MORGANFIELD, Ky. (WFIE) – Schools in Webster County held Non-Traditional Education (NTI) classes on Thursday and Friday.
Union County schools have had their students online all week.
Despite this, the rivalry basketball game between the two high schools is proceeding as scheduled on Friday night.
Officials at both schools say that whenever they cancel in-person classes, they have a separate discussion about extracurricular activities.
“Well, this week we had weather events coming up,” said Amy Nelson, vice-principal at Union County High School. “When the number of COVID among staff increases, we also take this into account every day.”
School officials felt the situation called for NTI classes on Friday, but felt differently about extracurricular sports.
“We are still evaluating the circumstances every day to determine if and when we allow extracurricular activities,” said Matt Bell, Webster County High School athletic director.
It’s not new. Both districts say they still evaluate extracurricular activities separately from in-person learning.
“With sporting events, you’re talking about a very small group of students, rather than the entire student body all here on a school day,” Nelson said. “When athletes or those who participate in extra-curricular events are healthy, they test healthy, their sponsors are healthy as well, then those events can continue.”
Unique circumstances led schools to opt for NTI days this week.
Union County athletic director Jeremy Tackett said the players and coaches are healthy so the game will continue.
He says Union County High School, the site of the game, will take COVID precautions.
“Masks are mandatory, they must be worn correctly,” Tackett said. “We are asking people to social distance. Hand sanitizing stations are in place. And we ask people who are not feeling well not to come. We have national federation network cameras in our gymnasium. You can watch the game at home live on TV.
Tackett says that to have an in-person school, districts need bus drivers, teachers, custodial staff and cafeteria workers.
For a sporting event, if the coaches, players and officials are healthy, the game can continue.
He says that’s the plan for Friday night’s game.
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