The SchoolGram is the newsletter of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda  Union Free School District. Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the SchoolGram will be published monthly and presented in e-newsletter format to make it more convenient for readers and easier to access on computers and mobile devices.  Find past editions on the web at The budget edition of the SchoolGram will still be delivered to households  by mail in late April or early May.

November 25, 2015
Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we as a school district community have to be grateful for. There are many reminders this year of all the reasons I am so very thankful to be part of the Ken-Ton School District community.

I am thankful for our parents, who take such an active role in our children's education, and our community, for its commitment and partnership with our school district. I am especially thankful to our Ken-Ton District team - the teachers, staff and administrators - who routinely put the needs and best interest of our students above all else. I am appreciative that we all recognize the critical role education plays in our children's development and the future of our community.

Ken-Ton is more than a school district. Our students do far more than just attend classes; they enrich the community. Our students make us proud to call Ken-Ton home. This is the time of year our students especially shine: their energy on the field, their spirit in the stands, their talents on stage, and their dedication in the classroom. Our students' generosity is evident as they support so many worthy causes, helping our neighbors and giving back to the community.

Each and every day, you - the entire Ken-Ton community - nurture our students, prepare them for a bright future, motivate them to work hard, and empower them to make their dreams come true. This helps to ensure the long-term strength and vitality of our community. William Arthur Ward said, "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." I am truly thankful for the joy and the privilege of serving our students and community!

Dawn F. Mirand, Superintendent of Schools
November has brought the board together to begin working on activities to support our newly generated board goals of board self-evaluation, superintendent evaluation, board composition evaluation and communication/advocacy. It has been a wish-list in progress as we look to integrate the feedback we have received from the community on how the board can better operate. According to the Center for Public Education, effective school boards have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
As we move forward, we are united in our belief that we value your feedback on ways the board can improve our relationship with our stakeholders to set realistic goals which support student learning and development. We encourage you to attend board meetings to learn about the exciting changes we have proposed and also afford us an opportunity to hear from you.
Dr. Jill O'Malley, Board of Education President
Public meetings will take place for Roosevelt Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, and Kenmore Middle School families in order to provide an update and answer questions regarding the consolidation transition. The meeting for Roosevelt Elementary families will take place on Monday, November 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Roosevelt. The meeting for Kenmore Middle School families will take place on Thursday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Kenmore Middle. The meeting for Hamilton Elementary School families will take place on Tuesday, January 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Hamilton.
European Exchange Students Welcomed to Ken-Ton

More than 70 students from schools in France, Germany and Spain spent two weeks in Ken-Ton hosted by families at Kenmore East and Kenmore West High Schools in early October through exchange partnerships between European schools and the Ken-Ton World Language Education program.  Click here to read the story.
Chinese Educators Visit Kenmore East, Kenmore West

On Nov. 3-4, the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo brought a team of Chinese educators to Kenmore East and Kenmore West High School to observe American high school educators in action and learn about the unique secondary programs offered in Ken-Ton.  Click here to learn more about the Confucius Institute .
Students, Art Teachers and Board Members Honored at Student Artist Reception
Students from all 12 Ken-Ton schools as well as their art teachers and the five members of the Board of Education were honored at the annual Student Artist Reception and Board Recognition ceremony on Oct. 29. This annual event, which coincides each year with New York State Board of Education Recognition Week, showcases artwork from each Ken-Ton school with one student's work reproduced and presented to Board members as a token of appreciation for their service to the District. Click here to read the story and view photos from the event.
Stakeholders Collaborate on District Technology Vision

Jim Lengel, a nationally known expert on technology in education, recently facilitated an interactive workshop that brought all District stakeholders including students together to envision the future of technology in Ken-Ton schools. Their vision will lay the groundwork for District technology planning in the years to come.
Students Perform at County, Regional and State Level

Numerous students taking part in band, orchestra and chorus across the Ken-Ton School District were recently celebrated for their participation in selective, audition-only ensembles such as All-County, Area All-State, Conference All-State, and other regional and state-level selective ensembles.  Click here to read the story.
Nominations Sought for Kenmore East Athletic Hall of Fame  
The Kenmore East High School Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee is currently accepting nominations for the Induction Class of 2016. Individuals may be nominated in three categories: Athlete, Coach/Administrator, and Honorary. Click here for more information.
Hamilton Elementary to Present Mini-Musical
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 and Friday, Dec. 4, students at Hamilton Elementary will present the mini-musical "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears." The show is based on a West African "pourquoi" story that provides a fanciful, fun explanation of the title question.  Click here to read the story .
Hoover Elementary Donates 450+ Pounds of Candy
During Halloween, Ken-Ton students contributed candy to donate to U.S. troops with Hoover Elementary collecting a total of 453 pounds of candy - the equivalent of 12,000 fun-size Milky Way bars - through the annual Operation Gratitude Halloween drive.  Click here to read the story .
Kenmore East Food Drive Collects Thousands of Items
Through the Kenmore East High School Student Congress' annual food drive, "Gobblin' Up Hunger," students and staff collected thousands of food items to donate to the Western New York Food Bank and the Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Tonawanda.  Click here to read the story .
Edison Celebrates Autumn With 2nd Pumpkin Run
Upwards of 200 students at Edison Elementary took part in the second annual Pumpkin Run, which consisted of two laps around the school and each child finishing the race receiving a pumpkin. The event also helped raise money for the PTA.  Click here for more information .
French Students Enjoy Educational Trip to Quebec
Students studying French at Franklin and Hoover Middle Schools had numerous opportunities to expand their knowledge and understanding of the French language and experience the rich history and culture of Quebec City during an educational trip to Quebec.  Click here to read the story .
Franklin Middle Students Honored for Summer Reading
Franklin Middle School recently celebrated the 62 "Remarkable Readers" who took part in the school's summer reading program. All participants were allowed to select a new book donated by First Book and the Kenmore Teachers Association.  Click here to read the story .
Ken-West Students Turn Pumpkins Into Canvases
Students in the Kenmore West High School Challenge Club and Art Club raised more than $200 by painting ordinary pumpkins and then auctioning them off. The money was donated to the Miracle Club, a non-profit baseball organization that supports young people with disabilities Click here to read the story .
Red Ribbon Assembly Features Service Dogs
Kenmore Middle School s tudents w ere introduced to two service dogs from Horizon Health Services and WNYHeroes Inc. during a Red Ribbon Week assembly that focused on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the role of animal-assisted therapy.   Click here to read the story .
Students Exposed to 30+ Careers at Career Fair
Hoover Middle School students were able to choose from more than 30 careers represented at a recent career fair that included Dennis Upton, a retired Ken-Ton teacher and current member of Buffalo ComedySportz, as the keynote speaker.   Click here to read the story .
Survivor of Nazi Germany Speaks to Ken-East Students
Dr. Herman Stone, a survivor of Nazi Germany who barely escaped to America with his family, recently gave students in the Kenmore East High School World War II class an important glimpse into what it was like to grow up as a child at the time of the Nuremberg Laws.  Click here to read the story .
Hamilton Elementary School students celebrate the holiday and show off their costumes at the annual Halloween Parade.
Students at Roosevelt, Lindbergh and Hoover Elementary Schools honored current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces during ceremonies in the days leading up to Veterans Day. Afterwards, honored guests joined with students in classrooms to discuss their experiences and what it means to be a veteran.
Students celebrate Thanksgiving. At left, Superintendent Dawn F. Mirand reads "Turkey Trouble" to kindergarten students at Franklin Elementary School. At right, a Holmes Elementary School student displays what he is thankful for at the school-wide Thanksgiving feast.

Feature on Kenmore East High School School Resource Officer:
Kenmore West Students Discuss What Halloween Means to Them:
Kenmore East Hosts Buffalo-Niagara Concert Band:

  • Kenmore Library plans display of Washington Elementary School time capsule memorabilia on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Video of Edison Elementary School students performing the National Anthem and Lindbergh Elementary School students performing the opening number of "James and the Giant Peach Jr." at the November Board of Education meeting
  • Fall winter playoff results and photographs
Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @
Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District