Weekly Update from the Office of the Superintendent
December 18, 2020
This week, we were very excited to welcome back all of our Gr. K-4 students. For Gr. 2-4 students, this was their first time back in school this year. This first week, our average district-wide attendance rate was 91.6%. Although my expectation is a much higher attendance rate, this was impressive considering all factors. I thank all of our families for putting your faith in us, and all of our students and staff for doing such an amazing job following all of the safety precautions and procedures.

In order to resume in-person instruction, our schools are required to test 20% of students and staff monthly. For staff, testing began on Monday, December 14. For students, testing took place on Wednesday, December 16. In the Weekly Connection, I will provide our community with an update on testing that took place within the previous seven days. Keep in mind that this will only encompass the testing that is taking place in our schools. If our random testing at a school yields nine or more positive results over the course of a month, that school will need to close.

The following is a building-by-building summary of those tested and positive results for the week of Dec. 14:

  • Edison ES: 27 students, 6 staff (0 positive results)
  • Franklin ES: 22 students, 6 staff (0 positive results)
  • Holmes ES: 16 students, 4 staff (0 positive results)
  • Hoover ES: 22 students, 5 staff (0 positive results)
  • Lindbergh ES: 24 students, 3 staff (0 positive results)
  • Total: 111 students, 24 staff (0 positive results)

We tested a total of 135 students and staff this week, and I am happy to report that we had 0 positive results. This is a testament to the outstanding job everyone is doing.

There are different ways in which COVID-19 cases are reported. Each time the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) confirms a case, we send a letter to the community that notes two important dates: the date the case was confirmed by ECDOH, and the date the individual was last in the building. We will do the same any time our own testing yields a positive result. Beginning Jan. 4, instead of sending these letters and inundating parents and guardians with information, we will simply let you know when a new letter has been uploaded. This notification will include the website link which will take you to a page where all past and present letters are maintained. This way, everyone will have easy access to all of this information for all of our schools. This will allow for anyone in the district to see activity at any one of our schools at any time.

Secondary Update:

We are very excited to welcome back our Gr. 5-12 students on Monday, Jan. 4. Please keep an eye out for communication from your child’s school and the District, and please note the following:

  • Group A students will return Jan. 4 and attend Mondays/Tuesdays; Group B students will return Jan. 7 and attend Thursdays/Fridays. (You can check Parent Portal to identify your cohort group. You will also receive a message during winter recess letting you know your child’s cohort.
  • Gr. 5-12 Entering/Emerging English as a New Language (ENL), Special Classes (15:1, 12:1, 12:1-4, 8:1), and Big Picture students will return Jan. 4 and attend Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays.
  • VLA (Virtual Learning Academy) students will continue virtual instruction. If you wish to return to hybrid instruction on Jan. 4, notify the school by this 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21. Information about virtual options beyond the first semester (which ends Jan. 29) will be announced in mid-January.
  • BOCES CTE students will follow their Ken-Ton instructional model. If they are hybrid in Ken-Ton, they will be hybrid at BOCES, and transportation will be provided for our hybrid students from their schools. If they are virtual in Ken-Ton, they will be virtual in BOCES.

With so many Gr. 5-12 students returning on Jan. 4, I wanted to share some details about the extensive cleaning procedures that take place in our schools. We have approximately 70 Buildings & Grounds staff who are engaged in cleaning throughout the week. They follow very strict cleaning/disinfecting procedures. All 70 are equipped with their own Protexus Electrostatic Sprayer, which is an advanced disinfecting device.

During the day, our staff sanitize high-touch points and surfaces with a hospital-grade disinfectant/detergent solution. Staff are assigned to clean the restrooms throughout the day at regular intervals. In secondary classrooms, teachers have been equipped to wipe down desks and high-touch points with Oxford disinfecting wipes. After students/staff leave for the day, extensive cleaning is done by approximately 50 members of our team. At night, the entire building is sanitized with the Protexus Electrostatic Sprayers, which are very effective at eliminating pathogens including COVID-19.

In addition, we have PPE and hand sanitizer dispensers in all classrooms and we follow all NYS guidelines for PPE, safety, social distancing. All of these efforts help keep our students/staff healthy by preventing exposure.
Recognitions: School Nurses
This week, we wish to recognize the outstanding work of our entire nursing team. All of our schools, including non-public schools within our district, are served by 22 school nurses led by Medical Director Debra Carey. These are 20 Registered Nurses (RNs) and 2 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who chose to work in education.

Earlier in the school year, our nurses helped ensure that all of our schools were able to reopen safely for students/staff. Over the past few weeks, they helped us plan and implement COVID-19 testing which allowed our schools to resume in-person instruction.

Led by Medical Director Debra Carey, our nurses are: Maryanne Aquino, Megan Barton, Candice Botticello, Mary Buyer, Marlo Carney, Joanne Cascio, Nancy Cliff, Jennifer Cudzilo, Michele Diegelman, Mary Elsaesser, Jeannie Fancher, Julia Guillaume, Lisa Kibler, Paula Mcdonnell, Julie Miller, Cathi Nelles, Jennifer Peters, Shawna Pryor, Sharon Schulz, Adele Turek, Rosanne Urbanski, Jennifer Van Schoonhoven, and Diane Weil.
Thank you for reviewing this information. As always, we remain Ken-Ton Proud, Ken-Ton Strong, and Ken-Ton Moving Forward!

For previous editions of the Ken-Ton Weekly Connection, visit www.ktufsd.org/connection