Harvard-Westlake to shut down sports program effective Thursday

Harvard-Westlake's Drew Bowser, left, and Pete Crow-Armstrong.
Drew Bowser, left, and Pete Crow-Armstrong are two of the top baseball players at Harvard-Westlake.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Harvard-Westlake announced in a letter to parents on Wednesday that it would cancel classes on Thursday and Friday, along with halting its sports program, and begin online classes on Monday out of concerns over the coronavirus. One parent “in our community” is being tested, according to the letter sent by Rick Commons, school president.

Athletic competition will be halted until further notice, a school spokesman said. Harvard-Westlake’s highly ranked baseball team was scheduled to make a trip to North Carolina on April 1 to compete in the National High School Invitational. That trip would appear to be in serious jeopardy. A scheduled Mission League game on Friday will be postponed.

The CIF Southern Section is leaving decisions up to individual schools and districts whether to play games. It has the following Q&A about the situation:


“Does SS have a plan in place in case of outbreak within section schools?

“The CIF and the CIF-SS is too large both by number of schools, but also by geography to have a one size fits all response to this virus. We believe letting these decisions be made by local schools and school districts, in concert with their local health officials and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, is the best plan of action as they know far better than we of the best course in keeping their students and families safe. We will support them in those decisions.

“Is there any plan to cancel or reschedule upcoming events?

“As of this moment there is no plan by our office to make such decisions but, again, to leave those to individual school site administrators and their leadership. If this situation continues into spring championships, those events this office directly controls, we will address those concerns at that time.

“Are you in contact with state office and/or neighboring sections and what is their plan?

“We have been and continue to be. Again, plans are those for each section, school and community to determine. What may be the best course in one community may not work in another. The CIF State has put out this advisory:


“Districts are making their own policy and SS will follow the member schools lead?

“As they should, individual districts and schools are formulating plans with guidance from local health officials and the CDC that are in the best interests of their students, families and communities and the CIF and CIF-SS are supporting them in those determinations.”