Update: Athletics and activities remain postponed

Athletics update

Dear WAPS families,

Thank you for your patience during our postponement period for athletics. We know how badly you want to see the student in your family back out on the field, doing what they love. We want it, too. 

We hope to explain why that’s not possible, at least at this moment. 

For most of last week, we were operating under the assumption that we would be able to resume athletics on Friday, Sept. 18. Like many of you, we monitor the number of positive COVID-19 cases on a daily basis and have noticed they are beginning to decline after a sudden spike in late August. We also consulted with our local county public health officials, who supported our plan to bring activities back. 

However, during a call Thursday afternoon, an epidemiologist from the Minnesota Department of Health recommended we maintain our current learning model — Winhawk Learning Model No. 4, which means hybrid for Grades E-6 and distance learning only for Grades 7-12 — and not resume athletics. Given this recommendation, we chose to hold off on bringing athletics back for now. 

We want athletics to resume. We also want our students back in the classroom, with their friends, in front of a teacher, receiving the instruction and support they deserve. We will continue with ongoing, daily communications with our county health officials, regional support team (which includes the Minnesota Department of Health), and our district incident command advisory team to monitor the situation.

We want all of this for our students, our families and our community. However, we have an obligation to keep everyone healthy and safe. The message that we are hearing from experts in the field — who share the same responsibilities that we do — prevents us from resuming athletics.

We want to thank you for your patience, your kindness and your empathy. We know how hard this is on our students. We can’t wait for the day when we can again watch our kids do what they love, with the people they love, under the careful guidance of people who love them. 

We hope that day is just around the corner.

Thank you,

Dr. Annette K. Freiheit
Superintendent
Winona Area Public Schools

Casey Indra
Activities Director
Winona Senior High School