When: School District of Lancaster school board meeting, July 28.
What happened: After holding three meetings to finalize details on the district’s back-to-school plan to open amid the coronavirus pandemic, members gave the go-ahead for fall sports to resume regular practice with some caveats. No groups larger than 25 will meet, no one will play inside, students will socially distance at all times, and the board will decide when they can begin competition.
Decision: The vote was 8-1. Member Salina Almanzar dissented. She has expressed concerns about moving athletes into a green phase when the entire school plan is in a yellow phase.
Public: The board listened to 28 emotional pleas from student athletes and parents of athletes — read by district spokesperson Adam Aurand — to open the season. Some wrote that sports provide a way out of a troubled home life, while others said athletics offers a springboard to a brighter future.
Quotable: “We need this upcoming football season for athletes to be engaged in something positive, to change McCaskey and build something for the next guys,” wrote athlete Orlando Taveras. “This, for some people, is all they got. Some of the students want to really go to college, and this is their way of showing it. That they want to be good. They want a career, a future. They want to better themselves, (there are) a lot of reasons why we need football this year.”
Safety: In the athletic plan, athletes must wear a mask when they are not engaged in physical activity. Other safety measures include hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations, disinfecting of any shared equipment and screening for the virus.
What’s next: The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4, with limited seating in Room B123 of the McCaskey East High School building, 1051 Lehigh Ave. The public can still watch it livestream on the district website.