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Policy 10030 – Contests Sponsored by Outside Organizations

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for student participation in contests sponsored by outside organizations.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes that many contests sponsored by local, state, and national outside organizations are both meritorious and well intended. The Board further encourages student participation in contests provided they relate to the educational program of studies and benefit students educationally.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for student participation in contests sponsored by outside organizations.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Contest – A competitive activity or event that includes all of the following components:

    1. Educational benefit to students.

    2. Voluntary participation for students and teachers.

    3. Submission judged by the sponsoring organization only.

  2. Outside Organization – A public or private, for-profit or not-for-profit group other than the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS).

IV. Standards

  1. The contest must benefit students educationally, relate to the educational program, and be weighed against loss of instructional time.

  2. Student participation in contests is limited to those that:

    1. Provide for appropriate and adequate supervision for the duration of the event.

    2. Incur participation cost that is minimal to the students, school, and community.

    3. Do not promote or advertise a product or an ideology.

    4. Are consistent with HCPSS goals.

  3. Ownership of copyright in any work submitted for contests belongs to the student-author and/or creator of the work and any subsequent use or application of the work without the expressed written permission of the student-author and/or creator of the work may violate federal copyright laws.

  4. The involvement of teachers and/or principals in the selection process is subject to Policy 2070 Ethics.

  5. All collecting, grading, classifying and judging of contests will be the sole responsibility of the sponsoring group or its designated representative.

  6. Contests that utilize school time or involve extensive travel by students or supervising staff members are subject to the provisions of Policy 8100 Field Trips and Policy 8110 Student International Educational Travel.

  7. Participation in any contest will be voluntary for school staff and for students.

V. Responsibilities

  1. Administrative Directors will review the provisions of this policy with school-based administrators annually.

  2. Administrative Directors will approve participation in contests.

  3. School administrators will approve the participation of their schools in contests.

  4. The Office of School Administration will create and maintain a database of approved contests.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • 17 U.S.C. Section 210(a)

C. Relevant Data Sources

  • Contest Approvals

D. Other

  • (none)

VIII. History

ADOPTED: November 13, 1973



REVISED: September 13, 1990, June 9, 2005, June 14, 2012

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2012