Superintendent’s Message regarding high risk winter sports

on February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

Dear Monroe-Woodbury families,

As you may be aware, Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Health recently approved the start of high risk winter sports as of February 1, leaving the final decision up to local school districts. I am writing to clarify the school district’s position regarding the commencement of high risk winter sports, which include basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey and wrestling.

After careful consideration, district leaders, in agreement with the M-W Board of Education, have decided that Monroe-Woodbury’s student-athletes and coaches will be participating in high risk sports at both the middle school and high school levels, but will not compete with other schools at this time. The Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education will be passing a resolution regarding the winter season on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.

Here is why we believe this is the best decision for our students and coaches:

  • It is critical that we control the variables that put our students and staff at risk. Our first priority continues to be getting our students back to the school buildings as safely and quickly as possible.
  • We have great concerns about the safety and well-being of our student-athletes and coaches as they travel to and from competitions at other school districts. Furthermore, we are hesitant to invite students from other districts into our buildings when we cannot verify that their safety protocols meet our standards. One positive case could force the quarantine of hundreds of people. At a time when low risk sports such as bowling and swimming/diving are forced to conduct their competitions virtually, it is contradictory to support in-person competitions for high risk sports.
  • One of the most important lessons we have learned as a result of this long-standing pandemic is that our students are craving physical activity and social interaction. Currently, 23 M-W athletic teams/400+ M-W students are participating in various athletic practices after school. Our students need this outlet, both for their physical well-being and social emotional health.
  • We believe that providing healthy activities for the maximum number of students is more important than preparing for an abbreviated competition season, scheduled for February 1 – February 28, which would require the district to swiftly conduct tryouts and make cuts.

We look forward to the fall season when our athletes and coaches will have the opportunity to compete. In the meantime, we remain committed to supporting all of our students in the best way possible and we will share updated information as it becomes available.

Warm regards,

Elsie Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools