Poynette’s Athletic Director Jessica McCracken drew up a draft of guidelines for indoor facility use by outside groups within the district, and presented it to the school board at its Sept. 21 meeting. There were five sections of groups that use the district facilities, and what McCracken presented would allow three groups to use the facilities — all directly connected to the district.
Youth basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams are in those groups, as are the local Girl Scouts, Cub/Boy Scouts, and Booster and Parent Clubs. In order for any group to use district buildings, the first thing required is to ensure the district of an updated certificate of liability to make sure all insurers have a virus inclusion.
The board unanimously approved the document that was presented for indoor facilities to be used for practices by local youth teams.
A decision on whether those teams can compete in games and tournaments will come at the next board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Teams can schedule games, but all coaches understand that portion of the season is still in question.
School activities take precedence when scheduling and all outside groups would be able to schedule from 5-8:45 p.m. on weekends, distancing from school activities, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends — depending on the availability of custodians.
The main groups needing to use the facilities are the youth sports teams, who would like to begin practicing. Even though McCracken provided stipulations for events that may be held in the future for those groups, she was advised to redraft it with more information and the board can review it at the next meeting. At the Sept. 21 meeting, the board was not comfortable with approving events outside of practice for those groups.
Before practices, symptoms checks must be done by coaches, who also will need to be provided a list of names and contact information for all participants as a means to conduct contact tracing, if necessary.
School Board President Kathleen Lucey was against the proposal if it meant 30 or more kids were going to be in the gyms this week, but McCracken clarified that youth teams are just looking for guidance to start practice by the end of next month, with about 12 members on each team, plus coaches. The teams want a starting point for practices and are hopeful for games later in the year, but are aware that games may not happen.
“Whatever we give the youth teams, they will gladly take,” McCracken said. “Youth basketball wants to play, but understands that it might not happen.”
The board was initially torn because they want the area youth teams to be an outlet for extra-curricular activities for children, but were uncomfortable with them in competition right now.
“If they don’t do youth sports here, they will just partake in them somewhere else,” McCracken said. “If they’re here, we can have some semblance of what the plans are.”
Once it was established that the youth teams would be given the ‘OK’ to just practice, the board was more comfortable. The board approved the document that would allow teams to solely practice when the time comes.
Lucey told McCracken to “hammer home” to the groups that things could change at any time.
A request to use district facilities must be emailed to McCracken, who will then respond with the following guidelines of: scheduling must be done with 30-minute increments between each group to allow for distancing between groups and proper sanitization of touched surfaces; no spectators at any practice; coaches will be responsible for sanitizing doors and other touched surfaces when thy leave; no district-owned balls/moving equipment will be used and any other equipment (i.e. volleyball poles) need to be sanitized by the host group when they leave; and masks/face coverings must be worn.