Athletics and PE


Physical education and athletics at National Cathedral School are centered around the understanding that health involves much more than just physical fitness. Optimal health balances mental, emotional, social, and physical wellness. NCS strives to provide opportunities and guidance in each of these areas to help our students achieve harmony in their lives, inside and outside of school. We prioritize movement and skill development while at the same time paying close attention to the mental, emotional, and social components of the whole child.


National Cathedral School believes that social engagement is critical to build relationships, strengthen community, and promote joy. Activities sponsored by the Athletic Department on campus from September through December will be designed to address the social and emotional needs of our students through physical engagement together in small groups. These opportunities will vary and are open to all students through an organized sign-up process. Participation is highly encouraged but is not required as we support any decisions made by students and families during this pandemic.

Until health recommendations change, the indoor athletics spaces cannot be used for physical activity. All offerings will occur outdoors.

At the start of school, the NCS athletics department offered “Return to the Nest” activities, where students had the opportunity to engage in physical activity, spend time with peers in the same grade as well as other grades, and participate in fun games to promote overall health and wellness. Examples included tennis, running, fitness, corn hole, crochet, hiking, walking, and other socially distanced games.

As students transition to Blended Learning, the athletics department will provide a slate of options for activities that will occur outdoors and in person. Until health recommendations change, the indoor athletics spaces cannot be used for physical activity. The offerings are based on the available outdoor spaces as well as the coaching staff available.

From Nov. 9–Jan. 15, the athletics department will offer activities that are safe and fun. The offerings will begin at 3:45 pm and end at 5:15 pm; the early time is due to the end of daylight savings. Students should come to school with layers of clothing in preparation for the weather. 

Upper School

Options for on-campus, outdoor activities for Upper Schoolers include: field hockey, soccer, crew conditioning, Voyageur, personal fitness, Coach Berry’s boot camp, running, and Cathedral dance. Remote-only options are yoga and dance team. Independent projects are also available as an off-campus option.

Middle School

On-campus activities for Middle Schoolers include: field hockey, soccer, Voyageur, personal fitness, and running. Students can also complete an independent project as an off-campus option.

NCS still plans and hopes for a return to interscholastic competition in 2021. The ISL (Independent School League) and the school will re-evaluate conditions after our winter holiday, and the athletics department will share an update in mid-January about interscholastic competition information and future offerings.  

Here are important details and reminders: 

  • School health forms must be current and up to date.
  • Only the cohort on campus for classes may attend athletics/PE sessions on campus. Coaches will provide guidance and asynchronous workouts for the cohort that off campus. 
  • Athletics/PE is part of the school day, so the activity is required.
  • Remote-only learners may attend outdoor athletics/PE sessions with their designated cohort.
  • Students will receive a Microsoft Office form to re-enroll in the classes listed above for Winter I.
  • Independent project requirements will return to a higher standard: Projects must have an instructor coaching an activity that is not offered at NCS, and the student must engage in at least 6-10 hours of activity Monday-Friday. Students should submit proposals to the director of athletics for review. 

Lower School PE

Eaglet Exercise Plan

When on campus for Blended Learning, Lower Schoolers travel to the Athletic Center fields each afternoon for fun games and activities.

For the cohort at home, the Athletic Department is offering fun and engaging activities through the SeeSaw platform for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. The LS students were provided physical education kits with the following items: playground ball, juggling scarves, jump rope, stretch rope, sidewalk chalk, tennis ball, and a mesh bag. Classes will be held synchronously 4 days per week during each cohort’s week at home. Teachers will cover skill development for a variety of sports, basic fitness, yoga, dance, and Voyageur.


Students are required to attend on-campus sports and synchronous classes. They are also responsible for completing feedback responses verifying completion of activities on asynchronous days.

Independent projects

The Athletic Department encourages participation in independent projects and will relax the requirement for the 2020-2021 school year. Students should submit proposals to the athletic director for approval one week prior to the start of each season.


The Athletic Center is closed until further notice, as recommended by our health professionals. No physical activity will take place inside any building until it is deemed safe to do so.

Spaces that will be utilized are the STA tennis courts, NCS tennis court, Ferguson Field, Nazareth Field, and other possible outdoor spaces, both on- and off-campus if permitted.

Health and Safety Protocols

  • A parent or guardian must complete the COVID-19 screening on Magnus Mobile for their student, and a screenshot of approval must be presented upon check-in. 
  • The maximum number on campus at a time, per D.C.’s Phase 2 guidelines, is 50 people.
  • Locker rooms will not be utilized, and students will not be allowed into the building.
  • Students must report to workouts in proper gear and immediately return home to shower at the end of the workout.
  • There must always be a minimum distance of 6 feet between everyone upon arrival, dismissal, and while congregating during non-activity. During vigorous physical activity, the space apart should increase to 15-20 feet.
  • All student-athletes must bring and wear a face covering or face mask at all times.
  • There will be no shared athletic equipment (towels, clothing, shoes, or sports-specific equipment).
  • All student-athletes must bring their own water supply. Water bottles must not be shared.
  • Any student-athlete who does not have the necessary items to remain safe and healthy will be required to return home. Student-athletes are encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning home.

Inclement Weather Protocols

Sessions will be proactively canceled when inclement weather seems imminent. In the event of lightning or thunder while on campus, all outdoor activities will be suspended immediately and will not resume. Coaches will direct athletes to shelter in the Athletic Center until parents can pick them up. Student who drive will be instructed to immediately return to their cars and go home.

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