(1) (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, each school district and each public school, subject to the requirements of this section, shall allow any student enrolled in a school or participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program to participate on an equal basis in any activity offered by the school district or the public school that is not offered at the student's school of attendance or through the student's nonpublic home-based educational program. A school district or school shall not adopt or agree to be bound by any rule or policy of any organization or association that would prohibit any participation allowed by this section. Each nonpublic school may allow a student to participate in a particular activity offered by the nonpublic school, at the nonpublic school's discretion.
(b) Any student may participate in an activity through any amateur association or league of which the school or school district is not a member, and such participation shall not prevent the student from participating or affect the student's eligibility to participate in the same activity at any school, subject to the limitations specified in this section. Prior to participating in any activity through such an amateur association or league, the student shall obtain the express written permission of the principal of the school at which the student participates in the activity, which permission shall be granted if:
(I) The student's class attendance is not compromised; and
(II) The student is in good academic standing under the school's activities policy applicable to all students.
(c) No school or school district that receives funds under article 54 of this title shall belong to any organization or association nor enforce any rule of a coach or principal that would prohibit a student's participation in any school or interscholastic school activity based upon the student's participation in lawful activities during out-of-school hours and off of school property.
(2) (a) A student may participate in activities only at the student's school of attendance or through the student's nonpublic home-based educational program, whichever is applicable, unless the school of attendance or nonpublic home-based educational program does not offer an activity in which the student wishes to participate.
(b) If a student's school of attendance or nonpublic home-based educational program does not offer an activity in which the student wishes to participate, the student may participate in the activity at another public school in the student's school district of attendance or in the student's school district of residence. If the activity is not offered at any public school in the school district of attendance or the school district of residence, the student may participate in the activity at a public school in a school district that is contiguous to the student's school district of residence or at the nearest public school that has the facilities for and offers the activity, even if the public school is not in a contiguous school district.
(c) If an activity is not offered at the student's school of attendance and the student chooses to participate in the activity at a public school as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), the school district in which the student chooses to participate shall choose the public school at which the student shall participate. In choosing a public school, the school district shall seek to maximize all students' opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities and shall consider certain factors, including but not limited to:
(I) Which public school of the school district offers the most activities in which the student wishes to participate;
(II) Which public school or schools of the school district are nearest to the student's residence;
(III) The preferences of the student's parents or legal guardians; and
(IV) Such issues as may be presented for the school district's consideration by a statewide high school activities association.
(d) A student may participate in activities at more than one school of participation during the same school year only if the original school of participation does not offer an activity in which the student wishes to participate. This limitation applies regardless of whether the student participates in activities at a public or nonpublic school.
(3) (a) If a student's school of attendance does not offer a particular activity, the student may choose to participate in the activity at a nonpublic school. The nonpublic school has discretion whether to allow the student to participate in an activity at the nonpublic school.
(b) A student may participate at a nonpublic school located in the student's school district of attendance or school district of residence. If the activity is not offered at a school in the student's school district of attendance or school district of residence, the student may apply to participate in the activity at a nonpublic school in a school district contiguous to the student's school district of residence.
(4) (a) To participate in an activity at the school of attendance, a student shall meet all of the requirements imposed by the school of attendance.
(b) To participate in an activity at a school of participation, a student shall:
(I) If the student is participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program, comply with all laws governing said programs;
(II) Comply with all eligibility requirements imposed by the school of participation;
(III) Comply with the same responsibilities and standards of behavior, including related classroom and practice requirements, as are imposed on other students participating in the activity at the school of participation.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection (4) to the contrary, a school district or a public school shall not require a student who is participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program and who chooses to participate in an extracurricular activity at a public school selected by the district to enroll in a course or to complete any course credits as an eligibility requirement or other condition for participating in the activity at the district-selected school of participation; except that the school district or public school may require the student to enroll in a course if the extracurricular activity is an extension of the course, such as a performing arts group.
(5) A student who has not met all eligibility requirements for or who would have become ineligible to participate in activities at a school cannot gain or regain eligibility by applying to participate in activities at another school pursuant to this section. A student shall pay any penalty assessed against the student at the student's school of attendance or school of participation before the student may regain eligibility at the school of attendance or school of participation or become eligible to participate in any activity at another school.
(5.5) For each athletic activity offered, a school district may:
(a) For a team athletic activity, reserve for students enrolled in the district of the school of participation up to twice the number of starting positions on a team at each level of competition;
(b) For an individual athletic activity, reserve for students enrolled in the district of the school of participation up to one-half the total number of team members at each level of competition.
(6) (a) A school may charge any student participating in an activity a participation fee as a prerequisite to participation. The fee amount that a school of participation charges a nonenrolled student shall not exceed one hundred fifty percent of the fee amount the school of participation would charge an enrolled student to participate in the activity.
(b) If any fee is collected pursuant to this section for participation in an activity, the fee shall be used to fund the particular activity for which it is charged and shall not be expended for any other purpose.
(c) In addition to the fees allowed under paragraph (a) of this subsection (6), a school may charge a nonenrolled student participating in postseason competition in an individual athletic activity the actual cost of that postseason participation if the school is sponsoring only nonenrolled students in the postseason competition.
(7) For purposes of article 54 of this title, no student who participates in an activity in a school district other than the student's school district of attendance shall be included in the pupil enrollment of the school district where the student participates.
(8) The provisions of this section are intended to allow students to participate on an equal basis in extracurricular and interscholastic activities who would otherwise be denied the opportunity to do so and are not intended to sanction or encourage the recruitment of students for participation in such activities by schools or school districts.
(9) If a student transfers enrollment to another school without an accompanying change of domicile by the student's parent or legal guardian, the student's eligibility to participate in activities at the new school of attendance shall be determined under the rules of participation adopted by the school district in which the new school of attendance is located.
(9.5) (a) Notwithstanding any rule adopted or agreed to by any public school or school district, any student who is sanctioned or is found by the school, school district, or any organization or association to which the school or school district belongs to be ineligible to participate in any activity for any reason, except unsportsmanlike conduct or ejection from an activity, may appeal the sanction or finding. The appeal may be made through the applicable process at the school, any league to which the school or school district belongs, or any other organization to which the school or school district belongs.
(b) A student who has completed the appeal process described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (9.5) may seek a preliminary injunction or restraining order from a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) This subsection (9.5) shall not apply to any coach's team rules that are uniformly applicable to all team members; except that no coach may adopt a rule that is contrary to any provision of this section.
(10) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Activity" means any extracurricular or interscholastic activity, including but not limited to any academic, artistic, athletic, recreational, or other activity offered by a school.
(b) "Nonpublic home-based educational program" has the same meaning as in section 22-33-104.5 (2).
(c) "Nonpublic school" means any independent or parochial school that provides a basic academic education, as defined in section 22-33-104 (2)(b).
(d) "Public school" means any school that is under the direction and control of a school district, including but not limited to a charter school.
(e) "School" includes any public school and nonpublic school.
(f) "School of attendance" means the school in which a student is enrolled and attends classes.
(g) "School district of attendance" means the school district in which a student is enrolled and attends classes or, if the student is participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program, except as provided for in section 22-33-104.5 (6)(b)(II)(B), the school district in which the student participates in said program.
(h) "School district of residence" means the school district in which a student resides.
(i) "School of participation" means a school, other than the student's school of attendance, in which the student participates in an activity.
Source: L. 93: Entire section added, p. 337, 1, effective April 12. L. 94: (3) added, p. 1282, 7, effective May 22; entire section amended, p. 2836, 1, effective June 7. L. 96: Entire section amended, p. 1018, 1, effective May 23. L. 97: (1) and (6)(a) amended and (9.5) added, p. 166, 1, effective March 28; (1)(c) added, p. 587, 19, effective April 30. L. 2000: (10)(g) amended, p. 372, 23, effective April 10. L. 2001: (5.5) added and (6) amended, p. 11, 1, effective February 22. L. 2003: (9) amended, p. 1220, 1, effective April 22. L. 2004: (2)(b) and (2)(c) amended, p. 17, 1, effective March 1. L. 2010: (9.5)(b) amended, (HB 10-1064), ch. 54, p. 200, 1, effective August 11. L. 2013: (4)(c) added, (HB 13-1095), ch. 144, p. 466, 2, effective April 26; (2)(c) and (2)(d) amended and (3)(c) repealed, (HB 13-1047), ch.143, p. 464, 2, effective August 7. L. 2015: (9.5)(b) amended, (SB 15-051), ch. 73, p. 194, 1, effective August 5.
Editor's note: Amendments to this section by House Bill 94-1097 and House Bill 94-1365 were harmonized.
Cross references: (1) For further provisions concerning student participation in interscholastic activities in a school they do not attend, see 22-33-104.5.
(2) For the legislative declaration in the 2013 act amending subsections (2)(c) and (2)(d) and repealing subsection (3)(c), see section 1 of chapter 143, Session Laws of Colorado 2013.