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Posted on: October 1, 2020

Statement from the MVC Superintendents regarding Athletics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

We know that athletics is an important experience for our students and for our school communities as a whole.  As such, we are committed to providing opportunities for our student-athletes to participate in interscholastic competitions.  However, we must also balance this commitment with our highest priority of keeping our students, staff, and community safe during the current health crisis.  

Each Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) releases their Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report.  In the release of last evening’s report, five MVC communities were newly identified this week as “red” on the state’s community-level data map, bringing the total to six MVC communities (representing 7 of the 11 MVC schools).

While DESE guidance indicates that we should not make decisions about educational learning models until we examine multiple weeks of data, this recent increase of cases gives us pause for concern in regard to interscholastic competitions as they mix cohorts of students from multiple communities.  Simply put, we want to proceed cautiously in order to not put our students, their families, or our communities at higher risk until we know more about the trajectory of the virus in this area.

As such, we have jointly agreed that we take the following actions:

  • For sports designated as low risk by DESE and MIAA, where students from opposing schools do not physically interact, interscholastic competitions can currently proceed as scheduled.
    1. This includes cross country and golf
  • For sports designated as moderate risk by DESE and MIAA, all interscholastic competitions scheduled for this week will be postponed until later in the fall season, and we will reassess after next Wednesday’s weekly report is published.
    1. This includes field hockey, soccer, and volleyball
    2. Options include moving forward with a season with modified schedules, or postponing at this time until the “Fall II” season
  • For sports designated as high risk, the seasons have already been moved to the “Fall II” season later in the year.
    1. This includes competitive cheer, football, and unified basketball
    2. Swimming/diving was also moved to Fall II

We are hopeful that we will be able to continue to have interscholastic competitions among our member schools this fall, and we urge the members of our communities to practice proper health protocols (mask wearing, physical distancing, etc.) so that our student-athletes can have the opportunity to compete. 

Sincerely,

Sheldon Berman, Superintendent, Andover Public Schools

Timothy Piwowar, Superintendent, Billerica Public Schools

Jay Lang, Superintendent, Chelmsford Public Schools

Steven Stone, Superintendent, Dracut Public Schools

Joel D. Boyd, Superintendent, Lowell Public Schools

Brandi Kwong, Superintendent, Methuen Public Schools 

Gregg Gilligan, Superintendent, North Andover Public Schools

Chris Malone, Superintendent, Tewksbury Public Schools

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