Kent School District - October 2023

KSD Students Shine

Glenridge Student Equity Team

Voyagers Leading the Way

Energy filled the library at Glenridge Elementary School at 8:30 in the morning as students were already busy working on multiple projects. The catch is school begins at 9:15 a.m. So, why were students at school almost an hour before their start time? They are all a part of the Glenridge Student Equity Team. Although there has been a staff equity team at Glenridge for a few years, this is the first year for the student-led team. According to School Interventionist Erin Balla, she and Librarian Carrie Calonzo had decided to get the students involved at the end of the last school year. She says, "we want to honor people how they would like to be honored. We (the staff equity team) don't all represent the cultures we're trying to honor, so we wanted to involve the students so that their voices were heard primarily and support them in celebrating in how they would like to celebrate." The staff also felt that it was important that the students led the group rather than being tasked with projects to do. Balla says, "we put out choices for the students. They can make posters, design the display cases, or bring artifacts from home."

The student equity team was hard at work preparing for Native American Heritage Month. They were busy creating posters, preparing to read cultural books to younger students, practicing for the morning announcements, and decorating their display and hallway in celebration. Teacher Tina Rodgers says that families also offer to bring things from home to support them. She also says that students see the displays all the time and get excited when they see a piece of their culture. Coming to school early doesn't faze the students because it's voluntary. They chose to be there, and when asked about how they felt about being on the equity team and learning about different cultures, they all responded, "It's awesome!" Keep up the great work, Glenridge Voyagers!

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Ito. Not Pictured: Assistant Coach Ann Johnson

Congratulations Kentwood Girls Golf on Undefeated Season!

Finishing the season 10-0 was a remarkable feeling for the Girls Golf Team led by Coach Daniel Ito and Assistant Coach Ann Johnson. After coming up short last year with a record of 9-1, the team was determined to come back this year stronger and better. Coach Ito says that it feels fantastic to have finished the season undefeated and that the girls' main goal was to qualify for the state tournament as a team. His coaching philosophy is simple: ensuring the safety of his athletes and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. The highlight of the season for the team was winning the inaugural Kent City Tournament at the end of September. This tournament stood out because it consisted of all four comprehensive high schools in KSD, and they had won the girls' division. On top of the undefeated season, a few athletes also received recognition within the North Puget Sound League (NPSL) Cascade Division. Congratulations to Cora N. for receiving NPSL All-league Second Team honors, Avery P. and Kallie P. for receiving NPSL All-league First Team honors, and Zoie P. for receiving NPSL All-league First Team honors and Player of the Year.


Even with all of the accomplishments, Coach Ito is most proud of the team as a whole. "There was a great camaraderie amongst the ten players, and everyone was very diligent regarding their practice. They were just a great bunch of kids, and I feel that Coach Ann and myself did a great job of keeping the girls focused and motivated."  

October Highlights

National Principals Month:

Patrick O'Connor - Leading by Example

Calm is a great word to describe the atmosphere of Park Orchard Elementary School, and that's no surprise since most of the staff also used that same word to describe their principal, Patrick O'Connor. Staff member Katie Motes says, "I think he's always calm. No matter what's going on, he's calm and collected, and he's an amazing person to learn from. I've learned so much from him just by his demeanor and how he handles situations." Teacher Andrew Parsons agrees. "Patrick's the kind of guy you learn things from, even if he doesn't explicitly teach you. He's someone that you can watch do his job, and you naturally learn things from him."

Thank you, Patrick, for creating a great atmosphere where students, staff, and families are welcomed and can learn and grow.

Read More

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Every October, KSD participates in Dyslexia Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to learning more about dyslexia and the many ways that we can support one another.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

KSD has provided five Cybersecurity Activities that the community can complete at home with families and friends. These are great activities to make sure everyone is cybersecured.

Filipino American History Month

During October, schools celebrated the many important contributions that our students, staff, and community who have ancestors from the Philippines have made in our community and across America.

National Physical Therapy Month

Every October is Physical Therapy Month. KSD thanks all of our physical therapists for their hard work, dedication and commitment to our students and families.

KSD Staff Spotlight

Custodial Staff - Guy Byers

A Constant Support

For the past 19 years, Meridian Elementary School has been taken care of by Head Custodian Guy Byers. He has been a part of Team KSD since 1993, spending 11 years at Meridian Middle School before being hired at Meridian Elementary by then-principal Israel Vela. Guy supports students and staff by making sure everything is clean and safe and makes sure that everyone has what they need to get through the day, but according to the current principal, Stephanie Barringer, he does so much more. "Guy cares, he shows up, and he makes the custodial work fun. He plays little jokes with the kids at lunchtime, and he really makes an effort to know them and the staff and make it feel like a family." Guy couldn't help but smile when talking about his lunchtime antics. "I play around and try to steal their lunches, and they look forward to that every day. Seeing their smiles makes me smile."


Guy is retiring at the end of October, and it is apparent how much he will be missed by staff and students. When two students found out that he was leaving, they cried throughout their entire lunch. Barringer says that Guy has been a constant to Meridian Elementary and, "it's so nice to have people who have invested their career in KSD and have made a difference in how beautiful our building looks and having it be safe all the time. It's a blessing to have him."


Thank you, Guy, for your diligence, hard work, and commitment to our students, staff, and KSD community over the years. Happy retirement!

2023 Levies

Levies Support Maintenance

Do you know that the 2023 Levies help pay for daily operations to support clean, healthy, and well-maintained schools and classrooms? Visit to learn more and remember to vote by November 7.

Remember to Vote

KSD encourages all registered voters to vote in all elections. Remember to submit your ballot to a King County ballot box or postmark it by Tuesday, November 7.

Be in the Know

Class of 2024 Guaranteed & Automatic Admissions Program

KSD is excited to announce two opportunities for the class of 2024 to facilitate admissions into colleges and universities through the Guaranteed and Automatic Admissions Program. Opt-In before November 15.

Advanced Learning (HiCap) Referral Period

The referral period is now open for Kindergarten-11th grade students. Referral forms are available online until November 17. Visit our website for more information.

Northwood Middle School Unveils New Honorary Road Designation Jaguar Way

The culmination of 15 months of hard work and dedication was brought to fruition on October 10 at Northwood Middle School, unveiling their new street name, Jaguar Way. Regarding what the project means to Northwood, Principal Haines said, "It means a lot because it signifies what you can do if you put your mind to a project and how you can go through a process with collaboration and perseverance." 

Covington Elementary Receives Grant from Delta Kappa Gamma - Kent Chapter

The Delta Kappa Gamma is an International Women's Teachers organization that supports students and teachers worldwide. Still, the Kent Chapter focuses on Kent because it consists of retired KSD teachers. This is the third year that Covington Elementary has been awarded this grant to enhance its staff and student resources, and Principal Ryan Preis is ecstatic. "The support has been a huge help for our multilingual education students, which is a high need for our building, and we're thankful."

Next Month's Happenings

National Educational Support

Professionals Day - November 15

Our mission to successfully prepare all students for their futures is made possible with the tremendous contributions of our educational support professionals. These outstanding individuals are involved in every aspect of education. Office professionals provide administrative support, while technology professionals provide technical support. Transportation ensures safety to and from school, while Safety Services ensure safety on campus. Nuitrition and health services support students' well-being by providing nutritional meals and care. Others offer support in the classroom as a substitute or paraeducator, while our custodial and maintenance team work together to maintain the cleanliness of our facilitlies and grounds. KSD thanks every education support professional for their dedication to students and commitment to excellence.

November is Native American Heritage Month

KSD celebrates Native American Heritage Month throughout the month of November. Join us as we learn more about Native American Heritage and culture.

Secondary Conferences

Secondary Conferences will be taking place on Tuesday, November 21. All middle and high schools will be dismissed three hours early. View the bell schedules and dismissal times on the KSD website.

National School Psychology Week

Join KSD as we highlight the important work school psychologists and other educators do to help all students thrive during November 6-10. This year's theme is "Let's Grow Together."

Veterans Day

Our schools and offices will be closed on Friday, November 10, in observance of Veterans Day. Thank you to all who have served our country


Electronic Report Cards

We are excited to announce a move to electronic report cards for this school year. Families will be able to access student report cards online through Skyward Family Access. Along with accessing student report cards, there are additional benefits to using Family Access. This also means that report cards will no longer be mailed home, however families may still request a hard copy through the main office at their school. Learn more here.

The 2023-2024 Student Calendar

Download your copy of this school year's calendar. The 2023-2024 Student Calendar is available on our website.

KSD is Hiring!

Become a substitute teacher, paraeducator, or clerical staff member in KSD! 

We have immediate openings for these positions. Learn more about the requirements and apply to join Team KSD today!

November Calendar Highlights

Check our district calendar and your school's calendar for details and more upcoming events!

November: Native American Heritage Month

November 1: Two Hour Early Release

November 3: Teacher Workshop Day - No School

November 5: Daylight Savings Time Ends

November 6-10: National School Psychology Week

November 8: Two Hour Early Release

November 8: KSD Board Meeting

November 10: Veterans Day (Observed) - No School

November 11: Veterans Day

November 13-17: American Education Week

November 15: Two Hour Early Release

November 15: National Education Support Professionals Day

November 15: Guaranteed and Automatic Admissions Program

Opt-In Deadline

November 17: Advanced Learning (HiCap) Referral Period Ends

November 21: Secondary Conferences

November 22: Two Hour Early Release

November 23: Thanksgiving - No School

November 24: Native American Heritage Day - No School

November 29: Two Hour Early Release

Download a Printer-Friendly Version of our 2023-2024 Student Calendar
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