Weekly Update from the Office of the Superintendent
Volume 1, Issue 38 (April 16, 2021)
Planning for Increased
In-Person Attendance

We have shared a great deal of information this week as we prepare to transition to five days of in-person attendance for elementary school students. On Tuesday I presented at the Board of Education meeting, followed by meetings of the District Reopening Task Force and the Parent Cabinet on Wednesday, then a virtual stakeholder meeting which took place yesterday via YouTube Live. You can find recordings and presentations from these meetings and other informational resources on our website at the following link: Planning for Updated Social Distancing Requirements.

A summary of all of the key changes to the NYS guidance and details about our planning can be found in the presentation slides which have been shared and updated throughout the week. Rather than repeat the information that was shared at these meetings, I will use this message to provide some important updates:
  • The transition to five days of in-person attendance for Gr. K-4 will take place Monday, April 26.
  • Gr. K-4 Group B students will attend this Wednesday, April 21 as part of our original plan to add Wednesdays as days of attendance. This will create more equity for Group B days of attendance. The Big Picture Program will also add Wednesdays as days of in-person instruction beginning April 21. Middle/high school families are encouraged to check their school’s website for updates regarding various changes to Wednesday instruction specific by school.
  • Yesterday, we sent out a message informing the parents/guardians of any child with an approved Alternate Stop that these stops will remain the same for all additional days of in-person instruction. That means if your child is currently transported to an Alternate Stop, that Alternate Stop will be their stop for all five days. No action is needed for these families unless they wish to make a change to, or rescind, their Alternate Stop request. This must be done right away by submitting a new Alternate Stop Application. You can access the form and see the entirety of this message at www.ktufsd.org/transportation.
  • Our elementary schools are continuing to work through the challenge of providing breakfast in school while maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. One potential option we looked at was sending students home with breakfast for the following day, which they would eat at home. The state has since communicated that this will not be allowed. To resolve the breakfast challenge, the elementary schools may be extending the breakfast distribution window and may be staggering the times students eat breakfast in school. Once again, the schools will share more information about this next week. We ask all families to continue to partner with us and be patient as we work through this challenge.
  • Reminder: Bus transportation times will not be changing.

Throughout this past week, we gathered a great deal of feedback from stakeholders which will help us as we finalize plans for the remainder of the school year. Early next week, we will post and share an FAQ document which articulates the answers we have provided at our meetings. All of our schools will hold virtual meetings with families to provide details on school-specific planning and we will also post our revised Reopening Plan to the website.

As a school district, we have been extremely cautious throughout the year and are confident that our elementary schools are ready to transition to five days of in-person attendance. Our entire community should be proud of how far we’ve come since September. This would not have been possible without everyone’s support and hard work! Remember, we know that schools are some of the safest places in our community and we have demonstrated that throughout this pandemic. Even though the fear of COVID exists, our teamwork has been the formula for success and will enable us to persevere.
Thursday, April 22 is Earth Day, and today we recognize the Kenmore West High School Environmental Club which launched a plan to inspire the school district community to observe and celebrate Earth Week. The club is led by Denise Amato, a teacher aide at Kenmore West. Their plan includes different themes and activities for each day of the week.

Senior Rebecca Nagel did an amazing job creating a beautiful graphic for the initiative while senior Gillyan Haynes conducted research and compiled the details and information. We commend Rebecca, Gillyan, Ms. Amato and all those who are helping to spearhead this initiative and inspire students, staff and families.
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