MCS restricts attendance at school events due to COVID

Publish Date: 11/12/2020

11/25/20 UPDATE: The Indiana Department of Health has classified Grant County in the red category, meaning there is an active and widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in our community.

The Grant County Health Department has asked that schools continue to restrict spectator attendance at school activities to parents and guardians only, up to two per student participant. No school events will be open to the public at this time.

Many events have been postponed or canceled due to quarantines here or at other participating schools.

We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, our families, and our community as we navigate these difficult times together.



11/17/20 UPDATE: As Grant County’s COVID-19 cases have continued to spike, the Grant County Health Department has asked Marion Community Schools to further limit attendance at our school events this week. 

All home sporting events set for this week will be limited to two tickets per student participant, for parents/guardians only.

This includes the girls basketball game this evening (Tuesday, Nov. 17), when the Giants host Madison-Grant at Bill Green Arena.

The Turn Back the Clock boys basketball scrimmage that had been set for Wednesday evening at the Grant County Family YMCA has been moved to Bill Green Arena at Marion High School, and the two-ticket limit for parents/guardians will also be in place for that game.

We thank our fans and families for their continued support and cooperation as we work to protect the health and safety of our students and our community.

Published Nov. 12, 2020

With a record number of COVID-19 cases in Grant County in October, and the rate of new cases still increasing, the virus is widespread in our community, according to Grant County EMA Director Bob Jackson

Grant County has for several weeks been in the orange category as classified by the Indiana Health Department, which includes recommendations to restrict public gatherings. We have been very close to the red category, in which the state strongly encourages a return to strict restrictions and potential closures. 

The health and safety of our community is a top priority for Marion Community Schools. Because of the risk created when people gather together under our current circumstances, extra-curricular competitions and performances open to the public can present a potential danger to our students and to the entire community. As we move into the colder months when events and performances take place indoors, we have reviewed our options in consultation with the Grant County Health Department and the Indiana Health Department, and we have made the decision to restrict attendance to our events through Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 29). At that time we will reevaluate what restrictions are needed moving forward. 

Student participants in each team or group (both home and visiting teams) will have tickets to assign to immediate family members as their guests for each event.

  • For events in Bill Green Arena, each student participant on the home team will have up to six tickets to assign to family members. The visiting team will be provided up to two tickets per student participant.
  • For events in the Walton Performing Arts Center, the number of tickets will depend on the number of student participants in a particular event. (Events with more student participants may need a lower ticket number to keep crowds at a safe size; we will set per-participant ticket limits for each event separately.) 
  • For our smaller venues (the Marion High School pool and other gymnasiums and auditoriums throughout the district), student participants will have up to two tickets to assign to family members.

Masks are required for spectators, coaches, and student participants (with exceptions for student participants when masks are not possible due to specific activity). Social distancing will also be expected, with family household groups able to sit together. Children are expected to sit with their family group at all times.

Marion Community Schools knows that many will be disappointed that our events will not be open to the public. We share that disappointment, but we feel it is the responsible decision to make during this time. We want to continue offering our students the opportunities that extracurricular activities provide, and we hope that these restrictions will support that goal. 

If COVID-19 numbers improve in our community, it is possible that we will be able to widen attendance. But it also remains possible that we will need to restrict spectator attendance further, or eliminate it altogether. As we try to balance the risks with the benefits that activities provide our students, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and the entire community.

We ask our community to support us by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing any time they are outside of their own homes. Together, we can reduce the spread of the virus in our community. The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. We need our community’s help to be able to keep our schools open and keep the learning going for our students during the school day and during extended-day activities.



What about boys basketball season tickets that have already been purchased?

Those who have purchased season tickets for Marion High School boys basketball will have the choice to request a refund, or to keep their tickets in case we are able to reopen attendance later in the season. If we are unable to lift restrictions, anyone who has not requested a refund will be considered prepaid for next season, when we hope to be able to return to full capacity.

Will there be remote viewing opportunities?

We are reviewing options for providing access to view our events online. We will communicate those options for each event if we are able to provide them. Media access will continue to be provided, with safety measures in place.

Will students be able to attend as spectators?

No, not in general. There will be no student cheering blocks and no pep bands in attendance, and no general student admission to events. If a student participant assigns one of their tickets to another student in their family for a specific event, that specific student can attend that specific event.

How long will restrictions be in place?

(updated) Grant County was moved into the red category on Nov. 25. We will continue to have these restrictions in place as long as the county is in the red category. If the category is reduced at any time, we may re-evaluate what restrictions are needed, in cooperation with health guidance from the national, state, and local level

Are these restrictions in place for arts events as well?

Yes, attendance will be restricted for arts events such as plays and concerts.