Revised guidelines for Maine school sports released; votes to be scheduled

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 8:00am

    AUGUSTA – The Maine Principals’ Association, the Maine School Superintendents Association, and the Mills Administration issued the following statements today after reaching agreement on updated guidance for fall school sports.

    The revised “School Sports Guidance: Return to Competition for Competitive Athletics and Activities in Maine” is now in line with all State of Maine health and safety protocols and will proceed to a vote before MPA’s Sports Medicine Committee followed by its Interscholastic Management Committee.

    “I appreciate the support of the Mills Administration as we revised this guidance to ensure that it is in line with all of Maine’s health and safety measures and that it protects students, their families, their peers, and their communities at large,” said Mike Burnham, Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association. “While these guidelines provide a strong foundation for how to safely play fall sports in Maine, we recognize that ultimately the final decision on sports will be made by local school districts based on their capacity for implementing the health and safety guidelines as applied to school sports – a decision and process that we wholeheartedly respect.”

    “I am grateful to the MPA, the Maine School Superintendents Association, and the Maine School Boards Association for working closely and collaboratively with Commissioners Lambrew and Makin to align the school sports guidance,” said Governor Janet Mills. “As the parent to five now-grown daughters, I know how important school sports are in the life of children. At the same time, I also recognize how challenging it is for school administrators and teachers to undertake in-person learning with the threat of COVID lingering among us. With this guidance, these three organizations, along with my Administration, are working hard to welcome students back into the classroom and to allow for fall sports in a way that protects the health of students on the field and in the classroom and that safeguards teachers and staff and members of the larger community.”

    “We have always recognized the important role that school sports play in supporting the physical, social, and mental wellbeing of students across Maine,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “With this revised guidance, we have reached consensus on how student athletes may play most fall sports in a way that is consistent with the State’s public health measures to protect Maine students, school staff, and communities. We applaud the MPA, the Maine School Boards Association, and the Maine School Superintendents Association for their work to chart this path forward and will continue to support them moving forward.”

    “Maine School Superintendents Association recognizes and appreciates the value of co- and extra-curricular activities and their role in supporting our mission of educating all students,” said Eileen King, Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association. “As an extension of our educational programming, it is important both cocurricular and extra-curricular activities are offered in a manner that is safe and consistent with the DHHS-approved Community Sports guidelines. These activities, if offered under these guidelines, will help to promote the safety of all participants as well as the safety of the sponsoring schools.”