The West Des Moines School District notified parents of official changes to the sixth-grade track meet. The changes are intended to make the “experience” “fun and inclusive” for all students.
Due to COVID, the district paused the tradition and allowed it to “examine our practice.”
“Some of our students may not have felt included in the event for a variety of reasons,” the email said.
Though the email provided an update on the sixth-grade “track meet,” one of the changes was removing the word “meet” from the title.
“This day is NOT intended to be a competition between students,” the district said. “We dropped the word ‘meet’ from the name to eliminate any reference to competition.”
Instead, the day is intended to be fun and inclusive for all students, which means events will not be grouped by race, sex, disability or — keep in mind this is a sixth-grade track mee, err, “experience…” — sexual orientation.
Events are also not going to be individually timed. Students can see their time as they cross the finish line. They can see their mark when they complete a field event.
Students can CHOOSE (emphasis in the email) one or more events to participate in. They will not be required to sign up for a running event.
And all students will receive a participation ribbon as they have in the past.
Individual awards will NOT be given for top finishers.