Penn Yan Athletic Code of Conduct revised

Gwen Chamberlain

The Penn Yan Central School board has approved a new Athletic Code of Conduct for the 2016-17 sports seasons.

Following a spring sports season that included an incident between a parent and a coach resulting in the need for police intervention, and the realization that officials from other school districts have raised concerns about Penn Yan sports fans, a committee was formed to review and update the policy.

Athletic Director Tobin Tansey and Academy Principal David Pullen, who reviewed the policy at the July 13 school board meeting, said the committee included students, a board member, school district administrators, coaches, parents and a community sports fan. “Everybody brought a lot of ideas. We had four to six meetings and there were good discussions,” reports Tansey. He said the most significant changes in five years were made to the policy.

The policy includes a 25-step communication process that ends at the building principal and a yellow card/red card policy that will reinforce positive behaviors at games.

Pullen said he and Tansey have heard comments from other Section V schools that Penn Yan fans in some sports can be some of the worst in the section.

Pullen says the most significant thing about the policy is the clear communication it supports, setting a process in motion to facilitate meetings so issues don’t get out of control.

The new policy will be available on the school district’s website soon, and it will be discussed at the mandatory pre-season sports meeting set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Academy gymnasium. Attendance at that meeting is mandatory for varsity, JV and modified athletes and their parents attend the meeting.

• IMPROVEMENTS: Penn Yan School buildings are being updated over the summer, with new flooring in the elementary school, new air conditioning in the academy and work in the middle school auditorium and atrium.

• CAPITAL PROJECT: Brian Cieslinski of SEI Design Group presented information on the potential capital project to demolish the current bus garage, relocate the district offices to either the elementary or middle school building, and build a new bus garage, maintenance building and parking area. The projected schedule calls for a board approval of the project in October, public presentations in November and a public referendum in December. If the project is approved by the State Education Department, construction could begin in the summer of 2018.

Cieslinski said SEI is developing a list of priority items for a five-year capital plan that will also include work on the track and field, and middle school technology.

• EXTENDED SCHOOL DAY: Greg Baker, assistant superintendent for instruction and staff development, reported on the extended school day program, which will operate with grant funds through 2021. A project director who will be shared between the Penn Yan and Dundee School Districts, should be identified in early August. About 215 students in Kindergarten through grade five will be targeted for the Penn Yan program.