MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Metropolitan School District said it will continue to put athletic competitions and events on hold through April 4.

School officials said there is a chance spring sports could begin in late April, but no official decision has been made.

MMSD Athletic Director Jeremy Schlitz says the district’s main priority is safely reintroducing in-person learning.

As we boil it down and talk with our medical advisory, we talk about what it means as a component of the school reopening plan and making sure activities and extracurriculars and athletics don’t impact the right to an education for all of our students,” Schlitz said. 

A news release said the district plans to use a phased approach in its return to in-person athletics with guidance from the ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention​ and Public Health Madison & Dane County.

We’re trying to make sure we’re not making an emotional response to this. It’s what we all want. It’s what I want. It’s what our leaders want,” Schlitz said. “It’s hard to be patient, it’s hard for me to be patient, it’s hard for our coaches. We all want these things. We’re going to do it in a really intentional, planned and phased in approach to make sure we’re doing it in the right way.”

MMSD will also continue to have virtual athletics programming. The programming is expected to offer a minimum of four to five hours of activities per week during the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association calendar seasons.

Schlitz said he’s hopeful spring sports can still take place in a traditional way.

Looking at what it would be and how we’d do it best to serve all our students in the district, doing it in that phased in approach manner is what we’re really looking to do here in athletics as well,” he said. 

Decisions on in-person activities for the alternate fall sports season will be announced by March 26. As for spring sports, the WIAA spring seasons begin April 19. MMSD said it will reveal a timeline for the phasing in of spring sports by March 12.