Frisco ISD is adjusting its plans for fine arts and athletics in the 2020-21 school year based on new guidelines from the University Interscholastic League (UIL).
The District has made the difficult decision to suspend participation in competitive marching band events for the fall season. This decision is based on keeping the health and safety of staff, students and parents at the forefront. In addition, most competitive marching events have already been canceled, including the prestigious Bands of America (BOA) competition.
Fine arts summer preparatory training camps will continue as already scheduled. Decisions regarding participation in the marching band UIL Region 24 evaluation will be made at a later date upon receipt of additional guidance from governing entities.
Frisco ISD remains committed to providing robust marching band experiences for students participating in all 10 high school programs. While competitive marching band is an important motivational force for students, it is not and never will be the driving factor behind the wonderful programming provided to students by District music educators. Marching bands and dance teams are planning to perform at halftime of football games. Each high school will produce a marching show that is shorter in length and will be designed to perform at football games and as opportunities present themselves throughout the fall.
Frisco ISD fall athletics programs at the high school level, including cross country, football, team tennis and volleyball, will have a delayed start to their seasons but are still planning to play full schedules. Middle school athletics will also have a delayed start, with the first day of practices occurring on Sept. 8.
Frisco ISD high school football and volleyball teams, previously scheduled to begin official practices on Aug. 3, can now begin practices on Sept. 7. Volleyball may begin regular-season competition on Sept. 14 and football may play as early as Sept. 24. Cross country and team tennis, which are governed as individual sports by the UIL, can practice year-round and begin interschool competition Sept. 7.
The UIL’s decision to delay the start of seasons is the result of the continued challenges related to COVID-19 throughout the state. But despite the season delay, the UIL is allowing schools to continue offering preseason strength and conditioning and sport-specific workouts. Fall sports will begin preseason workouts on Aug. 3, with other sports beginning offseason workouts on Aug. 13. Those same workouts were offered to FISD middle school and high school students throughout June and July at the District’s 10 high schools.
For the 2020-21 school year, all FISD students can choose either in-person instruction or Virtual Academy. Students in Virtual Academy will be able to compete for their campus athletic teams and will be part of a team’s regular practices on campus. Fine arts students who choose Virtual Academy will receive their instruction during the school day exclusively in the virtual environment, but will continue to have the opportunity to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that occur outside of the school day.
When FISD begins school on Aug. 13, all students will be learning in a virtual environment until Sept. 3, and during that three-week span, high school student-athletes will participate in skills and strength and conditioning workouts on their campus.
During all activities on campus, the health and safety of staff, students and the community are the foremost priority. The safety protocols have included, and will continue to include, measures such as social distancing and routines designed to minimize personal interaction. There is also an emphasis on hand washing and use of hand sanitizer before, during and after activities. Coaches, instructors and students have also worn face coverings when checking in, getting ready for an activity, and when leaving campus-based activities.
New UIL Dates for Fall High School Sports
Sept. 7: Official practice can begin
Sept. 24: Regular-season games can begin
State Championship to be held in January (Date TBA)
Sept. 7: Official practice can begin
Sept. 14: Regular-season matches can begin
Dec. 11-12: State Championship
Sept. 7: Interschool meets can begin
Dec. 5: State championship
Sept. 7: Interschool matches can begin
Nov. 11-12: State Championship