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Letter from the Board of Education: high-risk clubs and activities

Dear Schuylerville families,

We’d like to begin by commending our entire school community for their diligence in practicing proper health and safety measures and remaining vigilant and sensible, both in school and at home. The actions of our teachers, students, administrators and support staff have enabled us to write this letter in support of high-risk clubs and activities being reinstated for our district. 

Late Friday afternoon, Jan. 22, school districts across the state and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) were notified that high-risk sports could commence, pending local department of health approval. This was good news for our student-athletes, as well as the opportunity for the district to restart appropriate medium/high risk clubs and activities. Please reference Superintendent Dr. Ryan Sherman’s letter to the community from earlier in the week.

Since then, the district has been working each day to prepare to reinstate clubs and athletic activities. Reinstating clubs is a local decision, but the reinstatement of high-risk sports is a decision pending local department of health approval. On Tuesday, Jan. 26, a league meeting for district athletic directors was held, followed by a league meeting for district superintendents on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Comprehensive health and safety protocols, that adhered to the CDC and Department of Health guidelines, were discussed and developed, including specific game scheduling that would help reduce exposure and assist with contact tracing if necessary, playing the same team on back-to-back days, and no allowance of spectators. 

It is the Board of Education’s belief that the district is equipped to reinstate those high-risk clubs and activities for our students, meeting the necessary restrictions coinciding with the success of the district’s reopening plan and the current low infection rate in our schools. As of today, Jan. 29, we have four positive cases of COVID-19 districtwide, and eight individuals in mandatory quarantine. Those numbers put our infection rate at below 1% of our entire school community population (1,703 students and staff).

As a Board, we also understand the value of extracurriculars and athletics for our students. It has been almost a year that our students have gone without them. Clubs and activities are an important aspect of a child’s education, contributing to the overall social-emotional health and wellbeing of so many of our students. The health and safety of our school community will always be the number one priority. Taking into account the metrics of our district’s low infection rate, we support the reinstatement of extracurriculars and athletics for our district. 

Sincerely,

Schuylerville Central School District Board of Education