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COVID-19 Closure Update:
April 27, 2020
Message from the Superintendent
At the present time, the COVID-19 closure extends through May 16, but we are expecting to hear from Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week on what the determination will be for beyond May 16. We are continuing to plan for all eventualities, including the possibility that school buildings will be closed for the remainder of the school year, and we will keep you updated on what the Governor's determination is and what the impact will be for Ken-Ton Schools. One of the major things we are continuing to plan for are end-of-year events, including graduation. We know how important these events are for the entire school district community and are working hard to explore and plan for different options. State and national policies on public gatherings and physical distancing requirements will determine what options are available to school districts, and we will keep our community informed as we learn more.

All families are encouraged to review these weekly updates, which are usually published on Mondays of each week, and to refer to the school district website and our official district social media accounts for updates. We've heard sporadic reports of what appear to be messages from individuals or third-parties that reference the school district or the closure, including fake reports that schools are planning on reopening. If that were the case, you would receive this information many different ways - the same way you have received information throughout the closure, and the same way you would receive any urgent message from the school district.

Each week, this compilation of student/staff highlights is just a glimpse into the extraordinary work taking place by our students, staff, and families. Thank you for your continued efforts and dedication as we all work together to navigate this unprecedented situation.

Steve Bovino,
Superintendent of Schools
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COVID-19 Closure Updates & Information
Breakfast/Lunch Update:
  • Beginning today (Monday, April 27), breakfast/lunch delivery was moved from the Northtown Boys & Girls Club on Riverside Drive to the former Roosevelt Elementary School Building parking lot on Kinsey Avenue in Kenmore. Breakfast/lunch will continue to be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at these five locations for the duration of the closure:
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • Holmes Elementary School
  • Hoover Elementary School
  • Sheridan Parkside Youth Center
  • Former Roosevelt Elementary Building (Kinsey Avenue)

Messages from the District:
  • All families are encouraged to review these weekly updates, which are usually published on Mondays of each week, for the latest and most accurate information regarding the closure. Parents are also encouraged to refer to the school district website and official district social media accounts for updates. There have been sporadic reports of what appear to be messages from individuals or third-parties that reference the school district or the closure, including a false report that schools are planning on reopening at this time. Parents/guardians would always receive this information the same way they have received other updates throughout the closure. The district would also share this information many different ways, including text, email, and voice messages with the same identifiable sender information as previous messages; the district website (; and district social media accounts (@ktufsd). If you have received what appear to be fraudulent or false information, please use this page to alert us of this information.
Student, Staff & Family Updates
Last week, with help from the Ken-Ton School District Athletic Hall of Fame Booster Club and the coaching staff, Athletic Director Brett Banker and Assistant Athletic Director Jim Badgely distributed lawn signs to show our spring athletes how proud we are of them. Special thanks went out to the following teachers/coachers who assisted: Alex Perry, Marty Madore, Mike Panepinto, Matt & Matthew Chimera, Kim Leggett, Ayanna Tramont, Jim Badgley, Brian Burhans, Leslie Simon, Kyle Pray, and Tim Metivier. The response from students and families was overwhelmingly positive for this initiative.
Last week, the Town of Tonawanda Police Department expressed their thanks to Kenmore West High School FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) teacher Carol Glor who sent 30 homemade cloth masks to help protect TTPD officers as they work every day to keep our community safe during the pandemic. Earlier this month, she had also provided masks for health care workers at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.
This wonderful video message was created by the teachers and staff at Holmes Elementary School for all of their students and families. Great job to Christina Zona, School Support Specialist, and PE teacher Kaley Vazquez-Regan who put it all together. See it here on the Holmes Elementary Facebook page:
In appreciation for the video the Holmes Elementary staff shared with their students and families, a parent made her own video and shared it with the school. She wanted them to know how much the students miss them and how much they are appreciated. See the video here:
The Technology Department recently completed its final device distribution to ensure that all students have access to a device to engage in remote learning at home. Students in grades K-4 received iPads, and students in grades 5-12 received Chromebooks. Devices were provided to families at several different distribution events in a safe and efficient manner. By now, more than 2,100 devices have been distributed.

The effort was coordinated by Technology Director Iann Miller with Director of Secondary Education Lisa Cross, instructional innovation support specialists and technology integrators/coaches Joi Chimera, Phil Jarosz, and Judy Anthony, and the Technology staff: Bill Steffen, Brandon Chiarmonte, Bruce Zeller, Scott Guagliano, Mike Shovlin, Chris Galik, Jared Santas, Colleen McGroder, and Lynn Taylor.

Also coordinating and providing support were teachers Nate Bourke, Brittany Lis, Denise Grandits, Julie Moore, Tiffany Van Dewater, Amy Beth Grosofsky, and Tina Cavese; instructional support specialist for science Lisa Davidson; Hoover Middle School head custodian Rob Warren; assistant principals Marco Galante and Mike Haggerty; and principals Patrick Heyden, Dean Johnson, Matt Raines, and Chris Ginestre.
Many English as a New Language (ENL) students at Lindbergh Elementary School have been engaging in authentic writing by writing letters back and forth with ENL teacher Christina Brown. Teachers have praised ENL teachers like Mrs. Brown for the exceptional job they are doing during the closure, which presents unique challenges for students and families who speak limited to no English. ENL teachers across the district have risen to this challenge. “This is a difficult time for all of us,” said Lindbergh Elementary teacher Lisa Mitchell, “but imagine that you are also a parent that speaks limited English. I have seven children in my room in this very situation. Christina has worked tirelessly to communicate with our ENL families and get them on our learning platforms and new programs.”
The seventh-grade Student Council at Franklin Middle held a family trivia game night on Friday, April 24. Families participated against each other on Gimkit after connecting on Zoom. Congratulations to the Adair and the Kelting families who were victorious. Special thanks went out to Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Pygon, Ms. Zimmer, Mrs. Zummo, and Dr. Grandits for playing along. Plans are underway to continue this new tradition.
Students of Laura Jelonek, elementary school health teacher, were challenged to try out an experiment with pepper, water and soap which showed them how soap kills and repels germs. They were also given some ideas and songs about hand washing to help stop the spread. In this video, fourth-grade student Sophia Gagliano demonstrates the experiment with pepper, water and soap.
The Ken-Ton Girls Lacrosse Team was looking forward to beginning their first season this spring, and they worked together on a video that demonstrated their heart and resiliency as their first season has been delayed by the closure:
Hoover Middle School sixth-grade teacher Lisa Ventrice shared some outstanding work created by her students. They have been studying Greece, the Persian Wars, the Battle of Thermopylae, and of course the Spartan warriors. Her students were to research the themes of self-discipline and courage used by the Spartans. These are some examples of what was submitted.
The Kenmore East High School Counseling Department sent their weekly message to Kenmore East staff with a photo collage and article on coping skills. Last week, they provided a video compilation of photographs with a special message for their colleagues: "Stay Strong Kenmore East Bulldogs. Your Counseling Department Misses You. You've Got This."
Pictured here is Marley Jones, a student in Julia Lefler’s class at Lindbergh Elementary School. Her family has been watching caterpillars as they grow. Next, each one will form a chrysalis and then become a butterfly.
Hoover Middle School art teacher Gina McCartney challenged her students to take part in a 30-Day Drawing Challenge with different drawing topics identified for each day. Congratulations to all of the students who took part in the challenge, and to fifth-grader Paulino Schifflett who was named the winner. Paulino submitted a drawing for each and every one of the 30 daily drawing challenges, which McCartney combined into this beautiful collage.
This was Lindbergh Elementary School’s second weekly message for families: “You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." See it here:
Franklin Elementary teachers and students are participating in weekly videos created with the hopes of keeping their school community close. Each video has a theme, and staff and students are sending in photos based on that theme. So far, the themes have included “Working from Home,” “Reading at Home,” “The Power of Words,” “School Spirit Week,” and “Our Pets.” The theme for this one was “Mock Spring Break 2020.”
Hoover Middle School fifth-grade teacher Katelyn Greiner has been connecting with her students and continuing to maintain strong relationships with them is through a virtual “lunch bunch” every Wednesday from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Students sign up through Sign Up Genius if they'd like to see their friends and have a little fun over lunch. They then receive a special invite from their teacher with a designated code and password. They had their first Lunch Bunch last week and shared ideas, games, activities, and had great discussions and are looking forward to doing more in the future.
Lindbergh Elementary School student Edgar Osiadlo shared an amazing tower he built with the help of his second-grade teacher, Mrs. Roberts.
Garrick Loveria, a kindergarten student in Korri Hall's class at Lindbergh Elementary, was very excited to show his brother, Lyzander, what he was working on.
Ellie Baker is a third-grade student in Ms. Mancuso's class at Lindbergh Elementary who wrote a wonderful report on Ellis Island. She used the Pearson Social Studies Program and did a National Park Quest. Ms. Mancuso has piloted this program.
Mrs. Marshall's musicians from Franklin Elementary are engaging in music activities using the Flipgrid app. This week, second graders were invited to create a three-line music staff and use chocolate chips to notate a song using the notes Mi, Re and Do.
Pictured here is a Holmes Elementary School student of kindergarten teacher Susan Sommers named Nicholas during a Google Meet with some of his kindergarten classmates.
Hoover Middle School students in Mrs. Wilkinson and Mrs. DePasquale’s reading classes have been working hard at home on improving their reading skills. To make working at home a little sweeter, teachers put together a basket with treats that students can work toward winning. Each week students earn tickets for minutes working in the Read 180 application. They also earn tickets for reading books and articles after they pass the accompanying quiz. Each Friday morning a drawing determines who wins a treat. But, the real winners are all these hard-working students who continue to improve in reading and love books! Pictured here are Amani Alicea working on Read 180 at home, and Rocky the Cat reading along with Ireland Szymczak.
Students of Lindbergh Elementary School teacher Donna Harris have shared videos to show what they’ve been most excited working on at home. Jenson Cook shared a video of his original lacrosse drills to practice his speed and footwork, while Kaitlyn Forpahl shared a YouTube drawing site and some drawings she has worked on with the class on Google Classroom.
Some examples of work by students in Hoover Elementary School teacher Elizabeth "Tizzy" Schechter’s class. Several of her students completed Earth Day Projects with recycling materials at home.
At Holmes Elementary School, fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Tahirak had two students visit her at home because they missed her, all while maintaining safe social distancing. Pictured here are students Makayla Seyler and Karla Haugabook.
Middle School counselors from Hoover Middle and Franklin Middle have been sending thought-provoking questions for middle school students to ponder and answer during the closure. They heard back from so many students who wanted to share a positive thing they have learned from being home during the closure. These are just some of the examples:
  • What's one positive thing you have learned from being at home during this time?
  • One positive thing I have learned from being at home during this time is that no matter how far apart we are, we will always be in this together as a community.
  • One positive thing I learned from being home is to think about how much first responders, doctors, and hospital workers do for us right now through this time. And if we did not have them, everybody would be seriously ill.
  • One positive thing that I have learned over quarantine is that I definitely focus better when doing my work if I have a schedule going. My sister and I have made schedules for our day so that we can stay on track!
  • I learned that even in times like this, you have to help each other out!
  • One thing I've learned is how much I take for granted. My friends, my health, teachers, going outside without being scared, going outside and having fun, etc. I know saying I take things for granted isn't the most positive thing, but for it it is because after all this I'll start being really grateful for them!
  • One positive thing I have learned is that I don't have to be in a classroom to be able to learn new things.
  • That friends help you in all different ways. Even if it's from playing video games with them!
  • I learned to skateboard (self-taught)
  • One thing I have learned is how to use a computer more. I have also learned a lot more about my family since we are spending so much time together.
  • I have been doing more projects with my hands. And learning some new handyman skills.
  • I learned that everyone helps each other.
  • The positive thing I’ve learned is if we stay home we can reduce the chance of spreading the virus. Also, this gives us more chances to spend time with our families.
  • I learned that being in school is ten times better than homeschooling!
  • I have learned to be grateful for what you have right now and appreciate others.
  • I have gotten better at cooking with my dad.
  • Staying home can help heal the Earth from all the pollution.
  • School is more valuable that you think!
  • The positive thing I learned is that being at home really brings families together more. Like, our family went on a bike ride for two hours.
  • I have taught myself the basic words and vocab for the Korean language.