Kennett schools will reopen for full in-person instruction on April 503/15/2021 04:46PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) will return to full-time, in-person education on April 5. Parents will have the choice, however, to continue the full, virtual education for their children, which is known as Kennett Virtual Academy.
This comes after more than a year of closings and constant changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reopening process has been facilitated by a decrease nationwide, statewide and countywide in the number of COVID cases, as well as the recommendations by the Chester County Health Department that enable the superintendent and governing bodies of schools to make changes based on their own judgement.
During the school board meeting on March 8, Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey exhibited graphs showing that as of the end of February there were no cases of COVID among the KCSD staff and only one among the student body.
Assistant superintendent Dr. Michael Barber added that statistics show the spread in the Kennett School District municipalities comes essentially from outside the school community.
Still, Barber told parents, “If children are sick, keep them home.”
During the meeting, school nurse Diane Shannon addressed the health issues taking place in the upcoming schedule. She said that 20 percent of the staff have already been vaccinated and 50 more have had the first shot as of the date of the meeting.
With the reopening of the schools, she said that the rules for isolation and quarantine will remain the same – that is, enforcing a quarantine of 14 days after close contact with someone with COVID.
She added that Kennett has the widespread use of testing kits that can determine whether a student has COVID-19 or is just not feeling good.
When asked a related question that had been submitted, Blakey said the district is aiming for all staff to receive vaccine by the return date, but he cannot guarantee that everyone will have achieved total immunity by April 5.
Addressing conditions in the buildings, facilities director George Wolhafe reported enhanced cleaning and disinfection every night with HVAC running 24 hours every day. There have been increased filter changes, hand sanitizers all around the school and cleaning solutions in the classrooms.
“We feel really good about the measures we have in place,” he said.
Director of Math-Science Curriculum Lydia Hallman reported on plans for summer school, which she said has been expanded due to “learning loss” from the pandemic schedule alterations.
For the elementary school (all at Bancroft Elementary School) the district will offer a program with the Kennett Area YMCA that provides math and language arts in the morning with social-emotional and fun activities in the afternoon.
Also, for the elementary schoolers, there will be two-week enlightenment courses in music, technology and mathematics, with YMCA activities in the afternoon.
For the middle school, there will be remedial courses for grades 6, 7 8 and 9 to prepare for the coming school year.
In the high school, the school will offer credit recovery for those who didn’t quite pass, five-week original summer school for those who need to make up failed classes and introduction classes in engineering design and career exploration.
In other business, two students received approval to undertake the establishment of new clubs in the high school.
Sophomore Adrian Shevchuk proposed a boys volleyball club that would make use of the girls volleyball team equipment.
“Volleyball is a game that can last a lifetime,” he said, adding that seven potential members are confirmed, and he’s reaching out for an additional 10 participants.
Freshman Nevaeh Mains is proposing an African American History Club.
“I want to be able to teach about African American history,” she said.