Schools closed for remainder of school year, all high school sports schedules canceled
April 9, 2020
DAYTON–Along with the remaining academic school year, Dayton-Waitsburg Combined Athletics for the spring seasons of golf, track and field, fast-pitch softball and baseball have all been canceled by decree from the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association (WIAA), according to DW Athletic Director Nicki Luper.
“The excitement for the D-W Spring sports season was encouraging with students preparing for their first contests and participation numbers up,” Luper said. “To know our students will not have the positive experiences, memories and opportunities to participate in a sport this spring is difficult. This is especially true for our seniors. Many of our senior athletes have played three sports a year and participated all four years in some programs.”
On Monday of this week, Gov. Jay Inslee and Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced jointly the extension of school closures for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.
“This closure is guided by science and is our greatest opportunity to keep our kids, educators and communities safe,” Inslee said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “If there is any opportunity to bring students back for a few days, including graduation ceremonies for our seniors, we will continue to explore that option. That opportunity will be guided by our collective behavior and the success we can achieve with the choices we make today.”
Inslee said students’ grades will not suffer as a result of the closure and encouraged them to take advantage of remaining learning opportunities. The governor also asked teachers and administrators to work together on the best path forward for the remainder of the school year.
“There is no question about it: Our educators and school staff are absolutely dedicated to continuing to provide supports for students and their learning,” Reykdal said. “We have already seen districts step up to provide meals for students in need and child care for the children of essential workers. Over the past three weeks, they have prepared for and begun providing continuous learning for students – and this will only get better and more sophisticated over time. We will continue serving our students and we will persevere through this.”
Luper lamented the opportunities and memories lost with the cancellation of the sports seasons. “To not have the opportunity to finish out their senior year after dedicating themselves for four years is heartbreaking,” Luper said.
WIAA officials have been in a “holding pattern” since the March 16 cessation of classes and extra-curricular activities, formulating several options to salvage the seasons, and standing ready to implement the plans had classes and activities resumed.
“It is with a heavy heart that a decision has been made to cancel all sport seasons and tournaments for the remainder of the current school year,” said Mick Hoffman, WIAA Executive Director.