Game on: Tahoe Truckee schools changes course, extracurricular activities resume
A week after being sidelined due to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases, students at Tahoe Truckee Unified School District will be allowed to resume extracurricular activities.
The district suspended extracurricular activities for the remainder of the month on Jan. 5, but that all changed following a student protest on Friday in Truckee, an outpouring of support from the community, and a meeting between school officials, athletic directors and a group of student leaders.
“We heard your feedback and realize the impact that pausing extracurricular activities is having on our students and want to make some modifications,” said the district in a letter sent to parents on Tuesday.
Following Monday morning’s meeting, the district and students came to an agreement to resume extracurricular activities with additional safety measures.
As of Monday, there were a total of 267 active COVID-19 cases, representing more than 18% of the district’s population.
Brett McFadden, Nevada Joint Union High School District superintendent, said last week that the district would continue its in-person operations for as long as possible.
High school Nordic skiing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding are able to resume this week. Face masks or neck gators must be worn except during competition. Mandatory weekly and day-of or day-before competition testing will also take place.
Additionally, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District said it’s experiencing severe staffing shortages, specifically in its transportation department, meaning transportation to and from events must be set up through the team. Students will be allowed to drive themselves, but cannot take other students. If available, school vans may also be used. The driver will be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to travel. Spectators will be allowed at events.
Students participating in basketball, volleyball, drama, band or who are on the academic team may resume practices and rehearsals this week.
Masks must be worn at all times during practice and wellness checks will take place before each practice. Weekly testing will also be mandatory.
Scrimmages, competitions, and performances may resume next week.
Athletes will have to provide proof of a negative test on game days.
Home games will be allowed next week, but spectators won’t be allowed to attend. The district will attempt to livestream as many games as possible on Tahoe Truckee Media.
For away games, teams and students will be responsible for travel, following similar rules as in snowsports.
“We are still determining if we will allow spectators,” the district said. “If we do, we will request either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test. This will be clarified in the coming weeks by the site principal.”
Additionally, there will be no field trips or outside events at Tahoe Truckee Unified School District for the remainder of the month. No volunteers or visitors will be allowed on campus through the remainder of the month as well.
Through the final school week of the month, students — regardless of vaccination status — who have identified as a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 must remain home for 10 days. The district noted it’s using a 10-day quarantine period because that is the time frame when “students can be infected with COVID-19 and not yet show symptoms or test positive for COVID.”
Any students showing signs of COVID-19, even if they have a negative test, must remain home for five days, and can’t return until they’ve provided a negative test taken on or after the fifth day.
If a family member shows any signs of COVID-19 and has not tested positive, all students within the family must quarantine for five days. In order to return back to school, on day six, a student must be healthy and submit a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after the fifth day.
The district is offering two COVID-19 testing sites for students and staff members should they become symptomatic. Testing is not available for parents or guardians.
Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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