RCS Board of Education approves measure for high-risk Winter Sports to resume

The RCS Board of Education, at a February 9 special meeting, voted 6-3 in favor of returning high-risk winter sports. Board approval is one of six required steps set forth by the Albany County Department of Health in order for high-risk sports to begin at RCS. The District has completed all six steps, including a required Preparedness Plan, and will be able to begin practices and games.

This final approval means that varsity and junior varsity boys and girls basketball, competitive cheerleading and wrestling may be able to begin this year. The other winter sports of swimming and bowling will continue their seasons as scheduled. As a reminder, the Fall II season, which will include football and volleyball (high-risk sports), boys and girls soccer and cross country (moderate-risk sports) are slated to begin on March 8, 2021.  

As a part of the many safety protocols that have been put in place to protect our athletes, coaches and officials, there will be no spectators for any winter sports at RCS at this time. We hope to be able to livestream games. Modified sports are not a part of the winter sport season because of the need to lessen the density of facility, transportation, and staffing usage. In cooperation with all other Colonial Council schools, the modified level of practices and competition will be considered for fall II and spring sports. As per the Albany County Department of Health guidance, if school is closed for in-person education due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, school-sponsored sports must be suspended until in-person education is resumed.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with local and state health officials have given specific approval for medium and high-risk sports, with certain strict rules under the direction of the Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH). They have not, however, offered any adjustments to the requirements for other large-group school-related activities such as performing music or physical education. Any further updates on athletics and other school-related activities will be shared as soon as they become available.

For winter sports, school districts are tasked with developing a health and safety plan and implementing various safety protocols to protect student-athletes, staff, and families. In preparation for any future athletic seasons, a valid sports physical from the 18-19 or 19-20 school year is acceptable, along with a sports update form and COVID-19 athletic participation waiver that is available on the RCS Athletics web page. The district will continue to share updates and procedures related to the continuation of athletics as needed.

For additional information, visit the district’s athletics page for updates or contact RCS Athletic Director Robert Dorrance at rdorrance@rcscsd.org. For concern over non-adherence to Albany County minimum safety requirements, please access this confidential phone number 518-756-4585 or email at CovidQuestions@rcscsd.org