(September 20, 2021)
Dear Chatham Families:
The Chatham Central School District is committed to providing a wide range of athletic opportunities to our students in as safe a manner as possible. In accordance with CDC guidelines and at the recommendation of the Columbia County Department of Health, all public schools in Columbia County are requiring the following mitigation measures to be in place for the start of winter sports in November, due to the increasing prevalence of the COVID-19 Delta variant in our area.
To participate in indoor high-risk winter sports (basketball, volleyball, cheer), student-athletes who are eligible for the vaccine (12 and older) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In order to be fully vaccinated by the time the season begins, prospective student-athletes should begin the vaccination process as soon as possible and must receive their second dose no later than November 1, 2021 for varsity/JV or November 8, 2021 for modified sports.
Families of students participating in high-risk winter sports are required to confirm proof of vaccination with the school nurse no later than November 12.
Only those who are not eligible for the vaccine (under 12) will be able to participate in interscholastic sports if unvaccinated. Student-athletes under the age of 12 must instead undergo weekly COVID-19 testing in order to participate. Parental consent is required for testing of student-athletes. Screening testing for approved participants who are unvaccinated will begin the first week of practice.
All student-athletes must wear face masks during contests and practices indoors.
Chatham is committed to providing the safest learning environment possible for our students and staff during the pandemic. Getting vaccinated is a critical step in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, minimizing any disruption to learning, and keeping our teams in action. While we understand that this is a difficult decision for some families, it is an essential step that we must take in partnership with the County to allow our schools to continue to safely offer high-risk sports in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
The Pfizer vaccine is approved for children 12 and older. Vaccination appointment information is available at https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/news/new-covid-19-vaccine-information/ or https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
Thank you for your continued support and your commitment to working with us to provide a safe environment for in-person learning and sports.