After seeing significant posting activity Tuesday night on social media regarding the Clarksville Montgomery County school district’s decision to prohibit athletic activity in the month of June, we contacted the CMCSS Central Office to see if any reconsideration of the district’s decision was in order. We felt this was a reasonable question as it appears from numerous news reports that the majority of counties in Tennessee opened up activity on Monday, June 1. Many parents expressed concerns that Clarksville-Montgomery County athletes will fall behind their competitor schools in neighboring counties in regards to conditioning and preparation for the fall sports seasons.
We posed two questions:
(1) Is the district going to review the situation on an on-going basis to determine if changes to the policy are necessary?
(2) What is your response to the concerns that Clarksville-Montgomery County will fall behind the rest of the teams in their respective districts or regions for fall sports?
Today we received a written response for CMCSS chief communications officer Anthony Johnson:
CMCSS values athletics and other activities that provide a vast number of benefits to our students. The district used the NFHS and SMAC guidance in making this decision.
The document states: “NFHS endorse the idea of returning students to school-based athletics and activities in any and all situations where it can be done safely.”
Based on the number of athletic, extracurricular, and academic activities that would need to be considered, while equitably aligning the use of physical spaces available, the district has determined the safest course for our students at this time is to encourage our coaches to connect with student athletes virtually to provide as robust an experience as possible. Given the limitations of what outdoor activities would have included, we believe that connecting virtually can accomplish as many, if not more, of the same benefits without risking exposure to our students. Additionally, the district has provided a Technology Integration Coach for any coach needing support in navigating the tools needed to accomplish this. As fall sports draw closer, and the need for athletes to condition and weight train increases, the district is working with TSSAA and our Athletic Directors to seek solutions to the problems the pandemic has created.
We will continuously review the situation as we look to make decisions about these activities in July.
The conclusion we draw is that the decision is final for June, and there is no decision for July at this point.
After we received the statement, we were notified by the TSSAA that the traditional “Dead Period,” scheduled for June 22 through July 5, will remain in place. There was some speculation that, in light of the long break created by the public health response to the pandemic, a “dead period” would not be necessary this year.
“”We don’t ever want to put sports before families, and many families make plans for the Dead Period every year,” said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA. “This is not the first year we’ve had the Dead Period and as eager as coaches are to get back to their routine, the Council ultimately felt that there wasn’t a strong enough case for doing away with it this year.”
If we receive any updated information, we will pass it along.