Birmingham will begin conditioning for football, volleyball athletes on Monday

Teams warm up before a football game at Birmingham High.
Birmingham will begin conditioning workouts on Monday for athletes in football and volleyball.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

There has been much speculation about which one of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s independent charter schools might make the decision to begin sports workouts ahead of a final decision by LAUSD schools.

Lake Balboa Birmingham has decided to become the first and will welcome its football and volleyball athletes to begin conditioning on Monday while following strict safety and county health guidelines, according to athletic director Rick Prizant. Parents have to sign a waiver acknowledging COVID-19 risks and giving permission for their sons and daughters to participate.

LAUSD released a tentative plan for workouts to begin Nov. 2 for its schools. Students and coaches would need to receive a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed on campus. LAUSD athletes haven’t been allowed on campuses since March.

Birmingham will require temperature checks, have students answer questions on their health, require masks when not engaged in physical activities, implement social distancing measures and initially ban sharing of equipment. No COVID-19 test is required.

Birmingham’s decision is likely to encourage other charter schools such as Woodland Hills El Camino Real and Palisades to begin workouts with a similar safety plan.