MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The Middletown City School District announced a partial lift of the July 30 suspension of all fall extracurricular and campus activities.
Starting Monday, fall sports and marching band will resume skills training while obeying the Ohio High School Athletic Association Phase One return to play guidance.
The Middletown football team is able to formally return but won't be able to tackle during practice, according to the OHSAA recommendations implemented on May 26.
Phase One recommends a minimum distance of six feet between individuals at all times for at least 14 calendar days.
Middletown suspended all fall athletics and extracurricular activities July 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This announcement came after the school district said all schools would start the 2020-2021 year under remote learning guidelines and remain remote until further notice. The first day of school is Monday.
"Since July 30, we've seen our student athletes show their leadership by organizing student-led practices," Middletown superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. said in a statement. "While we can appreciate the perseverance of our student-athletes, we must consider their safety and well-being. By allowing skills training to happen, our coaches and trainers can ensure the proper safety measures are taking place."
The fall athletics season, including marching band, remains suspended, according to the district.
"The safety and security of all MCSD students and staff remains the priority to flatten the curve and bring students back into the classroom and onto the playing fields," district spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle said in a statement.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to make an announcement about high school sports Aug. 18.
Contact sports such as soccer, field hockey and football haven't been approved statewide for school versus school competition this week.
The soccer and field hockey seasons start Aug. 21. Football starts the week of Aug. 24.