Kennett School Board reorganizes and welcomes two new members12/06/2021 09:47PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Two new members took their seats on the board of the Kennett Consolidated School District at the reorganization meeting on Monday night at Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center.
In the November election, Mark Bowden earned a seat representing Kennett Township and Ethan Cramer, running unopposed, earned a seat representing Kennett Square Borough.
Additionally, two incumbents who were re-elected were also sworn in. Board President Vicki Gehrt retained her seat from Kennett Township, and Lenda Carrillo defeated Heidi Sweetman following Carrillo’s and Sweetman’s appointments to unexpired two-year terms from Kennett Square (Region A) earlier this year.
In the Region C (Kennett Township) race, Democrats Gehrt and Bowden won the two available seats. In Region B (New Garden) incumbent Jeff McVey ran unopposed and was elected.
Following the swearing in, Gehrt was re-elected as school board president, and David Kronenberg, from New Garden, was re-elected as vice president.
Curriculum Committee chairperson Ann Parry announced progress in the development of a new degree program that enables students to major in in area of interest so that when they finish high school they can either continue to pursue that subject with a background in it already or even enter the profession directly. She gave the example of the tourism and real estate program which enables the student to earn a realtor certification while they are in high school.
Another major she mentioned was the history and culture of Chester County.
George Wolhafe, the director of facilities and construction, announced that the front steps project for the high school is almost complete with the arches in transit from the South. He added that the Mary D. Lang reconstruction project is 90 percent complete at this point.
The board heard the first reading of a school-wide cyber anti-bullying policy that includes responding to people who might think (valid or not) that they have been bullied. This policy allows for the complaint to be by a filled-out form or an oral report, and the issues can go beyond an individual to include threats to the school or community.
Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey announced that there has been a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the school district. There are 26 cases, with 24 of them being students. He also noted that the Chester County Health Department has changed slightly its report on calculating the incidence of COVID to include positivity and reinfection. The current rate in Chester County is 270 per 100,000.
Blakey also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortages in substitutes and bus drivers, and that is a major challenge.