Athletics and Activities
The Franklin Special School District believes activity/athletic experiences and competition can provide significant benefits to the physical and mental well-being of students. FSSD also recognizes that it is likely there will be variations in what sports and activities are allowed to do. The District supports the idea of returning students to school-based athletics and activities where it can be done safely. The recommendations for athletics and activities will be in accordance with state or local restrictions.
According to Order No. 55 signed by Governor Bill Lee, no sports are prohibited by the state, provided that participants follow safety guidelines from their governing bodies or Tennessee Pledge guidelines, as applicable.
There are a number of actions sports teams and activity programs can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread during practice and competition. Sport teams and extracurricular programs will implement several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for Considerations for Youth Sports:
- Staying home when appropriate per health self-assessment
- Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Cloth face coverings
- Face coverings may be challenging for players to wear while playing sports; however, they should be worn on the sideline or bench.
- Face coverings should be worn by coaches, sports staff, officials, parents, and spectators as much as possible.
- Adequate hand washing and hand sanitizer supplies will be available to student athletes.
- Signs and messages:
- Signs will be posted in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances and exits, and in restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering
- Available CDC print and digital resources ( CDC’s communication resources) may be used.
The Franklin Special School District will implement the following protocols related to extracurricular activities.
- Students and staff must conduct a personal wellness check before engaging in practice, workouts, or competition. Please refer to the Physical Health section for specifics.
Limitations on Gatherings
- Gathering limits for practices and events will use current local health department limitations, indoors and outdoors. Practice groups will be limited to 50 participants.
- Staff will work to maintain distancing of 6 feet between participants and 10 feet between groups of 50 or less.
- Group rosters will remain as consistent as possible to limit student movement between groups (band, athletics, TechFit, etc).
- When not directly participating in practices or contests, care will be taken to maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual.
- Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, high-touch surfaces within that facility will be wiped down and sanitized by staff serving as the host for the event (chairs, furniture in meeting rooms, locker rooms, weight room equipment, bathrooms, etc.).
- Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.
- Hand sanitizer will be available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
- Students will be encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning to home. Showers in locker rooms will be closed.
Physical Activity and Athletic Equipment
- If locker rooms are used, dressing times will be staggered and every other locker will be used.
- Face coverings are required in the locker room.
- There should be no shared athletic towels, clothing, or shoes between students.
- Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing (do not share clothing), and individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout.
- Athletic equipment such as bats, batting helmets and catchers gear will be cleaned between each use. Other equipment, such as football helmets/pads, wrestling headgear, etc should be worn by only one individual and not shared.
- All students shall bring their own water bottle. Water bottles must not be shared.
- Hydration stations (water stations, water troughs, refill stations, etc.) may be utilized but must be cleaned after every practice/contest.
Social Distancing during Contests/Events/Activities
- Sidelines/benches – Appropriate social distancing will need to be maintained on sidelines/bench during contests and events.
- Those not in drills or in play, or are waiting their turn to participate, will be placed in areas separate from the group on the field/floor with social distancing and face coverings worn.
- Players not on the fields or courts of play should be spaced with maximum distancing and should remain masked. Coaches will use their professional judgement when players come out of a game. Distancing a player without a mask may be the safer option when initially coming out of a game.
- When considering activities with other schools, all in contact with must follow the same screening and temperature check at the venue in order for FSSD to participate.
- FSSD will use the following tiers to determine who should be allowed at events:
- Athletes, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, security
- Parents/Guardians and siblings
- General spectators
Public Attendance during Contests/Events/Activities/Performances
Regarding public attendance at games, competitions and/or performances, the District will implement the following protocols:
- Essential personnel only will be allowed near students during games and competitions. Those individuals will still do everything possible to maintain physical distancing.
- Multiple shows may be necessary in order to provide an environment where physical distancing is easier to accomplish (band, choir, theatre, etc.)
- Staff, students, and spectators will only have access to the necessary areas of the building for their specific event. Access to other areas of the building will be restricted. High-touch surfaces and restrooms will be disinfected before and after each event.