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Des Moines, Iowa — When the fall semester begins at Des Moines Public Schools buildings next week, all in-person athletics and other activities will come to an end.

DMPS announced on Thursday that the Iowa High School Athletics Association and Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union have determined that extracurricular activities will be suspended as soon as the school year begins. The athletic leagues are acting on already reported recommendations from the Iowa Department of Education.

DMPS will begin its school year on Tuesday with online-only learning for students amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa. The Department of Education warned schools last month that if they can’t hold classes due to COVID-19 transmission then athletic competition would also be disallowed.

Thursday’s announcement does not affect any competitions scheduled before Tuesday, September 8th – including Friday night’s football games.

DMPS has not been granted a waiver from the state to hold online-only classes. They have filed a lawsuit challenging the authority of the waiver system. Iowa City and Ames school districts are also suing. Both of those districts have been granted waivers.