Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says the district will begin in-person athletic conditioning and other designated UIL activities after Labor Day.
At this time, all Dallas ISD students will kick-off the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8 following the distance-learning model which is expected to continue until at least Oct. 6. However, due to the "recent leveling out of Dallas County COVID-19 cases, the district is permitting the phased-in start of athletic condition and other designated UIL activities" as early as next week.
The schedule for the restart of athletic activities is as follows:
- Tuesday, Sept. 8 - Varsity ONLY for the following sports: cross-country, football, golf, swimming, team tennis, and volleyball.
- Monday, Sept. 14 - Sub-varsity (9th grade and JV) for the following sports: cross-country, football, golf, swimming, team tennis, and volleyball.
- Monday, Sept. 21 - UIL marching band, drill team, and cheerleading.
The district said in a statement Wednesday that the in-person athletic activities will be subject to all approved district safety protocols. Key tenets of the phased-in restart of athletics include:
- Guidance: Details of the CDC and UIL aligned protocols have been provided and explained to each of the campus coordinators and will be strictly enforced.
- Implementation: All schools will implement a "Small Group Instruction" model in order to minimize the number of student-athletes on campus at a given time. Strength and conditioning sessions will occur outdoors. Marching Band, Drill Team, Cheerleading and other extracurriculars will implement all required safety protocols for participation.
- Monitoring: Central office athletic directors and athletic trainers as well as visual & performing arts staff will monitor and assist with all phases of the re-entry implementation. Campus visits will be completed to ensure the fidelity of process implementation.
- Special Education: Designated special education services will also start phasing in by appointment on September 8, with parent opt-in beginning Sept. 17.
The district said officials will closely monitor athletic activities, and if confirmed cases of COVID-19 are detected, which Hinojosa said is expected, appropriate actions will be taken to protect students and staff.