**In the video above, see more on Catholic schools calling for a return to the classroom**
SOLON, Ohio (WJW) — Hundreds of people have signed an online petition calling on the Solon Schools to allow extracurricular activities, including athletics, to continue as the district plans to begin the school year with remote learning.
The district announced Friday that it changed its plans to start the school year remotely for the first quarter and to cancel in-person athletics and extracurricular activities, effective immediately.
It said the change was based on new recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health for districts in the county.
The petition, which was started by an anonymous user with the username ‘Concerned Parent,’ states that even though learning will be remote in Solon, “we believe that maintaining sports, band, clubs, activities and the arts during that time is vital to our students’ health, both mental and physical.”
More than 400 people had signed the petition by Monday afternoon.
Interim Superintendent Fred Bolden said in a statement to FOX 8 News that the district understands and shares in the disappointment of student-athletes and their families.
“At each step of our return-to-school and phased return-to-play planning, we have relied on the expertise, guidance and recommendations of public health officials. We will continue to do that for the safety of our students and staff,” Bolden said in the statement.
However, he said the district is now consulting with its legal counsel about conflicting guidance from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and state officials. The Ohio High School Athletic Association released guidelines Friday for the start of fall sports, and the Ohio Department of Health has provided guidelines for contact sports to resume.
“We will continue to consult with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in case anything in their recommendations changes or is clarified,” Bolden said in the statement.
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