5. Co-curricular Programs

Co-curricular programming is a very important part of the school experience and a vital component of administrative planning. Co-curriculum is defined as those activities in a school program that both complement and supplement the curriculum. It incorporates activities that help promote the physical, mental, social, and spiritual development of students and are consistent with the Adventist philosophy of education.


Co-curricular programming may provide opportunities for students to:

  • Recognize that learning is not limited to the classroom.
  • Extend and enhance the curriculum.
  • Develop leadership skills.
  • Expand interest and abilities in various social settings.
  • Experience a variety of life-long learning and leisure-time activities.
  • Realize the importance of managing time and resources.


Consideration of Assignments

Consistent with the responsibility to provide effective student learning and appropriate supervision for all activities, principals must assign sponsorship roles to faculty and staff. When assigning sponsorships, keep the following in mind:

  • Consult the union Education Code for stated expectations on teacher loads.
  • Balance academic load and sponsorship responsibilities for individuals and across the faculty/staff.
  • Solicit interests and preferences of the faculty/staff in sponsorship assignments.
  • Consider student input before finalizing sponsorships.
  • Keep in mind that hourly staff may need to be compensated for their sponsoring time done outside of their regular assigned hours.

Orientation for Sponsors

The principal should ensure that each sponsor is orientated to the responsibilities and the expectations of the assigned sponsorship. Among the items that sponsors should be aware of are:

  • Number and nature of activities
  • Finances and fund raising
  • Calendar of events
  • Eligibility standards for members and officers
  • Election procedures
  • Goals and objectives
  • Local cultures and traditions
  • Supervisory expectations

Expectations of Student Activity Sponsors/Coaches

To implement the goals of the student activity, the following standards and expectations should be established for all sponsors:

  • Communicate with the principal, faculty, students, and parents.
  • Follow established procedures for requisitioning materials, facility, vehicle use, and claiming reimbursement for expenses.
  • Be accountable for all activity funds.
  • Protect and maintain the school and its resources.
  • Uphold Adventist standards and guidelines.
  • Ensure the safety and welfare of all participants.
  • Maintain school codes, rules, ideals of fair play, and appropriate behavior.


Effective schools have a well-organized, active form of student government that seeks to develop student leaders. Student government exists to serve the needs and interests of all students consistent with the school’s mission, goals, and objectives. The principal should work in close collaboration with the student leaders and provide them a voice in the decision-making process of the school.

Given the importance of student governance to the success of a school, the principal should take extraordinary care in choosing the sponsors of student government.


In cooperation with the school board, faculty, and staff, the principal should seek to initiate, facilitate, and support a variety of student organizations on campus. The nature and number of organizations should be determined in light of the following considerations:

  • Alignment with the school’s mission, goals, and objectives
  • Budget/financing
  • Faculty and staff workloads
  • Parent/community/constituent support
  • School history and traditions
  • Student needs and interests


Principals need to be sensitive and responsive to the expectations of constituents when initiating, implementing, monitoring, or eliminating athletic programs, either intramural or interscholastic. The principal should be aware of the policies of the school board, conference, and union.

Ways to Promote Good Sportsmanship

Good sportsmanship must be evident in both intramural and interscholastic programs. This is demonstrated by coaches, athletes, and spectators. Ways to promote good sportsmanship include:

  • Providing preseason orientation meetings.
  • Conducting clinics to discuss playing time, contest rules, and ethics.
  • Adopting a code of conduct and enforcing it.
  • Developing sportsmanship award programs and recognizing those individuals who exhibit outstanding sportsmanship, ethics, and integrity.

Intramural Programs

Intramural programs are those focused primarily on providing athletic opportunities for all students in team sports on campus. Where eligibility requirements exist (e.g., attendance, academics) for participation, they should be communicated clearly, preferably in writing, to students and parents early in the school year.

To realize successful intramural programs, principals should address the following:

  • Appropriate supervision
  • Balanced distribution of skill in the creation of teams
  • Budget/funding
  • Interests of students
  • Optimal scheduling

Interscholastic Sports

It is the responsibility of the principal to ensure that the high ideals of sportsmanship, integrity, ethics, and competition are incorporated into each sport when interscholastic sports have been included in the school program. Periodic evaluation of interscholastic programs must be completed as outlined in policy (NAD/UCOE/LCOE).

Where participation in interscholastic sports involves membership in a local or regional athletic association, principals should be certain that the association’s mission, goals, objectives, etc., are consistent with the mission, goals, and expectations of the school. Principals must secure school board approval for participation in interscholastic sports and membership in interscholastic associations.

Schools involved in interscholastic sports must give consideration to such things as:

  • Costs
  • Culture and attitudes of the constituency
  • Effects on the academic program
  • Selection and training of volunteer coaches
  • Student health and safety
  • Time involved


The principal serves as the publisher of all student publications. This requires that principals carefully monitor the development, presentation, and distribution of digital and paper newspapers, journals, yearbooks, student and faculty photos, etc. Publications should routinely be reviewed cooperatively with faculty sponsors in advance of production and distribution.

Principals should be specific in outlining for sponsors, the following:

  • Budget parameters, including income from student fees
  • Editorial prerogatives
  • Lists of individuals receiving complimentary copies
  • Parameters for securing and selecting advertisers/vendors
  • Protocol/procedures for processing legitimate complaints and/or concerns
  • Publication and distribution deadline dates
  • Student charges
  • Student privacy issues


A principal recognizes that a school’s program is enhanced by providing opportunities for students to participate in field trips, study tours, organization performance tours, promotional tours, and mission service trips.

Evaluation of Activities

The principal should measure the effectiveness of all co-curricular activities. The following are questions that may be asked in evaluating programs:

• Is the activity based upon a clearly stated purpose consistent with the school’s mission and goals?

• Is the activity being implemented according to school policies?

• What is the extent of student participation?

• Is the co-curricular program well-balanced and comprehensive?

• Are students’ interests and needs being met by the program?

• Are the activities well organized and efficiently run?

• Are there suitable facilities to safely conduct the activities provided?

• Is there a qualified sponsor(s) for the activity who is willing to assume leadership?

• Are activities adequately supervised?

Are costs to participating students reasonable, or do they exclude some students from participating?