The SchoolGram is the  award-winning  newsletter of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District. The SchoolGram is presented in e-newsletter format for the convenience of readers and easy access on computers and mobile devices. Sign up to receive the SchoolGram in your inbox or view past editions on the web at  www.ktufsd.org/SchoolGram .

COVID-19 Closure Update:
May 11, 2020
Kenmore East, Kenmore West Earn U.S. News & World Report 'Best High Schools' Designation

Ken-Ton’s two high schools, Kenmore East and Kenmore West, were among the top high schools in the U.S. to earn the "Best High Schools" designation in the U.S. News & World Report's 2020 Best High Schools rankings out of nearly 18,000 schools evaluated. Kenmore East High School and Kenmore West High School placed in the top 25th percentile of schools nationwide, outperforming more than three-quarters of the 17,790 high schools ranked in the U.S. Among New York State high schools, Kenmore West ranked 362 and Kenmore East ranked 368 out of a total of 1,342 high schools evaluated. Locally, both schools were counted among the top 25 schools out of 72 high schools in the greater Western New York region.

The ranking/rating methodology encompassed a variety of metrics that capture key indicators of success including college readiness and rigorous college-level coursework as well as math and reading proficiency/performance, graduation rate, and the performance of underserved students. Kenmore East and Kenmore West both received very high marks for College Readiness, a measure of how prepared students are for post-secondary success, and College Curriculum Breadth, a measure of rigorous college-level coursework. Both schools also scored high in Math and Reading Proficiency. Nationally, Kenmore West ranked in the top 20th percentile for college readiness, the top 22nd percentile for college curriculum breadth, and the top 37th percentile for Math and Reading Proficiency. Kenmore East ranked in the top 29th percentile for College Readiness, the top 33rd percentile for College Curriculum Breadth, and the top 29th percentile for Math and Reading Proficiency.

COVID-19 Closure Updates & Information
Plan on Sending Your Children to Daycare in September?
  • A request for an alternate stop other than your home address may be granted. An Alternate Stop Application must be completed for each student who is looking to take a bus to a stop other than their home address. Normally these forms are sent home with your children from the school, but as a result of the closure, we are reminding all families that the form still needs to be completed and turned into the transportation department via email (transportation_office@ktufsd.org) or mailed to 1680 Military Road, Kenmore, NY 14217. The form states we must have it back to the Transportation Department prior to June 1, but we have extended the date to July 1. The form can be found on the Transportation Forms page at:
  • https://www.ktufsd.org/Page/580

Have You Registered Your Child for Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) or Kindergarten for the Fall? 
  • Registration for Kindergarten and Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs in Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda UFSD schools is currently underway. Registration for all students is through the Central Registration Office, 1500 Colvin Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14223. To be eligible for Kindergarten, children must be 5 years of age on or before December 1, 2020. To be eligible for UPK, children must be 4 years of age on or before December 1, 2020. Contact the Central Registration Office at 716-871-2090 to register. Parents who expect to register a child in a non-public school for Kindergarten need to complete a Private/Parochial/Charter School packet. Click here for more information on the registration process. You can also find additional information on the Central Registration website at www.ktufsd.org/registration.

Technology & Support:
  • If you are having any difficulty accessing any of the platforms or programs your child’s teacher is using, please do not hesitate to reach out to our technology services team. We are here to ensure your experience during this time is positive. You may contact us using any of the following methods:
  • Tech Support information: https://www.ktufsd.org/Page/18951
  • 716-871-2050
  • tech_Support@ktufsd.org
  • Specific log-in and navigation information and other resources can be found on our website at:
  • https://www.ktufsd.org/Page/18950
  • https://www.ktufsd.org/Page/19071

K-4 Updates: 
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Student, Staff & Family Updates
Edison Elementary School recently received an update on its water well project which raised $14,350 during the 2018-19 school year for the Georgie Badiel Foundation to build and restore water wells in the African nation of Burkina Faso. The school was excited to receive news and photographs of water wells that were restored in the villages of Sanbin, Gouma, Tanghin, and Bazoule with the funds that were raised. From the village of Sanbin, a photograph shows gardens that are flourishing now thanks to the water from the restored well. Meanwhile, a brand new well is being planned near a school in the Zekounga region west of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. You can find the update here:
And to learn more about Edison Elementary's water well project, click here:
Holmes Elementary School students and families were excited to share how much they appreciate the teachers and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week:
The Instructional Support Specialists, who have been working so hard behind the scenes throughout the closure, had a special message to share during one of their recent videoconferencing meetings:
Students in Lisa DellaPenta’s first-grade class at Hoover Elementary School have been working hard on reading, writing, playing, and staying connected during the closure. Pictured here is Chelsea Prenatt listening to a book online as she reads along with a copy that she had at home; Samantha Spin and Flynn Toney practicing social distancing with a virtual play date; and Vivianna Adinolfi with a picture she drew about what she misses most at school: her friends and the playground.
The Kenmore East High School faculty and staff shared a very special video with the school community. Find it here:
Franklin Middle School sent its families a “Digital Care Package” to remind them that faculty and staff are thinking of them. Find it here:
Jennifer MacDonald, science teacher at the Big Picture Program, has found a very creative and fun way to engage and motivate her students and bring a smile to their faces during the closure: incorporating silly themes and costumes into her regular teaching. During spring recess, she pretended she was in Hawaii while connected with her students via Zoom. She and her co-advisor, Matthew LaVigne, pretended they were on a talk show and channeled their inner Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone to tell their students to "Stay classy." Anticipating responses like, "You're killing me," or "Get off my back,” she put a skeleton on her back and added Halloween decorations to the background. Next she decided to focus on science, and lastly, she has been known to put on inflatable costumes to get a laugh from her students. She intends to continue her efforts to motivate and engage her students in this way.
The Kenmore West National Honor Society usually sponsors a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Breakfast with the administrative team. Because that isn’t possible this year, they created a special video to convey how much they appreciate and miss them. The Kenmore West administrators were grateful for the work of the NHS advisors, Mrs. Reidell and Mrs. Davidson, and all of the NHS students on this thoughtful and uplifting message. You can view it here:
Sixth-grade students in Renee Freda and Lisa Chimera's class at Hoover Middle School learned about the process of illustrating a book and have been designing book covers for the different books they were reading. It was an assignment early on during the COVID-19 closure, and librarian Jill Dempsey formatted and uploaded students’ work to the Hoover library page to celebrate their achievement. The students proved to be great artists and great readers, and the teachers and librarian have done a great job creating a class culture that values books.
The Hoover Elementary School Food Service team expresses its appreciation for Eat Rite Foods for the breakfast meals they donated to the team last week, and for the students who have brought in cards and chocolate as a “thank you” for the staff’s efforts.
Hoover Middle School Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher Karen Brooks sent her students a “play clay” recipe for homemade Playdough for a fun activity they could do at home. This cross-curricular project incorporates math (measuring using fractions), ELA (reading directions and following step-by-step procedures), and science (observing the chemical reactions using the ingredients in the recipe properly). For fifth grader Olivia Jablonski, it was an art project as well. Olivia loves her FACS classes and followed the recipe perfectly. She took it upon herself to then use the homemade clay to create a wonderful work of art. Olivia and her family were excited to share a picture of her artwork to Mrs. Brooks and to art teacher Jamie Kubala.
Edison Elementary School second-grade teacher Kristen Fish’s class have been busy sharing more than 250 videos on Flipgrid, a website and app that allows teachers to create “grids” to facilitate video discussions with their students. This includes videos posted by students to share their writing as well as replies in which students commented about each other’s work. They have also been using PebbleGo to learn about needs and wants and the differences between the two. Students then made posters to show what they learned, like this one pictured here.
Cynthia Brodfuehrer was surprised to learn that she had been nominated by a parent of one of her students to receive a $25 gift card from the Boulevard Consumer Square for a restaurant of her choice. "She always goes above and beyond to educate our kids and definitely leaves a positive lasting impression in our children's hearts,” the parent wrote. “She is retiring this year and will be missed very much!”
Students in Kristina Marzec’s class at Lindbergh Elementary School were challenged to build a balloon-powered LEGO car after reading a scholastic article about LEGO builders. Pictured here is Lillian Smith and Ben Bourgeault with their creations.
Update from Mr. Critelli:
All registered students and chaperones will soon be receiving a full refund of all submitted payments for the field trip that had been planned. With regard to the status of Day Camp, a state-level decision on the operation of Summer Day Camp programs in NYS for 2020 is still pending, and online registration is temporarily suspended until more is known on what this decision will be.
Phil Aguglia was surprised to find out that he had been nominated for the Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers program. Mr. Aguglia, the Band Director at Kenmore East High School, was nominated by parents of some of his students at Kenmore East.
Mrs. Melligan, school counselor, checked in with Mrs. O’Malley’s students during a virtual check-in circle. She reminded students that May is Health and Safety Month at Franklin, and all the students shared different things they are doing to stay healthy and safe including wearing their helmets and washing their hands.
Mrs. Mitchell at Lindbergh Elementary School was very grateful for the very kind Teacher Appreciation gifts and cards received she received from her students and families. Also pictured is one of Mrs. Mitchell’s students, first grader Maranella Lis, releasing butterflies into the world.
The Lindbergh Elementary School PTA brought a sign to the school grounds for students and families to have their photographs to show their appreciation for Lindbergh Elementary. Pictured here is Principal Ann Maccagnano.
Third-grade students in Mrs. Brydalski’s class at Franklin Elementary School have been enjoying working out together virtually with PE teacher Mrs. Murphy.
Lindbergh Elementary student Hannah Hamiliton and her brother decided to pay a visit to Lindbergh Elementary School recently and take a peak inside the empty building. She reported back to her teacher, Mrs. Lefler, that the classroom looks to be in good shape and everyone’s desks are where they should be, including Mrs. Lefler's.
Patty Hupkowicz and her class worked together to write a book using the Seasaw App. You can find it here:
Students in Miss Rajski’s class stayed connected, broadcasting from different spots in their homes.
Included in the following document are some examples of the amazing work by students in Katrina West’s class at Edison Elementary School. She is extremely proud of the hard work and effort of our parents and students.
Franklin Elementary School PE teachers Jen Gilham, Lori Murphy and Mike Veronica created a video for their families to inspire students to keep moving with special guest Mr. Murphy from Franklin Middle School:
Kenmore East graduate Samantha Kelly, who aspires to become a teacher herself, was excited to share a video on Facebook celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week:
Students in Hoover Elementary School teacher Elizabeth "Tizzy" Schechter’s class were hard at work on various projects and assignments.
Pictured here is Edison Elementary School second-grade student Nicholas Parris excited to receive a note of encouragement from his teacher, Mrs. Pritchard.
Edison Elementary School kindergarten teacher Rebecca McPartland shared a video one of her students made in response to our math lesson. Check it out here:
Lindbergh Elementary student Elena Ocasio shared a message for our school district community.
In this photo, one of Amy Benfanti’s third graders at Hoover Elementary School, Seth Tromans, is busy working and listening to her reading aloud to the book "Holes" by Louis Sachar.