School personnel from the New Albany and Union County School Districts are working with local physicians, physical and occupational therapists, and athletic trainers to make preparations for the upcoming pre-participation sports physical screening event to be held on Thursday, May 5th.  For the fourth consecutive year, the physicians of Creekmore Clinic will allow the use of their office for this event.  However, Creekmore Clinic is not responsible for required follow-ups.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) requires all students who will participate in any MHSAA sanctioned event to have a pre-participation physical assessment.  This includes all students in grades 7-12 who will participate in any sport, including cheerleading, band, and chorus.  This evaluation must take place every year in which a child participates in an activity. 

We will continue to require that students entering the 9th grade (current 8th graders) be seen by their personal physician for their physical evaluation in their physician’s office and not during the screening event. The MHSAA physical form for 2011-2012 9th grade students will be given to all current 8th graders and will also be available in all local physician/nurse practitioner offices. School officials and health care professionals encourage all parents with a child entering the 9th grade for the 2011-2012 school year to call and schedule their child for a wellness exam with his or her personal physician as soon as possible. 

“We feel that the past several years’ physical screening events have been very successful for students, parents, and schools and we will continue with the same process this year,” stated Dr. Jason Dees.

All students who plan to participate in an MHSAA sanctioned activity will soon be receiving a copy of a personal medical history form that MUST be completed, signed, and returned to the child’s school prior to May 5th.  Each school will determine when these forms are due.  If a child does not have his or her form completed and signed by a parent, they will not be eligible to participate in the health-screening event. 

School administrators appreciate the continued community support for extracurricular activities in the schools.  “Students who participate in these activities generally perform better in the classroom, have fewer discipline issues, and are less likely to drop out of school,” according to Ken Basil, Superintendent of Union County Schools. 

“Our schools are fortunate to be a part of a community where physicians, healthcare professionals, and so many others are willing to donate their time so that our students are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities” said Dr. Charles Garrett, Superintendent of New Albany Schools. 

Any parent with questions about this year’s pre-participation screening should contact the child’s school.