Activities Suspended through December 14
On Friday, November 13, Governor Burgum issued an executive order that suspended all high school winter sports; all association, community, and club sports for youth and adults; and all other extra-curricular K-12 school activities, competitions, and non-school related activities until December 14, 2020. This action was taken in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the need for new standards to slow and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our state.
As you know, a district team reviews county- and school-specific data every Tuesday with our healthcare partners and shares those numbers with you. The numbers we are seeing locally align to what is being experienced across the state, and as a district, we are supportive of efforts that will slow the spread in our schools, but more importantly, in our broader community. While we know this suspension will be extremely hard on our students, their families, and our staff, it is one way we can do our part right now to help mitigate the spread. We are optimistic that this strategy will be effective so that we can proceed with all activities on December 15, 2020. In the meantime, we will be encouraging our coaches and advisors to do as much as possible with their teams through virtual platforms. The physical and social-emotional benefits of education-based activity participation are numerous. Students who participate in school activities learn life lessons in an environment that cannot be duplicated. The academic achievements, socialization, and leadership skills, as well as overall mental health, are known to be greatly enhanced in students who participate in a school activity compared to those who do not.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in thousands of North Dakota students missing out on these life-shaping educational experiences over the past several months. As soon as the Executive Order expires, our district is committed to offering our students as many “normal” opportunities as we are safely able to provide.