Covid has already taken so much from the students at Newton High School; dances, graduations, celebrations, peer interactions, traditions, etc. Luckily, in the fall - some normalcy came back to our students; SPORTS! There were some limitations, but students were able to compete, be with their peers, and experience life outside of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, Winter sports are not being given that same opportunity. The Basketball programs are being halted at Newton. According to the NJSIAA, basketball in the state of New Jersey was able to resume play on January 11th. Almost every school in the NJAC resumed practice on the 11th - even if their learning was remote. Dr. Kennedy Greene did not allow practice for INDOOR or OUTSIDE to begin on the 1/11 because Newton was still remote.
The hope was the student-athletes would be able to begin practice on the 1/19. Today, we were just informed the earliest practices will resume is the 25th of January. This act cuts an already shortened season shorter, but also places the student athletes at a disadvantage.
Covid has affected people's lives both physically and mentally. Students' well being of course is the priority. We should want our schools to protect our children and act in their best interests. But not allowing student-athletes, who voluntarily signed up to play a sport they loved, into a gym to engage in an activity that would help their health and mind is in NO WAY acting in their best interest or benefiting our kids. These kids want to play!
Some of these athletes have been playing this game for the better part of their lives and they deserve the opportunity to compete and display their talents.
I ask the parents of Newton you have any time over the weekend to reach out to Dr. Greene, Mr. Hashway,
Mr. Waldron and the school board express your concern on this issue. If the student-athletes are unable to get into the gym by Tuesday, they will not be able to play in their first two games. Also if this is the pattern of the Board and Superintendent's behavior, I am afraid a season might not even happen. This is the link to their email addresses https://www.newtonnj.org/boe/people/ .
Truly appreciate any and all support.