The attendees of the special Madison School Board meeting held Tuesday night learned that Madison's public schools may see the start-up of fall sports on a "normal" schedule despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Board member Rob Honomichl brought up the subject of extracurricular activities during the meeting. In response, Mike Ricke, activities director, said that the South Dakota High School Activities Association has recommended normal starts for fall sports for the 2020-21 school year.

Those fall sports would include tennis, football and cross country, and Ricke said the schools could start fall athletics "on time." However, individual schools could make their own decisions on participation.

SDHSAA officials have studied recommendations from a sports-medicine advisory group that classified fall sports as:

-- Low contact risk for golf, tennis and cross country.

-- Moderate contact risk for soccer and volleyball.

-- High contact risk for football, competitive cheer and competitive dance.

For fine art activities, the study also classified journalism and oral interpretation as low contact risk and All-State Chorus and Orchestra as high contact risk.

For Madison High School's marching band, school staff members were considering a different format for this fall that could include halftime shows and "college-style" music performances during games.

Ricke said vocal music and activities staff were still organizing those programs. According to Ricke, the music instruction staff was waiting on more information that researchers could provide from a recent study.

SDHSAA has advised schools to strongly consider assigned seating on buses used for transportation to and from events and the wearing of face masks on the buses. They also recommended the use of noncash payments at ticket booths and the use of face masks and gloves by ticket-booth workers and other event personnel.