January 1996
Revised June 9, 1997
Revised September 8, 1998
Revised March 15, 1999
Revised November 18, 2003

HOME SCHOOLS AND THE
MINNESOTA STATE HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE

The MSHSL is a non-profit, voluntary association of schools.  The MSHSL receives no money from the state legislature nor is it a state agency.  It is a group of schools, both public and private, that set common eligibility guidelines for members to follow during regular and post-season competition.  Schools set the guidelines, elect representatives to serve on the League's Board of Directors, and determine which activities will be sponsored by the MSHSL.

Currently, the MSHSL sponsors 40 athletic and 5 fine arts programs at the varsity, junior varsity, sophomore or "B" squad levels.  During the 1999 Legislative session, a law was passed stating that a school board “shall allow all resident pupils receiving instruction in a home school as defined in Section 123B.36 subdivision 1, paragraph A to be eligible to fully participate in extracurricular activities on the same basis as public school students.”

To that end:

In some instances, home school students may not be able to participate in programs with the public school as identified above.  The 1999 law applies ONLY to RESIDENT students.  Non-resident students may be able to participate on high school teams, but in order to do so, the following guidelines must be followed:

1.         A home school, just like a public school, must become a member of the League and agree to abide by the rules of competition of the MSHSL.  This is an annual membership.  Once a school becomes a member, the membership must be renewed not later than September 1 of any school year.  If a home school chooses to become a voting member, the annual service fee is $100.  In addition, there is a $90.00 fee for each activity a school will offer (i.e., membership plus football, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball and music = $100 plus $360 = $460.00).

At its meeting on June 9, 1997, the Board of Directors of the Minnesota State High School League approved the elimination of the $100 membership fee and the $90.00 activity fee for home schools with fewer than five (5) students if those home schools just want to provide an opportunity for their student(s) to participate in athletic or fine arts activities but choose not to become a voting member.  Non-voting home schools will receive an Official Handbook but must purchase other League publications if they choose to order them.

 2.         The school board of the public school and the non-resident home school must agree to provide the activity cooperatively by completing an application form (available on the League website).  Requests for cooperative sponsorship must be submitted to the MSHSL not later than the first day of practice for that sport in order to participate during that school year.

 

3.         The cooperative sponsorship of activities does not apply to junior high or ninth grade teams.  Agreement for participation on these levels is an issue for the home school and the local public school to determine themselves.

4.         Boards of education of public schools are not required to accept students from home schools.  That decision is made by board members in the school community.

Non-Resident Home Schools and Charter Schools
“What You Need to Know About
MSHSL Athletic/Fine Arts Eligibility”

Q.     Are non-resident home school or charter school students eligible to participate on the local high school sport teams or fine arts programs?

A.     No.  MSHSL Enrollment Bylaw 104 states “Only students who are fully enrolled in a school are eligible to be placed on the school’s eligibility roster and participate in League  programs offered by the school the student attends.”

Q.     Are there any options that will allow non-resident home school or charter school students the opportunity to compete on the local high school team?

A.     Yes.  The MSHSL provides options for non-resident home school and charter school students to participate in high school activities.

1.      Cooperative Sponsorship: Non-resident home schools and charter schools which have students in a grade(s) equivalent to 10th, 11th, or 12th grade may join the MSHSL and, as a member school, enter into a cooperative sponsorship agreement with another MSHSL member school.

                  2.      Local Agreements: Non-resident home schools, charter schools, and other non-public schools which do not have students in a grade higher than the 9th grade may enter into a local agreement with the local public school for participation on that school’s athletic and/or fine arts team.  See Bylaw 105 Grade Level Eligibility.

                  3.      Junior High School Participation: Non-resident home school, charter school and other non-public school students may participate on local junior high school teams at the discretion of the local school board.  Students participating under this option are not eligible to be promoted to a B-squad, Sophomore, J.V. or Varsity team.

Q.        Is there something called a non-exclusive cooperative sponsorship for charter schools?

A.        Yes.  Charter schools who are members of the Minnesota State High School League and who are organized as prescribed by MS 124D.10 may have multiple non-exclusive cooperative sponsorships in the same League-sponsored activity with public schools provided that:

1)         the charter school does not have its own team in that activity.

2)         the charter school student(s) returns to the attendance area of the public school where the student(s) officially resides with his/her parent(s) or guardian(s).

3)         the charter school, on behalf of the student(s) officially enrolled in the charter school, complies with all of the eligibility and financial requirements prescribed by the public school in the attendance area where the student(s) officially resides with his/her parent(s) or guardian(s).

4)         The Boards of Education of the public school(s) and the charter school agree to cooperatively sponsor the activity and complete the required MSHSL cooperative sponsorship form(s).

Once the non-resident home school or charter school has joined the MSHSL, either as a voting or a non-voting member, it will be assigned to an Administrative Region and contacted by the Region Secretary.

If you have questions about home schools or charter schools and MSHSL participation, please contact Dave Stead at the League office, 763-560-2262.  You may also find the necessary forms on the League’s website at www.mshsl.org.