Two unbiased coastal excessive colleges will get some COVID-19 aid concerning sports activities reclassification over the following two years in response to the influence of the pandemic on their enrollments.
Washington Academy of East Machias will transfer from Class B to Class C in a number of sports activities for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 educational years whereas George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill will stay in Class C for girls and boys basketball.
The ultimate reclassification of all Maine Principals’ Affiliation-sanctioned sports activities groups for these educational years has been accepted by that group’s normal membership.
Washington Academy of East Machias initially was pegged to stay in Class B in baseball, softball, tennis, cross nation and golf based mostly on its April 1, 2020, enrollment of 392. The enrollment cutoff established between Lessons B and C for these sports activities is 379.
GSA’s enrollment of 326 on April 1, 2020, was simply above the Class B basketball minimal of 325. That might have moved the Eagles up from Class C in that sport.
However Washington Academy’s enrollment dropped from 392 in April 2020 to 327 final October 1, a discount of 17 p.c, whereas George Stevens’ enrollment fell from 326 to 304 (7 p.c) throughout the identical interval.
Washington Academy head of college Judson McBrine mentioned the numerous enrollment drop at his faculty stemmed from a more than 50 percent reduction in international students — from 51 last year to 25 this year. It additionally welcomed a small freshman class as a result of some households opted for dwelling education or digital lessons by way of one other outlet such because the Maine Digital Academy.
After the MPA classification committee completed its recommendations for the upcoming cycle in mid-March, WA and GSA sought waivers due to the reductions of their pupil populations for the reason that onset of the pandemic.
“Once they have been engaged on reclassifying this yr, I heard pretty early on that they have been contemplating the influence of COVID on faculty enrollment and the way that will apply to classification,” McBrine mentioned. “It wouldn’t have essentially been for city academies with worldwide applications, however any faculty.”
The MPA interscholastic administration committee granted the waivers, permitting the 2 colleges to use their October 2020 enrollments to the reclassification of their groups, MPA assistant government director Mike Bisson mentioned.
“These have been the one two colleges that put in for waivers simply because they have been dramatically impacted by their incapacity to get overseas college students,” he added.
Bisson mentioned one query raised throughout the attraction course of was what would occur if enrollments at these colleges started to return to pre-pandemic ranges throughout the upcoming classification cycle.
“I believe we might talk with these two colleges simply to examine in and see what these numbers seemed like at that time,” he mentioned, “however I don’t foresee it subsequent yr, anyway.”
Washington Academy’s October 2020 enrollment of 327 fell simply shy of enabling the Raiders to maneuver from Class B to Class C in basketball. It does place the college within the small-school division of 8-player soccer, the place the utmost enrollment is 354.
That’s, offered the MPA presents deal with soccer this fall after canceling the game in 2020 attributable to COVID-19 issues.
For the primary time this yr, soccer groups will be capable of play down a category and nonetheless be eligible for postseason play. The transfer was designed for security causes and in an effort to protect current applications amid declining participation.
Colleges that can play down a category if deal with soccer is reinstated embrace the 11-player applications from Hampden Academy, Class B North to Class C North; Gardiner, B North to C South; Westbrook-Waynflete, B South to C South, and Freeport, John Bapst of Bangor and Poland, from Class C to Class D.
Houlton-Hodgdon’s soccer program additionally efficiently petitioned all the way down to play within the small-school ranks of the 8-player division.
Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield has opted to maneuver up from Class D to Class C in soccer this fall whereas shifting from Class B to Class C in cross nation, area hockey, golf, soccer, baseball, softball and tennis based mostly on enrollment.
Cony of Augusta will drop from Class A to Class B in cross nation, area hockey, golf, soccer, baseball, softball and tennis.
In basketball, Hampden Academy will shift from Class A to Class AA. Different strikes embrace Medomak Valley of Waldoboro from Class A North to Class B South, Oceanside of Rockland from B North to B South, Bucksport from C North to B North, Freeport from B South to A South and Leavitt of Turner Middle and York from A South to B South.
Brewer’s indoor and out of doors observe and area groups will transfer from Class B to Class A.