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BGHS Sets the Academic Bar Higher for Student Athletes

After academic suspensions kept their star basketball players out, the school decided to institute some changes.

The Kangaroos are more focused on academics than ever before, with new standards for student athletes set by Coach Ruth Lovelace and Principal Bernard Gassaway, says Gotham Schools.

During the 2010-2011 season, the Kangaroos nabbed the city title, but they took a big hit when seven players were out for academic suspensions the week before the state championship tournament, says the article, losing in the first round.

Since then, Coach Lovelace said they “learned a lesson,” and instituted more study hall time, says Gotham Schools. Principal Gassaway, finding that 50 percent of student athletes failed their first period class, also instituted a new rule: any students participating in extracurricular activities must pass their first period and maintain an attendance rate of at least 90 percent, according to the article.

This year, Gotham Schools says that student athletes are required to maintain a grade average of at least 70 percent and also serve 30 hours of community service to play.

“Eventually, the standards that we set for the basketball team will be school-wide,” Gassaway told the web site.

In March, the Kangaroos won their , and last year, the school won millions in grant money under a multi-year improvement plan by the Department of Education

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