It’s in the very early stages of discussion, but the ruling body of high school sports in Florida may delay the scheduled reclassification of schools for a year, due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, according to FloridaHSFootball.com.
The operations committee made up of members of the larger board of directors, which is scheduled to meet on Monday.
So the Operations Committee has voted unanimously to add an action item for tomorrow's FHSAA Board of Directors meeting on putting a one-year pause and to hold everything in place in terms of current districts/classifications the past two years.— FloridaHSFootball.com (@FlaHSFootball) February 21, 2021
Typically, the FHSAA reclassifies schools every two years to maintain the competitive balance of schools of similar sizes. But because of the pandemic, there is a thought that delaying reclassification by a year would be prudent since the enrollments of so many schools have been impacted by parents opting for online learning. That tends to impact smaller schools more substantially than larger schools. Several schools in our area have seen double-digit growth over the past several years. Creekside High School has jumped by 10 percent, according to the report.
St. Johns County plans to open another high school in the area, Tocoi Creek High School, in the Fall of 2021.
As part of the process for reclassification, schools submit enrollment numbers in October of the year prior to reclassification. Some school administrators are concerned that the numbers may not accurately reflect the reality of the schools in the next two years because the census was taken in the middle of the pandemic.
According to the meeting report on the FHSAA website, the executive director’s recommendation is to continue the process of reclassifying per policy. That will carry some weight with the board, but the FHSAA staff does not vote on such items, only executes the will of the board.