I write to give you an update on our plan to return to campus for activity in athletics, following last week’s announcements from the Governor and the OHSAA. We will send more detailed information with schedules and protocols next week, but we wanted to give you information now on our planning.
First, I will say that we are all very excited to return to activity, we are looking forward to getting back to what we do best, and we cannot wait to see our athletes again! We also want to assure you that we have been working diligently to do this the right way, safely, and with the best interests in mind for all of those involved.
Upper School athletics will return with limited and outdoor-only activity on Monday, June 8. We will be following closely the guidelines outlined for Individual Skills Training from the ODH, and the guidelines recommended by the OHSAA and the NFHS. During Phase 1, which will last no less than two weeks, groups of athletes will be limited to nine or fewer, there will be no shared equipment, there will be required pre-screening practices, and social distancing and sanitation norms will be in place. All activity during the first week will take place outside on our athletic fields at the Gates Mills Campus. Additionally, during our first week, we will have only fall sports participating, and we will be limiting the number of athletes and groups we will have on campus. How we do this will vary by sport according to needs, but not all athletes will be able to return June 8. Having a smaller number of groups will allow our staff, medical team, and coaches to test and practice all of our protocols and measures to insure the safety of all of those involved.
On Monday, June 15 we will remain under Phase 1 guidelines, but we will open scheduling of groups to all fall and winter teams. How frequently teams practice in any given week through the summer, as in any year, will be at the discretion of the coaching staff and the availability of facilities. Also on Monday, June 15 we will open our gymnasiums, again remaining in Phase 1 guidelines. We will announce the opening of our weight room at a later date. We will enter Phase 2 no sooner than June 22 and Phase 3 no sooner than July 6. Each phase introduces larger groupings, introduces equipment, and eases some of the distancing norms.
In addition to sending schedules and details around protocols next week, we will be sending information for athletes and parents to read prior to participation, and all of our coaches will undergo training and education regarding all of our Covid-19 practices and protocols. One note here: We we will be requiring athletes and families to conduct a daily pre-screening, which will include a temperature check. You will be required to have a thermometer, so if you do not have one, please try to acquire one ASAP. We have been working closely with our sports medicine team, University Hospitals, and many other schools and athletic organizations to build our plans and procedures. We are confident we will have safe activity, our athletes will be working hard, and our teams will feel good about the process.