Parent Danell Croom said of the changes: "I think it’s ridiculous. It’ll hurt the kids in the long run."By Lindsay Ward

PENN HILLS (KDKA) — For school districts, it’s nearly impossible to not make changes due to the coronavirus. That includes education, sports and activities.

At Penn Hills School District, there’s one possible change being considered that has parents offering mixed reactions. When it comes to participating in sports, a letter sent to parents from the board shows students will only need to maintain a 1.0 GPA.

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It’s a change Superintendent Nancy Hines tells KDKA was initiated by Penn Hills Board of School Directors. She says several parents and student-athletes requested for the board to consider in modifying the eligibility requirements.

“I think it’s ridiculous. It’ll hurt the kids in the long run,” parent Danell Croom said.

Croom, who has a 15-year-old son who plays football for the district, is against the change.

“I stay on top of him about his grades. There’s no guarantee that he will make it to the NFL, so he has to have something that will back him as far as his future goes,” said Croom.

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In the letter the board sent to parents, they say they have voted to temporarily suspend the 2.0 GPA requirement and only require the PIAA rule of passing four courses.

That means students may be eligible to participate with “Ds” in every class.

“Parents shouldn’t agree to none of this that’s going on right now. To lower the GPA to 1-point-something, that’s ridiculous,” said Croom.

In a statement, the superintendent says in part:

“Most agree that the transition to more reliance on technology as part of the learning process has created stress for both students and our instructional staff. Accordingly, our Board gave authority to adjust our Penn Hills School District eligibility guidelines to match PIAA standards temporarily.”

The superintendent says the board is expected to ratify its decision Oct. 28, and will revisit the matter closer to the end of the first semester in January.

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