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THE JOURNEY AHEAD

Athletics & After School Plan

After School Enrichment and Athletics

Introduction

Enrichment activities and athletics will continue to play a huge role in fulfilling St. Gabriels’ commitment to providing exceptional, dynamic, interactive, and intentional educational experiences while also caring for our students’ emotional and physical health. At its core, these opportunities allow students to grow in and pursue passions outside of the classroom. Many life skills, such as teamwork, cooperation, accountability, and perseverance, are taught and learned after the school bell has rung.

Unfortunately, local health concerns related to the Coronavirus has forced SGCS and many other schools across the nation and world to suspend these activities. All activities and athletics will be modified to align with the greater school community in an effort to reduce risk and fulfill the commitments promised to SGCS students, families, and community. 

Physical Distancing and Reducing Density

All sports and activities differ in nature, and as a result, differ in the level of risk. Tacklebar football and boy’s lacrosse, for example, require physical touch and close proximity. Maintaining appropriate distancing is impossible in these sports and activities and the probability of exposure increases. Other sports and activities, such as cross country or golf, easily adhere to safety guidelines and regulations proposed by national and state legislations in practice and competition.

 

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) have separately prescribed similar scales or phases of risk to consider when re-opening activities and athletics. SGCS will utilize these resources when assessing the risks associated with each sport and activity to make necessary modifications.

Tier 1 Sports & Activities

Definition:

Sports/Activities that can be done with physical distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between
use by student.

Sports at SGCS include:

Cross Country, Golf, Sideline Modified Cheer (No Stunting), Track (Individual Running Events)

Activities at SGCS include:

Classroom-based enrichment classes, such as Art, Coding with Kids, and Hogwart’s Magic Class

Tier 2 Sports & Activities

Definition:

Sports/Activities that involve close, intermittent sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can’t be immediately cleaned between students.

Sports at SGCS include:

Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball, Soccer, Track and Field (Relays and Field Events), Tennis, Girls Lacrosse, Flag Football

Activities at SGCS include:

Activity-based enrichment classes, such as Sportball, Escape Room, and Chess

Tier 3 Sports & Activities

Definition:

Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, prolonged contact such as tackling, wrapping, or holds are involved, lack of significant protective barriers, and a high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.

Sports at SGCS include:

TackleBar Football, Stunt Cheerleading, Boys Lacrosse

 

Each sport or activity in the table above will be evaluated to determine whether risks can be reduced enough to permit the sport to happen. Cancelling a sport or activity will remain a last resort, but may be necessary.  Before cancelling a sport or activity, SGCS will consider all other options, including an intramural format, modifying the sport to resemble a safer way to participate, or possibly offering the sport in a different season.  SGCS will commit to prioritizing the physical, spiritual, and emotional health and safety of our students, their families, and our faculty and staff. 

SGCS will also continue to coordinate with its partners in all of our leagues and associations, CAPPS, CAPLAX, CTYLA, and OHYSA with the hope of offering regular season competition and end-of-season tournaments against other schools, where tight agreements about safety and hygiene can be made in partnership with other schools. When SGCS hosts games or events, parents should also expect new distancing protocols for fans to reduce exposure.

Across all activities and athletics, students who choose to participate in either sports or activities will be expected to adhere to the SGCS Activities and Athletics Participation Waiver of Liability For 2020-21.

Aligning Activities and Athletics to Learning Models and Risk Assessments

The SGCS Reopening Task Force has prescribed three different models of learning for the 2020-2021 school year: distance learning, on-campus learning, and synchronous remote learning. The distance learning model greatly prohibits our ability to meet, practice, and compete; however, workarounds and other opportunities will be explored to ensure that each child will have access to the full SGCS experience.  The on-campus learning model allows athletics and activities to resume operations with appropriate health and safety measures in place.  Each sport and activity will undergo a risk assessment evaluation and be paired with recommendations from TAPPS and UIL to prescribe a phase of participation and competition.  The three phases of participation and competition are outlined below.

Risk and Learning Model
Considerations for Athletics and Activities

On-Campus, Normalized Operations 

  • All sports and activities will be offered.

  • Traditional sports teams will be formed with tryouts and regular practice schedules.

  • Indoor/outdoor sports and activities will be conducted in groups of any size. For larger groups, initial training may be done in smaller groups.

  • Full contact in sports and activities will be allowed and equipment can be shared between students.

  • Interscholastic competitions/events will resume as scheduled but will undergo risk assessments. SGCS will host and travel to local schools for competition and tournaments.

  • Spectators will be allowed but limitations may be implemented to ensure realistic physical distancing until deemed no longer necessary by local and state officials.

On-Campus Learning Model

  • Tier One Sports and activities that can be done with physical distancing and no shared equipment will be offered.

  • Tier Two Sports and activities will be individually evaluated and undergo a risk assessment.  Medium risk sports will operate normally with enhanced health and safety protocols, be modified from its original style of play, be postponed to another season, or cancelled.

  • Tier Three Sports and activities will be modified from its original style of play, be postponed to another season, or cancelled.

  • Sports and activities will be organized for competition with an intramural model initially. Should competitions become possible, SGCS will develop competitive teams that aligns with the mission and vision of the student activities department.

  • Indoor/outdoor sports and activities will be conducted in small groups with realistic physical distancing whenever possible.

  • Practices and activity schedules will be modified to ensure realistic physical distancing.  This can include late afternoon and/or weekend practices.

  • Physical contact is restricted within the rules of the sport during time of active play. Efforts should be made to avoid prolonged contact. Team huddles and celebrations including personal contact will be avoided.

  • Some sharing of equipment will be permitted.

  • Interscholastic competitions and other local events will be extremely limited, if at all, and must undergo individual risk assessments.

  • Spectators will be limited to parents.  SGCS will provide increased live-stream service for the SGCS community.

  • Athletic/activity facilities on campus will be utilized with realistic physical distancing and proper ventilation.

  • Enrichment activities are encouraged to hold classes outside, if the weather permits.

  • On-campus enrichment activities are limited to 10 students.

Distance Learning Model

  • No in-person activities or athletics will be offered.

  • Strength and sport/activity-specific training are encouraged if no equipment is required.  Coaches will communicate via social media in providing skills, drills, and exercises.

  • Faculty and staff of the Student Activities Department will engage with students via social media in providing opportunities designed to motivate and improve sportsmanship, service learning, and leadership

  • No in-person inter-scholastic competitions.

  • Athletic/activity facilities on campus remain closed to the SGCS community.

  • Enrichment activities will be offered virtually if available.

A student will not be allowed to fully participate in athletics and activities if the family qualifies for and elects to forego on-campus learning in favor of synchronous remote learning.  Synchronous remote learners will be allowed to compete in cross country and track (with the exception of relay events and field events); however, they will not be permitted to practice with the team or use SGCS athletic equipment.  Additionally, synchronous remote learners will be allowed to participate in activities that are offered virtually.

Health Screening and Preventative Hygiene

In order to safely provide important extra-curricular experiences, SGCS will introduce compulsory hygiene and health-screening protocols and expectations. These protocols complement those identified by the SGCS Reopening Task Force.  General health and safety practices will be important to help mitigate the risks of virus transmission in the extra-curricular setting. The basic expectations concerning hygiene are as follows:

  • Coaches and instructors will self-check their temperatures at home and check in with their supervisor that they have done so.

  • Students will have their temperatures checked before practices and games.  Students with a fever of above 100 degrees, will not be permitted to participate and should go home until the fever returns to normal without medication for 24 hours.

  • Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if unable to wash hands, before exiting the locker room or before entering a facility.

  • Wash hands during water breaks.

  • Face masks are not required during physical activity; however, they are required before and after practices and competitions and are encouraged to be worn during breaks and times of instruction.  Coaches are encouraged to wear masks at all times. Bring individual water bottles - clearly labeled with names.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes into a tissue, then dispose of it in the trash can immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your t-shirt or elbow. Use hand sanitizer afterwards.

  • Take home practice gear to be washed after each practice/game, including football helmets and shoulder pads, baseball helmets, bats, and gloves, etc.

  • Do not share towels, clothing, bar soap or other personal items.

  • The pre-game, in-game, and post-game rituals of handshakes, high-fives, hugs, and huddles will be avoided.

  • Coaches will be outfitted with electronic whistles.

  • SGCS will not loan any personal athletic protective gear or practice clothes - knee pads, ankle braces, etc.

  • All pinnies or practice jerseys will be washed after each use. Pinnies and practice jerseys will not be shared.

  • Limit contact with equipment that remains in place, for example, volleyball poles/net, soccer goals, baseball bases, etc.

  • Shared equipment, such as balls, will be switched out periodically.

  • Students and coaches will practice physical distancing during practice breaks or instructional time.

  • Students will have their own equipment for individual drills whenever possible.

  • During team drills, clean equipment will be introduced as often as possible.

  • Ventilation will be enhanced through open doors and windows at times when air conditioning is not necessary. Additional fans will be added to help with air circulation.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

The Student Activities department will implement increased cleaning and sanitation protocols for the students, equipment, and facilities before, during, and after practices, games, and events.  The facilities will be properly ventilated by adding additional large industrial fans and keeping windows/doors open. Also, facilities will be fully equipped with hygiene and sanitation products.

 

Many of the new policies focus on personal responsibility and increased expectations for students, coaches, and instructors to care for their equipment, practice space, and locker rooms. This will help build a stronger sense of pride and ownership within our co-curricular programs.

Basic Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting Expectations:

  • Equipment and facility will be thoroughly sanitized after use by faculty and staff.

  • Equipment will be cleaned between usage when possible. If not feasible, limitations on shared equipment will be implemented (small group drills and games).

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., gloves, face mask, etc.) to prevent contact with contaminated surfaces and protect against toxicities associated with cleaning products.

Registration, Fees, and Communication

Registration for all 2020 - 2021 sports is available via TeamSnap, and links and other information can be found on the Athletics mySGCS Resource Board.  All student-athletes are required to complete and submit a physical examination form and must sign and return the Activities and Athletics Participation Waiver of Liability For 2020-21.

 

After-school enrichment activities can be discovered and registered for on the SGCS website.  Again, families must consent prior to participation with the Activities and Athletics Participation Waiver of Liability for 2020-21.

All fees for sports and activities will be billed via FACTS and with the following schedule:

  • 50% of sport and activity fees will be billed after the first two weeks of the season.

  • The remaining 50% of fees will be billed after the season concludes.

  • The second fee will be prorated if...

    • The school enters a distance learning model during the season or session. -OR-

    • The season or session begins in a distance learning model but is allowed to open for on-campus practices and/or competitions. -OR-

    • The scheduled number of practices and competitions are not able to be offered and need to be canceled due to the local health concerns.

Finally, SGCS, among many other schools, is a partner in a number of leagues to provide competition and works with a number of vendors to provide quality programming and instruction.  All SGCS partners are committed to coordinating a united front by developing common agreements regarding hygiene expectations and other control measures for future hosting and traveling to other schools.  We are currently unsure of what new policies and procedures other schools and institutions are implementing.  Please be patient as SGCS continues to work with our leagues, vendors, and partners during these difficult and uncertain times.

Conclusion

Activities and athletics are an important part of the SGCS student experience and these guidelines and protocols provide us with a way to allow our students to be able to safely participate in these foundational experiences.  SGCS will continue to monitor other independent schools' co-curricular programs and state and national sport governing bodies to ensure that our policies and procedures are properly aligned. The current pandemic continues to change and SGCS is prepared to modify our plans and adapt to new developments as necessary.

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Saber Kids and Saber Study

 

As part of the SGCS commitment to deliver a culture and maintain a relationship based on integrity, care, and excellence, Saber Kids and Saber Study will continue to offer a safe and loving environment for students that need to remain on campus after dismissal from school.

 

Saber Kids is designed for lower school students and is offered following dismissal until 6:00 pm.  Families that plan to regularly utilize Saber Kids can register here and will be charged a monthly fee and a one-time materials fee; however, families can always drop-in if and when necessary.

 

Saber Study, on the other hand, is designed for middle school students and is always offered without a fee.  It is imperative that school personnel account for each and every student remaining on campus after dismissal.  Families should encourage students to check-in with Saber Study if they need to hang around for a bit.  Registration for Saber Study is not required.

Aligning Saber Kids and Saber Study to Learning Models

The SGCS Reopening Task Force has prescribed three different models of learning for the 2020-2021 school year: distance learning, on-campus learning, and synchronous remote learning.

 

The distance learning model eliminates the need for Saber Kids and Saber Study as the physical campus will be closed.  Additionally, students and families engaged with the synchronous remote learning model will not need Saber Kids and Saber Study, as participation in on-campus activities does not align with the synchronous remote learning model.

The on-campus learning model stimulates the need for Saber Kids and Saber Study efforts with appropriate health and safety measures in place. 

Health Screening and Preventative Hygiene

 

In order to safely provide important after-school experiences, SGCS will introduce compulsory hygiene and health-screening protocols and expectations. These protocols complement those identified by the SGCS Reopening Task Force.  General health and safety practices will be important to help mitigate the risks of virus transmission in the after-school setting. The basic expectations concerning hygiene are as follows:

  • All after school teachers and personnel will self-check their temperatures at home and check in with their supervisor that they have done so.

  • Students will have their temperatures checked before leaving their cohort and classroom.  Students with a fever of above 100 degrees, will not be permitted to join Saber Kids and Saber Study and should go home until the fever returns to normal without medication for 24 hours.

  • Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if unable to wash hands, regularly.

  • Face masks are not required outside or once inside their cohort’s classroom; however, face masks are required while transitioning between areas and are encouraged to be worn at all times while indoors.  Teachers and personnel are encouraged to wear masks at all times.

  • Bring individual water bottles - clearly labeled with names.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes into a tissue, then dispose of it in the trash can immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your t-shirt or elbow. Use hand sanitizer afterwards.

  • Each cohort will be equipped with their own outside and playground equipment and classroom toys and materials.

  • Equipment, toys, and materials will be cleaned in between each use.

  • Saber Kids and Saber Study will utilize outdoor facilities as much as possible.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

The Student Activities department will implement increased cleaning and sanitation protocols for the students, equipment, and facilities.  All Saber Kids and Saber Study classrooms will be fully equipped with hygiene and sanitation products.

Many of the new policies focus on personal responsibility and increased expectations for students and instructors to care for their equipment, toys, and materials.  This will help build a stronger sense of pride and ownership within our co-curricular programs.

Basic Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting Expectations:

  • Equipment, toys, materials, and the facility will be thoroughly sanitized after use by faculty and staff.

  • Equipment will be cleaned between usage when possible. If not feasible, limitations on shared equipment will be implemented.

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., gloves, face mask, etc.) to prevent contact with contaminated surfaces and protect against toxicities associated with cleaning products.

 Reducing Density

No Saber Kids cohort will house more than 10 students.  If a cohort rises above 10 students, a new cohort will be introduced or a sibling in a lower cohort can join a sibling in a higher cohort.  Cohorts will not combine at any point.  Once a cohort has 1-2 children remaining the Saber Kids teacher should alert their supervisor. 

Saber Study students can utilize the classroom on the main floor of Fuentez Hall and corresponding study areas outside of the classroom.  If participation increases over 10 students, Saber Study should relocate to the picnic tables outside of Knott’s Hall.

Registration and Fees

Families that plan on using Saber Kids often should register their child(ren).  Unlimited Saber Kids will cost $275 per month.

Non-registered students will be charged a drop-in fee of $25.00 per occurrence.  Saber Study, as always, is free for middle school students.

St. Gabriel's Catholic School

2500 Wimberly Lane | Austin, TX 78735

512.327.7755 | www.sgs-austin.org

© 2020 St. Gabriel's Catholic School