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  • Writer's pictureMarguerite Gaspar

How to Reclassify Your Student-Athlete the Right Way

– Do it Before High School

What does it mean to “reclassify” a student-athlete?

To reclassify means to change a student’s graduation date, usually to one year later than originally planned. For example, if a student is scheduled to graduate in 2028 but repeats 8th grade, the reclassified graduation date will be 2029. The student will now enter high school one year later and one year older, while maintaining full eligibility for four years of high school sports participation. With an additional year of academic, social, and physical growth, students have the opportunity to train hard, study hard, and gain the skills that can place them at the top of their games without affecting high school interscholastic or NCAA eligibility.

What is the best way to reclassify?

Today, many student-athletes choose to repeat 8th grade in order to reclassify for high school sports. By completing an extra year of 8th grade, the students enter high school as freshmen a year later, and with a reclassified graduation date. Because the reclass year is before high school, the state’s interscholastic athletic federation eligibility is not triggered, buying the student that extra year of growth and development without losing a year of high school sports participation.

Are there age restrictions on reclassing?

Yes and no. While a student of any age can reclass, in order to maintain eligibility for all four years of high school sports participation, in most cases, the student must not reach age 19 before the end of the junior year. Because each state’s athletic federation sets its own rules, families must carefully review the rules in their state before committing to a reclass year.

My child’s middle school will not allow a student to repeat a grade. How can we reclass?

Unfortunately, finding a school that will support your family’s decision to repeat a grade is no easy task. Neither public nor most traditional private schools are likely to offer retention as an option for their students, regardless of the benefit doing so may provide.

Families may find local sports academies that will support the reclass and accommodate both academics and training in one facility. However, these academies tend to be very expensive, easily in the tens of thousands of dollars per year in tuition and fees. If you can afford such an expense, the results can be outstanding both academically and athletically.

For families who find such an expense unfeasible, Athletes 1st Academy offers a reclass Gap Year program that is easy to manage and affordable. Our Independent Study programs provide students with flexible schedules, extensive time to train and work out, and outstanding curriculum options.

Athletes 1st Academy Gap Years are available to students nationwide wherever independent study/homeschooling is allowed. Enrollment is simple and straightforward with annual tuition starting at a low $450/year plus the application/new student fee of $50.

When families choose A1A, the parents lead all education decisions, including grade-level placement. Choosing to homeschool for one year, families place their student-athletes in our Gap Year Program and then enroll their students in traditional high school the following year. We manage your school enrollment and provide report cards, recommendations, attendance, and other state-mandated records while facilitating the transition from one school to the next.

Having served homeschooling families for over 22 years, we have the experience and expertise to help you plan, create, and implement a Gap Year program tailored to best meet each meet your student-athlete’s individual objectives. Your child’s best interests drive our program.

Plan your Gap Year now. We would love to help you meet your goals!

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