It appears that the high school spring sports season is done in California.
Tony Thurmond, the state superintendent of public instruction, acknowledged in a letter to district superintendents Tuesday that schools likely will not be able to reopen this school year because of safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter states: “I’m writing to you regarding the current status of schools in California. As you know we continue to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus and how those impacts make it unsafe for our students to be served on school campuses at this time.
The need for safety through social distancing warrants that we continue to keep our school campuses closed to students during this pandemic.
Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year. This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning.”
Ron Nocetti, executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation, said prep sporting events are a byproduct of the school system.
“If schools do not reopen, it doesn’t leave an avenue to compete in spring sports,” said Nocetti.
The 10 CIF section commissioners have a teleconference scheduled Friday in which an official announcement could be made on the status of the season. All games and competitions were suspended after social distancing measures across the state went into place earlier in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trent Cornelius, who runs athletics in the Los Angeles Unified School District, said it is impossible to hold athletic events if schools are closed.
“We need schools to be open because of all the support personnel who help run events,” he said.
Families and educators should operate with the expectation now that schools will not reopen for the rest of the school year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
“To all of the moms, all the teachers, all the caregivers, I know how stressful this is, trust me,” Newsom said. “I know what we’re asking of you over the course of the next few months.”
The announcement makes good on comments he made during a March 17 briefing, when he said it was unlikely that campuses would reopen during the current school year.