Gahanna-Jefferson school district allows some extracurriculars to resume

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools announced Monday, Aug. 3, that some extracurricular activities and sports may resume immediately.

Steve Barrett, district superintendent, sent communication to district families Aug. 3, stating the district has worked with legal counsel since it suspended athletic and extracurricular activities July 30.

In addition to considering guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and Franklin County Public Health, the district also has looked at insurance and liability implications, he said.

“Our goal is to balance students’ best interests with public health recommendations and safety,” Barrett said.

He said the district believes the most prudent path forward is to have students return to Phase 1 Skills Training for middle and high school athletics and high school marching band, per Ohio Department of Health Sector-Specific Operating Requirements/Ohio High School Athletic Association guidelines.

Under these guidelines golf and tennis are able to move forward with competition, Barrett said. Volleyball and cross-country are still under consideration for competition.

“When we have more information, we will update you,” he said. “Our coaches/advisers will notify students about specific plans for their programs soon.”

Barrett said students have worked all summer with the hopes of playing in the marching band or competing in a sport.

“We want to honor this hard work and dedication,” he said. “We also want to ensure there is continuity should we return to school in the coming weeks in our hybrid model, allowing us to engage more fully in extracurricular activities.”

Barrett said it’s important to understand this is a dynamic and fluid situation.

He said the district would work with Franklin County Public Health on issues should they arise, and the district won’t hesitate to change course to ensure students and staff are safe.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla