Whereas many colleges in Virginia will begin their winter sports activities seasons subsequent month, Arlington Public Colleges won’t observe go well with.
Some mother and father and a College Board member urged Superintendent Francisco Durán to reverse course on this determination in the course of the College Board assembly held that evening. They argued that different jurisdictions in Virginia — including neighboring Fairfax County — are gearing up to play sports activities, and that not taking part harms college students within the short- and long-term.
“We’ve already taken college away from our youngsters,” stated Megan Newfeld, a mum or dad of a highschool aged-son who performs golf. “It’s now sufficient.”
Not offering public college sports activities makes it more durable for youths who can not afford personal or journey groups to enhance, she stated. Additional, she added that every one college students who’re aggressive and trying to get recruited by schools shall be at an obstacle.
Durán stated the Virginia Excessive College League permits every district to find out whether or not to take part in winter sports activities, which embody swim and dive, basketball, wrestling, and indoor observe and discipline. APS declined as a result of it might not align with the return-to-school plan, he stated.
“Collaborating in sports activities whereas persevering with distance studying doesn’t ship a constant message,” Durán stated.
APS will revisit the metrics to see about taking part in “season two” sports activities — sports activities like soccer, cross nation and golf, that are often performed within the fall and which largely are performed outside — he stated. Winter sports activities, in contrast, are largely performed indoors.
College Board member Tannia Talento requested Durán to rethink the choice, partly as a result of college students are already doing conditioning on college grounds.
“These college students are in these locations already and doing work, and it’s at the highschool, the place they’re extra conscious of circumstances,” stated Talento.
Though it’s not in line with the return to highschool plan, which is on maintain, she stated “we’ve to weigh every little thing individually and holistically and make compromises the place we are able to.”
Yorktown Excessive College boys basketball coach Joe Reed lamented the choice in a Tweet on Thursday.
My coronary heart goes out to my gamers, particularly the seniors. We came upon with none discover that our season was cancelled right this moment.
— Joe Reed (@CoachReed_VA) November 6, 2020
An online petition calling for APS to reverse its determination has been garnered almost 500 signatures already.
“The advantages of group sports activities go far past train — improved lecturers, teamwork, management, optimistic mentorships and general improved psychological well being,” the petition says. “For this college yr, these elements are much more necessary as many Arlington youngsters are at residence battling digital studying and lacking out on the traditional actions of their highschool years.”
“Because the superintendent and faculty board of a county with giant disparities of wealth, it’s much more necessary that APS supply sports activities for many who can not afford to play elsewhere,” the petition provides.
The VHSL, a statewide sports activities league comprising private and non-private excessive faculties, approved a Championship + 1 schedule in September that will enable college students to play 60% of their sport’s common season schedule, beginning in December, with modified regional and state championships.
On Oct. 29, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an government order that permits the proposed VHSL schedule to start in December as scheduled. In a statement published by VHSL, Northam stated the league been a accomplice in the course of the pandemic and has drafted considerate pointers for reinstating sports activities.
“Holding our scholar athletes secure is vital throughout this pandemic,” Northam stated. “I do know I be part of many mother and father in trying ahead to the secure return of college sports activities.”
VHSL Government Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun welcomed the information, saying within the assertion that the modification “clears the best way for all of our sports activities to play.” The league drafted pointers for enjoying sports activities that embody limits on attendees, cleansing and disinfecting suggestions, masking and social-distancing.