High school sports in Vermont can start competition this Saturday

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NEWPORT — Education Secretary Dan French recently announced today that when providing in-person instruction, all Vermont schools will operate at Step III effective September 26, 2020.

This change in step level does not change the decision-making authority of a school district to offer in-person instruction or not, but if a district decides to do so, it must operate in-person instruction at Step III.

This also means that this Saturday, fall school sports may resume competition.

The Strong and Healthy Start guidance describes mitigation step levels that schools must follow to ensure safe operations for in-person instruction.

These step levels are determined by the Agency of Education and the Department of Health and apply to all Vermont schools unless otherwise specified.

Vermont schools, except for transportation operations, opened at Step II, and it was expected there would be a transition to Step III by the end of September if conditions remained positive.

Step III allows for more flexibility in how students can gather. But all safety and health protocols remain in place.

French added that guidance for winter sports will be determined in October.

This will give state officials an opportunity to evaluate how the Step III process worked and what the health date looked like.