Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA Guidelines for Reopening Athletics, Extracurricular & Physical Activities & Music

Objective

To provide the way forward for DoDEA schools in designing return-to-activity protocols in accordance with localrestrictions.

Position Statements

Social distancing is an essential tool to maintain the health and safety of the DoDEA community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this guide is to provide school leaders with a range of solutions as they enter SY 20-21 in a number of areas at HPCON Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie and options for implementing those guidelines in accordance with CDC and DoD requirements. It is not an exhaustive list of every action that a district or school leader will need to take with regard to social distancing, as each school and community is unique in its configuration, enrollment, and population. The different circumstances at each school will require innovation and flexibility to develop comprehensive responses at each location. School and district leaders are expected to collaborate and partner with installation commanders as they develop plans for execution within their local communities.

Specific wording, procedures and details are provided herein relating to Athletics, Extracurricular Activities, PE and Music, which contain broad guidance in DoDEA’s “Ensuring a Safe and Healthy Return” document. Guidelines provided here are also a support to the DoDEA “Operations Guidelines and Protocols” which specifically reference Sports, Activities and Physical Education.
New research and information with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving and will continue to develop at a rapid rate. This document will be updated as needed. DoDEA will not approve any actual game activity listed under the “moderate or high risk” categories during HPCON C or B. “Low risk and moderate risk” activity is approved under HPCON A using the guidance outlined in this document. 

Points of Emphasis

  • Expanding knowledge of COVID-19 transmission could result in significant changes to this guidance.
  • All coaches and participants who have signs or symptoms of illness must be encouraged to stay home when ill to decrease risk of viral transmission.
  • Any student-athlete must obtain a current Pre-participation Physical Evaluation (PPE) prior to any athletic participation moving forward dated after May 1, 2020 as required by DoDEA. Student physicals must be kept on file with the school nurse. PPEs are an important way to screen student-athletes for conditions that may expose them to risk of injury, illness, or death due to athletic activity.
  • Returning to activities should also take into account that most student-athletes will be deconditioned. They will require a prolonged acclimatization and progression of intensity of activities. Therefore, the intensity and duration of training should be moderated upon return.
  • All schools should have a plan in place for students who exhibit signs of illness prior to, during and after events.
  • Procedures should account for returning students home, quarantine locations, notification to parents and leadership.
  • No group may travel to an area where a quarantine time is expected upon entering the country or outside the country if a quarantine time is expected upon reentry. 

Guiding Principles

Athletics, physical education and extracurricular activities support the physical and mental well-being of students. All attempts should be made to maintain these activities in the safest manner possible. HPCON levels are based on disease prevalence and community transmissions. It is possible that a school may move up or down in levels and guidance from local/state/country public health officials. Permitted activities (other than those not currently approved DoDEA-wide) may fluctuate based on local levels.