Whereas many colleges in Virginia will begin their winter sports activities seasons subsequent month, Arlington Public Faculties is not going to observe go well with.

Some mother and father and a College Board member urged Superintendent Francisco Durán to reverse course on this determination throughout the College Board assembly held that night time. 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,” mentioned Megan Newfeld, a guardian 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 non-public or journey groups to enhance, she mentioned. Additional, she added that every one college students who’re aggressive and seeking to get recruited by schools shall be at an obstacle.

Durán mentioned 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 could not align with the return-to-school plan, he mentioned.

“Collaborating in sports activities whereas persevering with distance studying doesn’t ship a constant message,” Durán mentioned.

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 normally performed within the fall and which principally are performed outdoor — he mentioned. Winter sports activities, against this, are principally 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 situations,” mentioned Talento.

Though it’s not per the return to high school plan, which is on maintain, she mentioned “we have now to weigh the whole lot individually and holistically and make compromises the place we will.”

Yorktown Excessive College boys basketball coach Joe Reed lamented the choice in a Tweet on Thursday.

An online petition calling for APS to reverse its determination has been garnered almost 500 signatures already.

“The advantages of workforce sports activities go far past train — improved teachers, teamwork, management, optimistic mentorships and total improved psychological well being,” the petition says. “For this college 12 months, these elements are much more vital as many Arlington youngsters are at dwelling fighting 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 vital that APS provide 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 might 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 govt order that permits the proposed VHSL schedule to start in December as scheduled. In a statement published by VHSL, Northam mentioned the league been a companion throughout the pandemic and has drafted considerate tips for reinstating sports activities.

“Conserving our scholar athletes secure is important throughout this pandemic,” Northam mentioned. “I do know I be part of many mother and father in wanting ahead to the secure return of college sports activities.”

VHSL Govt 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 tips for taking part in sports activities that embody limits on attendees, cleansing and disinfecting suggestions, masking and social-distancing.

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