The Arlington Central School District will make its decision on whether to apply to leave Section 1 and join Section 9 on Tuesday, and the Poughkeepsie City School District may not be far behind.
On Friday, Poughkeepsie Athletic Director Matt Cameron said he is “close to making my presentation to my supervisor regarding the process of moving our athletic department to Section 9,” though he made clear no decision has been made.
Poughkeepsie Board of Education President Ralph Coates said nothing has yet been presented to the board. He said the next step in the process would entail Cameron discussing the details of a possible move with Ronel Cook, the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. If they decide to do so, Cook and Cameron would then present their conclusions to Superintendent Nicole Williams.
“We’re very close to sitting down as a school district and talking about the pros and cons of Section 1 vs. Section 9,” Cameron said.
The deadline to apply to join Section 9 is Nov. 30. The next scheduled Poughkeepsie board meeting is on Nov. 20, a community forum session at the Jane Bolin Administration Building.
Arlington’s board will officially vote on whether to authorize the application to join Section 9 at its next meeting on Tuesday night, according to the agenda posted to its website.
Arlington Athletic Director Dave Goddard gave a 23-page PowerPoint presentation to the board on Sept. 10 that outlined his argument to switch sections — the presentation was subsequently posted to the board’s website — and Arlington held an informational meeting open to the public to discuss the move on Oct. 21.
Our Lady of Lourdes High School has already applied to join Section 9.
In recent years, several local schools in Section 1, which includes teams in Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties, have discussed the move to Section 9, which is composed of schools from Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
Three years ago, for example, Beacon applied for entry into Section 9, only to pull its application; Pawling did the same last year. This past April, less than a year after Dover moved from Section 1 to Section 9, officials with Arlington, Beacon, Pawling, Poughkeepsie, John Jay, Roy C. Ketcham and Lourdes met to ponder the switch.
Last month, Beacon Athletic Director Eric Romanino told the Poughkeepsie Journal his school is staying put right now. Pawling Athletic Director John Bellucci and Wappingers Central School District Athletic Coordinator Kurt Jesman did not return calls placed on Friday.
“The impetus for Our Lady of Lourdes was three-tiered,” Lourdes Athletic Director Matt Pascale said last month. “Certainly, there was financial savings and cost measures. Then, there’s the geographic location of the schools, and also on the administrative end, Section 9 seems to be more streamlined.”
Pascale said preliminary discussions included Lourdes joining the Mid-Hudson Athletic League, and Cameron said Section 9 is “open to the possibility for Poughkeepsie to be a member of the MHAL,” which the section would not do when Cameron explored the move in 2010.