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Fri, Nov. 27

Spring sports delayed through January at Grand Canyon School

Grand Canyon Phantoms play in a 2019 game at Grand Canyon School. On Nov. 2, Grand Canyon School Governing Board voted to postpone both in-person instruction and athletics until at least Jan. 28, the start of the next semester. (Photo/NPS)

Grand Canyon Phantoms play in a 2019 game at Grand Canyon School. On Nov. 2, Grand Canyon School Governing Board voted to postpone both in-person instruction and athletics until at least Jan. 28, the start of the next semester. (Photo/NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — During a Nov. 2 special meeting of the Grand Canyon School Governing Board, board members decided to continue to postpone school athletics until at least Jan. 28, the start of the next semester.

During the meeting, Grand Canyon School Principal Matt Yost laid out information regarding Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) recommendations for fall/winter sports.

Recommendations for a safe return to sports are outlined by the AIA in a 19 page document. Factors that determine a safe return include whether or not there is a continued presence of COVID-19 in the community.

“The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) strongly supports the return of athletics and competitive sports. However, it must be done so in the safest way possible,” AIA stated in the document.

After the presentation, board members felt it would not be safe to resume sports without in-person instruction. Winter sports, especially, would require a number of additional safety accommodations, according to the board. The board did acknowledge the difficulty of this decision.

Yost stated that he had received feedback from several community parents who said, “for our high schoolers, basketball is social-emotional [learning].”

Grand Canyon School Superintendent Shonny Bria said she is hopeful sports will be a part of the spring semester.

“I hope so,” she said. “I certainly would like to get our athletic program going. I think it’s so important for the kids.”

Yost said the school would like to provide some physical outlet for students.

“I know the board would be very interested, if the numbers would allow and the metrics were in the right places, we would like to do some intramural, some different things to support students so they can participate in the sports they like,” Yost said.

Yost said while students were disappointed that fall sports were cancelled, most seem to understand the reasons why.

“I’m sure a couple of students are really trying to see what they can do — can they participate in a club sport or something along those lines,” he said.

Loretta McKenney contributed to this report

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