The board of education voted Nov. 12. to exit the conference for all sports by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Polytech School District Board of Education voted to leave the Henlopen North Athletic Conference in all sports due to health and safety concerns for its student-athletes and low-participation rates, the district said in a news release.
This comes after Polytech football forfeited the rest of their season games citing similar concerns Oct. 29.
Board members determined at their Nov. 12 meeting that leaving the conference by the end of the 2020-2021 school year would provide safer, better opportunities for student-athletes.
“While this was a difficult decision to make, the board believes that exiting the Henlopen North Athletic Conference and exploring a different approach is in the best interests of our students and families,” said W. Duane Hammond, president of the board. “Our priority as a board is protecting the overall health and safety of our student-athletes, while also providing long-term sustainability across all extracurricular programs. This decision is an important step toward that goal.”
District administration will convene a committee of coaches, student-athletes, staff, parents and community members to make recommendations for the next chapter in Polytech Athletics. The committee will develop a plan to better protect the well-being of all student-athletes and increase participation across all athletic programs.
“Our district leadership team appreciates the Board of Education's careful consideration of this issue, and we respect and support its decision,” superintendent Amelia Hodges said. “Now, we will turn our attention to organizing a committee that is representative of our entire school community to usher in a new era of Polytech Athletics.”
After the committee submits its plan and recommendations, the district will begin collaborating with other districts and conferences statewide to minimize any impact this may have on their programs.