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Game Changer: AHSAA Transfer Rules

Highlands School

The Section 12: Transfer Rule of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Bylaws has long been a point of great chagrin for students attending K-8 independent schools in the state of Alabama.

“It indirectly punished students for not attending a private school with a high school,” stated Robert McGehee, Associate Head of School. “Students from Highlands who stayed through eighth grade were required to sit out of athletics for a year.” Some schools offered those ninth graders the option of participating in an individual sport but not as a competitor to earn points for the team.

Even as the stoppage orders affected play in May of last year and the world was turned upside down, the AHSAA made a move to turn ours right-side up...

The Central Board of the association made the decision to amend the transfer rule with a notation that states the following:

A student that transfers to or enrolls in another school may practice and compete at the sub-varsity level (MS, Jr. High, JV) if all other requirements are met.

“This is a fantastic game changer for Highlands School scholar-athletes,” stated athletic director Kage Cavanah. “They can stay with us through eighth grade--enjoy that leadership year--be a part of our competitive program and still be able to jump into team competition at their ninth grade high school of choice, without a gap.” According to the rule, students matriculating to a private school such as Indian Springs School, Altamont School, or John Carroll High School after graduation are eligible to participate in junior high or junior varsity teams at the start of their ninth grade year.

“We like to say that the outplacement program at Highlands is about matching the student to their best fit high school; in fact, we dedicate a lot of time and energy to helping students get ready for that launch in their eighth grade year,” shared director of admissions and enrollment and outplacement coordinator Trey Adams. “Now, they don’t have to walk off our field before the game is over.”
Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

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