Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s), Caregiver(s) and Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad Candidate, We are pleased that you are interested in becoming a Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad Member. Being a Squad Member is an exciting and rewarding but demanding job, which carries much responsibility. The purpose of this information packet is to clarify these responsibilities and to provide you and your family with the information needed to make your decision on trying out for Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad. Your decision is an important one and needs to be given the most serious consideration. If you are selected, these are the goals your Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad will strive to achieve:
1. To establish a working relationship with the community, faculty, student body, and other schools. 2. To develop skills, techniques, and performance abilities in the field of communication. 3. To develop the ability to work with and to lead others. 4. To maintain and improve physical abilities and physical appearance. 5. To develop the ability to plan, organize, and compromise. 6. To develop personal responsibility and leadership qualities through personal and group interaction. 7. To increase student motivation to succeed in high school and pursue a higher education by developing student’s communication skills. 8. To promote sound sportsmanship and loyalty to El Capitan’s respective teams and encouraging participation in building the skills to pursue victory with honor and school spirit.In order to achieve these goals, you must understand that being a member of the Spirit or Competition Cheer Squad requires a major time and financial commitment on behalf of the individual and their family for the entire season. The families, as well as the candidate, need to be aware of the sacrifices that must be made. Please give the matter much thought before making the decision.
I. TRYOUT PROCESS:A. APPLICATION 1. All candidates must complete the online forms and submit them by August 24, 2018 2:30 PM.B. PHYSICALS/INSURANCE 1. All students who are elected, as Cheer Squad Members must have a current sports physical and Insurance on file at El Capitan High School or complete the athletic clearance online (https://sites.google.com/a/guhsd.net/online-clearance---el-capitan/home) prior to August 24, 2018.
C. ASB CARDS 1. An ASB card is encouraged for all students who are trying out to Spirit Squad as it allows you entrance to multiple events. An ASB card will be needed for entrance to games other then the assigned level (JV only get in free to JV games, etc…).
D. TRY-OUT 1. The clinic to learn the material for try-out will be held on August 27 and 28, 2018 and in the aerobics room from 3 to 5 pm. 2. Try-out will be held in the aerobics room August 29 3 – 5:00 pm. 3. We will contact you via email by August 29, 2018.
E. SIZE OF SQUAD 1. The size of each squad will depend on the number of qualified students trying out. The cheer coach and advisor will determine the size of the squad. 2. Alternates will not be chosen to fill vacancies that may occur on the squad even if a vacancy should arise. 3. Resignations - we discourage students seeking elected positions and later resigning when the going gets tough. Although no one can force a Cheer Squad Member to continue if the decision has the approval of the parents, we do then insist that the resigning Cheer Squad Member not be allowed to try out again the following year while at El Capitan. Any debt owed the Squad must be paid immediately. Uniforms may not be worn, as you are no longer a squad member. We highly discourage anyone who thinks they might not truly want this opportunity. It is difficult when you have taken an opportunity away from another student. If a students resigns from the squad they will not be allowed to try-out again the following season.
F. PROCESS 1. Tryout will consist of attendance, dance, cheer, jumps, judges scores, interview and completed application, tumbling (are not mandatory for spirit cheer, but are highly recommended).
2. Candidates will try out in groups of three, when possible. Each candidate will need to make a 5x7 inch number to wear at tryouts. Be creative and show your school spirit. Numbers will be assigned on August 27. Groups will be selected at random at tryout clinic on Monday.
3. Candidates are asked to wear proper workout clothing to practices, following the school dress code policies (no nike pro shorts please).
4. Tryout attire will consist of a plain white t-shirt (no v-necks or tank tops), black shorts (no jeans please), tennis shoes and white socks. Your hair should be pulled back in a ponytail. Ribbons or bows may be worn.
II. ELIGIBILITY 1. All students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 at most recent grade eligibility period to try-out and during the duration of the term. We recommend a 3.0 or higher for all members of the Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad.
2. No student may receive a “U” in citizenship or conduct in any course.
3. The Student must be currently enrolled and attending El Capitan High School, regular day program (including Home Choice and IDEA Center).
4. Remember being a squad member is a privilege, not a right.
5. Students must never have been expelled from any high school or junior high school.
6. Student must be enrolled in five (5) unit courses within the regular school day and maintain that enrollment throughout each six week period in order to maintain eligibility. At the start of each semester, the years of consecutive enrollment must be consistent with the required number of units earned, as indicated in the Grossmont Union High School District grade classification Policy IHE -“Promotion and Retention.”
III. COMMITMENT Because Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad is a total squad activity, students must make Spirit and/or Competition Cheer Squad number one priority, realizing that if a conflict arises that Cheer takes priority over other extracurricular activities. You will experience late hours, late dinner hours, hectic and odd times. Such demands as arranging rides, shopping, trips, laundry problems and other difficulties will test even the strongest parent/student relationship. Remember, other members of the Squad are depending on you. (It is strongly recommended that successful candidates not participate in sports or holds jobs that are not flexible enough to accommodate changes due to games.
A. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (other clubs or sports) or after school jobs are not to interfere with scheduled practices, games or events. It is recommended a cheerleader does not participate in any other fall or winter sports.
B. TERM OF OFFICE - for a Spirit Squad Member is July to November. Competition Cheer Squad is August to March
C. MEETINGS/PRACTICES They begin the day of tryouts and continue throughout the season. Practices require 2 to 4 hours per week. 1. Practices are still TBD but we are planning for Wednesday evening 6:30 to 8:30 pm, and Saturday morning from 8 am to 10:30 am.
2. Attendance at practices and meetings:
a. All practices and meetings are mandatory.
b. Scheduling conflicts such as routine doctor or dental appointments, hair, nail, etc. appointments are considered unexcused. Practices and games are generally after school Monday through Friday. A monthly or seasonal schedule is provided to help assist you in planning day-to-day occurrences. If a squad member and parent feel that they have an unavoidable circumstance they must speak to the advisor in advance. Advance notice is not a phone call or email 5 minutes prior to an event. At least a day’s notice is required.
c. Work is not an excuse for missing activity and will be deemed an unexcused absence (including babysitting siblings, or running errands).
d. Practices shall be held weekly as needed to prepare for games, and events.
e. Dress code for practice should reflect that of El Capitan High School (spankies are underwear, not outer wear. Please wear shorts over your spankies. No body parts should be visible other than arms, legs and head.)
f. Please keep your finger nails trimmed for stunting and safety (no artificial nails please).
g. If a squad member is absent from school or attends less than four periods, he/she will not be permitted to attend events or practices.
h. No practice is to be held without a coach or advisor present.
i. No squad member may tumble and/or stunt on a non-matted surface.
j. The National Federation Spirit Book, UCA and NCA safety guidelines will be followed at all times, for all activities. D. COMPETITIONS- We will compete roughly 5 times, no more than 7. These competitions will depend on amount of funds we raise as a team and scheduling availability.
E. SCHOOL YEAR - All spirit cheerleaders are required to be at all assigned Fall sports events. Competition cheer will be required to cheer at all assigned Winter sports events.
1. All home and away games for Football.
2. Other school activities, community affairs (parades, etc…) as scheduled.
3. Cheerleaders must arrive 30 minutes prior to the game/event to stretch and prepare. This preparation should be done away from the public eye.
4. Cheerleaders will be asked to check in when you arrive at practices or events.
5. Freshman cheerleaders cheer for all freshman football games/contests. Freshman also cheer at Varsity games during 3rd quarter. No cheerleader is allowed to leave a game/ contest without permission from the coach/advisor, for any reason.
6. Spirit Squad members will cheer for all Grossmont League and C.I.F. Play-off Contests.
7. The cheerleader’s job is to get fans to cheer for the team. Members should concentrate on the sport and team. Cheerleaders should know the rules of games to avoid inappropriate cheers.
8. Our purpose is to provide sportsmanship and school spirit for all athletics at El Capitan High School. At times, the squad will be split to cover overlapping events. As a squad member it is your responsibility to treat everyone as an equal in importance.
F. UNIFORMS 1. Squad uniforms are ordered by the Cheerleaders, Coach and Advisor. Coach and advisor depending on what may or may not be purchased will enforce uniform budget limit.
2. What to wear will be decided by the advisor/coach(s) and the majority of the squad and worn on the specified day and/ or event.
3. Uniforms must be kept clean and in good repair at all times. Squad members are responsible for the condition and repair of uniforms.
4. All uniforms must be paid in full prior to cheer member receiving the uniform.
5. No one other than elected squad members can purchase to wear or wear any uniform items. Including family members of the elected member(all actions while in uniform are a reflection of the squad and school).
G. FINANCIAL1. Purchasing of all uniforms is approximately $250.00 – $500.00. A deposit may be due in order to start your order. Uniform fittings will be August 29, 3 pm in Aerobics room at El Capitan. 2. Fund-raisers are scheduled to assist with the expenses; however the ultimate financial responsibility rests with each family. If a member is dismissed from the squad, the family remains responsible for the financial commitment of non-returnable and non-refundable deposits and uniform items. You are purchasing the uniforms and you will own it. If you are renting it from the school it will be at a resonable cost and will need to be returned or you will be charged the original cost of the uniform.3. All uniform items ordered are considered final at time of order and cannot be canceled. Unless authorized by the uniform company in writing.
4. Transportation to and from camp will be provided by each individual.
5. Fund raising will be provided and everyone is encouraged to participate.
6. All money will be processed through our cheer account (payable to: El Capitan High School Cheer) according to District Guidelines, with the exception of initial uniform deposits and payment. Any funds raised by the booster club will be donated to the school and can then be used by our squads.
H. TRANSPORTATION 1. A member is responsible for providing his/her own transportation to all practices meetings or events. The member may not transport another member to or from an event. If a parent drives please complete a release form providing permission /release for you to transport other students. Compelte and return to Advisor with the proper documents. (See advisor for forms)
I. LETTERING POLICY - 1. Freshman cheer does not letter. JV, Varsity, and Competition cheer have the ability to letter. Cheerleader must be in good standing, may not have been on or on probation, can not have more than 15 demerits accumulated, and must complete all three sport seasons: Fall, Winter, and Spring.
IV. DISCLAIMERParticipation in cheer may result in severe injury, including paralysis or death. Changes in rules, improved conditioning programs, better medical coverage, and improvement in equipment have reduced these risks, BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TOTALLY ELIMINATE SUCH OCCURANCES FROM CHEER.
Participants can reduce the chance of injury by obeying all safety rules in cheer, reporting all physical problems to their coach/advisor, and following a proper conditioning program. EVEN IF ALL OF THESE REQUIREMENTS ARE MET, A SERIOUS ACCIDENT MAY STILL OCCUR.
V. BEHAVIOR, DISCIPLINE SYSTEM AND CONSEQUENCES
A. BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS 1. Squad members must display good conduct and sportsmanship at all times. In all circumstances, Squad members must reflect a positive image to the school and the rest of the squad. 2. It is the squad members job to lead the crowd. 3. Squad members do not chew gum during the games, practices or events/activities. 4. Squad members will not be on their cellular or electronic devices during practice or events. Use of social media for harassment or bullying will result in immediate removal from the squad.
5. Squad members will not eat or drink during the game, practice or event, except during a break. 6. Squad members may not study during a practice or event. 7. Squad members do not use improper language. 8. Squad members do not display affection in public, at any time while representing El Capitan or in uniform! 9. Squad members should not argue with another member or staff at a practice or . event. Members are expected to cooperate with other squad members, cheer advisor, coach and/or administrators. 10. Squad members should take the utmost care of their appearance. Hair should be pulled back out of face and off shoulders. Squad members should not wear excessive make-up to games or school functions. 11. Squad members should stay in position during the entire game. Visiting with people in the stands or standing next to the fence during the game is not permitted. 12. Squad members should maintain silence during the flag salute or National Anthem. 13. All El Capitan High School and Grossmont District policies are in effect at all times, while representing El Capitan or in uniform. 14. Squad members should not wear jewelry during cheer practices, games, or events. (watches, earrings, necklaces, rings, anklets, bracelets, etc.) 15. Squad members must not vape, smoke, drink or be under the influence of any narcotic which may alter physically or mentally (prescription or non-prescription) while in uniform or at any other time when representing the School, District, Squad or Community. If a member is under doctor’s care and a prescription that may alter their performance please notify Advisor/Coach immediately. El Capitan Cheer Squad maintains a ZERO tolerance policy for these offenses. If you are caught violating this policy you will be removed from the squad immediately, and will not be permitted to try-out the following year.
B. DEMERIT SYSTEMDiscipline is based on a demerit system and is followed carefully. If you receive 20 demerits you will not letter. If you receive 25 demerits you will be removed from the squad. If you are dropped or suspended from the squad you will not letter. It is very easy to get demerits, so that is where the word responsibility fits in. The coach or advisor determines demerits. In addition to following section V, A. BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS and infraction of that section listed above will result in a demerit in addition to the following. 1. Not attending a meeting or practice = 1 demerit 2. Being tardy for any practice or event 10 minutes from the scheduled start of an event or leaving early = 1 demerit 3. Not wearing assigned or unclean uniform to an event or game = 1 demerit 4. Not wearing assigned uniform to school on day of event = 1 demerit 5. Referral to the office for disciplinary action will = 5 demerit 6. Infraction of any of the El Capitan High School Cheer Spirit and Competition Squad contract, El Capitan High School Rules and Regulations and/or Grossmont Union High School District will result in 1 to 10 demerit and possibility of further disciplinary action including dismissal; depending on the severity of the infraction as deemed by the Advisor, Coach and Administration. A meeting including the parents will take place before any and all disciplinary action occurs.
C. CONSEQUENCES The Cheer Squad Advisor will deal with infractions of conduct expectations. Consequences will be assigned to offenders. As unforeseen and unacceptable situations arise, the Cheer Squad Advisor may assign additional consequences. 1. If a squad member misses a practice (with an excused absence), they will not be able to cheer at the next event. 2. Two unexcused absences, such as work will result in discipline action Step 1. 3. If a squad member receives a cumulative of 10 demerits for any infractions of rules or regulation the squad member will refer to STEP 1 of discipline system. 4. If a squad member receives a cumulative of 20 demerit for any infractions of rules or regulation the squad member will refer to STEP 2 of the discipline system. 5. If a squad member receives a cumulative of 25 demerit for any infractions of rules or regulation the squad member will refer to STEP 3 of the discipline system. 6. If grade point average of 2.0 is not maintained during the term of office, the squad member will be ineligible to participate for six weeks and placed on probation, if it is the first offense. 7. If a squad member receives any “U” during term of office, the squad member will beineligible for six weeks and placed on probation, if it is the first offense. 8. Any student placed on probation for any six-week period will abide by the following: a. A probationary or ineligible squad member shall attend practices and all meetings, but will not be permitted to actively participate in cheering at any sport or event. b. A probationary or ineligible squad member must attend all games in uniform,sign in, sit behind the Squad or in the stands with the advisor and/or coach, and support the team. c. A probationary or ineligible squad member will not be allowed to wear uniform(s) to school. 9. Two (2)-ineligibility periods will result in removal from the squad.
D. DISCIPLINE SYSTEMAny squad member who is removed during his/her term of office will not be allowed to tryout again the following year. Removal will result due to the following infractions of the Cheer Squad Contract or at the discretion of the advisor in concurrence with administration.
Step 1 - Conference with advisor and placed on probation for 1 week --Probation with same stipulations as section V, C, 8 a-c). At the end of the probation period, the situation will be reevaluated. Failure to have improved will result in Step 2 or Step 3 depending on the agreement made. Step 2 - Conference possible 2-week suspension -- Member, advisor, parent and vice principal meet to determine options. Final warning will be given in addition to a two-week suspension. Squad member is not allowed to participate or represent the squad in any way during this period. Step 3 - Immediate removal from the squad -- No conference will be held, except to explain the situation. This action is final.
We hope these clarifications of time, financial commitment, and conduct help you to make your decision on trying out for Competition Cheer Squad. Remember many people will be counting on you. If you do not think you can fulfill these responsibilities and commitments do not take this opportunity away from someone else that can. Please keep this contract for your reference. If you have questions, please call El Capitan High School Administrative Offices (619) 938-9100, and someone will be happy to talk to you about your concerns. To avoid later confusion we must have your signature on the application form to indicate that you have read and discussed the information provided in the “cheer contract” with your daughter/son and agree to make the commitment and allow her/him to tryout for El Capitan Cheer, knowing the particular conditions which exist for Cheer Squad as an activity. We cannot hope to foresee every bit of information you should consider in advance, but it is our intention to make you as aware as possible of what you and your daughter/son may be getting yourselves into. Please understand that without your expressed written permission, your student cannot and will not be allowed to participate. We wish your student luck and look forward to working with her/him this coming year. Please complete the application below by August 27, 2018.Sincerely,El Capitan Cheer Staff
Contact for additional information: Competition Cheer Coach Castellini:firstname.lastname@example.org
El Capitan Cheer Advisor:Diana Orrdorr@guhsd.net