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CMS announces plan for resuming sports, after-school activities

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced its plan for sports to resume in February, including football and basketball.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Wednesday that many extracurricular activities and most sports will resume in February, including basketball and football, as the district begins its transition toward more in-person learning

Under the plan, basketball, cheerleading, lacrosse and soccer will resume Feb. 8. Football will also begin practices on Feb. 8, which is in line with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) calendar. Football games will start Feb. 26 with a spring season. 

Swimmers and divers qualified for postseason regionals can begin competing on Feb. 5. Out-of-season sports may resume skill development workouts no sooner than Feb. 15, which is also the date CMS has set for a return to in-person learning.

"The COVID pandemic has caused us to make many difficult decisions this school year, and pausing athletics and delaying the start of many arts and other enrichment programs are among the most painstaking," said CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston. "Extracurricular programs are vital to the social and emotional health of our students. With confidence that community conditions have improved, we are pleased to resume athletic practices and competition and to begin offering arts students the opportunity to participate in after-school activities."

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CMS also announced several after-school programs will begin Feb. 8. These arts programs, including music, dance, and theater, will be offered on a voluntary basis, with parent permission required for student participation, and utilizing strict COVID protocols and safety practices aligned with those put in place for athletics. Decisions on live/virtual performances are under evaluation and will be communicated at a later date.

Students enrolled in JROTC programs at CMS campuses can return to those activities, as well. Other activities, including speech and debate, remain under evaluation, according to CMS.

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"We want these activities to continue without interruption but making that happen is the responsibility of leaders and participants. We must practice the three Ws and follow all guidelines – all the time, without lapses," said Winston.