Kids stuck in quarantine get visit from Santa in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2020 at 8:31 am

Provided photos

KENDALL – Santa makes a connection with a Kendall child during a visit on Tuesday evening. Santa made 31 stops in the Kendall community on Tuesday, visiting homes of children who are housebound due to a Covid-19 quarantine.

Kristen Ostrander, who has two children in the district, said she felt bad for kids in mandatory or precautionary quarantine during the holiday season.

“Hearing that these kids were missing out on the best time of the year, broke my heart,” she said. “Being in quarantine stinks in general but to be in quarantine during Christmas is terrible.”

Santa delivers a gift bag and a friendly greeting to this boy.

Ostrander last Friday posted in a  Facebook group for Kendall parents. She asked if anyone wanted to me with a project for the students that are in quarantine this holiday season.

“Never did I think I would get such a huge response from our community,” Ostrander said. “Not only did I have people contacting me from Kendall but other counties and even from another state. Everyone wanted to help make Christmas a little brighter for the students in quarantine.”

Ostrander received gift bags, snack items, craft items, coupons for free ice cream cones from Circle R Farms, monetary donations towards Redbox codes and McDonald’s gift certificates.

“I’m so thankful for everyone that helped me,” Ostrander said.

Ostrander also reached out to Santa to see if he would stop by the homes. Santa was able to give nearly four hours Tuesday, going house to house for the kids in quarantine.

“It was not your normal visit from Santa, but we made it work,” Ostrander said. “The kids were just as happy to see Santa through a window or door.”

Nate Smith, a Kendall ninth-grader, smiles when Santa stopped by.

The Hardenbrook family was happy to see Santa on Tuesday.

“It was an awesome time,” Ostrander said. “Many times I was fighting back tears. The joy the kids had when they saw Santa was priceless.”

Kristen Ostrander and Santa spread some holiday joy on Tuesday in Kendall.

Fire destroys garage in Kendall, with blaze stopped from spreading to house

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2020 at 12:57 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – A Hamlin firefighter walks through a garage that was destroyed by a fire this morning. Firefighters were dispatched at about 11 a.m. to 1759 Kendall Rd.

The garage is owned by William Ireland. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters spray water on the smoldering fire. Firefighters kept the blaze from spreading to the family’s residence.

Kendall was assisted in responding to the fire by Carlton, Hamlin, Holley and Fancher-Hulberton-Murray.

Albion also filled in and was sent to a call on Center Road for the Kendall FD.

No information on the cause is available. Fire investigators were called to the scene.

Fire Chief Jason Hardenbrook communicates to other firefighters by radio. Several tankers carrying water were needed to help douse the fire at the garage, which was set back far from the road.

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Covid doesn’t stop Kendall senior interviews, which go virtual

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2020 at 3:39 pm

Community members give job interviews through Zoom

Provided photos: Waylon Peet, a Kendall student, is interviewed through Zoom by Jason Hardenbrook about a career in operating heavy equipment.

KENDALL – High school seniors at Kendall today were interviewed by community members in the annual senior interview day. Normally the interviews are face-to-face at the school, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced the district to try a different format.

Kendall opted to do the interviews through Zoom video conferencing. The interviews were 20-30 meetings and are intended to help prepare students for a job or college interview.

Eric Woodams, a Kendall senior, is interviewed by Jeff Conte, an electrician.

The 49 students were given feedback on attitude, poise, voice, eye contact, pacing and ability to answer questions.

Students submitted resumes and cover letters.

“We are attempting to prepare out students to be self-directed learners, responsible citizens and educated employees,” High School Principal Carol D’Agostino wrote in a letter to the community members who interviewed students.

Lauren Miller is interviewed by Tom Rivers, the Orleans Hub editor.

Ethan Kuhn, a  Kendall senior, uses Zoom to be interviewed by Kelly Peterson (Professor of Criminal Investigation at SUNY Canton).

Kari Harrier, a Kendall student, answers questions from Brandi Kurzowski about a possible career as a veterinary technician.

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Kendall Lions keep up Election Day tradition with spaghetti dinners

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 November 2020 at 6:50 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Gary Crawford of the Kendall Lions Club strains a batch of spaghetti this afternoon. The Lions Club prepared about 250 spaghetti dinners. This year they were available for drive-through, take-out only.

Patrick Bolton had several pots of spaghetti going in the Fire Department’s kitchen next door the town hall.

The meals were served from 4 to 6 p.m. The club has managed to keep some of its fundraisers and activities going, making changes to keep people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today there wasn’t a dine-in option for the dinner.

The Lions Club also usually does a wagon ride near Halloween where kids can pick a pumpkin, and families can then have cider and donuts. This time the Lions set up four smaller pumpkin patches and kids could walk and pick their own pumpkin. There wasn’t a wagon ride or refreshments. Partyka Farms donated 200 pumpkins for that event.

Bob Furness wipes down a table where the dinners would be set and handed to people in a drive-through line.

Paul Gray and other Lions Club members work in the kitchen on getting the meals ready for the public.

The West Barre United Methodist Church also served an Election Day turkey dinner today. It also was served drive-through with take-outs only.

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Kendall school district has first positive Covid case, a staff member

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 November 2020 at 9:38 am

KENDALL — The school district is reporting its first positive Covid case, a staff member in the Kendall Junior-Senior High School.

The district can’t provide any more information about the person due to privacy laws.

The Orleans County Health Department notified the district of the positive test today, and the district notified the community by phone calls, emails and on the district’s website.

“School will continue as scheduled,” Julie Christensen, the district superintendent, said in a letter to the community. “We will monitor the situation and work with health officials who will be responsible for contract tracing.”

The Health Department will notify anyone if they are considered a close contact and need to quarantine. If there is no communication from the Health Department then there is no need to quarantine, Christensen said.

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Kendall celebrates homecoming with some changes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2020 at 4:13 pm

No tug-of-war or parade, but still lots of fun

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Waylon Peet carries a Kendall flag while he and the senior class make their entrance on the soccer during a homecoming celebration this afternoon at Kendall Central School.

The seniors won the homecoming competitions.

There will be a drive-in movie at the school parking lot this evening from 6 to 9 p.m. to cap the week.

Each class from the junior high, freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors had a representative compete in different events, including the hula hoop.

Kendall normally has a pep rally in the gym for homecoming but the rally was moved outside to the bleachers and the soccer field.

The pep rally included observing a moment of silence for Richard J. Gilman Jr., who would have been a senior this year. He died on April 18, 2018 due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Zack Barrett, a sophomore, had the longest soccer kick during one of the events. The school added more events and didn’t do some favorites, including the seniors vs. teachers in tug-of-war due to Covid-19 concerns.

Carol D’Agostino, the high school principal, welcomes students to the homecoming rally. She urged them to spread out – and have fun.

“It’s different but it’s good,” she said about the homecoming week activities. “It’s just good to have some fun.”

The Kendall classes won’t be doing a parade this year for homecoming. They still did hall decorating and dressed up for spirit days with different theme. Instead of the parade, each class had space in front of the school for s display about a movie genre.

“We know it’s not like usual,” D’Agostino told the students. “But we’re real excited to have a homecoming at Kendall.”

Joe Nettles, a senior, was speedy while bobbing for apples and then having to sprint. Only one kid could use the bobbing tub.

Seventh- and eighth-graders are spread out on the soccer field for the homecoming rally and competitions.

These students compete in a water balloon toss.

Waylon Peet gets soaked with a tub of water.

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Kendall Lions Club honors dedicated members, Citizen of the Year

Staff Reports Posted 19 September 2020 at 8:34 am

Provided photos

KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Club on Thursday recognized some of the club’s leading members and also presented a Citizen of the Year award.

Ken Spohr – Citizen of the Year: Spohr, scoutmaster of Troop 94, was named Citizen of the Year in recognition of his commitment to mentoring the youth of the community through his work and leadership with the Boy Scouts. Spohr has led several boys to become Eagle Scouts. Five of them have now completed projects at the Kendall Town Park, including creating a war memorial.

Julie Bunn – Lion of the Year: Bunn was presented this award by her father and Lion sponsor Mike Cusimano. Julie recognized for her commitment and service. She has organized and led a small group of our Lions in a program that checked on several senior citizens during the Covid quarantine. She also organized a team that delivered donated boxes of food to many families in our community.

Eric Maxon – Melvin Jones Fellowship: Eric Maxon received the Melvin Jones Fellowship award, the highest honor for a Lions Club member, in recognition of his outstanding service to the community through his participation and leadership in club activities. Maxon is a regular participant at our Bingo nights for the veterans at the Batavia VA hospital, organizes the annual Environmental Clean Up Day, and is an active member of our tent committee and other fundraisers and social events. Maxon has served on the club’s Board of Directors and is currently the second vice president. He lives the Lions Club motto of “We Serve.”

Bob Furness – Career Lion Award: Bob Furness was presented with a Career Lion Award. Furness has been a member of the Kendall Lions Club for 36 years and continues to actively participate in serving the community through many of the club’s events.

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Father and son climb stairs at fire training tower, 20 times, for National Fallen Firefighter Foundation

Photos by Tom Rivers: Doug Jones Sr. and his son Justin climb the stairs at the Orleans County Fire Training Tower this morning. They put in nearly 2,000 steps, 48 up and 48 down and did that 20 times to reach their goal.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 September 2020 at 9:14 pm

ALBION – A father and son from Kendall climbed the stairs at the Orleans County Fire Training Tower 20 times today.

Doug Jones Sr., 62, and his son Justin, 23, trekked nearly 2,000 steps on the stairs, going 48 steps up and then 48 down and did it 20 times. That is about how many steps firefighters climbed in the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

The previous two years, Doug and Justin did the stair climb at Frontier Field in Rochester with about 150 other firefighters in the region for the annual National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. But the event was cancelled at the stadium in Rochester. The NFFF urged participants to continue to raise money for the cause, and look for an alternative location as part of a virtual climb.

The two picked the fire training tower on West Countyhouse Road in Albion.

Doug Jones. Sr., a past Kendall fire chief, and Justin Behrend-Jones head up the stairs for the third of their 20 trips this morning.

Jones Sr. said he is motivated to take on the challenge, despite a gimpy knee, as a memorial to the firefighters who died in 2001. There were 343 firefighters who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001 during the terrorist attacks in New York City.

That year, a Kendall firefighter also was killed in the line of duty. Rick Buongiorne was 48 when he died on Jan. 9, 2001. He was directing traffic around a single-vehicle collision when he was struck by a truck.

Justin Behrend-Jones and Doug Jones did the stair-climb challenge for the third year. They have raised about $2,000 for the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

Jones was the fire chief in Kendall that year. He said he thinks often of Buongiorne and the NYC firefighters who died that year. They are his motivation in the annual stair climb.

“There is a strong brotherhood in fire department,” Jones said.

His son recently relocated to Connecticut and works for a pest control company. Justin came home to do the stair climb with his father, who works in the warehouse for Associated Brands in Medina.

For more information about the climb and to donate through Doug Jones Sr.’s fundraising page, click here.

The father and son are pictured on the top of the stairs at the fire training tower in Albion.

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Superhero sister welcomes brother home from first day of school in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 September 2020 at 8:30 pm

KENDALL – Stacey Jurs sent in this photo of her 5-year-old daughter, Gracelynn, waiting for her brother to come home on the school bus. Gracelynn is dressed as Lego Batgirl.

Her brother Connor Jurs, 8, had his first day of third grade today at Kendall. The district welcomed back students in grades 1 through 12.

Gracelynn has her first day of kindergarten on Wednesday at Kendall, which also has the first day for prekindergartners.

“The first day went smooth,” Jurs said. “The teachers were prepared, students too! It was a great first day!”

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School resource officers will continue at Kendall, Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2020 at 11:32 am

County approves 2-year agreement to assign deputies to districts

ALBION – The Kendall and Lyndonville school districts will continue to have an Orleans County deputy sheriff as school resource officers the next two years.

The County Legislature approved an agreement with each district on Wednesday. The officers will serve in the schools and on school grounds, from Sept. 1, 2020 until June 30, 2022.

The Sheriff’s Office and the districts first reached the agreement two years ago. The districts each paid $100,000 a year to the county.

With the new agreement, each district agrees to pay $95,070. However, there is no built-in overtime. If a district needs overtime, that will be invoiced separately, said Jack Welch, the county’s chief administrative officer.

The Sheriff’s Office two years ago pushed for an expanded presence in Lyndonville and Kendall, the two schools in the northern part of the county that do not have a full-time police presence in their communities.

The officers will provide security for the schools, and also educate students with anti-bullying programs, anti-drug education and also guide them in using a new STOP DWI Driving Simulator, where students and other users can see the effects of driving while texting, drowsy or if they are impaired or intoxicated.

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Rare raptors draw bird lovers to Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 August 2020 at 1:21 pm

Pair of Swallow-tailed Kites have been spotted on 272, Creek Road

Photos by Tom Rivers: Josh Ketry, a bird enthusiast from Buffalo, scans the sky for a pair of Swallow-tailed Kites. Those raptors normally are in Florida but are making a rare appearance in New York.

KENDALL – The church parking lot at the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Kendall has been drawing a crowd of people from all over the state in recent days.

There have been as many as 40 to 50 people in the lot, holding binoculars or peering through telephoto lenses.

Josh Ketry was able to get a photo of one of the birds in flight. He has come to Kendall three of the past four days to observe the Swallow-tailed Kites.

They are chasing a “life bird,” a pair of raptors from down South. Two Swallow-tailed Kites are making a rare appearance in the state. Birding enthusiasts theorize they were knocked off their normal path from the hurricane.

The two raptors have been spotted in Kendall for the past 10 days. But they didn’t become a big draw until Sunday, when birders started sharing on social media and websites that the Swallow-tailed Kites were hanging around Route 272 (the Monroe-Orleans Countyline Road) near the Creek Road intersection.

Josh Ketry, 41, of Buffalo was in Pennsylvania on Sunday on a birding expedition when a friend texted him about the Swallow-tailed Kites in Kendall. Ketry immediately changed course and drove 3 ½ hours to Kendall. He was back Tuesday and again today.

“This is a lifer so I’m chasing it,” he said.

He has been able to photograph the two birds. They are bright white with black on their wings and back. They tend to glide in the air. Ketry said they have been observed eating cicadas and dragonflies while in Kendall.

Ketry started getting into birds about 3 ½ years ago. He enjoyed the outdoors and hiking and wanted to make it more exciting. He set a goal of seeing an owl on a hike. They it became seeing eight different types of owls.

His list has continued to grow and he has made many friends through the hobby.

“It gave me a quest,” he said. “I’m fascinated by them.”

Lisa Scheppke of Queens and Josh Ketry of Buffalo chat in the parking lot of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Kendall late this morning. Crowds have been in the church parking lot since Sunday drawing birders from all over the state.

Cornell University has many online resources to help people identify birds, and alert them to rare bird sightings. Click here to see Cornell’s entry on the Swallow-tailed Kite.

The Swallow-tailed Kites have been crowd-pleasers so far. Ketry said hundreds of people have been able to make the sighting. They two have the added draw of flying in a pair, and they haven’t just passed through the area briefly. They have stayed for more than a week, allowing birders to mobilize to try to see them.

Lisa Scheppke, 53, made the trip from Queens in New York City. She has been a birder for about a decade. She will often go a trips with friends to see birds. It is typically a solitary hobby, with long walks through trails and the woods to see the birds.

She reached Kendall last evening but missed the two Swallow-tailed Kites. She was back at 8 this morning. She was feeling discouraged until they made their first appearance of the day at about 10:45 a.m. They tend to be spotted first in the day at 11 a.m.

Stacy Robinson left her home in the Adirondacks at 4:30 this morning to drive to Kendall to see the Swallow-tailed Kites.

“They are a beautiful bird,” she said, holding her binoculars. “This is unusual too because they are a pairing.”

Scheppke, after seeing the Swallow-tailed Kites, said she was likely headed to the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge in Central New York on the way back to NYC.

Stacey Robinson left her home in the Adirondacks at 4:30 this morning and arrived in Kendall at 10:30. Fifteen minutes later the trip felt worth it when she saw the Swallow-tailed Kites. Two of her friends from Albany and Ticonderoga also drove to Kendall and urged her to make the trip.

Robinson said she has been birding the past eight years “obsessively.” She is retired as an assistant at an animal hospital. She said birders check their social media and online communities to see if there have been life bird alerts.

“Birders are very good about sharing information,” she said. “You never know when the next one is coming.”

She said the hobby has taken her throughout the region, to small towns, nature preserves and wildlife refuges.

William Norton, 24, of Hamlin only had to drive about 5 miles to get in position to see the two Swallow-tailed Kites. He has been a bird watcher since he was 16.

He said there are many different colors among birds, and they make distinctive noises.

“It’s just relaxing,” he said about the hobby. “You’re out in nature.”

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Kendall says state wrongly lists district among those that didn’t submit reopening plans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 August 2020 at 7:56 am

District sets 3 public sessions to discuss new school year

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday listed Kendall as being among 107 school districts that haven’t submitted a reopening plan to the State Education Department and the State Department of Health. The plans needed to be filed no later than July 31.

Julie Christensen, the Kendall district superintendent, said the state list isn’t correct because Kendall submitted its reopening plan to Department of Health on July 30 and with SED on July 31.

The plan was also posted on the school district website on July 30.

“The district has contacted the state regarding the discrepancy,” the school district said in a statement on Monday.

Cuomo said the districts identified as not submitting their plans have until Friday to submit the reopening document or else they can’t reopen for in-person schooling this fall.

The governor on Monday also reminded districts they must complete the three to five public sessions with parents and teachers and post their plans for remote learning, testing and tracing on their website by Aug. 21 to be in compliance with standards established by the State.

Kendall has three community forums set for this month. They will be conducted through Zoom video conferencing.

The dates and times of the forums are:

  • August 14 at 10 a.m.
  • August 19 at 4 p.m.
  • August 20 at 6 p.m.

Please email Superintendent Julie Christensen ( with any questions you have in advance of the forums so she can research the answers and present this information during the forums.

For more information, click here.

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Kendall Scout adds sign, sidewalks to community park for Eagle project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2020 at 1:11 pm

Provided photos

KENDALL – Nicholas Wolf completed his Eagle Scout project last month, and added a sign with pillars to the Kendall Community Park. Nicholas also put in a garden area by the sign.

This is the fifth Eagle Scout project at the park. Last year Ryan Barrett, Brian Shaw, Noah Rath and Jayden Pieniaszek worked together and each took a phase of a war memorial at the park, which is on Kendall Road (Route 237) across from the Kendall Elementary School.

Nicholas Wolf also led a team of Scouts in putting in a 100-foot-long sidewalk that is 5 feet wide. Nicholas is a member of Troop 94 in Kendall.

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2 Scouts in Kendall earn their Eagle

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 August 2020 at 2:42 pm

Noah Rath, Brian Shaw helped create the Kendall War Memorial

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Jess Markel, senior district executive for the Iroquois Trail Council, gives two new Eagles Scouts – Noah Rath (left) and Brian Shaw – the Eagle charge after the two earned Scouting’s highest rank. Merkel urged Rath and Shaw to continue to serve others.

Rath and Shaw both just graduated from Kendall. Rath heads to Alfred State College in mid-August to major in business and marketing. Shaw will be joining the U.S. Air Force.

They are members of Troop 94. For their Eagle Scout project, they teamed with two other Eagle Scouts, Jayden Pieniaszek and Ryan Barrett, to build a war memorial for Kendall. That memorial was dedicated on Sept. 29, 2019.

The Scouts needed to earn at least 20 merit badges as part of the path to become an Eagle. This photo shows some of the 35 badges earned by Noah Rath.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, left, is presented with two framed photos of the memorial, one for his district office in Albion and the other for his office in Albany. Hawley paid for the flag pole at the memorial for the New York State flag.

The scouts include from left: Noah Rath, Brian Shaw, Jayden Pieniaszek and Ryan Barrett.

Hawley also presented citations and a Boy Scout challenge coin to the two new Eagle Scouts for their work on the project.

“You should be very proud of what’s going on in Scouting here in Kendall,” Hawley said. “This is really what America is all about.”

Rath headed up phase three of the memorial which included the medallions for each five branches of military. Rath also had the electricity set up so the memorial and sidewalk can be lighted up at night, and organized the memorial bricks along the sidewalk.

Brian Shaw coordinated phase four which included final grading and planting of 14 cedar trees behind the memorial, which provides a buffer for the neighbors and also enhances the site. Shaw also led the work for the six plaques on the memorial for the different wars where Kendall soldiers served.

Nadine Hanlon, former president of the Board of Education, is presented with a framed photo. She was a big cheerleader of the project during its early days. The Scouts made their first public presentation about the memorial to the Board of Education, which backed the project. Hanlon was helpful in lining up other support in the community for the memorial.

“She helped drive this project through the town,” said Scoutmaster Ken Spohr, pictured in back.

She attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony on Monday evening at the Kendall Fire Hall in her role as clerk of the Orleans County Legislature. She presented the two new Eagle Scouts with citations from Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson, congratulating them on their achievement.

Hanlon said the memorial exceeded her expectations.

“You really gave us a great gift in our community,” Hanlon said.

Jayden Pieniaszek and Ryan Barrett put the Eagle Scout neckerchief on Brian Shaw.

Noah Rath hugs his mother Katie Spohr, after presenting her with a mentor pin. Shaw presented a mentor pin to his father, Nate Shaw.

Katie Spohr received this surprise from her sons Noah and John Rath. Katie has three sons who became Eagle Scouts. Luke Rath also earned Scouting’s highest rank. He was working at Wegmans on Monday evening.

She is the second mother to have three sons earn Eagle Scout in Kendall. Cathy Schuth’s sons Michael, Nicholas and Matt Schuth also earned their Eagles.

Katie Spohr has been active in the Scouting program for 16 years. She is currently the Troop Committee chairwoman.

“It is just a joy, especially when you see the lightbulbs turn on when they are younger,” she said. “I am so proud of my boys, all of my boys (all of the Scouts in the Troop).”

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Kendall can accommodate all students for in-person learning

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 August 2020 at 10:13 am

District adds extra class in kindergarten and first grade to space out students

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Kendall Elementary School is pictured last evening in Kendall. The district’s reopening plan would welcome all students back for in-person learning with precautions in place.

KENDALL – The school district’s reopening plan would allow for in-person learning at all grade levels from Pre-K to Grade 12.

Kendall is fortunate to have the space in classrooms where students can social distance at 6 feet apart, district superintendent Julie Christensen said during a forum last week.

Kendall would add extra classes in kindergarten and first grade which would put the average class size in those grades at 12-13 students. In second through fourth grade, the average class size would be 13 to 16 students.

That is if the families choose in-person learning. Kendall will also give parents and guardians the option of remote learning for students. In 438 surveys, about 5 percent said they will choose the remote option for students.

Students who do remote learning can log on and be a part of some classes through Zoom video conferencing.

The district plans to stagger the end of class periods in the middle and high school levels, so all of the students don’t spill out into the hallways at once.

The district will offer the array of classes, including music, art and physical education.

Kevin Watson, middle school principal, and Carol D’Agostino, the high school principal, both said students and teachers will be working diligently to meet state standards while also having fun at school. The district has new bleachers at the soccer field, with more room. They could be used for homecoming and some other events at school.

“We’re working on ways to get out of classroom so they’re not cooped up,” Watson said during the forum on July 28.

The reopening plan was submitted to the state on Friday and posted to the district’s web site. (Click here to see the document.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will announce by the end of the week whether schools will be allowed to offer in-person classes to start the school year.

Screenshot from Kendall community forum: Kendall will have desks spaced out at least 6 feet apart, with hand sanitizer, signs about proper hygiene and fountains for filling water bottles only.

In Orleans County, Kendall and Lyndonville both said they could offer in-person classes at all grade levels, every school day. Albion and Medina said they could do in-person each day from Pre-K to Grade 6, with a hybrid at grades 7 to 12, with two cohorts alternating in-person and remotely. Holley is looking at two days of in-person learning and three days of remote for all grade levels.

Smaller schools have an advantage because they can space their students out more in a classroom. Bigger schools don’t have the space or staff to meet the social distancing requirements of 6 feet apart in classrooms.

Kendall will require masks be worn on buses, in hallways and when social distancing isn’t possible. Students, once they are seated at their desks, won’t have to wear masks because they are 6 feet apart.

Wearing a mask is a “non-negotiable,” Christensen said in the community forum. If students refuse they will be directed to remote learning.

The district will provide “grab and go” breakfasts and lunches will be served with students eating in the cafeteria, overflow areas and in classrooms to ensure social distancing. Students in remote learning can also have lunch but it has to be picked up at the school.

Kendall also plans to add two day cleaners for sanitation, with those cleaners sanitizing bathrooms, door handles, classrooms when teachers at lunch and other parts of the school buildings.

The district also plans to make Chromebooks or tablets available for all students. Kendall will be prepared for a shift to remote learning if a change in the health statistics prompts the state to close schools. Last school year, Kendall students were forced to do remote learning beginning on March 16 until the end of the school year in late June.

Parents and guardians will need to do a daily health screening before they send their children to school. If kids are sick or have temperatures at 100 degrees or more, they should stay home.

“This is where we really need your help as parents,” Christensen said. “We are asking you to be partners in this.”

The reopening plans aren’t final documents. After the governor’s announcement this week, districts will continue to work on the reopening plan the next month before school is scheduled to start.

“Things are subject to change,” Christensen said.

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