West Ada sports resume, classes remain online for now

Posted at 4:42 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 20:17:41-04

West Ada's school board has decided to bring back fall sporting events, effective immediately, but fans will have to wait.

Central district health is cautioning against games. However, the board believes it can safely play without fans in the stands.

Though Friday night lights won't look the same this year, sports mom Jamie Jacobsen is glad to see They're still kicking off.

"I'm a mom I'm four boys, high school, middle school, Friday flag, my husband attended college on a full-ride athletic scholarship, my father in law was an athletic director for 30 years," said Jacobsen,

"so obviously we live for sports, I've seen the value and been blessed with the value a scholarship can offer someone."

A recent board decision allows the student-athletes to resume practice and competitions this fall.

"we've been doing this all summer, we have had about 2700 kids go through our programs, and that's not to say we haven't had cases, but we haven't had spread," said Char Jackson, chief communication officer for the district.

Jacobsen says following the CDH guidelines during sports can be accomplished.

"I know all my boys that have been in sports this summer have [followed the guidelines] faithfully, the leaders the coaches have been faithful about those the kids are not pushing back on masks or hand washing," said Jacobsen.

But many parents are wondering why sports can startup but not in-person school? The first week of classes is remote learning or the red phase. Even if it moves to the yellow stage, the district says there will still be remote learning days. Here's what the board says.

"it can be difficult to understand," said Jackson,

"Our kids are in class all day long, 6-7 hours, now sports, their time frame is a little shorter, and we're able to keep them in small groups."

The decision to start up sports had many considerations. CDH recommendations and West Ada administration recommendations being a couple.

"The board did take into consideration the hundreds of emails they received, the rallies that happen outside of our office," said Jackson,

"it's one they do not take lightly; it impacts 40-thousand students across our district."

Jackson says they've had a few isolated cases, but no community spread in the athletic programs. What would happen if an athlete tests positive? Jackson says it wouldn't be a season-ender.

"If one player was just in close contact with one other player and they didn't have their mask on, those two players would be affected instead of the entire team," said Jackon,

"now, if they were all together for more than 15 minutes with no social distancing, that's going to be a much larger issue."

For the Jacobsen family, sports starting up in person is worth cheering for.

"I'm watching my kids get up early, work hard, listen to other people, practice discipline, be responsible, be accountable, I mean the list goes on and on for what athletics give the kids."

Once they move to the yellow phase, it will take a week to shift into a hybrid model. If CDH moves them into yellow before the first day of school on September 8, the earliest they could start an alternating day schedule would be September 14. The board also decided if they are in yellow, pre-k, and kindergarten students would attend school daily.