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Maine 2020 spring sports season canceled due to coronavirus

The Maine Principal's Association announced the decision Thursday that Maine's K-12 students will not have a 2020 spring athletic season.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Principal's Association (MPA) announced Thursday that the 2020 spring sports season is canceled due to the coronavirus

The MPA, a professional association representing Maine's K-12 principals, assistant principals, and career and technology center directors, said the decision was not taken lightly, but one they felt necessary to support Gov. Janet Mills, the Maine CDC, and the Dept. of Education's recommendations to continue remote learning for the remainder of the school year. 

"We understand the importance that these athletic and performing arts programs play in the lives of students, their families, and their communities, but also recognize that these education-based activities are a part of the overall educational experience and at this time of uncertainty to adhere with the recommendations of staying at home, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding face-to-face instruction and large group gatherings, is crucial for us to persevere," MPA Executive Director Michael Burnham said in a press release. 

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On Tuesday, the Maine Dept. of Education Commissioner Pender Makin sent a letter to state educational leaders recommending that schools continue remote learning for the remainder of the 2020 school year. 

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"It is difficult to make such a recommendation, recognizing the profound challenge of reinventing public education and the many culminating events and rites of passage that educators and students anticipate all year long," Makin wrote. "I also realize that this recommendation will be difficult for families to hear, given the challenges of childcare and managing school expectations on top of the other significant impacts of this state and national emergency."

The MPA's full statement:

It is with regret that the Maine Principals’ Association announces the cancellation of the 2020 spring athletic season. Please know that this was not a decision that was taken lightly, but one that the leadership at the MPA felt necessary to help support the recommendations from our Governor’s Office, the Maine CDC, and Commissioner Makin, and the Department of Education, that schools across the state not come back in session and provide remote and distance learning opportunities for the remainder of the school year. We understand the importance that these athletic and performing arts programs play in the lives of students, their families, and their communities, but also recognize that these education-based activities are a part of the overall educational experience and at this time of uncertainty to adhere with the recommendations of staying at home, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding face-to-face instruction and large group gatherings, is crucial for us to persevere.

We want to recognize the efforts of the hard-working dedicated educators across the entire state as they provide distance learning opportunities to students in Pre-K through 12th grade and to thank them for their work during this COVID-19 crisis. We also want to recognize the important role that coaches and advisors play in the lives of our young people and would encourage them to continue to reach out to their team members to provide the emotional support that so many students need during this time of uncertainty.

The Maine Principals’ Association is a professional association representing Maine’s K-12 principals, assistant principals, and career and technology center directors. The Association dates to 1921 and focuses its work on promoting the principalship, supporting principals as educational leaders, and promoting and administering interscholastic activities in grades 9-12.

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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