Weekly roundup: Cross country resumes, Huntington Beach students return to campuses, and more

Although the CIF Southern Section made a decision to cancel fall sports championships, cross country recently received the green light from the state to compete.

CIF Tiers

When Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the regional stay-at-home orders late last month, that allowed certain sports to resume. But with Orange County still in the most restrictive “purple” tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system, only purple tier sports are allowed. That includes cross country, which is currently the only fall sport allowed to resume competition under current state guidelines.

According to an article in the Capistrano Dispatch, some schools in Orange County have begun to schedule virtual cross country meets, where teams race independently on the same course and compare times. The article notes that there are obstacles to scheduling, as schools can only schedule dual meets against one other school, multi-school invitationals are subject to county health agency approval, and some county regional parks aren’t allowing races to be run there.

Dates for upcoming dual meets vary by league, but are expected to resume as soon as Feb. 6, as stated by the Orange County Register.

And here are some of the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • Students in the Huntington Beach Union High, Huntington Beach City and Ocean View school districts returned to campuses for in-person learning this week. Students had been distance learning exclusively for about a month due to a spike in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season.
  • In related news, Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mija​res discussed the county’s plans to distribute vaccine shots to teachers and support staff once eligibility is expanded to the education sector.
  • A growing number of districts have turned to organized video games — also known as esports — to provide students the team sports experience they’re missing during the pandemic, reports EdSource.
  • And, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday the district will delay in-person student classes and services of any kind while coronavirus infection rates remain high in local communities and teachers remain unvaccinated.
  • Despite concerns from parents, secondary schools in the Laguna Beach Unified School District will remain closed for in-person instruction until the county moves into the less restrictive red tier on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system.
  • The Garden Grove Unified School District has adopted the coronavirus monitoring metrics in the state’s new Safe Schools for All plan as its strategy for reopening classrooms. But, district officials say local health conditions within its community will still need to improve before in-person instruction can begin.

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