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Horseheads CSD reviews athletic placement process amid concerns about physical exams

The Horseheads Central School District is revising its implementation of the New York State Education Department’s Athletic Placement Process (APP), which allows students to play sports above or below their grade level after undergoing physical exams for maturity assessment. Superintendent Dr. Thomas Douglas highlighted these changes at a recent Board of Education meeting. The revision follows concerns over the current procedure that doesn’t permit examinations by private physicians, due to past instances of falsified medical reports.


Parents voiced concerns at the board meeting. They described the current exam process, involving the school nurse and a nurse practitioner, as “humiliating and inappropriate,” particularly regarding the Tanner Scale, a medical exam that assesses physical development.

Superintendent Douglas acknowledged the need for change and stated that an “Athletics and Extra-curricular” committee, comprising parents, teachers, and board members, is reviewing the process. He noted the district’s efforts to address concerns, including potentially modifying consent forms and exam procedures. This review aims to ensure a respectful and transparent approach to assessing students’ readiness for athletic participation.