High school spring sports will start March 1 in the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools district.
The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education approved a spring sports schedule at a four-hour meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Tammie Romstad, the district’s athletics director, said at the 5 p.m. school board meeting that students have not competed in spring sports since May 2019. They lost last year’s season because of cancellations to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
According to Romstad, all the surrounding schools in Wyandotte and Johnson counties will participate in the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s spring sports.
Romstad said the district will continue to follow Unified Government Health Department sports recommendations for high school students. The district plans to cohort athletes, do health screenings, sign-in sheets for tracing, and take temperatures every day, she said.
No spectators will be allowed at games, according to Romstad. Also, everyone, participants and officials, will wear a mask, she said.
Conditioning for spring sports is scheduled to begin Feb. 15, Romstad said. They will follow the Health Department and district’s protocols, and forms must be signed.
Board vice president Wanda Brownlee Paige said she wanted to make sure that the district supports girls’ and boys’ teams equally.
In answer to a question from board member Janey Humphries about whether the Health Department has issued guidelines for spring sports, Romstad said they have not issued any new guidelines since earlier, when the district approved wrestling. The guidelines include wearing masks and restricting crowds. The last sports guidelines from the Health Department were posted on Nov. 13.
Dr. Valdenia Winn, a board member, asked whether students had to be in good academic standing in order to train and play in competitions.
Romstad said the district eligibility policies are in effect now, with the same rules about maintaining grades. The KSHSAA does not let students play if they don’t pass. Under the district eligibility policy, the first week after an F, a student won’t get to play but will be able to practice, and the second week, the student is restricted if the F isn’t raised, she said.
The high school policy passed unanimously, with Paige stating that she wishes the district would check on student athletes’ grades all the time, and not wait for the progress report, in order to keep everybody’s grades up.
The school board also approved intramural competition for middle school spring sports. According to Romstad, the sports include track and field, and boys and girls soccer.
Similar health recommendations will be followed for middle school as for the high schools, with no spectators allowed.
The middle school intramural programs begin April 19, and this will be an opportunity for students in track and field or soccer to learn skills and play, she said.
The students will practice and play within their own schools, with no outside school competition, she said. This fits the needs of the schools better, Romstad said.
With the hybrid plans of attending school two days a week in April, it will be really hard for middle school students to participate in the KSHSAA programs, since they would miss a lot of practices and not be prepared for contests, she said. Some schools may have a lot of participation, while others may have a minimal amount, she said. This plan will allow coaches to teach skills, she said.
Dr. Alicia Miguel, acting superintendent, said the Health Department has relaxed school guidelines a little, allowing for more changing of classes.
The school district also did not play sports last fall, and the fall season sports were moved to this month. A shortened fall sports season began on Feb. 1 in the KCK schools, with high school teams able to play other high school teams in the district.