Dallas ISD, Sunnyvale ISD ask for flexibility on extracurricular activities before school starts

Two Dallas County school districts are asking state and local officials for further review of rulings that effect when extracurricular activities can begin.

Sunnyvale is a 4A district with one high school and Dallas ISD has seven schools 4A or smaller. While the UIL says those smaller class schools can start activities August 3, Dallas County health officials have stated public schools cannot until September 8.

Dallas ISD is trying to come up with a new game plan while Sunnyvale ISD is asking the county to re-think its decision.

“Our kids will have been away from any kind of activity since really the middle of July,” said Sunnyvale ISD Superintendent Doug Williams. “I sent [Dallas County officials] a written appeal [Tuesday] morning requesting a return to activity for our student athletes and our band members for August 17.”    

John Settle, Sunnyvale ISD’s athletic director and head football coach, agrees with the request.

“If our kids don’t get to be active again in our strength and conditioning protocol, they'll go six weeks, seven weeks without being involved in any sort of strength conditioning,” Settle said.

Dallas ISD has six schools that are 4A and one, Madison, that is 3A.

“Jumping into, right into, a game mode is going to be a challenge for our kids,” said Dr. Silvia Salinas, Dallas ISD Executive Director of Athletics. “We lose some time by the time we get to district play. They're going to lose a scrimmage, they're going to lose four non-district games. The only thing they'll be able to do is scrimmage once and then start district play.”

Dallas ISD plans to ask the UIL to consider a week of virtual workouts to even the odds for their student athletes.

It’s not known whether the trustees of these districts see attorney general Ken Paxton’s guidance on local control giving them room to make decisions on their own for athletics and extracurriculars.