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LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) has approved a return to first semester athletic and extracurricular engagement beginning on Monday, September 21, 2020. The following guiding principles will drive our operations:

  • Ensuring the gradual, safe return of student-athletes to in-person participation in interscholastic athletic activities.
  • Maximizing participation opportunities, including the implementation and transition to new phases.
  • Providing ongoing communication regarding the current operations of the SMCPS Athletics program, in alignment with state and local guidelines, considerations, and recommendations.

The first semester athletic and extracurricular engagement plan will include some combination of virtual engagement, in-person weight training and conditioning, skill development, team practices, intra-school scrimmages, and possibly in-county inter-school scrimmages.

The procedures and guidelines developed to implement our engagement plan aligns with guidance from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), and the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) mandates and recommendations.

The SMCPS Return to Play Committee was instrumental in the development of the procedures and guidelines that will drive our operations throughout the first semester. The committee consists of various stakeholders including SMCPS administrative and supervisory staff, athletic directors, and coaches. Other stakeholders including SMCHD staff, athletic trainers, and experts in sports medicine also serve on this committee.

All students participating in first semester athletic and extracurricular activities will be required to have a current physical on file with the school and a signed COVID-19 Acknowledgement Form. The COVID-19 Acknowledgement Form will indicate that COVID-19 information has been provided, reviewed, and is understood by the parent and participant. These forms and information will be made available through FamilyID or the school’s athletic director.

Coaches, sponsors, and student participants will be responsible for ensuring the operational guidelines are implemented and followed. These guidelines include, but are not limited to:

  • Daily Contact Tracing Form
  • Gradual Return to Conditioning and Heat Acclimatization
  • Social Distancing
  • Face Coverings (Unless Medically Contraindicated)
  • Hand Washing and General Health Practices
  • Number of Participants
  • Hydration and Cooling

The health and safety of our student participants, coaches, and sponsors is our top priority.  Modification or cancellation of the first semester athletic and extracurricular engagement plan may happen at any time and will be based on current local and state data related to COVID-19.  Please contact your school’s athletic director or Michael A. Watson, Director of Facility Coordination, Health and Physical Education, and Athletics at mawatson@smcps.org if you have any questions or would like to acquire additional information.


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