At a meeting on Tuesday night, the Board of Directors of the Colorado High School Activities Association, addressed a potential change to the 2020-21 sports and activities calendar.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges. Specific to CHSAA activities, this has included trying to resume a traditional fall season for moderate- to high-risk contact sports. It has forced inequities when making statewide decisions for the 180,000 student-participants, 363 voluntary members schools, and 178 school districts across the state.
In a resolution Tuesday, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to not reconsider any adjustment to the 2020-21 sports calendar, which was approved on Aug. 4.
"We understand that our school communities would like to return to all levels of normalcy," said Troy Baker, the President of CHSAA's Board of Directors, and who is the athletic director at Buena Vista High School. "We listened to all parties and the voices of our membership resonated strongly to support the plan as approved in August. The plan aligns with the CHSAA mission. All students have an opportunity to play a season during the 2020-21 school year."
Said Richard Hargrove, the superintendent of Springfield Schools, and a member of the Board of Directors: "We are focused on getting school started and running smoothly, as well as handling all the issues of running a school district and trying to have that be as normal as possible. We do not want to travel. The biggest thing for me in the end is that we have continued to move the goalposts, and every time we turned around, we had something else we had to adjust to.
"The discussion last night amplified that there was another potential goalpost movement," Hargrove continued. "We have already developed a calendar that addresses the concerns of health officials, and gives all students a season and a chance to participate. We need to move forward with that plan.”
During the discussion, the Board as a whole noted that:
- The safety, physical and emotional well-being of Colorado student's participants must be at the forefront of every decision.
- Diverse educational return-to-learn models exist throughout the state, and they must not be undermined.
- Students have already integrated into non-traditional participation opportunities in the rural and metro areas.
- There are Title IX and gender representation issues around any reconsideration of the approved calendar.
"Our state has seen new golf, tennis, softball, and cross country teams formed statewide," said Terita Walker, an assistant principal at Denver East High School, and a member of the Board of Directors. "Once this plan was rolled out, school administrators and families began to reshape their lives around the calendar. We are moving forward knowing all of our students will have the chance to participate in 2021."
The Board remains committed to being responsive to our community members and appreciate their feedback, outreach, and input throughout this process. CHSAA will continue to meet regularly with the Governor’s staff, COVID-19 Response Team, and educational and health officials to implement the 2020-21 Activities Calendar.