VUSD begins preparing high school athletes, performers to return

Visalia Unified high schools can begin conditioning for athletics, performing arts on July 1

VISALIA – There is still no definite timeline for when it will be safe to resume high school sports, but school districts are starting to recognize that having student athletes return to play without proper conditioning would also be unsafe.

Beginning July 1, Visalia Unified School District (VUSD) will begin a modified return to extracurricular activities. VUSD high school athletics, visual and performing arts, and other student group activities will begin with limited group participation and social distancing.  Athletic conditioning activities are optional and will not be mandated or a prerequisite for participation in athletics.

“Our kids have been out of school for a while and so there was concern that if we do go back to sports in the fall that they get some conditioning during the summer,” VUSD director of health services Suzie Skadan said.

VUSD will follow state and local health guidelines to implement the return of extracurricular programs with group participant limits and social distancing. Each day, prior to beginning the activity, VUSD students, coaches, and staff will take part in pre-participation health screenings and sign a waiver. Any person with symptoms, including a temperature over 100°F, will not be allowed to take part in the activity.

“Students are encouraged to wear masks when they are not doing strenuous activity,” Skadan said.

In addition to health screenings, VUSD custodial staff will be implementing cleaning schedules within the facilities where these activities will take place. For example, prior to an individual or group of individuals entering a facility, hard surfaces within that facility will be wiped down and sanitized.

As Tulare County transitions in or out of various stages, Visalia Unified will adjust the guidance provided to extracurricular teams and groups. Skadan said there will not be any official determination about fall sports until after the July 20 meeting of California Interscholastic Federation Central Section. For more information on Visalia Unified School District’s extracurricular activities during COVID-19 reopening, please contact VUSD at 559-730-7300.

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