Monday afternoon, Abilene High School director of athletics Will Burton and Abilene Middle School director of athletics Derek Berns notified USD 435 parents in a joint memo that because of increases in confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 amongst the staff and student body along with significant increases in exposure to staff and students requiring quarantine, the decision has been made to suspend all extra-curricular activities (practices and competitions) until at least Monday, Oct. 5.
Burton and Berns went on to say that as that date approaches, the situation would be reevaluated to determine if the suspension needs to be longer. This will be on an activity-by-activity basis.
This information was sent to the parents or guardians and to participants in football, volleyball, cross-country, girl’s tennis, cheer and the AHS musical.
They pointed out that going into this season, “we knew we were in a continuous situation. The goal was to put our best foot forward to try and have activities for our students.”
We still can continue, they noted. It’s not the end of the season.
The memorandum did point out that if Abilene is able to resume on Oct. 5, that does not mean they would start competing on that date. The athletic directors noted that the school district must then follow the Kansas State High School Activities Association COVID-19 Return to Participation Guidelines.
In most cases returning from extended COVID-19 stay requires a minimum of two to three or more full practices before competitions could resume.
If a student athlete has tested positive for COVID, they must have medical clearance on KSHSAA form prior to returning to the activity.
Burton and Berns urged the students to use the 14 days as a reset period. Be proactive and take precautions by limiting contact with others. Everyone should wear masks and practice social distancing.
They also noted that stricter spectator guidelines might be put in place upon return of the activities.
Burton reminded students that the season is still technically in session and that they must adhere to their schoolwork. Eligibility and attendance requirements will still be enforced for participation.
Burton and Berns extended a plea to everyone, both students and adults, to do their part in mitigating COVID by being safe and following protocols and guidelines both at and away from school. It’s the only way we can continue, they said.
Activities affected this week include girl’s tennis at Salina, cross-country at Southeast of Saline, volleyball at Chapman and Friday’s football game versus Christ Prep Academy. All have been cancelled as far as Abilene participation is concerned.
Contact Ron Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org.