Dear FIRST Chesapeake Community,

The FIRST Chesapeake board met this morning and made the difficult decision to cancel this week’s Portsmouth and Owings Mills District Events, as well as next week’s Blacksburg District Event and Edgewater District Event Sponsored by Leidos.  The health and welfare of our teams and volunteers has always been our highest priority. Given the dramatic increase of COVID 19 confirmed cases and the unprecedented number of school closings and revised travel restrictions over the past 24 hours, we feel it is in the best interest of everyone to cancel.

The FIRST Chesapeake District Championship Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding has been postponed to June 17th-20th, 2020. While we realize that this is not a perfect solution, we hope that moving the District Championship to a later date will allow teams to enjoy the excitement and energy of a FIRST Robotics Competition.

We are disappointed that teams will not have a chance to finish the competition season this Spring, and we recognize that there will be many questions about how this will affect team rankings and the FIRST World Championship. We are working with FIRST Headquarters to determine next steps for advancement to our District Championship and FIRST World Championship Competitions.

There will be a dial in Town Hall this afternoon at 5:30pm. We will give an update and answer as many questions as we can at this time. This meeting will also be recorded and posted on the FIRST Chesapeake webpage under COVID 19 updates.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1497171975

Or iPhone one-tap :
    US: +1(773)2319226,,1497171975# 
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 
    US: +1(773)2319226 
    Meeting ID: 149 717 1975

We recognize the tremendous amount of hard work that the teams and the local committees have put into this season.  We also know that some teams and volunteers may lose deposits for this weekend. The situation has been a moving target with many variables. This was not an easy decision, but we feel it is the right one.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work with FIRST Headquarters to solidify a plan for FIRST World Championship and the District Event Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding this summer.

Sincerely,

Leighann Scott Boland                                                       James Kresge

Executive Director                                                                Board Chair

Given the recent news about the Coronovirus (COVID-19), the FIRST Chesapeake Board of Directors would like to share the following update.
 
We assure you that the safety and health of our community continue to be top priorities for FIRST Chesapeake. We are following the situation closely and working with our schools, local committees, health departments, and FIRST Headquarters. As of today, we plan to have all scheduled District events while continuing to follow the CDC guidelines for large groups. These guidelines include encouraging common-sense practices such as hand washing, staying away from events if sick or part of a high risk group (immune compromised, elderly) or if you may have possibly been exposed to the virus. Some venues may require we limit the number of team members or public, but currently all sites are willing to hold the events as planned. We are also working with FIRST Headquarters and other District Partners to develop alternative opportunities for teams that may not attend events due to school closings or potential exposure. By being proactive and observing public health recommendations, we are doing our best to ensure the safety of our teams, guests, and volunteers.  
 
At this point there are no changes to any District event plans. However, should the situation change we will proactively adjust and notify you as quickly as possible.
 
The most important way to protect yourself against the spread of any contagious disease is to understand the symptoms, risks, and steps that can be taken to stay healthy while you are at events.
 
Safety Precautions:
  • Stay home if feeling unwell, developing a cough, or running a fever
  • Stay home is you are part of an at-risk group, such as immune compromised or elderly or if you believe that you have been exposed to someone with COVID 19.
  • Practice hand hygiene, including frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Practice respiratory etiquette, including covering cough and sneezes with a tissue, and then disposing of the tissue in the trash
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (including tablets and cell phones)
  • Perform self-monitoring, and seek medical care immediately if feeling unwell
At Events:
  • Safety glasses will no longer be handed out for reuse. Teams will be responsible for bringing their own safety glasses. A limited number of glasses may be sold by host teams on-site, but this varies by venue.
  • Signs are posted around the event reminding attendees of proper hand washing procedures. There are bathrooms with sinks and soap throughout each event location.
  • Hand sanitizer is stationed at all entrances, Pit Admin, Volunteer and Mentor Lounges, and on the field.
  • High-touch surfaces, such as the drivers' stations and gates to the field are being wiped down between matches.
  • Attendees are encouraged to use an elbow bump instead of a handshake or high five as a greeting.
A dial-in Town Hall will be hosted at 5:30pm on Thursday, March 12th for anyone who would like to attend. The Town Hall will address questions such as alternate plans if events are cancelled and options for teams who may be unable to attend. (This will also be recorded and posted with the COVID 19 Update later this week.)
 
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1497171975
 
Or iPhone one-tap:
   US: +1(773)2319226,,1497171975#
Or Telephone:
   Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
   US: +1(773)2319226
   Meeting ID: 149 717 1975
 
Updates from FIRST Chesapeake will be posted on our home page under COVID 19 Updates. Any event cancellations will be posted on the FIRST Chesapeake home page, broadcast on social media, and event volunteers and registered teams will be emailed immediately. Event specific updates will also be posted on the event webpage, as well as the event specific volunteer and team webpage. A full list of cancelled or postponed FIRST events can be found here.
 
We are also working very hard to keep the Team Advisory Committee updated and informed. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to them. As your team representatives, they may already have an answer. If not, they will know the appropriate staff at FIRST Chesapeake or FIRST Headquarters to contact.
 
We appreciate your patience as we navigate the next few weeks. Unfortunately, while we are trying to be as proactive as possible, this is an ever-changing landscape. We ask for your understanding as we address issues as they arise.
 
Leighann Boland                                       James Kresge                                 
Executive Director                                     Board Chair
 
Additional Information:
 
FIRST COVID 19 Statement: https://www.firstinspires.org/covid-19
FIRST Registration Deadlines and Refund Policy: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/pricing-and-payment

Hi Teams,

 
As this is a fast moving target I wanted to update teams about the Owings Mills event. The event is still on but with some restrictions.
 
The school has requested we keep the event as small as possible so we are asking teams to only bring 10 student members plus required mentors and teachers to the event. If your team is doing a chairman's presentation, they also can attend to do the presentation. This also includes the students who are doing Dean's list interviews.
 
There will be no speakers and the event will not be open to the public but will be streamed on twitch tv so friends and family can watch remotely. Links can be found here - https://www.firstchesapeake.org/first-programs/frc/first-chesapeake-district-events/central-md
 
We are also asking any teams to consider not attending if they have been exposed to anyone who has been tested for or suspected of  the COVID-19 virus. 
 
Please let me know if you are unable to attend or have any questions.
 
Thanks,
 
Ron
 

FIRST Chesapeake realizes that information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly changing from day to day. Be assured that the health and safety of FIRST Chesapeake teams and volunteers are our top priorities. We are currently following the guidelines and recommendations established by local health departments, the CDC, and school districts and are taking steps to promote good hygiene practices and common-sense measures at our events, These include:

 

  • suspending high fives and handshakes at the finals
  • placing hand sanitizers at events
  • posting signage to promote handwashing 
  • regularly wiping down high-touch surfaces, such as drivers' stations
  • encouraging those with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay at home

 

We will strive to keep this information updated and maintain up-to-date event information throughout the season.

Click here (https://www.firstinspires.org/covid-19) for the official statement regarding COVID-19  from FIRST Headquarters.

FIRST Chesapeake is partnering with Mentor Virginia to offer free professional development workshops for current and potential volunteers. This opportunity is provided through the Alumni Ambassador Program sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton.
 
The Mentoring Workshops will focus on communication strategies, establishing and maintaining boundaries, conflict resolution, and much more. This workshop is recommended for all current and potential FIRST Chesapeake event volunteers and mentors/coaches.
 
 
Upcoming Workshops
 
When: Saturday, May 16, 2020,
8:30AM - 12:00PM
Where: U-Turn Sports Performance Academy, 2101 Maywill Street, Richmond
Details: This event will be held in the upstairs training room. Coffee, water and snacks will be provided. Space is limited.
 
When: Saturday, June 13, 2020,
8:30AM-12:00PM
Where: Blacksburg High School, 3401 Bruin Lane, Blacksburg
Details: This workshop will be held in the Media Center at Blacksburg High School. Coffee, water, and snacks will be provided. Space is limited.
 
 
Questions? Contact Sandy Furman at .
 

Do you have questions about the selection process for Dean’s List within the FIRST Chesapeake District?  Described below is the current plan for how the Dean's List Award (DLA) judges will be selecting the Dean's List Finalists from the FIRST Chesapeake District.  We will keep you informed and updated if any changes to this process are made during the season.

The DLA judging team will hold Dean's List interviews at five of the local district events — Haymarket, Bethesda, Richmond, Edgewater and Portsmouth. Our Dean's List District Manager, Stephanie Lockhart, sent an email to all the mentors February 20th to notify them of their assigned interview location.  There will be the opportunity to select a different venue (from the five), if the one assigned is a major conflict for the DLA nominee.  If you nominated two students, BOTH students must be interviewed at the same event.

Students will be randomly assigned to a time slot for an interview on the Saturday of the event. The interview schedule with assigned times will be posted at Pit Admin on Friday afternoon/evening. Students may change their time slot. However, it will be the student’s responsibility to find another student who is willing to switch interview slots with them. 

Each DLA judging team from the five interview sites will select two to three semi-finalist to advance to the District Championship. The semi-finalist selected at these district events will be recognized during that district award’s ceremony.  These semi-finalists will be interviewed a second time at the CHS District Championship Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding on Saturday April 4th. The Dean's List Finalists from the FIRST Chesapeake District will be announced during the Awards Ceremony on April 5th.

Three Dean’s List Award Finalists will be selected at the FIRST District Championship Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding and will move on to be considered for the DLA at the FIRST Detroit Championship Event on April 29 - May 2.

FIRST is offering their FIRST Tech Challenge Jump Start program again for 2020.  Follow their early registration instructions and qualify for a grant to cover 2020-2021 season registration ($275). 

For more details see the website- https://info.firstinspires.org/firsttechchallenge-2020-jumpstart

 

Inclement Weather

INCLEMENT
WEATHER POLICY

In case of Inclement Weather the day of
a FIRST Chesapeake Event,
Please call 804.464.8945
after 5am for updates