"Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools," UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said in the July 21 release. "While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates risk of COVID-19 spread."
The calendar adjustments are in response to the current public health situation and the varying number of coronavirus cases in different parts of Texas, according to the release. Schools in highly populated areas—primarily conferences 5A and 6A—will be provided a delayed schedule, while conferences 1A-4A will have the opportunity to start their seasons on time. Local flexibility is allowed, and districts are encouraged to plan for possible interruptions throughout the season.
Modifications to the 2020-21 calendar differ by activity and conference:
As school districts decide at the local level when to begin the school year, these guidelines allow for schools to make decisions on these programs at the local level as well. UIL will work with schools directly that have scheduling issues not addressed in this plan, the release said.
Comprehensive UIL risk mitigation guidelines for COVID-19 can be found here. These guidelines include details on face coverings, general operations and protocol for individuals confirmed or exposed to COVID-19, congregate settings such as band halls and locker rooms, practice and rehearsal activities, spectators and media, and concessions stands and food services.
Spectators can attend games and contests with a 50% venue capacity limitation. Spectators will be required to wear face coverings unless they have a medical condition or disability preventing this or they are eating or drinking, swimming or congregating in an area where 6-foot social distancing is practiced.
UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal guidance to determine any further modifications that may become necessary, the release said.
For more information, visit the UIL website.