Superintendent Austin Beutner announced the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will resume high school sports for students 13 and older.
The first sports to resume will be football, cross country and water polo, followed by baseball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field and traditional game day cheer in the spring.
“The resumption of school sports is another step in the path to recovery for all in the school community,” Superintendent Beutner said. “After careful consideration, we have also decided to extend participation in sports to allow students to participate in California Interscholastic Federation Season 1 and Season 2 practices and competitions.”
Practices, training and games will be held outdoors with coaches and staff adhering to mask mandates and social distancing. There will also be a weekly COVID-19 test required for all those working and playing around the athletic activities.
Participation is not mandatory and students must have consent from a parent or guardian to participate.
“Allowing students to resume athletic competition is not a decision we made lightly,” Beutner said. “The spread of the virus is still categorized as widespread in Los Angeles County. At the same time, the opportunity for young adults to be with friends and teammates while participating in a sport might help ease the anxiety and isolation many are feeling. And for some, the understanding they need to remain in good academic standing may help motivate them to stay on track in their schoolwork.”
LAUSD has set a goal to resume in-person instruction by April, with the assumption that teachers, faculty and staff will all be fully vaccinated by then.
The district also had its reopening approved by the L.A. Public Health, as it has retrofitted its classrooms with public health standards and plans to have a contact tracing system in place.