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High school sports season cancelled as schools transition to distance learning

A sign in front of San Juan High School announces no school through April 13. The district has since decided to extend the closure through the end of the school year. // CH Sentinel

By Marcus D. Smith–
Over the weekend, the California Interscholastic Federation held a scheduled teleconference meeting discussing the future of spring athletics, which has been in limbo amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With just over two months remaining left in the school year, most districts have announced the end of the school year. The CIF has decided to follow in their footsteps and cancel spring athletic competition.

*Local sports coverage on The Sentinel is made possible by our paid subscribers and generous support from Stones Gambling Hall.*

“[T]he California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) does not see an avenue for the spring sports season to continue,” said CIF Executive Ron Nocetti in a statement on Friday. “As such, in consultation today with the 10 Section Commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel spring Section, Regional, and State Championship events.”

The statement followed an April 1 announcement by the governor regarding school closures and the need for district’s to transition students into “distance-learning” in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, while allowing students to maintain an education.

The San Juan Unified School District also released a statement on April 3, extending school closures to the end of the school year. The district said distance learning will begin after spring break.

SJUSD defines distance learning as instruction in which the student and teacher are in different locations. Class content and activities can be engaged in a variety of formats including the use of computers or other instructional methods or materials depending on the teacher, the assignment and students’ needs.  

Governor Newsom also announced a partnership with Google, where mobile hotspots, unlimited high-speed internet, and Chromebooks were donated to rural areas for the remainder of the school year to assist students with the opportunity for the “distance-learning” acclimation.

“While schools might be physically closed, class is still in session,” said Newsom. “This agreement is good news for students and parents, and the announcement means that more California kids will have tools to learn at home during this crisis.”

For schools in the San Juan district, April 6-10 is spring break and there won’t be any virtual office hours, or assignments available. The following week, distance learning is expected to continue through the final day of classes on June 9.

By April 15, distance learning will have been implemented and the spring school year will resume virtually for those in high school, middle school, and grades 6-12 at K-8 schools.

By April 20, distance learning implementation for early childhood education and elementary grades, according to the district’s website.

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