GPSD: No sports this fall; teachers return Aug. 17

By JASMINE STEVERSON JSTEVERSON@DDTONLINE.COM,

Fall sports will not be returning this year for the Greenville Public School District.

After much deliberation during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the GPSD Board of Trustees, the decision was made to cancel all fall athletics and activities for the high school and middle school. The decision came by way of a unanimous vote of the GPSD Board of Trustees.

Those fall athletics and activities include football, volleyball, cross country, choir, band and cheerleading.

The board plans to reconvene Sept. 22 to decide on the resumption of winter sports, which include basketball and soccer.

Start of school year

During Thursday’s special-called meeting, work from home options and flexible schedules for staff was discussed.

The agenda item was prompted by a letter of concern from the Mississippi Association of Educators. 

Many concerns regarding educators’ work environment and distance learning procedures, some of which may never yield a guaranteed resolution, motivated GPSD trustees to make the decision of pushing the start of the academic school year from Aug. 17 to Aug. 24.

Teachers will return to work on Aug. 17.

Those concerns included the procedures for taking accurate daily attendance as well as the logistics of educators’ work environment as it pertains to minimizing the risk of COVID-19, as well other classified staff. 

“A lot of our staff such as custodians and clerical workers can’t work from home,” Dace said, while noting staff with certain classifications can. 

Board attorney Dorian Turner said, “The legal answer is there’s only so much comfort, but not 100%, because the law bases a lot of the analyses on what’s a reasonable or appropriate accommodation.” 

“Those are not 100% objective determinations,” Turner said of reasonable accommodations when it comes to staff who may want to work from home.

Turner added that there are a bevy of circumstances which would have to be taken into account regarding the matter.