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 .

COVID-19 Closure Update:
June 1, 2020
Budget Vote & Board of Education Election
As ordered by Gov. Cuomo, the Ken-Ton School District Budget Vote and Board of Education Election will take place via absentee ballot (no in-person voting). Voters will vote on three propositions:

  • Proposition 1: The proposed 2020-21 Budget, which represents a historically low budget-to-budget increase of 1.08% and remains below the NYS Property Tax Cap.
  • Proposition 2: The annual bus purchase, which is funded mostly by New York State and is intended to ensure safe/reliable transportation for thousands of public and non-public students by replenishing the district’s aging school bus fleet incrementally each year.
  • Proposition 3: The creation of a reserve fund for capital improvements. (This proposition only authorizes the creation of the reserve, similar to how an individual might open a bank account; it does not authorize any new capital expenses or projects.)

Voters will also vote for two seats on the Board of Education.

Completed ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on June 9 in order to be counted, so voters are encouraged to mail their ballot no later than June 2 to provide enough time to arrive through the U.S. mail. There will be an opportunity to drop off unmailed ballots before 5 p.m. on June 9.

More information on the budget, propositions, and voting can be found at , and more information on the Board of Education candidates can be found at .
Item Pick-Up/Drop-Off Information
Very important information from your child's school is posted on our Item Pick-Up/Drop-Off Information Page . These letters contain each school's procedures for picking up personal items left at school (including medications), dropping off musical instruments/books, and cleaning out lockers. (Fourth-grade, seventh-grade and 12th-grade students, and any student who is not continuing on an instrument, is required to return their instrument if provided one through the district.)

Please note that borrowed technology devices such as iPads and Chromebooks will NOT be dropped off the day you come to your child's school. Devices will be dropped off on June 15-16. Device drop-off information can be found below.

Families will be staggered based on last name or grade level, and each school has very specific procedures to make this process as smooth and efficient as possible while also ensuring the health and safety of all of our students, families, and staff. Please note the specific date and time you should arrive.

Technology Device Return Information (Devices and HotSpots):

Borrowed devices such as iPads, Chromebooks, and HotSpots will be dropped off on June 15-16 at the breakfast/lunch delivery locations (same location you picked up your device). Date and time will depend on the student’s last name.

  • June 15 8-11 a.m. Alpha A-F
  • June 15 1-4 p.m. Alpha G-L
  • June 16 8-11 a.m. Alpha M-R
  • June 16 12-3 p.m. Alpha S-Z

Locations (same location you picked up your device):

  • Hoover Middle Door #25
  • Franklin Elementary Parking Lot
  • Holmes Elementary Door #1

If you anticipate your high school student will be attending summer school, please retain your device. We will collect devices from summer school students at the end of the summer school period. If your student is not recommended for summer school and you have retained your device, we will provide instructions for these devices to be returned. If you have lost the device, please notify our technology department at 871-2050. Lost or severely damaged devices may be subject to a replacement fee.
Other Updates & Information
Graduation Information:

Because the original commencement ceremonies scheduled to take place at Kleinhans will not be able to be held, school staff and student leadership teams have worked hard to refine plans for special celebrations to commemorate and honor the Class of 2020. The celebrations will both take place on the original days that graduations were scheduled: Saturday, June 27 for the Kenmore East High School Class of 2020, and Sunday, June 28 for the Kenmore West High School Class of 2020. The Big Picture Program graduation celebration will take place Tuesday, June 16.

Celebrations have been carefully planned by school staff and student leadership teams to incorporate all the components of a traditional commencement ceremony. For details about each school’s commencement celebration can be found here:

Yearbook Update:

For schools across the country, yearbook production has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools will communicate with families separately regarding yearbooks.

June 2 Board of Education Meeting & Budget Hearing:

The Board of Education's Regular Meeting and 2020-21 Budget Hearing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday, June 2 will take place through videoconferencing, and the public will be able to watch a livestream of the meeting via YouTube. Access to the livestream will be available shortly before the meeting at . You will also find instructions on how to participate in the public hearing/public comment portion of the meeting. As with all Board meetings, all documents and the agenda will be available on the Board Docs page, and a video recording will be posted in the days following the meeting as well as a transcript. The Board Docs page can be found here:
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Student, Staff & Family Updates
Digital District-Wide Art Gallery & Kenmore East Exhibition

Every year, elementary, middle, and high school art shows provide our schools and art teachers with the opportunity to showcase the extraordinary work of our talented student artists. With the buildings closed due to the pandemic, the Art Department has found a new way to showcase student artwork digitally so that everyone can enjoy and appreciate their amazing work from home using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Digital art galleries have been expertly produced by scanning individual pieces and then compiling them into digital exhibitions using an innovative tool called Kunstmatrix. This tool provides the ability to create stunning 3D virtual showcases of artwork, replicating the experience of a physical art gallery in a digital 3D environment.

Denise Carr, who is both an art teacher at Kenmore East High School and district art coordinator, has unveiled a Ken-Ton School District art gallery and Kenmore East High School exhibition using Kunstmatrix. By simply clicking the link, guests can browse among all of the amazing works and view each individual piece up close with all the accompanying details. “It is obviously a pared-down version of what would have happened in each school this spring, but we are so pleased to celebrate our student artists,” Carr said.

The Ken-Ton School District art gallery, with artwork by students from schools across the district, can be found here:

The Kenmore East exhibition can be found here:
Ken-Ton Earns 'Best Community for Music Education' Distinction

For the 10th year in a row, the Ken-Ton School District has been designated as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation in recognition of its outstanding K-12 music programs and commitment to music education. Ken-Ton was once again among the tiny fraction of the nation’s approximately 15,000 school districts to earn this prestigious distinction because of the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students, Board of Education members, and community leaders to make music education an integral part of the core curriculum.

With approximately 30 full-time music teachers in the Ken-Ton School District, music education begins in kindergarten, and vocal and instrumental education begins in Grade 4. Students can take part in band, orchestra, and chorus ensembles at the elementary, middle, and high school level. There are a wide variety of different band, jazz, orchestra, and vocal ensembles at Kenmore East High School and Kenmore West High School of varying sizes, compositions, and skill levels, as well as many music electives students can take advantage of including Advanced Placement (AP) Music and International Baccalaureate (IB) Music.

Many of the Ken-Ton School District’s talented music teachers are accomplished performers and are active in the Western New York music industry. Students and ensembles perform at a variety of venues all across Western New York throughout the year. Students routinely perform exceptionally in regional and state competitions and earn a place in a variety of highly selective local, regional, national, and even international ensembles.
KW Baseball Honors 4 Graduating Seniors, Special Honoree

Kenmore West High School baseball coach John Haynes recently honored his four graduating seniors, Matthew Chimera, Zach Boyes, Will Hudson, and Jake Jones, at special awards presentations in front of their homes. The team also recognized cancer survivor Suzanne Hannon, the mother of Kenmore West alumnus and Ken-Ton PE teacher Dan Hannon. One year ago, the team won both the 2019 Section VI Class A-1 Championship and overall Class A Championship, and players have demonstrated extraordinary resilience as the spring season was impacted by the pandemic. Video from the awards presentations can be found on YouTube at the following link:
Kenmore East Student to Share Gene Sequencing Results

Each year, Kenmore East High School science teacher Bob O’Connor leads some of his students in completing the sequencing of a genome, and then compiling their work into a comprehensive informational poster which they then present at UB's Center for the Arts. The students are assigned a gene of interest and they attempt to confirm that the gene has been properly called up by a supercomputer. The poster describes the tests that were run to either confirm or refute what the gene has been proposed as. Completing the project this year was senior and International Baccalaureate (IB) Program student Joanna Fiorella. She worked very hard to complete the poster, and will record her presentation so it can be shared virtually with guest speakers at a virtual capstone event. You can see her work here:
Katrina West’s second-grade students at Edison Elementary School enjoyed using the SeeSaw platform to write poetry.
Lindbergh Elementary School published its final weekly message to the school community. You can find it here:
Miss Barrett's fourth-grade class at Hoover Elementary has been taking virtual field trips during their Zoom meetings. They have enjoyed excursions to different locations including the beach and rides at Disney World, all while practicing reading and math.
Pictured here is Isla Baker from Julie Lefler's kindergarten class. She jumped right into the science investigation that Mrs. Lefler shared with her class about how to prove that leaves make oxygen.
Pictured here is Jacob Brooks enjoying a field trip with “Flat Mrs. Murdola” (inspired by the book “Flat Stanley”).
Students or Mrs. Marzec at Lindbergh Elementary School have fun with the “Flat Teacher” version of Mrs. Marzec, inspired by the book “Flat Stanley.” Pictured here is Finn playing Monopoly with Flat Mrs. Marzec, Gia Galioto showing Flat Mrs. Marzec her caterpillars, and Rebecca Hniang writing about her adventures with Flat Mrs. Marzec.