Hello MMSD athletics community,
We continue to gather information and provide clarifications as information is made available to us, and we appreciate your commitment and passion for our students, and your programs, as we recognize this is not ideal or what we are used to. We have the privilege and associated responsibility to be great partners with our community and implement safety protocols that will aid in resuming the in-person programming we all miss, and to keep our students, staff, and communities safe.
MMSD will implement the following additional extra curricular provisions for winter sports in support of the safe reopening of our schools and community:
1) Virtual training activities may be shared for all students. This means individual training or workouts may be shared or scheduled on a virtual platform for synchronous training- such as stretching, flexibility, and warm-up routines, strength and speed training, conditioning, and mental preparation/sport psychology resources - so long as it follows WIAA Coaching Contact rules.
2) MMSD athletic programs will not have in-person programming at this time:
Here is the Big 8 statement regarding winter sports and clarifying that MMSD will not be offering winter sport in-person coaching during the virtual school model. We will continue to provide opportunities in whatever means are available based on our schooling model and public health guidance as well as WIAA guidance for winter sports . General fitness, strength, mental health, academic, and social emotional connection supports will be offered by the athletic department throughout the year to all students.
3) At this time, MMSD athletics will not hold any winter athletics in person nor encourage students to gather or train together outside of school grounds through January 24th:
We hope to return to education-based athletic programs with additional guidance from local public health and to allow for the best opportunity to prepare for safe return to our facilities for all.
We will provide students with best practices and mental health support along with virtual training opportunities and connections to help facilitate when we are ready to return in-person athletics.
The district and your athletic programs will continue to provide resources for virtual platforms and best practices to assist in continuing the quality education-based athletic programs we offer. In addition, these resources will prepare us for a full return to in-person operations when deemed safe and when we are able to meet the needs for appropriate cleanliness, hygiene, monitoring, and interaction to safely operate programming and activities. Further details will come from your schools’ athletic departments related to virtual opportunities. Additional information will be shared in an upcoming video presentation scheduled for November 4th on MMSDs YouTube Channel.
There will be many reactions to this decision and we want you to know that everything was considered and it came down to the fundamental tenet of education based athletics being an extension of the classroom and a vital component of the community and its connectivity. Just as doctors may advocate differently for individual patients or medical approaches, we understand families and coaches will do the same for their athletes and programs. We recognize that public health experts will look at the entirety of the impact on the health of our community and our school athletic departments will follow that perspective of the greater good that is foundational to our mission. We appreciate all of the work, guidance, and consideration that is being taken by public health, coaches, administrators, and student athletes to find ways to respond to these adversities and appreciate the patience and understanding as we find ways to stay connected and persevere through the pandemic.
We ask that you wear a mask, stay home as much as possible, be kind, stay connected, have empathy, support each other, and stay together when physically apart.
Be well and stay well,
Jeremy Schlitz, CAA