The SchoolGram is the newsletter of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda  Union Free School District. Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the SchoolGram will be published monthly and presented in e-newsletter format to make it more convenient for readers and easier to access on computers and mobile devices.  Find past editions on the web at The budget edition of the SchoolGram will still be delivered to households  by mail in late April or early May.

September 28, 2015
The 2015-16 school year is well underway and the staff and I are looking forward to working with all of our students to become the best that they can be! With passion, energy, and high expectations for everyone, a great year is ahead for us all!

Beginning this year, the staff and I are pleased to present the SchoolGram in e-newsletter format to make it more accessible and reader-friendly. There are so many wonderful stories being shared every day in the news media, on the website, and on social media. We plan to publish the SchoolGram more frequently than ever before to bring all those wonderful stories together and provide another way to connect our school district community with the information they are looking for.

With the start of the school year, a journey has begun, not just for students but for all members of the school district community. There is a bright future ahead for all children if expectations are high and everyone remains committed to the success of every student. We are all in this together!  Good luck to all students and families! Warm wishes for a wonderful learning-filled year!

Dawn F. Mirand, Superintendent of Schools
Warm greetings and welcome to our SchoolGram! One of the reasons I decided to run for the Board of Education was to improve and expand the methods of communication between the District and its stakeholders. In just a little over a year on the Board, we have appreciated some wonderful improvements in communication. The District website continues to be enhanced, ShoutPoint is being used to keep parents informed, we've joined the 21st century reaching out through social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), Superintendent Town Hall meetings are being held, and our internal newsletter, the Ken-Ton Voice, has been revitalized, to name of few.

As we move forward, the Board of Education hopes to continue this trend by instituting public hearings for special topics that face our community. Discussion has already begun regarding changing the composition of the Board and we recognize the impending consolidation of schools, as well as the possible closure of the Huntley plant, will be significant adjustments for us all. It will be critical to have cohesive methods of delivering information to the public, as well as a system for encouraging active participation from the community. We believe these proposed public forums will afford our stakeholders an opportunity for long-awaited two-way communication with your elected trustees. We look forward to your involvement and feedback as this process grows!

Dr. Jill O'Malley, Board of Education President
Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Franklin Middle School

The Ken-Ton School District will once again offer a flu shot clinic for students and family members. The clinic will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 7 at Franklin Middle School. FluMist will be offered. Click here for more information, including a list of accepted insurance and guidelines on who should not receive a flu shot or FluMist.
Big Picture Program Honors First Group of Graduates

In June, the innovative Big Picture Program honored its first group of graduating seniors since the new program was established in Ken-Ton. This multi-faceted research-based instructional model helps students who may have fallen off-track to earn their Regents Diploma. Click here to see photos from the June 12 ceremony.
Achievements of the Ken-Ton Class of 2015

Last year's graduates included 54 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma candidates, 18 Academy graduates, and more than 200 students who earned an Advanced Regents/Advanced Regents with Honors. Click here to read the story and click here to read about the successes of the high school IB programs .
New Assistant Superintendent for Finance Welcomed

In August, the Ken-Ton School District welcomed John Brucato as the District's new Assistant Superintendent for Finance. Brucato's past employment experiences include the Sweet Home Central School District, Yahoo, and his alma mater, Canisius College, where he earned his MBA. Click here to read the story.
During the summer, Board of Education Trustee Dr. Jill O'Malley was appointed Board President and Trustee Andrew Gianni was appointed Board Vice President. The Board also welcomed its newest member, Trustee Christopher Pashler. Click here for the story about the new Board Officers and click here for the story about Trustee Pashler.
Ken-Ton Among "Best Communities for Music Education"

Ken-Ton has once again received a Best Communities for Music Education distinction from the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation for its outstanding K-12 music programs. Ken-Ton was one of only 344 districts out of approximately 14,000 nationwide to earn this distinction. Click here to read the story.
Town Hall Meeting Draws 80+ Parents, Stakeholders

On September 15, approximately 80 parents and community members joined Superintendent Dawn F. Mirand for a town hall meeting. A brief update including information on transportation issues and the consolidation was followed by more than an hour of questions and comments from the audience. Click here to view the presentation.
During the summer, administrative changes for the 2015-16 school year were announced. In addition to welcoming John Brucato as the new Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Tim Ames was appointed Director of Facilities, David King was appointed Director of Technology, and Christine Koch was appointed Principal of Edison Elementary School. There were also changes to Assistant Principal assignments including the welcoming of Patrick Moses to Ken-Ton as an Assistant Principal at Kenmore West. Click here to read the story.
Before summer recess, students in Hoover Middle School's Advanced Technology Club performed phenomenally at the 2015 ECC Tech Wars. Guided by Technology Teacher Kevin Moyer, several won first, second or third place even though they were competing against high school students with many more years of experience. Pictured here are Sydney Sikorski, left, and Maya Maccagnano, who placed third in the Robotic Skyrise competition.
A lost time capsule that was supposed to have been opened in 2009 was finally discovered over the summer. Hamilton Elementary School maintenance worker Joe Mooney, who has taken up treasure hunting in his spare time, used his own personal metal detector to make one final attempt to find the time capsule as Hamilton enters its final year. He found it five feet away from where it was supposed to have been buried near the flagpole.
Roosevelt Hosts Colonial Showcase, Science Fair
Students at Roosevelt Elementary had two opportunities to put their learning to the test. The Science Club, an after-school group organized and run by parents, held the school's first-ever science fair, and the fourth-grade class presented the 10th annual Colonial Trade Museum.  Click here to read the story.
'Alice in Wonderland' Sculptor to Visit Kenmore West
The artist behind a much-anticipated monumental bronze sculpture of the Mad Hatter's tea party in Houston will visit Ken-West and Buffalo Lab at The Foundry on Sept. 30 and Oct 1 to speak about new and traditional sculpting techniques and technology.  Click here to read the story .
Holmes Cook Manager Praised by Meals on Wheels
The District was thanked by Meals on Wheels for allowing it to operate out of the Holmes Elementary kitchen while its facilities were improved and upgraded during the summer. Nora Ferdinand, Holmes cook manager, was praised for her support during the transition.   Click here to read the story .
Book Promotes Child Literacy Development at Home
Susan Busch, retired reading teacher from Hoover Elementary, recently celebrated the release of her book, "Empowering Families: Practical Ways to Involve Parents in Boosting Literacy, Gr. PreK-5." The book was dedicated to retired Hoover principal Fran Paskowitz.  Click here to read the story .
Holmes Staff Take Pies in the Face for Cancer Research
Students at Holmes Elementary School raised more than $300 for the American Cancer Society. Students competed for the chance to watch their favorite teacher, staff member or administrator take a pie in the face during the school's field day celebration in June.  Click here to read the story .
Bills Mafia Co-Founder Visits Kenmore Middle School 
Before the end of the 2014-15 school year, Del Reid, co-founder of the Bills Mafia movement and founder of the unique philanthropic enterprise 26 Shirts, was the keynote speaker at Kenmore Middle School's 17th annual Career Day with 32 employers represented.  Click here to read the story .
Elementary schools will host Family Math Nights beginning Sept. 30 to assist parents in developing a greater understanding of mathematics instruction. Also, a new elementary math instruction site has been launched at with many different resources including grade-specific homework assistance.  Click here to read the story.
Ken-Ton focuses on new approaches to elementary school math and literacy instruction:

Praxair donates more than $1,000 to Holmes Elementary programs through art auction:

More information on he discovery of the Hamilton Elementary time capsule:
Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District