Mr. David Lykins – Superintendent
Ms. Toni Keberlein – Principal
Ms. Vada Visockis – Vice Principal
Mr. Michael Elder – Athletic Director
The Northland Preparatory Academy (NPA) Athletic Handbook is a reference guide for coaches, parents, and students concerning rules and procedures that govern interscholastic sports at NPA.
We hope that this handbook fully explains most-frequently-asked questions related to athletic participation for the student-athlete (hereafter referred to as the “student”) attending and competing in NPA athletics in grades 7-12. The Handbook is meant to be dynamic as rules, procedures and feedback from all stakeholders, change frequently.
The Head Coach of an athletic team reports to the Athletic Director and is primarily responsible for the compliance by their team members to the rules and procedures governing NPA athletics. The Athletic Director will administer these rules and procedures by assisting the coaches as they relate to inter squad and inter coach relationships.
Sound reasoning, good judgment, and adherence to the school’s core values will be the standard by which situations outside these stated rules and procedures are determined and evaluated.
Interscholastic athletics are a voluntary program and therefore students are not obligated to participate (participation is not required for graduation). Thus participation in athletics at NPA is a privilege and NOT a right. Accompanying this privilege is the responsibility to abide by standards, rules, and procedures established by NPA administration, the athletic department, and its coaches. This privilege may be revoked if the student fails or refuses to comply with NPA’s standards, rules, and procedures.
At the high school level NPA competes in the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), and must conform to their rules and procedures, as well as the National Federation of High School Athletics (NFHS). To access an on-line copy of the AIA Constitution and By-Laws, go to:
School Mission Statement
Northland Preparatory Academy provides a coordinated, individualized program of study that promotes academic excellence and provides educational opportunities for serious middle and high school students, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, economic, or academic ability.
Athletic Mission Statement
The mission of the Northland Preparatory Academy’s Athletic Department, partnered with academics, is to ensure and enhance the quality of life for students at NPA, by providing competitive activities. These activities will help to produce young men and women able to enter the community and become constructive, contributing members of society, with valuable life-long skills.
The Athletic Department is an integral part of the total educational process of Northland Preparatory Academy. Being involved in athletics provides the student with opportunities to develop skills, positive sportsmanship, develop leadership skills, learn and practice the ideals of fair play and ethical behavior. These opportunities are necessary for competition and cooperation in our society. Although the charter of NPA is that of an academic school, a holistic education aims at developing the overall student – mind, body, and heart. Therefore athletics is the perfect complement to academics in developing the well-rounded student. It also provides our students with unique opportunities for self-discipline, self-sacrifice, and loyalty to the community, the school, and the team. NPA encourages all students to participate in athletics by offering a well-rounded program of interscholastic athletics for young men and women. In addition, athletic participation is a privilege granted to all students who voluntarily accept the rules and regulations outlined hereunder.
Northland Preparatory Academy Athletic Department’s Objectives
Student Athlete Responsibilities Prior to Participation
The following must be handed it to the Front Desk:
- Physical Form
- Athletics Packet
- Concussion Education Certificate
- Activity Fee paid (Middle School — $75.00/ High School — $90.00 per sport)
Once all paperwork and fees have been submitted the student-athlete will be cleared for participation.
Northland Preparatory Academy seeks to hire experienced coaches who are dedicated to educating student athletes in the development of their individual skills, teamwork, positive sportsmanship, and fair play. Our preference is to recruit coaches from our faculty and staff. For those coaches hired from outside the school, every effort is made to integrate them into the entire school community. The same behavior expected from a teacher in the classroom is expected of all coaches during practices and games. All coaches, either paid or volunteer, must be certified in accordance with AIA rules and regulations, and have those certifications on file with the Athletic Director prior to assuming any and all coaching duties.
Coaches should develop an efficient system to keep communications open with all stakeholders (parent / guardians, students, etc.) in case of schedule changes, or if there is need of any other changes.
In keeping with the Athletic Department’s philosophy as part of the total educational process, coaches are to assume the same role as teachers. When problems, disagreements, and conflicts arise, it is expected that the student, parent and the coach/teacher do their best to seek resolution. However, if such action fails, the parent should then seek resolution with the Athletic Director, and then finally with the Principal (See Conflict Resolution section).
As members of the Northland Preparatory Academy’s athletic program, students, coaches, and parents are expected to demonstrate proper respect for each other, opponents, opposing coaches, teachers, officials, spectators, and the community. Student athletes and coaches are expected to exhibit the highest level of conduct, both on and off the playing fields, as they are at all times a representative of their team, school, and community.
In order to be successful, a student who participates in NPA athletics must place the highest priority on health, academics, and training. All team members are valuable, and each team needs to know that it can count on its members to be there. Often this means sacrificing social life, holiday breaks, and at times, other events, which may conflict with the rigors of training and competition. Learning how to make choices is one of the most valuable life lessons a student takes from a good athletic program. In addition, NPA is a highly rigorous academic environment requiring students to spend many hours of study outside the regular school day. Due to the extensive travel schedule of NPA athletic teams, students regularly return from games very late. Therefore, students must be prepared to attend class the next day with all work complete. It is important for students to be committed to academics and athletics.
NPA Athletic Department Information, Expectations, Practices, Rules, and Regulations
Grades for high school students will be checked every second week to determine eligibility for NPA athletics.
High School students participating in NPA athletics will be declared ineligible for games, as well as practices, if they receive two D’s or an F during this bi-weekly grade check and will be ineligible until the next grade check.
Any student arriving to school after 10 AM the day of a game or practice may not participate that day, unless it is for doctor’s appointment, etc.
Health and Permission Forms
Every participant must have a health form (physical) on file and completed by a doctor (to download forms, visit: http://www.aiaonline.org/story/uploads/Form_15.7_A_1214860082.pdf &
Health forms are valid for one year from the date they are filled out by the doctor. This form carries the signature of a doctor who has examined and cleared the student for competition.
An NPA Athletics Packet form must also be on file before student participation. This form contains the specific insurance and contact information for the student. All forms should be submitted to Mr. Elder (Athletic Director) PRIOR TO PRACTICING.
Concussion Education / Brainbook
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS 15-341 (A) (24) (b) (SB 1521) mandates that schools provide concussion education to students. The Brianbook concussion course was approved by the AIA Executive Board on August 15, 2011, as the concussion educational component to this new law. Students will go to: http://aiaacademy.org/users/login/brainbook and follow the instructions to complete the course. This course must be completed prior to the student’s first practice, or submit the following form:
The Brainbook concussion course is free of charge.
Northland Preparatory Academy has numerous 12-passenger vans for use for all school activities. It may be required that parents assist teams with our transportation challenges. Parents who are willing assist with transportation must do the following to be placed on NPA’s insurance policy and cleared prior to driving any of our students (except your own children):
Submit a photocopy of their driver’s license and current proof of insurance to the Athletic Director.
Go to: http://www.onlinedmv.com/AZ_Arizona_dmv_department_of_motor_vehicles.htm for a cost of $3.00 for a “Driver License Motor Vehicle Record – 39 Month Uncertified” record, print out and submit to the our Administrative Assistant or representative.
At NO time are students permitted to ride with other students to NPA athletic events. With prior permission of the coach, parents may drive their child directly home after contests.
Accidents / Injuries
Coaches are required to carry Physical and Athletic Packet forms for all players at all practices and contests. Coaches are required training in Basic First Aid, as well as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). If an accident or injury occurs, the coach, to the best of their ability will determine the seriousness of the injury and administer First Aid. The coach submits a written accident (Incident) report to the Athletic Director within 24 hours. If the injury is serious the coach will call 911, contact parent(s) and either the AD or the Principal. The coach will stay with the student until help is secured.
As medical conditions of students are considered to be protected and confidential coaches are required to treat any acknowledged condition in a confidential manner with which the parent or guardian relates the information.
If an athlete misses practice on the request of a physician, trainer, or sports therapist, the athlete will have a note of clearance before returning to practice from that same health professional.
Athletic Training and Sports Therapy
The following doctors, athletic trainers and sport therapists support NPA:
- Drs. O’Donnell and Moezzi with the Flagstaff Bone and Joint, located at 77 W. Forest Ave. Suite 301, 214-3615, email@example.com;
- Dr. Monika Radloff; Summit Center 1485 N. Turquoise Drive, cell: 607-5760;
- Athletic Trainer, Eric Freas; (928) 220-1223
- Physical Therapist, Kym Wilkens; 715 N. Humphrey Street, (928) 853-8059
Physical contact should be limited to what is necessary and appropriate to teach a skill, treat an injury, console or congratulate a player.
Adults should respect the privacy of players and allow privacy in changing rooms, locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms. Coaches, staff, and faculty are required to supervise locker rooms and therefore may monitor these areas. However, during out of town competitions coaches and volunteer adults should have access to entering a student’s hotel room after knocking and identifying oneself.
Illegal and Performance Enhancing Substances
Any student found to be in possession of or involved in the use of alcohol, tobacco, smokeless tobacco or narcotics at any time – in school or out of school, will be suspended from athletics for a period of time determined by the NPA administration.
Performance enhancing substances are strictly prohibited. The use of androgenic / anabolic steroids (“steroids”) and other performance-enhancing supplements presents a serious health and safety hazard. NPA coaches, administration, faculty, and staff shall make every effort to ensure that students do not begin or continue the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing supplements. Students in grades 7-12 shall receive a lesson on the effects of steroids as part of the Arizona State Standards in the health and physical education curriculum. Coaches shall educate students about NPA’s prohibition and the dangers of using these substances.
NPA, along with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), promotes the use of exercise and sport as a mechanism to establish current fitness and long-term healthy lifestyle behaviors. It is our position that a student who consumes a balanced diet, practices sport frequently and consistently, and perseveres in the face of challenges, can compete at the highest level without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
It is the policy of the AIA that any coach or competitor using tobacco, alcoholic beverages or misusing drugs while participating in interscholastic competition shall be disqualified from the contest or tournament.
A student who is found using performance-enhancing drugs, without prior submission of a doctor’s written permission to the Athletic Director, shall be restricted from participating in athletics. They shall be subject to disciplinary procedures including, but not limited to, suspensions or expulsion in accordance with NPA administration regulations.
The superintendent or designee shall ensure that NPA does not accept sponsorships or donations from manufacturers that offer muscle-building supplements to students.
NPA Athletic Code of Conduct
NPA assumes the duty to assure that its athletic programs impart important life skills and promote the development of good character. At all practices and athletic contests, coaches, players, and parents are expected to emphasize the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play. “Codes of conduct” shall include:
- Be punctual to practices;
- Be gracious in victory and accept defeat with dignity;
- Be respectful to others – No profanity, obscene cheers or gestures, negative signs, artificial noise makers, offensive remarks of a sexual nature, trash talking, taunting, boastful celebrations or other actions that would demean individuals or the sport;
- Treat game officials with respect – no complaining about calls during or after an athletic event;
- Exercise self-control – no fighting or excessive displays of anger or frustration;
- Promote healthy life-styles encouraging good nutrition and rest;
- Sexual or romantic contact of any sort between students and adults involved with interscholastic athletics is improper and strictly forbidden;
- Be open-minded, willing to listen and learn;
- Encourage team work – on and off the field;
- Honor the spirit and letter of rules of the sport – avoid improper gamesmanship techniques that violate the highest traditions of sportsmanship;
- Positive cheering only. Spectators should not shout “coaching” comments – leave coaching to the coaches.
Consequences for Violation of NPA Athletic Code of Conduct
Players, coaches, and / or fans may be ejected from a contest for inappropriate behavior;
- For persistent violations of the code of conduct, parents and / or fans may be asked by the coach or Athletic Director not to attend future contests;
- For student’s violation of the code of conduct during games or practices – playing time may be reduced or the student may be referred to the Principal and disciplined according to NPA’s school procedures;
In addition to the above, coaches agree to abide by the AIA Constitution and By-Laws during games and practices, parents and players are encouraged to address concerns about code of conduct violations through the conflict resolution process outlined below. Egregious conduct violations will be brought to the attention of the Athletic Director and Principal immediately.
When conflict or issues arise it is important that they be addressed immediately, and as directly as possible, so that they can be promptly resolved. It is important for student and parents to recognize that coaching strategy and playing time are not appropriate subjects for complaint. In addition, parents should follow instructions from the coach about the best way / time to approach the coach with questions or concerns.
First Step: Student contacts Coach and / or Head Coach
- The student should present the conflict / issue to the coach as soon as possible. It is always best for students to become their own advocates (life-long lesson). It is expected that the majority of concerns will be resolved at this first meeting.
Second Step: Parent contacts Coach and / or Head Coach
- If needed, a parent may contact the coach directly – but not just before, during, or just after a practice or game. A parent should email or call the coach to set up an appropriate time to discuss the conflict / issue.
Third Step: Contacting the Athletic Director
- If a satisfactory solution is not reached through direct contact with the coach, the student and / or parent should contact the Athletic Director. The Head Coach should be informed that this contact is going to be made. If needed, a meeting may be scheduled involving all concerned parties in an attempt to reach a satisfactory resolution. The AD will respond to students and parents in a timely manner as to the disposition of their concerns.
Fourth Step: Contacting the Principal
- If there is not a satisfactory resolution, the student or parent may contact the Principal. The Athletic Director should be informed that this contact is going to be made. While there can be no guarantee that all parties will agree with all resolutions or finding, a thorough, respectful airing of different perceptions and experiences can lead to more productive relationships and clearer understandings in the future.
It is very important that all participants engage in raising additional funds above what is collected through Activity Fees. NPA is a Charter school and receives limited funds from the state based on student attendance. These monies received from the state are not designed to cover any extracurricular activities. Therefore, the athletic budget is based solely upon the Activity Fees collected at the start of the season, which do not begin to cover actual expenses. It is imperative that all students and parents engage in fundraising activities.
Any team / coach must fill out all appropriate forms prior to fundraising activity and for administration approval. Players may only be asked to engage in fundraising activities after they have been selected to a team.
Recruiting is not allowed. Coaches may have contact with students at another public school, at youth camps, in club sports and, in the community. Encouraging students to come and play at NPA is not acceptable. Encouraging athletes to join a certain club team is also not acceptable.
Club Sports Outside of NPA Athletics
Many athletes and coaches are involved with club sports. NPA teams are independent from all club sports. The AIA Constitution and By-Laws prohibit any student from playing with a club team after the first high school game (14.4.1), except Swim & Dive.
General Information for Parents and Students
High School Offerings (NPA is a member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, and competes in Divisions II, III & IV, depending on the sport). For a more detailed description of specific Division and Sections for each sport, please visit:
Fall (The Official season begins approximately the second week of August)
Winter (The Official season begins the second Monday of November)
Spring (The Official season begins the first second week of February)
Middle School Offerings (NPA Coed soccer competes in the I-40 soccer league and the basketball, boys’ & girls’ soccer and volleyball teams in the Flagstaff city schools tournaments, while cross country competes in a variety of invitationals).
Head Coaches manage their teams under the supervision of the Athletic Director. Some coaches are full-time NPA employees, while others are hired on contract for an individual season. Head Coaches are responsible for their Assistants, and oversee the JV and freshmen teams (if applicable).
The Athletic Director reports to the Principal and ultimately to the Superintendent. The Athletic Director provides for overall leadership and coordination among the various sports to facilitate programs, providing students with worthwhile learning experiences.
Coaches will have a regular practice depending on the availability of field or gymnasium space. Varsity practices are expected to be 2-2 1/2 hours in length, six days a week. JV / Frosh, and Middle School practices are generally three to four days per week, depending on the availability of facilities. Early morning practices may be held due to facility availability.
The AIA Constitution and By-Laws establish guidelines for practices out of season. Please refer to Rule 17.5:
Coaches may set practice times during vacations. Please refer to the section on “Commitment” for further requirements. It is expected that coaches and players abide by the NPA Code of Conduct during all practices and games.
Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman Teams
NPA’s high school athletic program may consist of Varsity, JV, and Freshman teams within each sport. The Varsity Head Coach supervises the athletic program for each sport. On occasion, Varsity coaches may select JV or Frosh players to attend games or practices. The coaches of Varsity, JV, and Frosh teams work together to build skills and develop players to compete successfully at all levels.
Hazing is defined as any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization that willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or person. Hazing is strictly prohibited under the AIA Constitution and By-Laws and is specifically addressed in NPA’s Faculty and Staff Handbook.
Coaches are evaluated by the Athletic Director and the Principal on criteria including:
- Attendance at mandatory coaches training each year;
- Upholding rules and regulations of NPA and the AIA;
- Exhibiting the same high standards of behavior and commitment expected in an academic classroom
- Clear communication with students and parents regarding coaching philosophy, team rules and expectations, practice and game schedules, and procedures for conflict resolution.
Games and Tournament Schedules
The Athletic Director is ultimately responsible for all schedules. Coaches may elect to add tournaments as specified within the guidelines of the AIA Constitution and By-Laws and under consultation with the Athletic Director.
Schedule Conflict With Other School Commitments
Students may request to miss a practice or game in order to participate in another academic or extra-curricular school activities (ie, Fine Arts or other academic activities). Students must recognize that missed practices or games may result in reduced playing time in future contests.
Uniforms and Equipment
Athletes may be issued uniforms and equipment for each team. However, Head Coaches may ask students to purchase their own uniforms in the attempt to offset budget costs. The student / parent has the right to refuse purchase of their uniforms, due to economic hardships. In which case, NPA will assume this cost, and will be returned to NPA at the end of the season. Uniforms may be worn to school on certain game days (NO HATS!) and warm-ups are dress code approved.
All school uniforms and equipment issued by NPA must be returned to the Head Coach by the date specified. A student will be charged for the replacement cost of uniforms if not returned.
Off Season Practices
NPA’s Athletic Department’s objective is to raise the overall level of competition of all sports at the high school level. It must be stressed that playing or preparing for a sport out of season is critical. Coaches should clearly explain to the student the benefits of off-season conditioning. Coaches may provide information about recommended pre-season conditioning, as well as hold “open practices” (please refer to AIA Constitution and By-Laws referenced earlier). Pre-season activity, or “open practices” are not a requirement for team selection; however, coaches may emphasize the expected level of conditioning and skill development for team selection.
A student must complete the full season and any post-season games before trying out for the next season. All multi-sport athletes will have an opportunity to tryout for a team in a subsequent season, even if the season has started.
In the past, NPA has allowed students to compete in multi-sports within a season. We allowed this due to the fact we were a relatively a small school and to fill out rosters it was seen as necessary to allow students to be granted this additional luxury. As NPA’s athletic program has grown, this is no longer allowed beginning in the spring of 2014.
In addition, an athlete cannot leave a team during the season to join another team; they must wait until that team has completed it regular season. That includes being dismissed from a team for any reason.