Schools opening, sports still up in the air
By Jerry W. Kram
Things are coming down to the wire for area school districts to decide whether they are going to reopen schools for in-person classes this fall and hold their fall sports season.
The North Dakota High School Activities Association released a letter this week telling schools they can hold fall sports seasons – if they want. The letter said it is up to school districts and the local district health units to decide if sporting events will go on. The NDHAA will be issuing guidelines for schools to return to athletic competition this week.
“With member schools having the option to provide in-person education for students, the NDHSAA believes it is important those schools also have the option to return to physical activity and competition,” NDHSAA Executive Director Matt Fetsch said. “Everyone’s health and safety is paramount in moving forward with activities and it will not come without disruption, however, providing these opportunities is essential to the physical and mental well-being of high school students.”
The letter emphasized that should the COVID-19 pandemic worsen in the coming weeks, the guidelines could be dramatically altered.
“Any plan, schedule, or procedure may be modified quickly to respond to current pandemic status. Further athletic and activity guidance will be reviewed by the Board of Directors at upcoming meetings,” the letter said.
New Town and Parshall schools are consulting with parents to determine their wishes and fears about a school reopening. New Town is considering six plans ranging from starting the year with distance learning to a full reopening. One of the plans would have elementary students in Four Bears Segment hold classes in the Johnny Bird Memorial Building or 4 Bears Event Center to reduce class sizes and reduce the likelihood of exposure to the virus.