The college says the 14-year-old Howard was playing with other students in the pool when he was elbowed in the nose. After being assessed by a lifeguard, Javon re-entered the pool but eventually slipped under the water's surface.
The college says he was under water for less than a minute before being pulled from the pool.
He later died at a Mount Vernon hospital.
The school district's superintendent says the event was well-supervised, with four teachers and as many teacher's aides in addition to lifeguards on duty.