Independent Lifetime Sports adapts to distance learning

PHOTO: Since all California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport calendars have been modified, competitions will be taking place after the new year.

By Caroline Chilcott, Staff–

Ever since Superintendent John Bowes shared his approval of a 100 percent distance learning model for the start of the 2020-21 school year, Davis High students and their families have been confused about what this means for Independent Lifetime Sports (ILS).

Several students were alarmed when they received an email from Principal Tom McHale on Aug. 17, informing them that they were scheduled to take ILS during the upcoming school year. Those who had been incorrectly contacted began swarming the school’s inbox with panicked emails. 

This response was followed by an email from Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson, who informed students to disregard McHale’s previous email if they had not signed up for ILS. “We apologize for the confusion and look forward to the upcoming school year!” Lorenson said. 

To most DHS students and families, the school does not appear to have a concise plan yet that works for all school sports. 

“I feel the communication about ILS between the students and the school has been uncertain because, with online school, things have to be adjusted constantly. My coach is keeping in touch with me on the daily about the circumstances with the school season and that has been very helpful,” junior Mara Bledsoe said.

However, Physical Education teacher Julie Crawford explains the hard work that is being put into constructing this course in such an unusual time.

“[ILS] is dependent on school sports. It is a work in progress to figure out how to adjust the course for student athletes, once school sports are back in session. I am working with colleagues and the administration team to put together the course, based on the special circumstances of this school year,” Crawford said. 

While some sports teams have held socially distanced practices, others have heard little to no information about what they can expect this year. 

DHS senior Emma Bordios participates in ILS through field hockey and wrestling. “In preparation for this season, my field hockey team has held socially distant practices either through Zoom calls or at the DHS stadium. Wrestling has not conducted any physical meetings or practices in preparation for the upcoming season,” Bordios said. 

Some seniors are worried that they will not meet their Physical Education graduation requirements if school sports are canceled. 

“ILS is all about participation, and I anticipate that if one of my sports is cancelled I will not receive [the necessary] credits to graduate,” Bordios said. 

To avoid this problem, the DHS administration explained how they would work around scheduling conflicts in an email that was sent to all DHS students and their families. 

“Seniors that need ILS [or physical education] credits for graduation are going to be enrolled in ILS during the first semester seventh period to ensure graduation requirements are met. This course will be taught by a P.E. teacher assigned and will be conducted in a digital format when seventh period meets during quarter two,” McHale said. 

All California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport calendars have been modified, resulting in all competitions taking place after the new year. DHS’s current information from the CIF is that football can begin practice on Dec. 7 and other fall sports on Dec. 14.

Junior Bridgette Her is on the DHS track and cross country teams. She anticipates that cross country and track will overlap in scheduling this school year. 

“I feel like ILS is a little more hectic this year because of the fall/winter sports that might be crossed over with the spring sports. My coaches might plan on doing optional training days for the cross country team,” Her said. 

While specific plans for the ILS course are still up in the air, staff and the administration team are working diligently to compensate for any obstacles that may arise due to COVID-19, virtual learning and CIF regulations.

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