Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

MCPS Athletics, Fine Arts, Student Leadership and Extracurricular Activities will conduct engaging virtual programs for students throughout the first semester. During the second semester, pending approval and additional guidance from state and county health officials, our hope is to be able to offer in-person activities and programs for Athletics, Fine Arts, Student Leadership and Extracurricular Activities. All students are academically eligible to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities for the first semester during the 2020-2021 school year.

The Student Leadership and Extracurricular Activities Unit is working on a new webpage that will outline independent activities, as well as school-based and local school partnership programs. This will include student-to-student content, a leadership development series and additional means for students to build their personal and professional skills.

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Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

IN-PERSON EXPERIENCE

Information regarding the return of in-person programming for MCPS Athletics is available on the COVID-19 Athletics Information webpage. In-person activities will be offered to the extent possible.  Competitive seasons and calendars will operate consistent with the designated seasons established by the MPSSAA.

Second Semester Overview

An overview of second semester operations for MCPS Athletics is provided in the Second Semester Return to R.A.I.S.E. Plan. The plan outlines the calendar and timeline for each season. Detailed information regarding the spring season and winter sports will be provided later in the semester.

Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan

Procedures and protocols regarding the safe return of in-person activities are outlined in the Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan.  The plan aligns with the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), and Montgomery County, including the following:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Considerations for Youth Sports. These considerations include school-based open conditioning, exercise, weight training, non-sport specific student gatherings, in-season team-based practices, and full competition from teams from the same geographic area.
  • Guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) that is outlined in the MPSSAA Roadmap for Return to Interscholastic Athletics.
  • Montgomery County Guidelines for the safe return of sports.

Guidelines and procedures will be revised as needed, as guidelines change.

To the extent possible, activities will incrementally return and include conditioning/training, skills-based activities, and in-season team-based practices and competition, beginning with schools in the same geographic region.

Guiding Principles

As MCPS Athletics continues the implementation of the Return to R.A.I.S.E. Strategic Plan, the following guiding principles will drive operations.  The guiding principles incorporate the R.A.I.S.E. core values of MCPS Athletics.  MCPS Athletics is committed to:

  • Promoting our core values of equity and access to allow for the participation for ALL students.
  • Ensuring the gradual, safe return of student-athletes to in-person participation in interscholastic athletic activities, when health metrics allow.
  • Maximizing participation opportunities, including the timely implementation and incremental transition to new phases, in alignment with MCPS operations.
  • Providing ongoing communication regarding the current operations of the MCPS Athletics program, in alignment with state and local guidelines, considerations, and recommendations.
  • MCPS will implement and continue in-person opportunities per the approved recommendations of the COVID-19 Task Force for MCPS Athletics for the remainder of the 2020–2021 school year. Any program updates will be communicated as soon as they become available.

Extracurricular Activities

The return to in-person extracurricular activities may begin in April for some activities where students are able to follow all appropriate COVID safety protocols. This delayed return to in-person extracurricular activities is similar to the approach schools use at the beginning of a traditional school year where students and staff are able to establish school routines before adding the beyond the bell experiences.

Guidance for the safe return to operating in-person extracurricular activities include: arrival and departure procedures, proper management of materials, and accommodations needed to ensure the safety of students and staff. These guidelines and procedures will be revised as needed, as health metrics and/or MCPS operations change.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

VIRTUAL-ONLY Experience

The virtual delivery of the MCPS athletics program is outlined in the R.A.I.S.E. Reimagined plan, which has been approved by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA). Highlights of the plan include:

  • The virtual athletic program does not include tryouts and is open to all students.
  • Each season consists of:
    • Systemwide engagement opportunities, including speakers, character education and other resources as appropriate
    • Schoolwide engagement, per the athletics specialist or athletic coordinator
    • Sport-specific countywide engagement
    • Team-specific engagement
  • Curriculum and programming include activities that reflect the R.A.I.S.E. core values of MCPS Athletics, including the following:
    • Respect & Sportsmanship—team building, potential engagement with other schools
    • Academic Excellence—academic support and college recruiting support
    • Integrity & Character—character education, including speakers and programs
    • Spirited & Safe Competition—skills and sport instruction, along with COVID-19 safety education in preparation for in-person activities
    • Equity & Access—efforts supporting equity and social justice initiatives
  • Outside of the confines of the formal season, coaches are also able to engage with students, consistent with the out-of-season uidelines for virtual engagement. Similar to the summer, this engagement would be team-based and not administered centrally.
  • The virtual delivery and seasonal structure also applies to the middle school athletics program. Appropriate modifications to middle school sports have been made during the planning process, as needed.