discuss attire in detail at the pre-tryout meeting.  However, some general guidelines are to choose comfortable, neat attire with cheer-appropriate shoes and hair pulled back from face.  Candidates may choose between a plain, solid color t-shirt, tank top (no spaghetti straps) or leotard with plain, solid color shorts only (no pants).  NO JEWELRY. New attire is not necessary.

EXPENSES

Cheerleading is an extremely expensive sport.  Please read this section carefully, and make sure you can commit to the out of pocket expenses before try-outs.  Cheerleaders, with the help of their parent(s) and family members, are encouraged to fundraise as much as possible.

Tryout clinic fee - $25   Due February 23.

Camp Costs
Tuition $270 – paid in 2 payments, with $135 due May 1, 2009 and the final $135 due October 1, 2009.

Transportation costs due on May 13, 2009 – (not to exceed $75)

Camp clothes - $100-140 due on April 1, 2009

Uniform Prices (approximate, not including S&H or tax if needed)

RANGERS Outfit including Body Liner- $210.00 (NEW 2007-08, on loan from school, can buy if want to keep – this uniform will retire after the 2009-2010 school year) NO ALTERATIONS allowed on loaned uniforms.  If you alter it, you just bought it!

HALE Outfit including Body Liner - $220.00 (NEW 2009-2010, will keep through 2012-2013)

Warm-ups - $220  (NEW 2008-2009, will keep as long as they last)

Shoes - $45-65

Accessories/Miscellaneous

Briefs (2 pair ordered with uniforms)- $9 each

Sports Bras (3 rec. – Red, Navy, and White) – about $13/each (BUY ON YOUR OWN)

Ribbons for games and competitions ($7-10 each, 3 sets maximum)

Private coaching - $35- $50 per month for 10 months per year

Candy/decorations for locker rooms- $10 per football and basketball season ($20 max)

Small Present for Seniors during Football and Basketball Senior Night ($5-$10 max)

*If a squad decides to compete at TPS, TSF, Regionals, State, Nationals, or other competitions, additional fees will apply. Competition entry fees are usually $15-25 per girl, and does not include special choreography, special coaching, or music mixing fees.

*** All expenses listed are estimations.  Exact expenses will be calculated after tryouts.  Students can fundraise most of this money by participating in car washes, bake sales, Ranger Day, 2 Catalog Fundraisers, and World’s Finest Chocolate Fundraiser.  All fundraisers for 2009-2010 are MANDATORY.  Parent/Family member assistance in fundraising is crucial.

2009 TENTATIVE PAYMENT SCHEDULE (with estimates)

February 23rd :           *Tryout/Clinic fee                               $25

April 1st:                      *Uniforms (tops and skirts)                 $430 (or $220 if buying one)

                                    *Shoes, accessories                             $75 (buy sports bras on own)

                                    *Camp Clothes                                    $100-140

May 1st:                       * First ½ of Camp Tuition                    $135

May 13th:                    *Camp Transportation Fees                 $75.00

August 3rd:                  *Warm-ups                                          $220

October 1st:                 *Second ½ of Camp Tuition                $135

October-November:   Competition Season.  Fees will vary

*Uniforms and shoes are ordered from Varsity, through the Hale SAF account. 

*Measurements will be taken on a date TBD during the first two weeks of March.

CONTRACT OF AGREEMENT

Nathan Hale High School

Cheerleading Contract of Agreement



If selected, I understand the Nathan Hale High School Cheerleading program overview and guidelines, Student handbook policy and OSSAA regulations regarding eligibility will apply to my participation.

*          If selected, I understand that I will be responsible for personal costs outlined for this program.  I received the cost estimation outline in this hand-out and have read it.

*          If selected, I will attend the summer camp of my coach's choice.  I understand that camp attendance is mandatory.

*          If selected, I understand that summer practices are mandatory and that work and vacation will not be accepted as excused absences.

*          If selected, I understand participating in games, pep assemblies, and competitions are mandatory.

*          If selected, I understand transportation inside Tulsa Country is solely the responsibility of me and/or my family.

*          If selected, I understand the attendance guidelines set forth in this contract and the consequences for not adhering to these guidelines.

*          If selected, I will uphold the Nathan Hale Cheerleading Guidelines and serve as a respectful and dedicated member of the squad.

*          If selected, I understand that violation of the program guidelines may lead to temporary suspension or permanent dismissal from the squad. 

 

_______________________________________      __________________

Student Signature                                                                   Date

 

As the parent(s), I/we understand that membership in the Nathan Hale Cheer  program is both an honor, and a commitment to hard work and dedication.  I/We have read and understand the expectations set forth in the Nathan Hale High School Cheerleading Guidelines.  We understand that our child will be expected to abide by these rules.  If my/our child is selected, I/we will make every effort to support him/her and the coach/sponsor throughout the year.  I/We understand that if my/our child violates the program guidelines, she/he will risk the consequences of temporary suspension and/or permanent dismissal from the squad.

 

EXECUTION CLAUSE

I, the undersigned parent or guardian, hereby authorize Nathan Hale High School of Tulsa, OK to use photographs of my student (minor), and/or publish the same with a name, real or fictitious, for any purpose of publicity, illustration, commercial art, or in the advertising of the activities of Nathan Hale High School.  Further, I, in allowing my child to participate in Cheerleading, understand that he/she is participating and using the facilities of Nathan Hale High school at his/her own risk.  Nathan Hale High school and the staff shall not be liable for any damage arising from personal injuries sustained by my child in or about the premises.  I assume full responsibility for all injuries and damages which may occur in or about the premises, and we do hereby, full and forever release and discharge Nathan Hale High School and the staff from any and all claims, demands, or rights of action, present or future, resulting in, from, or arising out of my child's use of the school and/or its facilities.

 

_______________________________________      __________________

Parent Signature                                                                                  Date

 

_______________________________________      __________________

Parent Signature                                                                                  Date

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