A Letter from Principal Shareef Regarding Athletics

Garfield Community,

We’d like to share some information with our families about the upcoming athletic seasons and what it may mean for our communities.  Seattle Public Schools, working with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) and the King County Health Department, has set up two short “seasons” that will begin with practices, beginning now with games to begin February. Please understand, this is a district level decision. Input from high school administration was not solicited and may not reflect our individual school preferences. At this time, at the high school level, there are no approved district wide plans for students to receive academic instruction and support nor to resume any other activities other than the remote options already in place.

There are two concerns we have right now.  First, is the health and safety of our students, their families, our coaches and other staff who support athletics. While we appreciate the work the district’s athletic department has done to put protocols into place, we are concerned that a continued rise in COVID cases, deaths related to COVID and additional harmful strains spreading, causes an unreasonable increase in risk for our families especially those families at higher risk.                                                            

Second, the lack of district wide planning that would allow students to return to buildings for learning opportunities which is, in fact, our primary objective. Some of our most vulnerable students do not have access to the in person support they need.  We will continue to work with the district to safely increase the resources needed to meet the needs of our students.

We understand that the decision to participate belongs to students and their families.  We just want you all to be thoughtful about that decision and we are here to support you, whatever that decision is.  If you have any questions about athletics please access the district’s athletic website. For other questions please contact Principal Princess Shareef at pshareef@seattleschools.org.