January 5, 2021
County high school athletics will resume immediately
Fauquier High’s wrestling team, which in February won its third state title in six years, will resume competition this month. But, the Falcons — along with Kettle Run’s Cougars and Liberty’s Eagles — will compete in an abbreviated winter season without fans in attendance.
Our athletes should have the same opportunities as those in other counties and states.
— Liberty High School Principal Sam Cox
Fauquier public schools will resume interscholastic sports, with practices beginning Jan. 6 and competition starting Jan. 12.
The school board approved the plan, 5-0, during a special meeting via Zoom on Tuesday night.
“So much already has been taken away from them” (student-athletes) because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Liberty High Principal Sam Cox told the board before the vote.
Participation in sports will help address academic performance, boredom, depression and the opportunity to compete for scholarships, Mr. Cox said.
“Our athletes should have the same opportunities as those in other counties and states,” he added.
Practices and tryouts will begin Wednesday in basketball, winter track, swimming and wrestling at Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty high schools.
Activities directors, coaches, principals and trainers at all three county high schools in June developed a mitigation plan for Fauquier in addition to one from the Virginia High School League.
> Document at bottom of story
“It’s an excellent plan — second to none,” Superintendent David Jeck said. “I feel really comfortable supporting the plan.”
Mr. Cox described athletes as “champing at the bit.”
Fall sports got postponed to spring and will follow an abbreviated winter season. The VHSL allowed schools to start winter sports practices Dec. 14, with competition beginning Dec. 28. But, Fauquier schools delayed resumption of athletics until Tuesday night’s board decision.
Administrators and coaches have worked hard over the last six months to prepare for the opportunity, Kettle Run Activities Director Paul Frye said. “We are really prepared to start tomorrow.”
School board members said they received lots of email supporting the resumption of athletics.
“We understand how strongly people feel about this,” said board Chairwoman Donna Grove (Cedar Run District).
“I think we’re in good shape” with the local and VHSL plans, Ms. Grove added.
Stephanie Litter-Reber (Lee) echoed others saying: “I do agree with the mental health aspects” of restarting sports.
Later, Ms. Litter-Reber added: “I have heard my constituents, loud and clear.”
Because of the state’s limits on gatherings, the athletes will compete without fans this winter.
Instruction will remain all-virtual through at least Friday, Jan. 15.
The school board will discuss a potential return to hybrid instruction — with most students in classrooms two days a week — at its meeting Monday, Jan. 11.
Grove elected chairwoman
Her colleagues Tuesday night unanimously elected Ms. Grove to lead the board in 2021, succeeding Duke Bland (Marshall).
Ms. Grove, 67, has served on the board since 2008.
The board elected Suzanne Sloane (Scott) as vice chairwoman, succeeding Ms. Grove.
The board chairperson earns an annual stipend of $14,400; the vice chairperson gets $13,300 and the other members receive $12,000.
FCPS Athletics Health Mitig... by Fauquier Now
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Linda Ward · January 7, 2021 at 7:56 pm
"Research has long since shown that a summer vacation can wipe out a month or two of student learning. Making up for an even more serious learning shortfall will require planning that should begin now. An obvious first step would be to use the summer of 2021 for summer school or catch-up tutoring. If the Biden Education Department decides on this approach, it will need to petition Congress to fund the project. The states are too cash poor at the moment and could not undertake such a venture on their own."
Linda Ward · January 7, 2021 at 7:53 pm
"The departing education secretary, Betsy DeVos, will be remembered as perhaps the most disastrous leader in the Education Department’s history. Her lack of vision has been apparent in a variety of contexts, but never more so than this fall when she told districts that were seeking guidance on how to operate during the coronavirus pandemic that it was not her responsibility to track school district infection rates or keep track of school reopening plans. This telling remark implies a vision of the Education Department as a mere bystander in a crisis that disrupted the lives of more than 50 million schoolchildren.
If the Senate confirms President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee, Miguel Cardona, as Ms. DeVos’s successor, he will face the herculean task of clearing away the wreckage left by his predecessor — while helping the states find a safe and equitable path to reopening schools.
Beyond that, the new secretary needs to quickly reverse a range of corrosive DeVos-era policies, including initiatives that rolled back civil rights protections for minority children as well as actions that turned the department into a subsidiary of predatory for-profit colleges that saddle students with crushing debt while granting them useless degrees.
There is still more to learn about Mr. Cardona. But at first glance, the contrast between him and his predecessor is striking. Ms. DeVos had almost no experience in public education and was clearly uninterested in the department’s mission. Mr. Cardona worked his way up from teacher to principal to education commissioner of Connecticut. Moreover, he seems to understand that a big part of his job involves using the bully pulpit to advance policies that benefit all schoolchildren and protect the most vulnerable.
Mr. Cardona would need to pay close attention to how districts plan to deal with learning loss that many children will suffer while the schools are closed. Fall testing data analyzed by the nonprofit research organization NWEA suggests that setbacks have been less severe than were feared, with students showing continued academic progress in reading and only modest setbacks in math."
More to thank the current administration for, screwing up our schools and children, effecting 50 MILLION children.
Sammy · January 6, 2021 at 9:16 pm
Alohaexpress · January 6, 2021 at 8:46 pm
Maskless wrestling permitted
Masked, socially distanced, heavily regulated classroom learning STRICTLY FORBIDDEN !!!!!
Beyond asinine and ridiculous
PabloCruz · January 6, 2021 at 6:18 pm
DUMB IS STRONG
BestKeptSecrets · January 6, 2021 at 5:40 pm
Lastest research by the scientists in the UK, no locked down should have occurred to begin with. So let us use the athletes first, next band, and the rest of the extracurricular groups to get us back to normalcy. If you have a weakened immunity or elderly, as usually recommended take extra precautions. Let's stop the radical left from ruining our schools and economy.
JustAnOpinion · January 6, 2021 at 4:03 pm
So silly... Can't get to school. And my 6th grader got no assignments from the teachers today. Imagine that. First day back.
ella82 · January 6, 2021 at 3:05 pm
How rediculous can you get...students can not enter buildings to learn but athletics can take place in those very same buildings. Decision was probably rushed in order for these so called people's board members to put on their MAGA hats and attend the disaster and affront to this nation that is taking place on the Capitol steps as I write this. Keep all students out of the buildings or let them all attend(which I don't support) there should be no one or the other.
AngryBob · January 6, 2021 at 10:28 am
Well, I can see the school board's priorities.
Go Falcons! Screw everybody else.
My 1st and 2nd graders are home doing worksheets.
brandonj · January 6, 2021 at 9:11 am
@Concerned1 are you referring to all the patients in the hospital that weren't infected in school?
Concerned1 · January 6, 2021 at 9:04 am
Maybe Ms. Grove and company should spend a day attending to patients at the Fauquier hospital ICU.
badelectronics · January 6, 2021 at 7:37 am
The Covidiots might rise again.
Many will die. Some will need ventilation.
Spread 'round them germs! MAGA!!!
sharlene · January 5, 2021 at 9:11 pm
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