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 May 6th.  For the third 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. 

Last year there was one major change to the physical evaluation process, which required students entering the 9th grade (current 8th graders) be seen by their personal physician for their evaluation in the physician’s office and not during the screening event. 

“We feel that last year’s physical screening event was a success and we will continue with the same process this year,” stated Dr. Jason Dees.

School officials and health care professionals encourage all parents with a child entering the 9th grade for the 2010-2011 school year to call and schedule their child for a wellness exam with his or her personal physician as soon as possible.  The school districts will make sure that appropriate forms are available in all physician offices. 

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 6th.  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.