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Hillsboro school district's sports practices to begin Monday

Staff writer

Hillsboro’s plan for all high school sports is to have practices begin Monday, but what happens on the field also depends on what happens in classrooms. Classes are to have options available for in-person and distance learning, according to what students and parents are comfortable with.

Students learning from home will be allowed to participate in sports, but that doesn’t mean attendance requirements will go out the window.

“We’re going to keep track of attendance and eligibility,” superintendent Max Heinrichs said at Monday’s school board meeting. “If you’re not meeting those eligibility rules, then you have academic detention. If you don’t get that up at a certain time, then you won’t be able to play or practice.”

The school will have a required check-in to ensure students at home are present for a full school day, and Heinrichs said those students would be expected to exhibit the same learning and workload as with in-person classes.

Another potential issue is how to handle athletic gear, particularly football pads for middle school students, who will likely have to keep gear together in locker rooms.

One possibility might be buying a specific type of ultraviolet light, called UV-C, to kill coronavirus in locker rooms, though that would be expensive, Heinrichs said.

Despite the precautions discussed, Heinrichs noted, sports still aren’t a given.

“I’m hoping like crazy that we have all our activities, but I’m seeing that the NCAA is shutting it down,” Heinrichs said.

Multiple top athletic conferences canceled or postponed fall sports over the past week, including the American, Big 10, and Pac-12 conferences.

If fans aren’t allowed at sporting events, then streaming games online will become a valuable resource, Heinrichs said. It still could cost the school a significant amount financially, however, since Hillsboro generates $40,000 to $45,000 a year from ticket sales.

“Live-streaming will be a part of what we do,” he said. “We had to think about that. I don’t know how much you know about how we run our athletics. Half our budget for running our day-to-day stuff comes from gate and entry fees.”

Last modified Aug. 12, 2020

 

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