Allegany BOE votes to start school athletics Oct. 7

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral Daily News-Tribune

CUMBERLAND - The Board of Education of Allegany County met in a special open session on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, to discuss the school system’s interscholastic athletic plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

Members heard a presentation from ACPS assistant supervisor of athletics, PE, health, and mental health Tracey Leonard, outlining two options for returning to fall sports. One of these options was to continue with the current two-semester plan, and the second option was to begin fall sports on Oct. 7, 2020, with the first available competition date being Oct. 27, 2020.

    Prior to the vote, school board member Dr. David Bohn made the following motion to “move to approve the Oct. 7, 2020, option with the approval being contingent on two issues, the first being that there are sufficient numbers of participating school schools to build a seven-week schedule so competition can be acquired, and two, is contingent upon further changes and direction by the Governor, the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the CDC.”

The school board unanimously voted to approve the Oct. 7, 2020, option.

    Mrs. Leonard noted that upon approval of this option, ACPS’s current spring conditioning schedule under the two-semester plan would conclude effective Monday.

    Additionally, Mrs. Leonard read the following statement from MPSSAA regarding the Interscholastic Athletic Contingency Season Options: “The State Board of Education, the State Superintendent, and the MPSSAA believes it is crucial not only to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of our high school students across the state to return to physical activity and athletic competition, as well as for attaining a high level of academic engagement. In doing so, MPSSAA is committed to providing as much of traditional experience as possible for students, without sacrificing the safety and well-being of students and staff through participation opportunities.”

    She continued reading, “Allowing extracurricular participation while students are in virtual learning does not place athletics or activities over education, rather it portrays the local school system’s commitment to strengthening the culture of the school, promoting the physical and mental health of students, and promotes these programs as valuable extended learning opportunities for students.”

    School board members stressed the need to give students some sense of normalcy during this unprecedented time, but reiterated that they were not placing the importance of extracurricular activities over that of academics.