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MCP Principal's Update - Sports, Kairos, Phase III - 1/29/2021

Dear Royals Family,

I hope that everyone had a productive week and that the rain storms have come and gone without too much disruption to your routine.  I apologize for the length of this email but there are some critical updates about Kairos and sports that couldn’t be easily condensed.

Phase III Update

Despite the rain, we have just finished our second productive week of our Phase III return and we are pleased with much of what we have seen from students, at all class levels.  Mask wearing and technology access have been strong successes.  Students are wearing their masks consistently and they have been bringing their laptops and AV equipment every day.  Teachers have been able to proceed with on-line lessons serving both on and off-campus students, as designed.

Physical distancing among students during passing periods and at lunch is something we will need to continuously reinforce over the next several weeks.  I know that students are both accustomed to and prefer, to be in close proximity but this remains a non-negotiable standard per health department orders.  Like students, we, too, are eager to get back to normal, but the fact remains that our ability to welcome students to campus depends upon this social distancing standard. 

Catholic Schools Week

As the only high school in our county that is able to operate with students on-campus it is fitting that we will celebrate Catholic Schools Week in the coming days.  With different class levels continuing to alternate between campus and home we are extending the traditional ‘dress-up’ days over two weeks so that both upper and lower classmen can enjoy these privileges. More information about the dress code and themes for the week are coming to students this weekend.

Kairos Update

As we even look forward into the coming weeks and specifically to the Senior Kairos retreat, it is increasingly looking like our Tier restrictions will significantly impact our ability to travel to our retreat center with the class of 2021.  Originally we had hoped that half of the senior class would be departing this Sunday for their retreat, with the remainder of the class going at the end of February.  This Sunday’s retreat has been postponed and it has not yet been rescheduled.  The February/March retreat is still on the books but prudence demands we begin exploring alternatives. 

I have witnessed the power of the MCP Retreat program first-hand, but all of our conviction may not be enough to overcome the challenge of Covid.  In the event we cannot host these retreats before Easter we will be modifying the retreat experience and most likely hosting the retreat closer to home.  More details will be sent as those options are further established but we will do all we can to make sure that the class of 2021 has a senior retreat option.

Sports at MCP starting in the coming weeks

Because our county has been released from the Stay-at-Home order I am pleased to affirm that MCP’s very successful Cross Country, Tennis, and Golf programs (all classified as Tier I sports) are likely to begin their CIF competition season in the coming weeks.   We are still waiting on updated rules regarding spectators, masks, distancing and other limits and I will communicate them to our families as soon as we are able.  However, please be prepared for the probability that schools will not be able host any fans, regardless of the venue or mask and distancing rules.  That is not our decision to make but it is one that we would be obliged to support due to the current health conditions in our county.

Minimum Season for all sports

For all other sports, MCP is waiting for health conditions in our county to move us to Tier II (and beyond).  Unfortunately, as we wait, the season calendar from CIF does not get adjusted.  As such, it is likely that sports will have their season drastically shortened in order to complete their season in accordance with that CIF calendar. 

MCP acknowledges that even a shortened season is preferred to no season, but in the interest of our student-athletes we have determined that five weeks (two weeks of sport-specific practice followed by three weeks of CIF competition) will be the minimum length for any MCP sport season this year.     

Girls Volleyball and Football

Using that standard it is my unfortunate responsibility to announce that the clock has run out on Girls Volleyball and Boys Football for the 20-21 school year.  In both cases, the combination of their Tier III (Orange) classification, along with CIF rules on timing, now mean that there are not enough weeks left for our county to move from Tier I to Tier III and still have at least three weeks of competition in either sport before their respective CIF deadlines.  We are heartsick over this loss, especially for our seniors in these sports who have so positively impacted the unique culture of our school over the past four years.  Football conditioning will continue for a few more weeks and then those students will be released to other sports, but more information about that conclusion will be communicated from the FB staff.

All other sports at MCP

We remain very hopeful that as Tier II (Red) sports, both Baseball and Softball are looking likely to start in late March or early April, as will our Track and Field team (Tier I-Purple).  Boys Volleyball, and both Boys and Girls Soccer still have enough time for a five-week season, but as Tier III (Orange) sports, it is critical that our county moves quickly through the Tiers in the coming weeks so that those sports will have enough time to start and finish before their CIF deadlines.  Basketball is also still possible but as a Tier IV (Yellow) sport that must be completed by May 27, it, too, is on a tight timeline. 

We all know that the education of the whole-person cannot happen in the classroom alone.  Our co-curricular programming: Campus Ministry, drama, music, sports, mock-trial, and countless others, play a vital role in forming our students into the Mission Prep Graduate.  The coaches and moderators at Mission College Prep are so much more than just a sport-specific or programming trainers.  They are character-shaping, mentors for our students.  The power to change a life through the combination of faith, sportsmanship, dedication, and excellence is unmatched. 

We are highly invested in our co-curricular programming for very good reason and we will do all that we can to maximize these opportunities for our student athletes.  Faith-based, high school athletics at Mission College Prep is an exemplary program that can truly alter the trajectory of a student-athlete’s life.  We remain hopeful for our MCP coaches and families, and as soon as additional information is available I will make sure it is provided to you.

I wish everyone a health, restful, and joy-filled weekend and we look forward to hosting juniors and seniors back on campus this coming week.


Yours in Christ,

Mike Susank