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Penn Yan looks at school board position

PENN YAN--Administrators from the Penn Yan Central School District said they were pleased with the hybrid reopening implemented at the schools during the Wednesday, Sept. 16 board of education meeting.
With the resignation of board member Leslie Elliott, which was accepted during the meeting due to moving out of the district, the board discussed options for the position. This including Superintendent Howard Dennis saying it is possible to explore reducing the number of board seats from nine to seven but it would take at least a year when asked.
"You have to put it up for a vote for the voters, and it wouldn't take effect for a year after that... (as to term length) you would have to work that out," said Dennis.
Board Vice-President Robin Johnson said she has already requested information from BOCES regarding the process for reducing the number of seats on the board.
During updates, Principal Edward Foote of the elementary school said while the opening has been great so far, he and his staff are thankful the district opened in a hybrid model for the first two weeks before transitioning to a fully in-person model.
"I can't reiterate how much starting in this hybrid model has helped us even if it is just for two weeks," said Foote. "Kids were nervous Monday but we have a great system and staff."
Foote added with 74 students remote and many parents taking over drop-off and pick-up for school students it has helping alleviate the stress on transportation.
Sports were scheduled at the time of the meeting and began on Sept. 21 with golf, girls and boys soccer, cross country and tennis. Athletic Director Jon MacKerchar said he is happy to begin, and the response from students has been robust.
"Rosters are full...students are excited," MacKerchar said.
The board voted unanimously to hire coaching staff for all available sports.
With routines for students and staff now different during the pandemic, including having teachers switch classrooms in the high school in order to keep students in one classroom all day, Dennis said he would like to meet with students over Zoom along with board members to discuss the new normal. Dennis said it would give a chance to discuss their adjustment and might yield new ideas on how to make things easier on students while still maintaining pandemic protocols.
As to student adherence to current restrictions, including mask-wearing and social distancing, administrators reported they are proud of how students have performed.

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