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No spectators at home OCSD sporting events

With safety of the community and students mind, the Oswego City School District Board of Education at Tuesday, Sept. 29's meeting decided to allow no spectators at home sporting events for the fall season.

After examining the guidelines laid out by the state and Section III officials, the Board concluded the safest and most cost-effective decision was to move forward without spectators.

Board members discussed the benefits and potential risks that come with spectators, and ultimately a majority decided fewer people reduces risk, logistical concerns and chances for community spread of COVID-19. If anything changes regarding the pandemic, these rules can be reviewed and updated, officials added.

“Safety is our number one goal and was the driving force behind this decision,” Superintendent Dr. Mathis Calvin III said following the meeting. “Our varsity athletes are set to go out and have all the benefits of a competitive season while we do everything to give them the safest possible environment to play.”

Dr. Calvin added that the district is working to plan a senior night activity for athletes and their parents, and further details will be made available as they are finalized.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Dr. Calvin reported to the Board the four varsity sports are estimated to cost approximately $37,000 beyond what was initially budgeted due to COVID-19 and required regulations. With no spectators, the district would save more than $10,000 on those costs with less need for screeners at games, signage and additional field bleacher markings with possible further savings on security and other cleaning needs, Dr. Calvin said.

Media and college recruiters can still access games, officials said, but they must make arrangements prior to the contest with Athletic Director Ronda Bullard.

The Board of Education voted Sept. 18 to allow varsity athletes in the four sports allowed under Section III guidelines – soccer, cross country, boys golf and girls tennis. Practices began the following week for dozens of student-athletes.

A recording of Tuesday’s meeting is available on the WBUC YouTube page.

The Board’s next meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. virtually and can be viewed live on WBUC and YouTube.com/WBUCNY.

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