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Board of Education sends letter to KHSAA, urging it to meet and expand COVID-19 guidelines

From The Courier-Journal -

Kentucky Board of Education chair Lu Young on Monday August 31, 2020 sent a letter to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control, urging the committee to meet and consider expanding COVID-19 guidance for athletes.

The letter comes three days after Friday’s 3-hour and 45-minute meeting in which the Kentucky Board of Education discussed the upcoming high school season and heard presentations from KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett and Kentucky public health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

In the letter, the KBE urges the Board of Control to meet immediately and consider actions to:

  • Develop new guidance for school districts on the responsibility and authority to enforce the protocols set forth in the recent KSHAA guidance document.

  • Anticipate and clarify how KHSAA guidance is likely to evolve, and put forth clear and actionable guidance on how KHSAA will respond to a spike in cases at the school, district, regional and/or statewide level.

  • Provide immediate guidance to school districts and coaches on spectator attendance at practices and competition.

  • Develop clear guidance to school districts and coaches on how to best provide resources and mental health support to student athletes who are unable to play due to parent choice, COVID-19 quarantine, program suspension due to COVID-19 or other reasons.

  • Require that the risks of COVID-19 are disclosed to families and students in a manner that is easily understood, along with recommended steps for student “return to sports” following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

  • Take steps, including but not limited to instructing KHSAA to work with KDE and the Department for Public Health, to develop model COVID-19 testing protocols for student-athletes and coaches that could be replicated across the state.

  • Adopt a regular reporting schedule for the Board of Control and the KBE/KDE to receive written reports, not less than bi-weekly, from the KHSAA that summarizes COVID-related issues KHSAA is dealing with (by sport, district and school) and how concerns are addressed as they arise.

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