CMS allows many HS sports, other extracurricular activities to resume

CMS allows many HS sports, other extracurricular activities to resume

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will soon allow in-season high school sports and other extracurricular activities to resume.

CMS announced on in January that it is revising participation plans for in-season high school sports, after-school arts, and several other extracurricular programs once the latest directive from the Mecklenburg County Health Department expires on Feb. 2.

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High school swimmers and divers currently qualified for postseason regional competition are eligible since Feb. 5 to participate in events scheduled.

In-season high school sports programs including basketball, cheer, women’s and men’s lacrosse, and men’s soccer will resume competition, per North Carolina High School Athletic Association guidelines, on Feb. 8.

Football will also begin on Feb. 8, according to the NCHSAA season schedule.

Out-of-season sports may resume skills development workouts no earlier than Feb. 15. Those sports may begin official practices on the dates listed in the approved NCHSAA 2020-2021 calendar.

>> Watch the video at the top of this page to learn how this decision is going to impact several sports seasons.

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In addition, some after-school high school arts activities will begin on Feb 8. These arts programs, including music, dance, and theater, will be offered on a voluntary basis, with parent permission required for student participation, and utilizing strict COVID protocols and safety practices aligned with those put in place for athletics.

The district said decisions on live or virtual performances are under evaluation and will be communicated at a later date.

The decision also allows the return of JROTC in CMS schools that offer those programs. Students participating in JROTC may resume activities on a voluntary basis. The district will communicate details and return dates to students and families after discussing with principals and program advisors.

Other activities, such as speech and debate, remain under evaluation.

“The COVID pandemic has caused us to make many difficult decisions this school year and pausing athletics and delaying the start of many arts and other enrichment programs are among the most painstaking,” said CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston. “Extracurricular programs are vital to the social and emotional health of our students. With confidence that community conditions have improved, we are pleased to resume athletic practices and competition and to begin offering arts students the opportunity to participate in after-school activities.”

District officials said CMS principals and athletic directors were provided direction earlier this week emphasizing the importance for all coaches, advisors and students leading and participating in extracurricular activities to comply fully with all procedures and protocols in place to protect health and safety.

Winston said failure to comply with safety measures would result in delays or cancellations of activities.

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