Houston Schools Superintendent Releases Statement On Football Game Kickoff Time

The following statement was released by Houston School District Superintendent Dr. Justin Copley regarding the 1 p.m. kickoff time for Friday’s high school football team game in Mountain Grove.

We are incredibly delighted with the success of our football program. As Friday approaches, I wanted to provide some clarification to our community regarding the 1pm kickoff. I am extremely sorry that playtime has created inconvenience and confusion for our parents and our community. Here are some things to note about the competition:

• The match was planned and contracted before the start of the football season in August. In fact, planning for a 1 p.m. kickoff began in March.

DR. JUSTIN COPLEY

•One of the purposes of the initial conversations was to give students from the host school, who otherwise might not be attending Friday night, the opportunity to watch the game.

• Additionally, there have been conversations about how the early kick-off could support a shortage of referees.

• It is understood by both districts that when Houston hosts in 2023, the district may choose not to have a 1 p.m. kickoff and start at 7 p.m.

•The school sends a Pep Club bus for 66 students who have registered and meet the eligibility criteria set by the club.

•The district will not release early for the day and will not excuse absences of students who leave school early outside of the organized Pep Club. These ideas were taken into consideration; however, in an effort to be consistent with other regular season activities and contests that take place during the school day, it has been decided not to proceed with early release or excused absences.

Clearly this decision has caused some angst among the Houston community, and I apologize for that. I assure you that the intent of these decisions is not to negatively impact our school or our community, especially at a time when our school programs and teams are in full swing! As always, I appreciate your constructive feedback. Feel free to contact me at 417-967-3024 or jcopley@houston.k12.mo.us.

Respectfully,

Dr. Copley

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