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 4, 2020
Teacher Appreciation Week: May 4-8, 2020
This week (May 4-8) we observe National Teacher Appreciation Week, an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary work of our nation’s educators and the vital role they play in our children’s lives. In a normal year, the appreciation of students, colleagues, and families would have been on full display this week with a multitude of activities and initiatives in all of our schools. We regret that this year's Teacher Appreciation Week must take place as our school buildings are closed, but this also provides an opportunity to highlight the exceptional work of our teachers over the past seven weeks as they have had to completely transform their entire approach to educating their students. We invite the Ken-Ton School District community to join us in thanking and recognizing our teachers and staff for their outstanding work throughout the year and during the COVID-19 closure. We are extremely proud of how they have adapted to the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic and have continued to engage our students and families through their creativity and dedication.
COVID-19 Closure Updates & Information
Closure Extended for Remainder of School Year:
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the COVID-19 closure for the remainder of the school year, which concludes in June. As a result of this decision, our school buildings will remain closed, but remote learning will continue, and our staff will continue to support our students and families any way we can.

Staying in Touch:
  • As we progress through the remainder of the school year, we want to continue to encourage all of our families to continue to stay connected and in communication with your children's teachers and principal, especially if you need assistance. This is a stressful time for families, who must balance their day-to-day concerns and responsibilities with the demands of caring for their children and guiding them through remote learning at home. We are prepared to support you, we want to help you, and we are willing to do what is needed to make sure you and your child(ren) are able to make the best of this situation. It is for these reasons that we have tried to incorporate as much flexibility into our procedures and instructional strategies as possible while providing useful tools and guidance for students to continue their academic progress.
  • We know many parents/guardians may be worried about their children falling behind or not progressing enough. Rest assured, no student will be left behind. The entire country is providing remote learning right now so no one is behind. We are all in this together. Given that each family and student’s experience is unique, this is, and should be, a personalized experience for each student. However, one thing we all share in common -- students, parents, teachers, staff, and administrators -- is that we can only do the best we can in what are very challenging and unique circumstances. We truly appreciate all of the efforts our families are making to encourage students to continue their learning to the best of their ability and to keep the students connected during this time of closure. As always, please remember that the entire school district staff is here to support and assist you in any way we can.

Lockers/Item Retrieval:
  • Many parents/guardians have asked what opportunities will be available to students and families to retrieve items from school buildings such as musical instruments or to clear out lockers. These opportunities can be provided when such activities are determined to be safe and permissible under local, state, and federal guidelines. Schools will communicate with families once those plans are established. These plans would have to conform with all guidelines on non-essential activity, public gatherings, and physical distancing in order to ensure the safety of our students, families, and staff.

Summer School & August Regents Exams:
  • On April 30, the New York State Education Department announced that the August 2020 Regents Exams will not take place. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Education Department has not yet provided information on whether summer school will be able to continue as scheduled. We are awaiting additional information and will update our families once that information becomes available.

End-of-Year Events:
  • Long-term planning is continuing on options for end-of-year events, especially graduation. The options available to school districts will depend on state and national policies related to public gatherings and social distancing requirements. We are proud of the Class of 2020 and its achievements, and school staff are working hard to consider and plan for opportunities to honor our graduating seniors. We expect to be able to provide information soon on what these options might include.

Budget Vote & Board of Education Election Changes:
  • In accordance with Executive Order 202.26, the annual Budget Vote and Board of Education Election will be delayed to Tuesday, June 9, 2020. All voting will be by absentee ballots (no in-person voting). The deadline for Board of Education candidate nominations is now May 11, 2020 (30 days prior to the vote). The minimum threshold of signatures requirement has been eliminated, though candidates must meet other requirements necessary to be placed on the ballot including any applicable residency and age requirements. Candidates will be listed on the ballot in alphabetical order. More information for Board of Education candidates can be found here on our Prospective Board Members page. Visit www.ktufsd.org/budget for more information on the proposed budget and the vote. 

Home Learning Helpful Resources:
  • A variety of instructional resources including tip sheets and informational videos are being posted to our Home Learning Information section of the website. You can find these on our Helpful Resources page. Here you will find instructions and guidance on Scholastic F.I.R.S.T., W.O.R.D., and Literacy Pro; elementary school math instruction; and district-assigned devices. Resources will continue to be posted, so check back often. Do you have an idea for a helpful addition to this page? Please let us know.

AP Exams:
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Student, Staff & Family Updates
This was one of the tasty and nutritious breakfast meals served last week by the food service staff which included French toast sticks, cereal, juice, fruit, and dairy. The food service staff continues to serve breakfast/lunch meals at Franklin Elementary, Holmes Elementary, Hoover Elementary, the Roosevelt Elementary building, and the Sheridan Parkside Youth Center. Last week, they served 18,180 meals, bringing the seven-week total to 115,522 meals since schools closed in March.
April was National Poetry Month, and Hoover Middle School Team 7-1 students spent some time writing and sharing haikus. ELA teacher Jeffery Kleismit compiled and shared a collection of selected poems, at least one from each of the students who participated. The title comes from Vaughn Barden's haiku, and Charlie Salvati and Simone Livecchi contributed artwork. Find it here:
Jack Benz, a student in the Big Picture Program, did a phenomenal job creating a stop-motion animation using his favorite sweatshirt and pants, as it switches its Canisius High School cap for a Big Picture Program hat. The creative assignment for eighth-grade students was to use their laundry to create art. You can see the video here:
Ken-Ton School District librarians have created a new weekly newsletter during the COVID-19 closure to connect students with books and library resources. The most recent edition includes information on how to link a public library card to Sora to access a wealth of ebooks and audiobooks, how to get a Buffalo and Erie County Public Library card during the pandemic, the East Meets West Book Club, and what librarians and book club members are currently reading ("The Cute for Dreaming"). Check it out here:
Pictured here are two fourth-grade students in Mrs. Morath’s class at Lindbergh Elementary: Dharma Rothschild sharing a picture she drew "to send hope and joy to the world,” and Elena Ocasio sharing a picture based on a drawing assignment by art teacher Mrs. Kirdani.
Students at Franklin Elementary School had the opportunity to take home free books during a book giveaway which coincided with breakfast/lunch distribution last week.
Max Lucas in Mrs. Roberts’ class was excited to share a video with his class showing how he was able to train his cat at home:
Pictured here is Samantha Hashey, a student in Mrs. Morath’s fourth-grade class, posing with her sister Allison. Samantha was excited to show off her impressive artwork.
Kenmore West senior Rachel Ryckman, who was looking forward to her final season as the Lady Blue Devils softball team, was recently featured by WIVB Channel 4's Senior Spotlight series:
The online store is back with brand new items including T-shirts, sweatshirts, drawstring bags, key chains, and charm bracelets. There are a variety of options for Kenmore East, Kenmore West, Franklin Middle, and Hoover Middle students/families including moving up gifts for fourth graders and seventh graders, Class of 2020 apparel, and Mother's Day gifts. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the Ken-Ton Closet. Orders will be processed continuously and will be delivered directly to customers' homes (no person-to-person contact). Visit  kenton2020.itemorder.com/sale  to see all the different options and to place an order, and email questions to nctees@gmail.com . New items will be added as time goes by.
Students in Mrs. Wood's Science class at Hoover Middle School engaged in a creative project during Spring Break. They searched for and documented signs of spring to spell out the words “SPRING BREAK.” Students then had to decide how they would present their observations for all to see and enjoy. You can find examples of their work here .
This beautiful sidewalk chalk artwork was created by Ella Roberts, a sixth-grade student at Hoover Middle School.
Kimberley Reidell-Maczka’s Global 10 honors students have created compelling public service announcements on human rights issues around the world since World War II. Two of these projects can be found at the following links:
May 1 is traditionally College Decision Day, the day high school seniors make a final decision on what their post-high school path will be. Some colleges have extended this date because of the pandemic, but many students will be sending in their deposits to hold their spot at the college or trade school they have chosen. The Kenmore East High School Counseling Department is updating a virtual “College Corridor” to help students celebrate these milestones.
During a Zoom meeting with his classmates, Max Catalano, a student in kindergarten teacher Joanne Caligiuri’s class at Lindbergh Elementary, was excited to show off a very impressive book he created at home. Max had used different online resources and researched topics of interest. The class had been learning about the different aspects of nonfiction books and Max is applying what he has learned in his books. He even included an index in the back.
Students of Hoover Elementary School third-grade teachers Melissa Feickert and Kim Reynolds shared some wonderful and creative work they completed for Earth Day. One photo shows Matthew Walters with a collage he completed, and the other collage is work by several students: Noah Morrow, Sophia Sturmer, Sierra Meister, Elaina Bauer, Amelia Horan, Braeden Clody, Colin Burger, Vivian Tyree.
Another student of Hoover Elementary School third-grade teachers Melissa Feickert and Kim Reynolds, Vivian Tyree, spread kindness and cheer throughout the community by creating more than 50 "Thinking of You" cards and sent them to Meals on Wheels. These cards were passed out with meal deliveries.
Franklin Elementary third-grade teacher Robyn Brydalski posted a fun and creative way for students to become familiarized with multiplication tables to her class YouTube account. Check it out here:
The Adult & Community Education Department is excited to partner with RoboThink to provide virtual STEM opportunities for younger students in the areas of coding and video game design. Learn more and find the link to sign up here .
Kindergarten students in Samantha Page’s class at Hoover Elementary School have been observing a ladybug habitat and live larvae via video through Class Dojo and Zoom. This has brought many smiles and excitement to the class.
Students in Mrs. Lambert’s class at Franklin Elementary School keep in touch during a virtual check-in circle.
Pictured here are students in Melissa Moore’s second-grade class at Lindbergh Elementary and their work.
Lucas, a student in Monique Schregel fourth-grade class at Hoover Elementary School, created his very own school work station out of Jenga blocks.
A creative construction paper sculpture created by Hazel Benson, a second-grade student in Mrs. Roberts class at Lindbergh Elementary. 
Franklin Elementary School third-grade teacher Karen Wozniak has been leaving surprise packages at students' doors, only to find that they had also left packages for her.
Beautiful sidewalk chalk artwork by Franklin Elementary School student Aubree Wankasky, a second-grade student in Mrs. Zebulske’s class.
Artwork by Allison Hashey, a second-grade student in Mrs. Roberts’ class at Lindbergh Elementary.