Parma City Schools Brings Back Sports, Some Extracurricular Activities

Parma City Schools students playing soccer.
The district does not anticipate regular seasons for fall sports, but training and practice can start back up. [Parma City School District]
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Student-athletes at Parma City School District (PCSD) can return to practice Tuesday, with some restrictions to prevent coronavirus spread.

The decision came in part because of other districts taking similar steps to allow sports practice to return, said Superintendent Charles Smialek.

“A real factor was parents and athletes themselves, reaching out and really pushing us to consider, was there any way that they could come back in some capacity,” Smialek said Monday.

Activities will need to follow guidelines based on recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Ohio High School Athletics Association, he said.

Only 10 people will be allowed at each activity, Smialek said, including coaches and instructors. Sanitization measures will be in place, he said, including wiping down work stations and equipment after use.

“The other conference schools had also begun this conditioning phase again,” Smialek said. “We certainly didn’t want our Parma students to fall behind.”

PCSD does have plans in place should anyone taking part test positive for COVID-19, Smialek said. The district would contact the county Board of Health, clean the areas the student or instructor may have been in and communicate with anyone who might have come in contact with the virus.

Such steps were taken earlier this summer, when an individual connected with Parma’s cross-country team tested positive for the virus, he said.

“We employed the methodology and seemed to have at least gotten the word out, and we didn’t have a major outbreak,” Smialek said.

While practice is resuming, the district doesn’t anticipate regular sporting seasons starting any time soon, Smialek said, but will continue to monitor guidance from health officials.

“No one is enjoying this from a school administrator perspective,” Smialek said. “We all love these opportunities for students, we all have great memories ourselves about what high school sports and extracurriculars brought us during our development.”

Current activities mostly consist of sports, Smialek said, as well as a few additional programs such as marching band.

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