NEWTON, NJ—The Newton School district has reversed course and decided to move ahead following the NJSIAA winter sports timeline.
The timeline, according to the NJSIAA per sport:
- Ice Hockey practices were to begin on December 14, with competition to begin on January 4 and the season to end on February 17.
- Basketball, fencing and bowling practices were to begin on January 11, games on January 26 and the season to end on March 6
- Swimming and winter track & field practices are to begin on February 1, competitions to begin on February 16 and the season to end on March 27
- Gymnastics, Girls volleyball and wrestling practices were to begin on March 1m competitions to begin on March 16 and the season to end on April 24
The Newton Board of Education, made the decision last week, to continue to keep the district on a fully remote plan until January 22. At that time it meant student athletes would not be allowed to practice or compete until students were back in the building.
According to Newton’s Superintendent Ken Greene, the Newton district’s Restart and Recovery Plan stated that athletics would be on hold if the district went on fully remote instruction.
Greene said that because the board does not know how long the district will be fully remote, he wanted to discuss with the board during their January 26 meeting about starting the winter sports per the NJSIAA timelines and use their health and safety protocols like the other schools in the region are doing.
The board of education members and Greene received messages from parents about the cost of not starting winter sports and what it is doing to their children who have already had so much taken from them due to coronavirus. These were considered in the decision as well according to district officials.
Greene asked board members to consider moving up the timeline. Several members of the board asked that if a change was to be considered, why not just make that change now instead of waiting.
“Given the uncertainties around our instructional program and in consultation with board of education members, I made an administrative decision to start our winter athletics programs per the NJSIAA timeline using their health and safety protocols like the other schools in our region are doing,” Greene said.
The Newton Board of Education will consider revising the Restart and Recovery Plan to confirm that decision during the January 26 board of education meeting.
The Newton High School basketball teams and bowling team held their first practice today, Monday, January 18.
Newton ice hockey has already played their first game, losing to High Point on January 15. They play again on January 20.