- SEPTEMBER 24, 2020- CHES-MONT LEAGUE HEALTH & SAFETY PLAN AND INTERSCHOLASTIC UPDATE
- September 17, 2020- UPDATE TO PRE-PARTICIPATION SCREENINGS
- SEPTEMBER 1, 2020- SCREENINGS UPDATED
- August 30, 2020- UPDATE RE: CHES-MONT LEAGUE ANNOUNCEMENT
- August 24, 2020- UPDATE RE: FALL SPORTS
- August 5, 2020- FALL HEALTH & SAFETY PLAN AND CHEST-MONT LEAGUE ANNOUNCEMENT
- July 16, 2020- UPDATE RE: GOVERNOR WOLF & PIAA ANNOUNCEMENTS
- July 14, 2020- Revised Summer Health & Safety Plan
- July 11, 2020- Update re: Revised DOH Travel Restrictions
- July 6, 2020- Update re: DOH Travel Restrictions
- July 3, 2020- PIAA Press Release re: DOH Mask Order
- June 15, 2020- Update Re: Summer Health & Safety Plan
- June 10, 2020- Update Re: PIAA & Governor Wolf's Announcement to Resume Sports
The following letter was sent out to athletes, parents, and coaches:
I hope that everybody is feeling well and looking forward to a nice weekend. After a busier than normal week of athletics, please take time to pause and get some R&R before another week of interscholastic sports at UHS. Over the past few weeks the Ches-Mont League adopted a league-wide health and safety plan which paved the way for the return of sports competitions. This path forward was ultimately supported by our school board on Monday, September 21st. Still, the season will be far from ordinary as we do everything we can to mitigate risks and allow our athletes an opportunity to be together, be well, play, and compete.
The air on campus this week was filled with energy and enthusiasm. Our student-athletes stepped up as leaders in our mitigation efforts as our teams prepare and hope for a safe and successful season. We are looking for ways to improve on a daily basis. We also recognize that all of our athletes, coaches, and the greater community need to make sacrifices in order to keep moving forward. We are insisting that our athletes and coaches be a good teammate by staying home when sick, wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene and distancing, and making smart decisions off the field.
Schedules and arrangements are being developed. Stay tuned and stay flexible; news and guidance is unfolding on a daily basis. We are doing our best to simply give our athletes a safe, fun, and memorable experience. Below are some general reminders that will help to accomplish this goal.
Contact your coach, AT staff, or myself if you have questions about rules and expectations. If an athlete has signs and symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, please notify the school nurse and/or athletic trainers.
Our athletes are doing a nice job mitigating risks and working hard while on campus; we need them to also do a nice job off campus. This will require the help of our student-athlete leaders, parents, and the entire village to join our efforts in mitigating risks everywhere. Additionally, please know that the school is still requiring a 14 day quarantine for those who travel to locations on PA’s Travel Information page.
We are taking the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and community seriously. There are consequences for those who cannot follow the rules.
In closing, our athletics department is committed to the efforts of getting kids back in our buildings. My challenge to all is to play safely and let athletics be one of the vehicles to help make this happen. Be a good teammate, and be well!
The following email was communicated to coaches and disseminated to their teams regarding an update to the questions on our pre-participation screening surveys.
In order to align with the Ches-Mont League Standardized Screening that was developed yesterday, we will change our screenings as well. The questions are similar but provide some clarification specific to the CCHD recommendations for school exclusion. I will have these updated on all screenings by 1:30PM (any screening done before 1:30 will have to be redone).
The new screening will be as follows:
- Question 1: In the past 72 hours, do you have ONE or more of symptoms from Group A or TWO or more symptoms from Group B? (Chester County Health Department Symptom Assessment):
- Group A: Do you have ONE or more of the following?
- Lack of smell or test (without congestion)
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty Breathing
- Group B
- Fever (oral > 100.4, axillary/temporal > 99.5)
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Pain
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Group A: Do you have ONE or more of the following?
- Question 2: In the past 72 hours, has anyone in your household had symptoms listed in Group A (one or more symptoms) or Group B (two or more symptoms) above?
- Question 3: In the past 14 days, have you had close contact (as defined by the CDC) with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is in the process of being tested for COVID-19, is isolating as a result of a suspected COVID-19 infection, or is experiencing acute symptoms of COVID-19?
- Close contact is defined as:
- within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more
- household contact or providing care in someone's home
- direct physical contact
- sharing eating or drinking utensils (or shared kitchen)
- they sneezed, coughed, or got respiratory droplets on you somehow
- Question 4: In the past 14 days, have you travelled internationally or to any domestic locations listed in the DOH’s Quarantine List?
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
The Pre-Participation Screening Surveys have been updated to include a question about the PA Department of Health's Travel Quarantine. If you have visited any of these states in the past 14 days (as of 9/1), you must quarantine before returning to athletics.
On Friday August 28th, the Ches-Mont and Central Leagues both made announcements that postponed the fall season indefinitely and united to pursue alternate scheduling options. It will still be a few weeks until the details of an alternate option start to unfold. In the meantime, our Intersquad Season will begin on 9/7 (UHS) & 9/14 (Patton). The league, including Unionville, would consider all options for a fall season should the health department change their recommendation. However, our path forward still remains to focus on a great Intersquad Season and start to stay ready and flexible as we learn more about alternate scheduling options and health department recommendations.
The following email was sent out via email to the UCFSD Community on August 24, 2020:
At this evening’s board meeting I will be making the disappointing announcement that we cannot move forward with our plans for a full and fun interscholastic season this fall, instead we will be advocating that PIAA approves an alternate option for fall sports, as described below. As somebody who fully recognizes the impact that sports has on our student-athletes, this was the most challenging, complex, and heartbreaking decision I’ve had to make. Please know that we gave it every effort to have an interscholastic season this fall. Our athletics task force, athletic trainers, coaches, and athletes have done an incredible job this summer staying positive, working hard, and working together in preparation for the fall season.
Before I share our path forward, here is a brief summary of events that unfolded this month:
- August 3rd - UCF school board approved our Athletics Health & Safety Plan.
- August 6th - Letter to community outlining the goals for the season and new start dates of 9/7 (UHS) and 9/14 (Patton).
- August 6th - Governor Wolf issues a recommendation “ The administration strongly recommends that Pre-K to 12 school sports be postponed until at least Jan. 1, 2021.”
- August 7th - PIAA postpones the start of the fall season until Aug. 24th.
- August 14th - CCHD issues a recommendation (p. 11): “The Chester County Health Department does not recommend competition in any sport. An assessment will be conducted in early 2021.”
- August 21st - PIAA approves fall sports , but states that: “the PIAA will monitor school participation in fall sports and may pursue alternate solutions, if needed.”
As you can see, it's been quite the roller coaster ride. What this boils down to is that the PIAA is moving forward, but suggesting that local administrators and school boards make their own decisions. While we believe that our health & safety plan is very strong and know that sports have a positive impact on our athletes’ emotional, social, and physical health, we also know that we can’t ignore the recommendation from the Chester County Health Department, especially during this pandemic. We are seeking a clarification from the CCHD, specifically on low risk sports (golf, tennis, xc) and will consider an adjustment to our plan if possible.
An additional concern, from a viability standpoint, is that even if we decided to move forward with an interscholastic season this fall, I’m not confident that we’d be able to build a meaningful local schedule based on the same challenges that all schools are experiencing.
As stated above, “the PIAA will monitor school participation in fall sports and may pursue alternate solutions, if needed”. This statement alludes that the PIAA will consider allowing schools/leagues to pursue an alternate schedule that allows a chance for all programs (fall, winter, spring) to play a consolidated season starting on January 4th. The details of this model have not been announced, but we will be relentlessly advocating for the PIAA to sanction this solution, as this would give all athletes an opportunity to have a season. The silver lining is that an alternate solution would hopefully give us a better chance at having an actual competitive season in the spring, rather than possibly stringing together a few games in the fall. In full disclosure, there is always a risk that health conditions won’t permit sports after January 1st, and although I’m optimistic about the alternate solution, there is a chance that the PIAA may not sanction schools/leagues to play fall sports in the spring.
I am so sorry to our athletes, coaches, and parents that this is still our reality.
In the meantime, we have developed a path forward that allows us to continue supporting our athletes, giving them opportunities to be together, be well, and have fun. Over the past few weeks, a group of stakeholders assisted in building a contingency plan, knowing that an interscholastic season could eventually be cancelled. While it won’t be the same type of competitive season that we had hoped for, I am optimistic about our path forward as summarized below:
- We will offer a voluntary “intersquad” program starting on 9/7 (UHS) and 9/14 (Patton). This program will still provide the same organization, expectations, and integrity of a traditional program, minus the “interscholastic” competition component. This program will operate under the guidance of our HSP, and certainly risk mitigation and activity modifications will apply. Our high school voluntary workouts may continue in the meantime, leading up to 9/7.
- This program is designed to offer a meaningful experience - knowing this is the recipe to keep athletes healthy, together, and engaged. Activity/practices will occur 3-4 days per week. Here are a few examples of the program:
- Round-robin tournaments
- Fitness & skills competitions
- Mini-camp / combine & recruiting activities
- 7v7 and modified scrimmaging
- “Night scrimmages” with announcer and pep band
- High school sponsored skills clinic for middle school team
- Leadership opportunities/team captains, spirit wear, team pictures, team bonding activities, etc.
- A FamilyID registration and sports physical is still required. Questions regarding FamilyID should be directed to Kathy Walsh-Shell, Middle School Athletic Trainer/FamilyID Manager ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). The UCFSD activity fee will be waived. Once we have more direction on the PIAA’s “alternate solution” we will communicate our plan for activity fee refunds from the fall season. Those who request an immediate refund should contact Jodie Weaver, Athletics Office Manager (email@example.com).
- Coaches will be setting up team meetings to share further information about their “intersquad” program. This program includes all fall sports, including club sports, 6th grade running club, and marching band. Please be sure to register on FamilyID so that coaches are aware of who is on their roster.
Regardless of the circumstances, we will always support our athletes as best we can. Again, I am sorry that we’re in this situation, but I believe with the right attitude, we can look back on this year with fond memories. It will absolutely take a village, and I appreciate everybody’s support. Feel free to give me a call at 610-347-1600 x. 3107.
The following email was sent out via email to the UCFSD Community on August 5, 2020:
Dear UCFSD Community,
On Monday, August 3rd our school board approved our Fall Athletics Health and Safety Plan. We are happy about the return of sports, but understand this season will be far from ordinary. This season is not about wins-losses, school records, and trophies. We all love to compete, but this season, many of the best parts of sports will rise to the top. Our athletes will have the opportunity to be part of a team and enjoy being with friends; they will spend lots of time outside working hard and exercising, and they will have fun.
Teamwork will be more important than ever, and I’m not just referring to passing the ball or communicating on the court. A good teammate will stay home when they're sick, wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash their hands, use good judgement, and make responsible decisions for the health and safety of their teammates, classmates, coaches, and the entire community. The ultimate measure of accomplishment this year will be excellent teamwork.
The reality of the season is that we have a plan which includes many necessary restrictions and important risk mitigation strategies. There will be other logistical challenges such as officials and transportation. Please remember our opportunities to compete will not only depend on the health status of our community, but will also depend on the schools that we are scheduled to play, their tolerance levels, and their ability to play & compete safely. That said, the Ches-Mont League met on Wednesday to approve a league only schedule and to delay the start of the season until September 7th. While we are all eager and excited to return to sports, the league recognized it was important to limit travel to local schools within our region. A delayed start also gives schools additional time to prepare and further evaluate conditions before playing each other.
Considering the schedules, restrictions and logistics that we are managing, an adjusted schedule for the upcoming season is shown below.
8/10/2020 - 9/6/2020
Summer workouts will continue for all high school sports who choose to participate. Additionally, during this time period as we gear up for the official start of school and sports, we ask our athletes to be leaders in our community by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and committing to good hygiene. Please consider avoiding travel specifically to places on PA’s recommended travel quarantine list. If you do travel to a state on this list, it is recommended that you quarantine for 14 days upon return. As student-athletes, it is a priority that we do our part to open school buildings safety for all students.
9/7/2020 (physical deadline extended to Monday 8/24, please register on FamilyID)
Official practices are permitted to begin on this date for all high school teams. Golf and Tennis will begin competition the week of 9/14. All other sports will begin competition on 9/25 at the earliest. New game schedules will be built over the next few weeks as we learn more about the approval status of other Ches-Mont schools.
9/14/2020 (physical deadline extended to 8/24, please register on FamilyID)
Official practices will begin on this date for all middle school teams, including 6th grade running club. Games will begin in late September or early October and will be scheduled based on the approval of the other Chester County schools. The 6th grade running club will be active, but will not compete against other schools this year, as we are the only school in Chester County who sponsors this program. We are confident that our 6th grade athletes will have an excellent experience within our own community.
High School and Middle School Games
Based on the conditions once we begin to compete, our school will be monitoring CCHD data, communicating with opposing teams, and working with the health department, when necessary, to determine the safety and feasibility of each contest. As I’ve been describing throughout this letter, please be understanding of the changes and cancellations that are likely to occur.
Currently, the PIAA is planning on proceeding with a limited postseason tournament. Our participation in playoffs will be frequently discussed and evaluated by our task force and other health experts over the next few months. We will keep teams informed of our position.
Coaches will be meeting with teams and communicating in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned for specific information regarding schedules and sport specific details.
In closing, on behalf of our coaching staff, ATs, Mrs. Weaver, and our athletics task force, I would like to express our excitement for the upcoming season and seeing our athletes back on campus. Nowadays it’s hard to predict the future. And while games, practices, and schedules will be far from ordinary, my hope is that the memories of this season will be extraordinary.
Due to the 7/15 Wolf Administration Announcement regarding additional mitigation efforts and telework and the 7/15 PIAA Announcement regarding fall sports, we have made the following changes to our summer workouts.
- All workouts will remain outside and indoor facilities will be closed. Only essential staff will be on site for workout supervision and facility management.
- We are staying in Phase 2 of the Summer Athletics Health & Safety Plan until further notice.
A revised version of our Athletics Summer Health & Safety Plan was approved at yesterday's board meeting. This revision provides clarification that as new guidance becomes available from the Governor, Department of Health, Chester County Health Department, and PIAA it will be instituted.
The following emails was sent to coaches and communicated to athletes/parents on July 11, 2020:
Governor Wolf and the PA Department of Health have recently updated information for travelers including adding new states to the recommended quarantine list. The previous mandate announced by the state earlier this week said that travelers visiting these states “will need to quarantine for 14 days” - this has been changed. The PA Department of Health now says that “If you travel to the following states, it is recommended that you quarantine for 14 days upon return.” Athletes and coaches who have traveled (or plan to travel) to any of the identified states on PA's quarantine list are no longer required to stay home from voluntary summer practices upon return.
While this is a recommendation and no longer a mandate, we do ask athletes and coaches to remain vigilant in monitoring your health, especially if you are traveling to and from any of the identified states on the recommended quarantine list. For those traveling to the states on the list, we suggest that you take your temperature daily and look for any symptoms that may be concerning before returning to our campus. Here is information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 Symptoms. If you suspect that you have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels, please contact your doctor and stay home. For help in determining how to keep you, your teammates and your coaches safe, please review this FAQ on the PA Department of Health website.
Keep hanging on as we navigate these rapidly occurring changes! I appreciate your patience and understanding. Please forward this email to both athletes and parents.
The following email was sent to coaches and communicated to athletes/parents on July 6, 2020:
We have another update from the PA Department of Health. Please review COVID-19 Information for Travelers. Our position is that any athlete, coach, or staff member who traveled to any of the states on the list will need to quarantine for 14 days upon return. This question is now part of the pre-practice screening. Athletes or coaches who answer yes to this question, cannot participate in our summer voluntary workouts for 14 days upon return.
The PIAA released the following press release regarding clarification on the PA Department of Health's Mask Order on July 3, 2020.
PRESS RELEASE – Mechanicsburg, PA – Friday, July 3, 2020
This afternoon the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) authored some FAQ’s for the recent wearing a face covering (mask) order signed by Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. This action has created a number of questions for schools and their out of season voluntary workout programs.
PIAA Executive Director, Dr. Robert A. Lombardi stated, “We are tremendously appreciative of the Department of Health and the Department of Education for providing guidance and answers to the many frequently asked questions. This information will greatly assist PIAA member schools, their administration and staffs with the information needed to continue their voluntary, summer workout programs”.
The most requested questions recently are the following:
Does the Order apply to athletes and sports activities?
Yes. Everyone must wear a face covering, such as a mask, unless they fall under an exception listed in Section 3 of the Order. Coaches, athletes and spectators must wear face coverings unless they are outdoors and can consistently maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. Athletes are not required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition that prevent the wearing of face coverings, but must wear face coverings when on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc. and anytime 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.
Do schools need to update/amend their Health and Safety Plans if they have already been submitted to PDE?
Health and Safety Plans must reflect this Order. Understanding the volatility and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus, plans should be flexible enough to contemplate any future change in conditions.
Do updated/revised Health and Safety Plans need to be re-approved by local school boards?
Yes. While the Order must be implemented immediately, plan approval, if necessary, should occur at the next board meeting.
For more information from the Department of Health on face coverings (masks) use the following link:
Our Athletics Summer Health & Safety Plan was approved and open and voluntary offseason workouts can begin on June 22, 2020. Prior to participation, all athletes must attend one of 3 educational sessions (or watch the recording). Please see the June 10th update regarding these educational sessions.
Additionally, our USAAC Executive Board has put together a fun and informational video regarding our health & safety plan.
The following letter was sent out via email to parents and coaches on June 10, 2020:
UCFSD Athletics Teams,
At last evening’s Fall Sports Night, we announced that our athletics program would be allowed to resume after July 1st if Chester County was in the Green Phase. However, today we received positive news from Governor Wolf & the PIAA regarding the ability to resume our athletics program for open and voluntary summer workouts with restrictions to keep our student-athletes, coaches, and community safe. The announcement today permits schools in counties designated in the Yellow and Green Phases to resume once they have a School Board approved Athletics Health & Safety Plan and educate all stakeholders (athletes, parents, coaches, and staff) regarding these plans. This plan will apply to summer open and voluntary summer workouts for UCFSD athletics programs, and further guidance from the Governor and the PIAA regarding fall sports will be announced at a later date.
In recent weeks, we have formed a COVID-19 Athletics Reopening Task Force consisting of stakeholders from across our district. In anticipation of today’s announcement, our task force has worked diligently to prepare a plan and has met with our fall coaching staff. As a result, we have requested that our Athletics Health & Safety Plan be approved at our June 15th Board Meeting. The plan will then be available on our Athletics Website and
We will conduct Educational Zoom Sessions next week for all athletes and their families who are wishing to attend open and voluntary summer workouts. Attendance at one of these educational sessions will be mandatory prior to resuming workouts. Having our plan board approved and conducting these educational sessions next week would allow for a June 22nd return.
The three sessions will be held on Zoom ( https://cciu.zoom.us/j/2809731709 ) at the following times:
June 18th at 3pm
June 18th at 6pm
June 19th at 12pm
Our ultimate goal is to return our athletes to participation in a manner that focuses on their health and safety while promoting physical, mental, and social wellness.
Just a final reminder, the stadium remains closed due to construction.