Spectators allowed on campus for sports games and theater performances


Ava Lipsky and Joshua Shuster

Parents and other spectators are now allowed to attend sports games and theater productions, Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly wrote to the community in an email last week. With fewer COVID-19 cases in the community, Kelly said it was time to start bringing back some aspects of pre-pandemic school life. 

“As the number of positive cases of COVID-19 dramatically declined within the employee and student cohort, now is the time to begin responsibly allowing programmatic aspects of a pre-pandemic year to return to campus,” Kelly wrote. “Given the structure and controls we have around the winter athletic season, it is presented as the perfect place to start.”

Kelly considered several factors when making this decision. The success with parent spectators at fall athletic events made them ideal to welcome back to campus for the winter season, he said. Last season, the majority of parents and athletes complied with the need to show proof of vaccination and the “green checkmark” associated with Daily Symptom Check. 

Kelly also looks forward to allowing more people to watch games and come to campus, he said. Family members, students and employees will be able to attend the One Act plays in person in February.

In order to keep the events safe, parents who wish to attend athletic contests must show proof of vaccination and complete the Daily Symptom Check, Kelly said. There will also be supervision in place to ensure that masks are being used consistently and adults are socially distanced, he said. 

Rachel Phillips P’24 attended a basketball game under the new safety protocols. There was a person waiting when she came in, she had to show her vaccination card, and she had to sign next to her child’s name because only two guests were allowed per player, she said. “I think they did a good job making everyone feel safe and everyone was wearing their masks.”  

Those who cannot make it to games in person will still be able to watch a live-stream of events, Kelly said. “The live stream is a good option, but it’s so much more exciting to be there in person,” Phillips said. 

Boys Junior Varsity Basketball member Matteo Monti (10) was pleased to hear about the decision.. “It feels great to have support at games,” he said. “It just increases the intensity, especially when the crowd gets involved and starts chants. When people on our team score and the crowd gets excited, it’s an extreme morale boost to not only the player, but to the team too.” 

Boys Varsity Basketball member Nate Wildman (11) shared a similar sentiment. “From a team standpoint, parents provide a lot of support and having them there definitely contributes to the success of our team,” Wildman said. He said that the short period of time when parents were not allowed to come to games was disappointing. “We’re fortunate and grateful that parents are now allowed to come to our games.”

As for theater performances, Jeffrey Dai (10) is glad that parents will be able to attend the next performances in February in person, he said. While the live-streaming option is available for those who could not attend plays physically, Dai said that having some people in person heightens the experience. “[In person attendance] really makes it feel like normal theater for both the performers involved and the audience.”