Kendall school district hosts reopening forum at 6 p.m. today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 July 2020 at 9:10 am

KENDALL – The school district will host a community forum this evening at 6, and will discuss reopening plans, arrival and dismissal procedures for those on busses, and expectations for those in remote learning.

The forum is available through the Zoom videoconferencing or by calling in by phone. Click here for more information.

Kendall and all of the 700 school districts in the state need to submit reopening plans to the state by Friday. Those plans need to include three options: full in-person learning, a hybrid approach with in-person learning and on-line at home, and remote learning with no in-person classes.

Kendall’s reopening committees have looked at the district’s instructional practices, technology needs, sanitation, transportation and food service.

“The safety of our students, staff and community is paramount, as are providing a quality academic program and supporting social emotional needs,” Julie Christensen, the district superintendent, wrote in a letter to the community.

She said a survey of parents showed about 80 percent intend to send their children back to school this fall. If parents choose remote learning over in-person, Kendall will be using a Google platform to post lesson materials.

“We have developed plans and purchased supplies to accommodate the goals of all students all day, every day,” Christensen said in her letter.

The district superintendent said Kendall remains committed to providing a quality education.

There are some components required by the state Department of Health to reopen schools safely, Christensen said.

• Face coverings will be required for students and staff when social distancing can’t be maintained of at least 6 feet apart. Students will be required to wear face coverings on the bus, during passing time, at arrival and dismissal, and other times when social distancing not possible.

• Health screenings will be required each day before a staff member or child enters the building. Students should have daily temperature and health checks done every day at home. If a student has a temperature over 100 degrees, experiences a new cough, respiratory distress, vomiting or shortness of breath, he or she must stay home, Christensen said in her letter.

If students have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19, they must stay home for 14 days. If students have traveled to a designated state with a high infection rate, those students must stay home.

Students who are quarantined and asymptomatic will be encouraged to continue remote learning.

• Hygiene and sanitation practices: There will be increased sanitation in classrooms, common areas, cafeteria, busses and bathrooms. The district will post more signs throughout school buildings for proper hand hygiene and cleaning. Kendall will also make hand sanitizer available in all classrooms, common areas and on school busses. The district has also added day cleaners to increase sanitation practices.

• Food service practices: Kendall will add grab and go breakfasts, preorder lunches and maintain social distancing in the café and overflow spaces. All spaces will be sanitized frequently.

• Transportation: Routes will be modified to accommodate social distancing to the extent possible. Facial coverings must be worn on busses. In the district survey, about 50 percent of parents said they would transport their child to and from school.

Christensen said the state’s guidelines and health requirements often change on a  daily basis, requiring flexibility from districts as they prepare for the fall.