MPA agrees to delay fall sports start one more week, working with state on guidelines
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - AUGUSTA – The Maine Principals’ Association agreed Wednesday to delay fall sports an additional week while it works to set fall sports guidelines with the state. The MPA was scheduled to start official fall sports practices on September 8th. Now the start date would be the week of September 14th.
The MPA released a statement Wednesday:
The Maine Principals’ Association, the Maine School Boards Association, the Maine School Superintendents Association, and the Mills Administration released the following statements today on interscholastic fall sports in Maine:
“The Maine Principals’ Association agrees with the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education that it would be best to extend the delay of fall sports by one additional week to allow schools to get their academic programs underway as we further adjust our guidance,” said Mike Burnham, Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association. “In the coming days, we will work closely and collaboratively with the Administration to modify our guidance and arrive at a solution that will honor the State’s safety protocols and protect the health and safety of student athletes along with their communities. We are grateful to the departments for their response to our request for feedback and look forward to working with them so that students may be able to play sports as quickly and as safely as possible.”
“I am a firm believer in the value of school sports which support the physical, social, and mental health of young people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I want to see fall sports come back this year in a way that protects the health of students on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom, while safeguarding members of the larger community. I am asking my Commissioners to work as a team with the MPA, the Maine School Boards Association and the Maine School Superintendents Association to address concerns about the guidance as quickly as possible with the most important goal in mind: protecting the health and safety of Maine students, their extended families, their teachers and fellow students and all members of our broader Maine community.”
“We appreciate the Maine Principals’ Association’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of Maine’s student athletes as well as their fellow students, school staff, and families – a commitment we share,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “We recognize the sense of urgency but believe this additional time will allow schools to focus on the challenges of resuming classes and result in guidance that allows school sports consistent with the State’s public health measures and that safeguards the health and safety of all Maine students. We will work closely with MPA, the Maine School Boards Association, and the Maine School Superintendents Association on a path forward.”
“Maine School Boards Association and Superintendents Association have a history of working closely with our partners at the MPA and the State to serve the best interests of Maine students and schools,” said Steve Bailey and Eileen King, Executive Directors of the Maine School Boards Association and the Maine School Superintendents Association, respectively. “We are pleased there will be additional time to allow for a safe startup of schools as in-person classes resume and to align MPA guidance with the State’s health and safety protocols. We fully appreciate the importance of athletic programs and other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in whole-child development, and believe, as do our partners, that the health and safety of students, staff, and communities are of the utmost importance during this pandemic.”
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