District provides level playing field

To the editor:

There is some misinformation circulating in the community regarding the district’s compliance with Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

The district is interested in providing the best possible experience for our student athletes, and we welcome the opportunity to work students, staff and community members to that end. Earlier this school year, the SL Sports Advocacy Group reached out with the request for soccer and lacrosse to be played on the Ken Wilson Field. After careful consideration, the district was unable to meet this request due to a number of factors including field size requirements, correct crowning of the field and interference with our newly rebuilt varsity baseball field.

Once the initial request was not met, the SL Sports Advocacy group began a false campaign including an online petition, insinuating the district is not meeting Title IX and ADA requirements. This is not true. In fact, at a meeting with the district late last fall, the SL Sports Advocacy group acknowledged there are no Title IX concerns. We provide a comprehensive sports program where students can participate, compete and achieve lifelong lessons. The district takes pride in its sports program. The program is welcoming and fair to all athletes, regardless of gender. Any claim to the contrary is simply untrue.

Please know that the board is involved in ongoing planning, immediate and long-range, that will affect district athletics and athletic venues. We welcome and rely on input from the community and athletic-minded groups who have the best interests of our students at heart to help us in this process.

The district has entered into an agreement to have all fields maintained by a turf management company. We are addressing the ADA concerns by adding designated parking and access mats at Schroeter’s Field. In addition, we are beginning the discussion of the feasibility of an artificial turf field. It would not be prudent at this time to spend significant financial resources on alterations to the current field configurations until long-range plans have been agreed upon.

Diane Fox

Superintendent, Saranac Lake Central Schools

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