District looks to expand extracurricular offerings

While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited what extracurricular activities the Fayetteville-Manlius School District offers its students, there are a number of clubs that are meeting virtually, and in some cases, in person. 

“Our staff members have been creative in finding ways for our students to participate in several clubs and activities outside of the regular school day,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “Many of those activities are taking place virtually, and a few have been able to meet in person following health and safety precautions that include social distancing and mask wearing. With the state now allowing more athletic teams to practice and compete, we are hoping that opens the door for us to expand our offerings of extracurricular clubs and activities.” 

At the middle school level, students are currently participating virtually in activities such as Student Council and Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism, and both schools are planning virtual drama productions. 

At F-M High School, students are participating virtually in such clubs as Student Council, Broadcast Journalism, Science Olympiad and yearbook. Some musical groups, such as Jazz Ensemble, are meeting in-person. 

Tice said the district is exploring whether more activities could be offered in-person once the weather becomes warmer so that they could be held outdoors. 

“We will continue to look for more ways to involve students in activities that we know have social-emotional and mental health benefits,” Tice said. “If public health officials recommend it is safe to do so, we are hopeful that the state will relax its guidelines—as it did with athletics—so that we will be able to introduce more extracurricular activities.”

After the state and F-M Board of Education authorized several high-risk sports to begin on Feb. 1, Tice said he saw the approvals as baby steps toward some form of normalcy for students and a precursor for more extracurriculars, such as theatrical productions and concerts, and eventually, more in-person instructional time. 

At this point in time, the district’s in-person instructional offerings are determined by the district’s ability to follow state guidance.