Picture caption: Morgan Park Excessive Faculty’s mustang mascot statue
That is half three of a three-part collection inspecting how excessive colleges and student-athletes tailored to the shutdown of their sports activities packages and the adjustment of a brand new regular within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The teachings realized by the administration and coaches.
By Bobby Cameron
Nobody may have absolutely anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic and its impression on highschool sports activities. The expertise has led to enhancements in preparedness and contingency planning within the occasion of one other pandemic and short-term sports activities shutdown.
Chicago Public Faculties’ athletic division feels it’s prepared—ought to one other well being disaster come into play.
Key takeaways are having efficient communication to maintain athletes, coaches and households knowledgeable about modifications to packages and security protocols; collaborating with their communities, well being officers and different stakeholders to develop and implement efficient security protocols – elevated cleansing and disinfecting of kit, obligatory masks sporting and bodily distancing – to stop the unfold of viruses; offering psychological well being sources and assist to their packages; and the function of expertise for digital exercises and on-line coaching periods to assist athletes keep lively and engaged after they’re unable to satisfy in individual.
Expertise is the largest issue for Chris Gardner. It lays the muse for educational success—ought to distant studying come again into play.
“We should get forward of the scholar’s dwelling life. Having a laptop computer or Chromebook is one factor, as a result of each child normally will get one from faculty. Nevertheless it’s the entry that’s the roadblock to using the machine,” mentioned Morgan Park’s head boys’ basketball coach.
Along with giving all college students a laptop computer, Gardner mentioned in addition they have to obtain cell hotspots or free Wi-Fi to get web entry.
“There ought to be a program that gives free web entry to college students’ houses. And identical to some utility firms have a moratorium on shutoffs in the course of the wintertime, the web entry ought to stay accessible in the course of the faculty yr with out worry of disconnection. If we anticipate for our college students to have interaction in distant studying, we’ve to take away the boundaries to entry,” he mentioned.
Cynthia Ervin mentioned the pandemic made college students and their mother and father extra computer-friendly in the course of the digital studying interval and issues look like again to regular.
“I feel we’re higher ready ought to this occur once more. We’re taking the mandatory precautions, as a result of the gyms are full and the camaraderie among the many college students is again to the place it was pre-pandemic,” mentioned the athletic program administrator for CPS.
Whereas issues are again to regular, Ervin and Gardner agree that there’s one lingering subject that may repeatedly have to be mentioned and labored on: fairness.
The pandemic exacerbated current inequalities in sports activities packages, with some athletes getting access to higher sources and alternatives than others. Highschool sports activities packages might want to concentrate on selling fairness of their packages, corresponding to by offering extra assist for under-resourced athletes or providing alternatives for athletes from under-represented communities.
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