WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange School District’s plan to open the academic year with exclusively online learning for the first two months of the fall would not preclude scholastic sports competition from taking place.

The plan the district unveiled earlier this week would have students staying at home for synchronous learning from Sept. 14 to Nov. 9 and then transitioning to a hybrid model combining online instruction with in-person learning.

That put the status of the fall sports season into question. The NJSIAA earlier this summer pushed back the start of the abbreviated regular fall sports season to the very end of September. But a statement issued by the NJSIAA on Wednesday clarified the status of the high school sports season for school districts that will not have students in class early in the fall.

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According to the NJSIAA, “We are aware of the governor’s announcement today and are continuing on our current path. Schools – including those offering only virtual instruction – will have the option of participating in interscholastic athletics, although we certainly respect the decision of any school or athlete choosing not to participate. We remain in regular communication with state leaders and stand ready to modify as necessary.”

Girls' tennis is set to start its season on Sept. 30, with boys' and girls' soccer to follow on Oct. 1 and football on Friday, Oct. 2.