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Cougar Athletics Returning June 16th

Good Afternoon Students, Staff and Families. This is Shane Cassida, Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services, calling with an update about athletics. 

As you may have heard, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association will lift its dead period starting Monday, June 15th.  This means Monday will be the first day student-athletes can begin practice statewide.  

After meeting with each school’s athletic director and Buncombe County Health and Human Services, it’s been determined that our high school student-athletes can safely resume limited workouts beginning as early as next Tuesday, June 16th.  Middle school student-athletes will start back with practice on Monday, July 6th.  

In order to make our return to play as safe as possible, please understand that all coaches will be meeting with parents prior to their child’s first day of practice.  Your child’s coach will be in touch with you individually about the time of your meeting.  In addition to going over guidelines from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and Asheville City Schools, each team will share its detailed safety plan.  Parents will also receive a consent form, which must be signed before your child can participate in their first practice. 

Additionally, please understand that although we will be having limited workouts, our student-athletes and coaches will be abiding by all social distancing protocols.  Practices will include no more than 25 students at a time, and each group of 25 will be divided into further practice pods of between five to 10 student-athletes.  Facilities that will be utilized include both Asheville High School and Asheville Middle School’ track and field as well as both Asheville High School and Asheville Middle School’s gym.  The weight rooms, locker rooms and mat rooms will not be used at this time. 

Upon arrival, each athlete will have their temperature taken each and every day by a health professional.  Coaches, staff and managers will wear cloth face coverings at all times as well as maintain six feet of social distancing  Our student-athletes will also wear a face mask when they are not actively engaged in physical activity; face masks will not be worn during rigorous workouts because we don’t want to inhibit your child’s ability to breath, especially during running and high aerobic activity, but students will continue to maintain social distancing throughout practice.  If your child does not have a mask or forgets their mask at home, one will be provided for them. 

In addition to our student-athletes and staff wearing personal protective equipment, please know that each location will have hand-washing stations for students and staff members to use.  Routine hand-washing will be practiced during each workout session. 

Furthermore, we are asking parents to partner with us in discouraging your child from meeting with fellow student-athletes following practice.  We know and certainly understand their desire to be with their friends after so much time apart, but our top priority is keeping our students safe, and unfortunately, that means continuing to practice proper social distancing and limiting the amount of time we’re with people who do not live within our household. 

Thank you for your continued support of Asheville City Schools and our Cougar Athletics.  I know this is not the ideal return, but we’re excited our student-athletes will have the opportunity to practice and prepare.  Should you or your family have any questions, please feel free to call (828) 350-6131.  Have a wonderful rest of your evening, and Cougar Pride!