PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — Following in the Austin Independent School District’s footsteps, Pflugerville ISD announced it will resume all sub-varsity, co-curricular and athletics at the high school level on Monday.
Due to Travis County moving to Stage 5 in their Community Risk Assessment chart, Pflugerville ISD restricted all sub-varsity extracurricular, co-curricular, and athletic events for a portion of the winter break.
“Upon returning, our staff has evaluated our safety procedures and received feedback from students and their families in the affected activities. Based on these factors, and to remain consistent with surrounding districts in Central Texas, beginning Monday, Jan. 11, ” PFISD Superintendent, Dr. Douglas Killian wrote in a letter to parents.
Some Pflugerville parents say the move helps students return to some sort of normalcy.
“They thrive when they find themselves out on the field or on the court,” parent Nicole Cortez-Coiner said.
Cortez-Coiner’s family is loaded with athletes. She’s also at high-risk for complications with COVID-19.
“When the original shutdown happened in March, we locked down our house for months,” Cortez-Coiner said. “From March to June, I watched my thriving, mentally healthy children just decline completely.”
Knowing the value sports provided, Cortez-Coiner made the move to let her students play. Other parents question the district’s decision during the area’s Stage 5 designation.
“I feel like Austin is telling us to take it easy and that we shouldn’t play in sports,” parent Lindsay Ballard said.
Ballard’s student participates in Pflugerville’s fine arts program, which will also be allowed to continue at the high school level.
“Then you have the athletic director, in his own words say: fly under the radar,” Ballard said.
Ballard is talking about an email that went out to coaches from Pflugerville Athletic Director Todd Raymond, regarding the resumption of junior varsity sports. The email from Raymond reads: ‘I just want to quickly add it back, and fly under the radar.’
Pflugerville ISD says it’s simply following the status-quo, and that it can and will re-evaluate their decision with a bigger surge in cases. Plus, they’re adding another restriction.
“We are looking at what’s consistent around Central Texas. In Pflugerville, we have one of the strictest safety priorities by not allowing spectators at games,” said Tamra Spence, Pflugerville ISD Communications. “Again, people have to understand these extracurriculars are voluntary.”
All middle school extracurricular activities are on pause while Pflugerville focuses on maintaining safety at the high school level. District staff will evaluate all processes for middle school extracurricular activities next week, and will inform families when a decision to resume those activities is made.