UPDATE – 11:29 a.m. March 13
As a precaution surrounding the impact of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, Hays CISD leaders Friday canceled all non-instructional activities and facility rentals until March 31.
The cancellation includes all UIL competitions, gatherings, special events, after-school and in-school activities, performances and presentations, said Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communications officer, in an email to parents.
Per the email, the only activity that will occur at Hays CISD facilities includes cleaning and other critical operational functions. Following the end of Spring Break, which is slated to end March 22, the only activities that will occur at Hays CISD campuses will be course instruction and after school care. Savoy said Afterschool Care will align with school closures.
“In concert with the cancelations of all non-classroom activities, Hays CISD is extending its student and non-critical staff travel to any travel outside of the district,” said Savoy.
Currently, students are expected to return to class March 23. However, Savoy said the situation surrounding COVID-19 is “evolving rapidly and may change.” Any possible decisions to extend spring break woiuld be forthcoming, Savoy said.
In the event of a possible extension of Spring Break, or a longer school closure, Savoy said teachers March 13 will send home instructional materials with students prior to the end of class.
“This will provide for instructional continuity should the need arise,” Savoy said. He added materials going home with students include materials for teaching and learning, including personal devices, textbooks and library books.
“We are continuing to monitor all Coronavirus developments and will relay information to you as decisions are made,” Savoy said.
UPDATE – 9:53 a.m. March 13
Dripping Springs High softball games that had been scheduled for Friday night and Monday afternoon have now been postponed until further notice, according to the team’s Twitter page.
The postponements are in response to Austin ISD’s decision early Friday morning to close schools as a precaution to the ongoing novel Coronavirus outbreak. Dripping Springs had been scheduled to play at Austin Navarro Friday, then host LBJ on Monday of Spring Break.
The status of the Dripping Springs baseball team’s tournament game against Bowie is unknown at this time.
Currently, all Hays CISD athletic events remain on schedule.
Upcoming Hays CISD and Dripping Springs ISD athletic events will go on as scheduled, even as district officials continue to monitor the impact of the novel Coronavirus.
Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communications officer, said no changes have been made at this time to any of the district’s athletic events. That includes the annual Don Shelton Invitational track meet scheduled for March 13 at Hays High. Dale Whitaker, Dripping Springs Executive Director of Communications, said there was “no change at this point” to DSISD athletic or fine arts events.
“But we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and changes, should they be needed, could be announced without much advance notice,” Savoy said.
Hays CISD officials Wednesday opted to suspend all student and staff out-of-state travel, as well as non-competition, discretionary field trips, until at least March 31. UIL or other competitive student events held in Texas, student internships, Career and Technical Education (CTE) student practical application and off-campus learning requirements that are part of course curriculum are currently exempt from that ban.
In a March 11 statement, Dripping Springs ISD Superintendent Todd Washburn said the district opted to postpone out-of-state school sponsored trips before and during Spring Break, which runs from March 16-20. Washburn said one school sponsored trip was postponed as as result.
Washburn said the district “fully expects this situation to evolve” over the coming weeks and that they are “prepared to modify our practices and procedures accordingly.”
“We recognize that flexibility may be necessary, especially if conditions warrant a change in our school operations,” said Washburn in the statement.
Both Hays CISD and DSISD are monitoring the status of COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, through the Hays County Health Department, the Texas Departrment of State Health Services and the CDC. Currently, no cases or suspected cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Hays CISD and Dripping Springs ISD communities.
On March 11, the World Health Organization labeled COVID-19 a global pandemic after more than 100 countries reported cases of the virus, according to reports.
But the impact of COVID-19 on the sports world continues to reverberate around the globe, ranging from professional leagues to high school athletics.
As a precaution to the growing concern over COVID-19, San Marcos CISD Wednesday announced all athletic events will be limited to players, their families and essential staff.
Austin ISD officials March 12 canceled large gatherings, field trips, field days and outside use of their buildings through April 3. UIL events within the district will be considered on a case-by-case basis, according to the AISD district website.
The University Interscholastic League, the governing body of high school athletics in Texas, suspended play of the boys basketball state tournament which began Tuesday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, citing precautions against COVID-19. In addition, the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association (THSWPA) suspended its annual state meet slated for March 19-21, an event Lehman High’s girls powerlifting team had been scheduled to compete in.
At the collegiate level, the Big 12 Conference suspended all athletic activities until March 29, impacting the annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, in which many local high school athletes compete.
Professional leagues such as the NBA, MLB, NHL and the MLS all suspended their seasons as of March 12, while the NCAA officially canceled all remaining winter and spring championships, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.