The SchoolGram is the 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 The special Budget Edition of the SchoolGram will be mailed to households in the spring.

May 9, 2017
All Elementary Schools Will Dismiss 15 Minutes Earlier Beginning in September 2017
Modifications to the school start and end times will take effect in September with all elementary schools dismissing 15 minutes earlier than they do now. The elementary school start time will remain unchanged.  Beginning in September, the elementary school instructional day will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m.  B us times will be provided by the Transportation Department in August, and parents will receive school-specific information such as drop-off and pick-up times/procedures prior to the start of the school year. Please note that the deadline for alternate transportation requests is June 1. You can find the alternate transportation request form on the Transportation Department website at
Stephen Bovino Appointed Superintendent
At a special meeting of the Ken-Ton School District Board of Education on April 19, the Board unanimously appointed Stephen Bovino to the position of Superintendent of Schools. Bovino, who retired in September as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, had served as interim superintendent since January. Input from stakeholders guided the Board in selecting Bovino for the permanent position.   Click here for more information.
District Welcomes New Administrators
The Ken-Ton School District was pleased to welcome three new members of the administrative team in April and May. In early April, the district welcomed Christopher Swiatek, the district's new Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, and Teresa Gerchman, Director of Secondary Education. In early May, the district welcomed James Nestico, Supervisor of Transportation.   Click here to read the story.
Nearly 100 Students Inducted Into NHS
A total of 38 outstanding students from Kenmore East and 57 outstanding students from Kenmore West were recently inducted into the National Honor Society. To qualify, students had to maintain a grade point average of 90 percent or higher through their junior year and articulate their service to the school and community, an excellent record of behavior in and out of school, and leadership.   Click here to read the story.
Board Member Takes Part in NYSED Focus Group
Board member Dr. Thomas Reigstad was invited to participate in a recent focus group for the State Education Department Principal Preparation Project. It is intended to enhance state support for the development of school leaders. The focus group included superintendents, principals, school board members, and deans of education, and discussed issues such as certification standards and assessments and coaching/mentoring support for principals.
Ken-Ton Again Receives Music Education Distinction
For the seventh year in a row, the Ken-Ton School District received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation in recognition of its outstanding K-12 music education programs and commitment to music education.  Only 527 districts, representing only 4 percent of districts nationwide, earned this distinction.  Click here to read the story.
State Ed Accepts Public Comments on New Standards
The New York State Education Department has announced that members of the public have until June 2 to comment on a revised set of state math and English language arts standards proposed to replace the Common Core standards adopted six years ago for New York State students. Complete information including the revised standards and online feedback links can be found at
Continuing Education Introduces New ESL Classes
The Continuing Education Department has begun offering free English language classes to adults. The students come from all around the world including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Jordan, Myanmar, South Sudan, Kosovo, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic, and many have children in the Ken-Ton School District. The classes not only teach English but also the history and laws of the United States while fostering national and civic pride.   Click here to read the story.
School Bus Driver Recruitment Underway
School bus drivers, a vital part of the educational system, are in high demand in the Ken-Ton School District. These positions offer family-friendly hours and great hourly wages as well as benefits including New York State retirement. Permanent positions are available, and training and licensing guidance is provided by the district free of cost. Call the Transportation Department at 874-8611.   Click here for more information.
Board of Education Recognizes Big Picture Program
In April, Superintendent Stephen Bovino and the Board of Education recognized the entire Big Picture Program faculty and staff. This innovative program is specially designed to help students stay on track to graduate through project-based learning and internships. Last year, the Big Picture Program had a 100% graduation rate with the first group of students who began the program as 9th graders four years earlier. Also recognized were senior building custodian Michael Kollmar, bus driver William Dockstader, and student Richard Pates. The Board recognizes outstanding students and staff each month; all recognitions can be found here.
Family, friends and colleagues of the late Brian Dugan will celebrate his life and legacy with the annual Brian Dugan Memorial Scholarship Road Race on Friday, May 19. The race will take place at Lincoln Arena, located at 1200 Parker Blvd. in the Town of Tonawanda. It will consist of a 100-meter kids run at 5:45 p.m. and a 5K run/one-mile walk beginning at 6:30 p.m. Click here to read the story.
Kenmore East Raises $2,500 for Kids Escaping Drugs
Kenmore East High School raised an impressive $2,500 for Kids Escaping Drugs through this year's Join the Winners effort, which culminated in a mammoth school-wide celebration that brought together hundreds of students in Grades 8-12 for a fun-filled night of friendly class competitions and activities. Click here to read the story.

'Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)' May 10-11
Kenmore East will present "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11. The play is a hilarious take on Shakespeare's timeless writing. The audience is taken on a comedic rollercoaster as the play condenses and moves through all of Shakespeare's writings at breakneck speed. Click here to read the story.
Band Program to Host Ballroom-Style Dance on May 17
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, the Kenmore East Band Program will present "Swing Into Spring," a big band ballroom-style dance for adults. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the Kenmore East cafeteria. The theme of the evening will be spring moonlight and the event will feature performances by jazz and hip orchestral groups.
Hall of Distinction Induction Ceremony is May 12
Kenmore East and the Alumni Association will conduct its 7th Hall of Distinction Induction Ceremonies on Friday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. The Hall of Distinction has been established to honor those former students who exhibit the values, qualities, and characteristics held, fostered and encouraged by the school. Click here to read the story.

Food Truck Night/Basket Raffle to Take Place May 25
The Franklin Middle School PTA will host its third annual Food Truck Night & Basket Raffle in conjunction with an art show, jazz performance and orchestra/chorus concert from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. Proceeds support the PTA and its year-round efforts to support, enhance and augment the educational programs for students. Click here to read the story.

Kenmore West Student to Attend West Point
Colin Lynch, a senior at Kenmore West High School, will be attending West Point beginning in July. Colin, the alternate student representative on the Board of Education, an IB student, tenor saxophone player and member of the track and cross country teams, was recently notified by Congressman Higgins of his acceptance. Click here to read the story.

Kenmore East Student Wins 2nd in National Art Contest
Christina DeRosa, a sophomore at Kenmore East, was the national second-place winner in the age 12-15 division in the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest with her painting, "Without Music the World Would Be Flat." The annual contest is designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility. Click here to read the story.

Holmes Observes Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness
Holmes Elementary recently celebrated "Purple Day," an international day devoted to raising epilepsy awareness and support for those with epilepsy. Second-grade student Brianna Hayes received praise for her phenomenal job presenting to her class on what epilepsy is and how to be prepared if anyone were to have a seizure.   Click here to read the story .
Kenmore West Alumna Wins Top Honor at Cornell
Kenmore West alumna and Cornell University graduate Christina Drakeford has been distinguished as a Cornell University Merrill Presidential Scholar. This distinction is only awarded to the top 1% of graduates, who are chosen for their scholastic accomplishments, intellectual drive, leadership abilities and contributions to society. Click here to read the story.

FMS Students Earn Special Day of Fun Activities
Students at Franklin Middle School were recently treated to an afternoon of fun student-centered activities to reward them for demonstrating outstanding characteristics and attributes in and out of the classroom. Students earned this day by meeting the school's challenge to "REACH" new heights - the acronym for student expectations at the school.   Click here to read the story .
Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Hoover Middle Students
On April 7, students at Hoover Middle School were introduced to Holocaust survivor Sophia Veffer, who delivered a powerful message about the importance of being an "upstander" in life rather than a bystander. Veffer was born in Amsterdam in 1929 and was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust. Click here to read the story.
Kenmore West Students Analyze Data from LHC
Six students from Kenmore West were part of an international effort to analyze data from the world's largest particle accelerator. They joined more than 5,000 people from 40 different countries in compiling and understanding data from the 17-mile-long Large Hadron Collider, which is operated by CERN.  Click here to read the story.
Hoover Middle School Student Praised for Quick Response During Emergency
Jack Lyons, a sixth-grade student at Hoover Middle School, received praise for his quick response in an emergency situation. A few weeks ago, a member of the staff suffered a serious injury at the end of the school day. Jack saw what had happened and immediately ran to the school health office to get help. Because of his quick response, staff were able to tend to their colleague, and emergency responders were at the scene within minutes. The staff member was transported to Mercy Hospital and has since recovered. Jack's actions truly exemplified the school's motto, "ROARS": Respect, Ownership, Attitude, Responsibility, and Safety. Way to go, Jack!
The following articles can be found in the special budget edition of the SchoolGram, which was mailed to households in early May and can be found on the web at and at
Partnership between Holmes Elementary School and Praxair helps students thrive with mentoring program and multitude of activities
Teachers at Hoover Elementary School spearhead "flexible seating" in classrooms with many new seating options for students
Hoover Middle students take part in Japanese cultural activities as they read "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes"
Franklin Elementary School fosters strong parent and community partnerships to enhance student programming
To cap off economics unit, fifth-grade students play the part of small business owners at unique "Market Day" event
Edison Elementary fourth-grade teacher Lisa Carver's students portray historical figures for "Living Museum" event
Kenmore West High School multimedia arts program teaches 3D modeling and printing to elementary students
Computer Science and Computer Networking classes tour USitek and learn about cyber security, ethical hacking, industry certifications, college programs, and other topics.
Turnout was phenomenal at the Hoover Elementary School Family  Art Night where students made glow worms out of plastic water bottles and other recycled materials.
Students had a blast at the first-ever Franklin Middle School Mardi Gras Dance/fun night which included festive attire, a selfie booth, snacks, and a variety of games.
  • Friday, May 12: Superintendent Conference Day (no school attendance)
  • Tuesday, May 16: Budget Vote & Board of Education Election (7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Hoover Middle School)
  • Wednesday, May 17: Early Dismissal
  • Monday, May 29: Memorial Day Holiday
Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District