Clarification on “Re-starting” Athletics in Marion County Schools
Over the past several weeks, the WVSSAC staff has been developing a plan for the “re-start” of athletics for the Summer of 2020. They worked closely with the Governor’s office, the WVDE and the WVDHHR. They also obtained guidance from the National Federation of High Schools.
Superintendents received an email from Mr. Dolan of the WVSSAC on May 29, 2020 with the “re-start” plan for athletics for the Summer of 2020, WVDHHR guidance for organized camps and WVDHHR guidance for businesses and employers.
On June 1, 2020 at the Marion County Board of Education meeting, the superintendent included these documents in his report to the board, noting that the three-week period had been moved to start on July 5, 2020.
The WVSSAC guidelines were developed with one primary objective – the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff. While the guidelines may not be optimal for some, we believe they will allow us to bring students and staff back to school campuses in the safest manner possible, given the most current information we have available at this time regarding COVID-19. We have been asked to monitor the activities closely in our athletic programs and make adjustments as we proceed, if we see there is reason for any needed changes.
The superintendent asked for three basic things to be put in place beyond the guidance from the WVSSAC. Those three basic things were: signage outlining safety reminders for use of the facilities, assistance from volunteers for sanitizing and a written plan for how each coach would implement the WVSSAC’s guidelines based upon their group’s individual situations. The guidelines of the WVSSAC can be found at this link: https://governor.wv.gov/Documents/Covid%20Additional%20Guidances/Summer%20Guidance%20Draft%20Final%20May%2029.pdf
Following that, the superintendent asked for administrators, athletic directors and coaches to meet and report back the results of the meetings. They met and the results reported back to the superintendent at 10:30 PM on June 4, 2020 were the following:
Marion County Schools
Phase I, II and III Plan
The number one goal of Marion County Schools is to keep athletes and students safe during the pandemic crisis.
Marion County students will be participating in Phase I and Phase II from June 8th to July 3rd by implementing an altered version of the WVSSAC directive.
Our coaches are required to design a written program of conditioning for student athletes to complete. Our students can independently work on their own or can choose a virtual setting with their coach to accomplish the daily conditioning goals.
Beginning July 5, unless changes occur, our student athletes will participate in the Phase III implementation following the guidelines established by the WVSSAC.
Marion County is posting safety guidelines at every facility including playgrounds.
While we understand the importance of opening our facilities, we do not want to rush into any situation that could create a serious health issue.
On Friday, June 5, 2020, the superintendent received the preliminary discussion, but the three basic things asked for in consideration of implementing the WVSSAC’s guidelines are still being determined. We should be able to open as stated in the WVSSAC guidelines with the three basic items asked for finalized.
At no time did the Marion County Board of Education take a vote on any specific plan. It was not an agenda item, it was an informational item for them to be aware of operational functions for the “re-start” plan for athletic and band programs.
The superintendent and the board will always strive to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is considered in the development of any plans.
Please be reminded that official information from Marion County Board of Education will be on <www.marionboe.com> and on occasion posted on the “Marion Strong” Facebook page operated by The Marion County Chamber of Commerce.
Marion County Schools will post relevant news, updates, and guidance for parents, students, teachers, and staff on this page to keep you informed.