Letters on Guilford County Schools Allowing Athletes to Return to Conditioning, falling through the cracks: NCHSAA Decision/GCS Return to Conditioning

Posted by Andy Durham on September 14, 2020 at 11:24 am under High School | 9 Comments to Read

Info coming in from one of our local Guilford County parents, just trying to hold out hope that our Guilford County athletes can get in some preseason conditioning before their seasons officially begin/get underway…
(Letters that have been sent to the main offices of the Guilford County Schools.)

Superintendent, Administration and Board Members,

Here we are on 9/14/20, our kids are back in school sort of, and we still have no answers or information about when athletics might start to be phased back in. GCS continues to keep its constituency in the dark when it comes to this subject. The NCHSAA has done its part by coming up with a schedule plan and is in Phase 2 of Return to Play for districts while GCS sits on their hands and leaves our kids in Phase 0. Really is quite frustrating that there continues to be no information from leadership. Again, here we sit on Monday 9/14/2020 and Cross Country and Volleyball are scheduled to begin in the first week of November and GCS hasn’t given its parents and students any inclination that they care about this.

Today I read that the largest school system in the state has started their return to play with volleyball and cross country and will have future dates for which teams can return once campuses are prepared.

https://www.cmsathleticzone.com/

GCS has taken no such steps. GCS is very content with our athletes paying money to outside organizations and continuing to workout unsupervised or by the guidelines that the NCHSAA has provided. Trust your Athletic Directors and Coaches to follow the guidelines given to them instead of having our children go on their own. This leadership since the time it arrived in 2016 has been reactive in every decision and call they have made from snow closings to early releases to now returning to play.

I have contacted GCS several times and after being put off twice to an administrator that was not even addressed I finally heard from 2 BoE members. Only when I reached out again after the NCHSAA announced the new athletic schedule did I hear from someone in the Superintendent’s office. To no avail I will probably get the same response from this correspondence which would be no surprise and again very disappointing.

Very disappointing to say the least that we can not even get information about this subject. I believe GCS is hoping it will just go away.

Ron Lenard

On Wed, Aug 12, 2020
Ms. Superintendent, Administration and Board Members,

I am writing yet again about the decision by GCS for Return to Play which was put into effect back in June. GCS on a number of occasions has decided to continue to postpone athletics and band since June. Now that the state has rolled out a tentative schedule for athletics for the 2020-21 school year it is time to revisit a return to play timeline.

These kids need this for their well being. I understand the health and safety of each individual student as well as coach and staff member. These kids continue to work at preparing for their respected seasons on their own. Why not have them at least supervised and controlled by the guidelines the NCHSAA has provided. Several school districts around Guilford County have returned to workouts – Rockingham (4 schools), Forsyth (12 schools), Randolph (6 schools), and Davidson (7 schools) with success and guidance. Let’s trust our area coaches and AD’s to do the same and get these kids back in a routine. Not just for athletics but for their mental health. This whole Covid-19 has created a lot of anxiety for most of these students. We as a district can be mindful and enforce the guidelines for a safe return to at least some sort of team conditioning. This will also help with the continued transition of virtual learning for these students.

The NCHSAA has given us dates to work towards, now let them get back to work. Not going to be normal but at least these kids will have something to work towards.

Ron Lenard


  • Andy Durham said,

    The return of sports: For the first time since the pandemic started, the majority of NCHSAA schools, districts, and students have resumed workouts……

  • Andy Durham said,

    RALEIGH, N.C. — For the first time since the N.C. High School Athletic Association suspended sports on Mar. 13, the majority of NCHSAA-member schools, local education agencies, and students are now eligible to participate in sports workouts.

    According to HighSchoolOT data, 58 percent of LEAs with NCHSAA-members, including charter and parochial schools, have resumed sports workouts. That makes up 60 percent of all NCHSAA-member schools and 59 percent of the NCHSAA student population.

    The majority of NCHSAA schools resumed sports workouts in August, but this marks the first time the majority of students have resumed because the largest school districts mostly remained in a sports suspension. That has slowly changed over the course of the last month.

    On Aug. 3, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools — the fourth largest district in the state — allowed its schools to resume sports workouts.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the state’s second largest school district, and Cabarrus County Schools, the ninth largest school district, resumed some workouts on Monday. That added an additional 26 schools and 53,798 additional high school students.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Of the largest ten school districts, Wake County, Guilford County, Cumberland County, and Durham County remain suspended. Until August, nine of the ten largest districts remained in a sports suspension.

  • Ron Lenard said,

    I appreciate BoE member Darlene Garrett responding to the latest request for some kind information from this leadership.

    With the continued lack of information from GCS about this subject outside intenties are taking advantage of starting their own leagues and making money on top of that from Volleyball, Baseball, Soccer and 7on7 to name a few. GCS appears to be content to sit back and let this happen while other districts continue to return to athletics.

    My question to the GCS is are they ok with this and ok with not every student athlete not having the opportunity to play in an outside league?

  • NWG Parent said,

    Hi Andy and Thanks to Ron Lenard for leading the way for Guilford County parents. I trust that the GCS Board of Education members are meeting and will make the decision to put our kids back on the courts and fields soon. the NCHSAA has already put districts like: Wake county’s plan, Alamance County, Charlotte/Mecklenburg/Forsyth, yet the 3rd largest county in the state is yet unprepared to make a decision at this time. Our kids are forced to go elsewhere as ron Lenard says. To pay hundred’s of dollars to 3rd party tournaments, trainers etc..Subject themselves even more to Covid19. All the while we could be with our own, coaches and teammates right here in Guilford County, practicing and learning. Parents, we can do one thing…get the attention of the school board. At Northwest, we live in District 3, Pat Tillman. His email is tillmap@gcsnc.com we all need to come together as parents and get this right. Our kids deserve better. Our kids deserve what our fellow NC counties are doing. Other Guilford County board members are:
    Diane Bellamy Small-bellamysmall@gcsnc.com
    Anita Sharpe-sharpeaw@gcsnc.com
    Linda Welborn-kbwelborn2@triad.rr.com
    Darlene Garrett-dygarr@aol.com
    Khem Irby-irbyk@gcsnc.com
    Byron Gladden-gladdeb@gcsnc.com
    Deena Hayes-hayesd@gcsnc.com
    Winston McGregor-mcgregw@gcsnc.com

  • Andy Durham said,

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    from the Greensboro News and Record:
    Guilford County Schools pushing forward with Saturday internet hubs, despite just 51 students showing up

    Despite the low turnout, the district still plans to offer the service, at least through this weekend. The internet hubs are among several efforts by the district to connect students who started the school year working remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    ******************************************************
    from GreensboroSports.com:
    I did not think this would draw flies on a Saturday when word first came out that they were going to do this…Going to school on a Saturday, and trying to get internet work in??? What’s wrong with doing the same thing on a Monday thru Friday schedule for the high school students..(On optional days of course.)

    Nobody wants to do school on a Saturday, especially when you have already put in time on Monday-Friday…

    BUT, I have this weird and strange feeling that High School Athletic Workouts would draw HUGE numbers if given the same opportunity/chance…

    I bet those preseason workouts would be a huge success, if GCS would let them happen…

  • Ron Lenard said,

    Here is my same generic response from the GCS SI office…

    NC
    Nora Carr
    Sep 16, 9:14am
    Dear Mr. Lenard:

    On behalf of the Board and Superintendent Contreras, thank you for your continued advocacy regarding the restart of athletics in GCS. While we recognize the importance of athletics plays for student-athletes, as we have shared previously, our focus has been on academics, especially while all students are learning remotely and are not in school (at least physically). This does not mean that we do not support our student athletes. We will restart athletics when public health data and the sports involved align well in terms of social distancing, etc. Again, we appreciate your support of our students.

    Sincerely,

    Nora Carr
    Chief of Staff

    I appreciate the hard work that is going into teaching our kids remotely but let’s be real, did they really think these sites were going to be over run with students wanting to do their school work on Saturday. I continue to praise all the Administrators, staff and especially the TEACHERS at each school for all their hard work in the current environment. They are working with what the leadership has given them.

    My beef with the current leadership is that they don’t keep the Parents and students informed until the last possible minute. They don’t let their County AD and School ADs do their jobs to keep our student athletes safe per the guidelines from the NCHSAA. While every other district around the state is coming up with plans and executing them. Seems to me Leaders should Lead and not Follow which is what this current leadership has done since the beginning.

    I will receive that same letter for every email or call sent downtown.

    #TimeForChange #LetThemPlay

  • Andy Durham said,

    Ron Lenard
    @rlenard

    How is it @RoyCooperNC has NC @ Phase 2.5 and @GCSchoolsNC and @scontrerasGCS has us stuck in Phase 0 for athletics? Things that make u go ?. #LetThemPlay #TimeForChange #Tyranny #PhaseAnything
    @gsosports

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