We are proud of all of our students, families, and staff for your amazing work this week as we kicked off the 2020-21 school year. Our teachers hit the ground running on Tuesday following their participation in last week’s Ken-Ton Remote Teaching & Learning Summit, which provided them with support and training in remote learning and engagement strategies.
This has been an extraordinary transition for students, families, and staff alike, and we sincerely appreciate everyone's cooperation and patience as we have worked through all of these challenges. It's going to take some time, and we will all get better and better as time goes on. We will do whatever we can to support our students and families in any way possible.
In the coming weeks, our schools will prepare to phase in a hybrid schedule for UPK, Gr. K, Gr. 1 and self-contained special education students beginning Oct. 13, with other students and grade levels to follow in five-week increments. We intend to take it slow, and to be careful and methodical. We will also be flexible and responsive. If we find that we can advance our timeline without compromising student safety or the effectiveness of our educational programming, we will. Likewise, if the circumstances of the pandemic necessitate a pause or greater care, we will slow down and modify our planning accordingly.
The Food Service Department began offering weekly meal kits on Wednesday at Franklin, Hoover, and Holmes, serving a total of 12,592 meals in a single day for a total of 1,574 students.
- Hoover: 6,288 meals
- Holmes: 1,952 meals
- Franklin: 4,352 meals
Just over half of those meals were served at one single location - the Hoover Complex. Because of the higher-than-anticipated numbers and limited parking, there were delays due to traffic during the daytime pick-up hours. Food Service will be making changes to the Hoover operation so families will be able to be served faster. Families will be asked to remain in their cars at all times and to keep moving. When they pull up, staff will serve them while they remain in their vehicles. Also, there will be staff assisting with traffic control to keep the queue moving.
We appreciate the hard work of our Food Service Department and all the families who took advantage of this opportunity. Meal cards were provided for elementary school students this week, and will be sent to middle/high school students. Please be sure to bring the meal card once you receive it.
Next week’s menu can be found on the website at ktufsd.org/foodservice. Breakfast includes cereal and graham crackers, breakfast bars, and muffins with fresh fruit, 100% juice, and milk. Lunch includes French toast sticks and sausage, oven-roasted chicken, pizza, meatball subs, and chicken nuggets with a variety of side dishes and vegetables. Meals are currently at no cost to all students regardless of free/reduced-price meal eligibility.
As we move forward, all activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether each individual activity will meet our two goals: ensuring the safety of students, staff, and families, and providing the best, most equitable education possible.
A final determination has not yet been made regarding athletics. On Wednesday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced that the three sports identified as high-risk - Football, Cheerleading, and Volleyball - will be moved to March 1 due to safety concerns. The sports identified as low-risk are Cross Country, Golf, Swimming, and Tennis. The sports identified as moderate-risk are Field Hockey, Gymnastics, Soccer. These identifications were primarily based on the ability to maximize physical distancing and minimize/eliminate the risk from sharing equipment or supplies in each individual sport. Low- and moderate-risk sports were cleared to begin practice and competition in NYS by the end of September.
We will make a final determination after very careful consideration of multiple factors. Some of these sports, such as soccer, are of greater concern due to the prevalence of close contact between players. In some cases, we can look to private and/or club leagues that have been operating for several weeks for experience and data. One factor is that the low/moderate-risk sports take place outdoors with the exception of Swimming and Gymnastics, which are more individualized. We will also consider that, unlike school-day educational programming, athletics is 100 percent optional and voluntary, based on each family’s individual comfort level.
NYSPHSAA has developed sport-specific guidelines and safety protocols for each sport, which we will look at closely prior to making a determination. We expect to announce how sports will proceed next week. You can find the NYSPHSAA document here: Return To Interscholastic Athletics
Thank you for taking the time to review this information.
We remain Ken-Ton Proud, Ken-Ton Strong, and Ken-Ton Moving Forward!