High-Risk Sports and After-School Activities

High-Risk Sports and After-School Activities
Posted on 02/12/2021

Dear Parents and guardians,

 

I hope that this letter finds you and your family members well. At the Fort Ann Central School District, the health and safety of our students, staff members, and the public remain our top priority. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked collaboratively with Washington County and our Public Health professionals to keep our schools operational with as much in-person instruction as possible.  

 

Governor Cuomo recently announced that effective February 1, 2021, students may participate in higher-risk sports if the District met certain health and safety requirements.  As a result of these stringent requirements, the return to higher-risk sports has been delayed due to Washington County COVID-19 metrics that keep our entire school community as safe as possible. We all recognize the positive impacts and effects sports and extra-curricular activities have on our students and our entire school community.  

 

Yesterday afternoon, the Washington County Health Department provided guidance to participate in sports and a pathway for school districts to return to Higher-Risk Sports. Please note that the resumption of higher-risk sports does not mean that they are safe or without risk. Schools must still meet sport-specific minimum requirements, and communities must meet COVID-19 metrics.

 

Our School Leadership Team and Board of Education have continued to review and discuss COVID-19 metrics, the 7-day rolling average percent positivity in our community, and the guidance for participation in higher-risk sports.  Over the past several weeks, we have developed a return to interscholastic athletics plan, located on the district website.  Due to our current COVID-19 positivity rate in the community, the District has decided to opt-out of high-risk sports to focus on the Fall-2 season, scheduled to start on March 7, 2021. This decision is compounded by the shortened winter sports season (2 to 4 games), health and COVID screening requirements, and limited roster size restrictions.  

 

However, after the winter break, we will be providing new opportunities for Middle School and High School students to participate in after-school athletics. Prior to participation, all families must complete the parental consent form below. These will include sports training sessions, low-contact group training activities, and other types of play to prepare students for the Fall-2 season. We will also provide after-school opportunities for Middle School and High School students to participate in music-related activities as individuals and small groups. We will also be gradually reintroducing extracurriculars such as after-school homework help, academic enrichment programs, clubs, and activities. By doing so, we will provide after-school opportunities for a larger number of students while hopefully keeping in-person learning going.  

 

It is important to note that we will not be providing school transportation for after-school programs. Families will need to coordinate their own transportation. This is a safety measure, to ensure that we are not creating additional opportunities for COVID-19 exposure via bussing. 

 

Please understand that we are all extremely disappointed to be opting out of high-risk sports, especially as our graduating seniors will not have the opportunity to participate in Varsity Girls/Boys Basketball this year or in the Spring Musical. We understand the frustration this decision causes, and it was not one taken lightly. 

 

Our School Leadership Team and Board of Education will continue to work with Washington County and meet all guidelines put in place.  We will continue to monitor all benchmarks moving forward in order to keep our students safe.  If the risk of extra curricular activities becomes too high, additional restrictions will be put in place. 

 

We continue to extend our thanks to our board of education, students, staff, community members, and school leadership team for their patience and understanding as we worked towards this decision. 

 

Sincerely,

Kevin Froats


We ask that all parents fill out the form below if they intend on consenting to allowing their student to participate in our after-school athletics.

VIEW: RETURN TO ATHLETICS GUIDANCE AND PARENTAL CONSENT FORM

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