Feb. 9, 2021 Addition to the Agenda

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Addition to the Agenda

Acknowledge and Acceptance of Re-opening Guidance for Sports

Recommend the Board of Education approve the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the New York State’s Re-opening Guidance for Sports and Recreation activities categorizes sports/activities as lower risk, modern risk, and higher risk; and

WHEREAS, on January 22, 2021 Governor Cuomo announced that sports categorized as high risk sports (including wrestling, basketball, ice hockey, etc.) will be permitted as of February 1, 2021 as permitted by the local health department; and

WHEREAS, on January 29, 2021 the Orange County Department of Health (OC DOH) issued its guidance allowing high risk school sports in Orange County; and

WHEREAS, effective February 1, 2021, and until otherwise indicated, student-athletes are permitted to participate in K-12 sponsored sports categorized as higher risk in Orange County provided the specific requirements of the January 29, 2021 OC requirements are met; and

WHEREAS, on February 5, 2021 the OC DOH published additional guidance which schools must do at a minimum in order to commence higher risk sports. Said guidance was further clarified in an email on February 8. The requirements include:

  • The District must disseminate to parents/guardians of student-athletes and athletic staff (at a minimum) via email the “Health Risk Communication” document authored by the OC DOH and post said document in a conspicuous place on the District’s website;
  • Parents/guardians and students wanting to participate in higher risk sports must give their informed, written consent to participation by signing the OC DOH Code of Conduct;
  • The District must retain the original OC DOH Code of Conduct and present the document upon request to the Commissioner of Health of any such county where the student-athlete plays sports;
  • The Board of Education or the Superintendent must authorize the District’s offering of higher risk sports, specifying which sports will be permitted to be played, and which grades will be permitted to play;
  • Each player must have a physical from either last or this academic year. Individuals with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis must have an in-person medical evaluation and clearance by a doctor or other healthcare provider after recuperation from Covid-19 (cardiovascular clearance is recommended) before engaging in athletic activity;
  • Parents, Coaches, and athletes must be fully informed about the risk of disease transmission, acknowledge the risks as well as other known and unknown potentially serious life-threatening consequences, and provide informed, written consent prior to participating in higher risk sports;
  • The District must follow, unless more stringent guidance is provided by OC DOH (see below), the most recent New York State Guidance, Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (Master Guidance) available at https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SportsAndRecreationMasterGuidance.pdf ;
  • The District must follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance relative to the wearing of face coverings, available at https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-interim-guidance-return-to-sports/ (amended from time to time);
  • The District must establish a hierarchy for oversight/violations and provide the OC DOH with the name and contact information of its COVID-19 athletic coordinator;
  • The District must also ensure:
  1. Players and coaches adhere closely to the required daily attestation regarding COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure; and
  2. Best practices are followed, as outlined in the document entitled “High Risk Sport Protocols for Counties” issued by the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal Association (NYMIR). and

WHEREAS, The Superintendent has established and may continue to establish additional safeguards to protect athletes, coaches, families and the community which currently include:

  • Testing of athletes for Covid-19 (random initially, but could become mandatory)
  • Asking all athletes to sign the Code of Conduct and the Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risk Form, not just athletes in Higher Risk sports
  • Requiring all athletes (except swimmers) to remain masked during competitions

NOW THEREFORE, the Pine Bush Central School District Board of Education hereby acknowledges the receipt and acceptance of the superintendent’s recommendation to allow participation in the following sports for the 2020-2021 Winter Season:

Sport                                Play Level          Risk Level        Grades allowed to Participate

  • Boys Basketball       Varsity                   Higher Risk           9-12
  • Girls Basketball         Varsity                  Higher Risk            9-12
  • Wrestling                        Varsity                  Higher Risk            9-12
  • Boys Swimming         Varsity                 Low/Moderate Risk 8*-12

subject to compliance with the OC DOH guidance and other New York State and/or NYSPHSAA guidance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the Orange County Code of Conduct form, and the District’s Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk form prepared by our attorneys.

*Only 8th graders who participated last year as 7th graders will be allowed.

There will be no APP process this school year.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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