Middletown announces restart of school sports, band practices

Middletown School officials announced today they are allowing school sports and marching band practices to resume under coronavirus safety guidelines and on-campus supervision. (File Photo\Journal-News)
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Middletown School officials announced today they are allowing school sports and marching band practices to resume under coronavirus safety guidelines and on-campus supervision. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Middletown School athletes and marching band members can return to once-suspended practices, school officials announced today.

City school officials said it was better for hundreds of school athletes and band members to practice in a school-supervised sessions under the threat of coronavirus.

“Since July 30, we’ve seen our student athletes show their leadership by organizing student-led practices. While we can appreciate the perseverance of our student-athletes, we must consider their safety and well-being. By allowing skills training to happen, our coaches and trainers can ensure the proper safety measures are taking place,” said Marlon Styles, Jr., superintendent of Middletown Schools.

Schools officials said they will now conduct practices under the guidelines required by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA).

The fall athletics season, including marching band, remains suspended, Styles said in a released statement.

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He said “the safety and security of all Middletown Schools students and staff remains the priority to flatten the curve and bring students back into the classroom and onto the playing fields.”

The resumption of “skills training” for athletes and band members now has the district joining other area school systems who have been conducting on-campus practices.

Middletown Schools will start at home, remote learning for all its 6,300 students Monday and for many school families the day will include stopping in at their local school to pick up free laptops and wifi devices so their children can access the internet for their classroom lessons.

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The remote learning will continue indefinitely as school and health officials monitor the rate of coronavirus infections in the city.

Summer practices for Ohio sports include football, boys and girls soccer, golf, tennis, cross country, volleyball as well as cheer squads, band and color guard.

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