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 early May.

March 2, 2016
With spring right around the corner, I am proud to report some very exciting news for Ken-Ton! On Friday, February 26, 2016, the New York State Department of Education announced that Ken-Ton now meets the criteria of a "District in Good Standing." All of our schools were also designated as "Schools in Good Standing," including Holmes Elementary (previously designated as a Local Assistance Plan school) and Kenmore East and Kenmore West (previously designated as Focus Schools). This is tremendous news for our district, which had been in its fourth year as a Focus District and one of only three Focus Districts in Erie County, (in addition to Buffalo and Lackawanna). It is extremely rewarding to see the hard work and dedication of our teachers, staff, administrators, Board of Education members, and students paying off! For more information on this announcement, click here.

Other updates:

 I would like to share with our Ken-Ton community information regarding a process to develop new ELA and math standards. NYSED is initiating this process as a result of feedback generated through the statewide AimHighNY survey. In a recent presentation to the Board of Regents, NYSED outlined the process and timeline that would be followed for development/implementation of the new standards through the 2018-19 school year. The presentation can be found here.

 The Board of Education will convene for another budget work session on Tuesday, March 29 to continue work on the 2016-17 budget. All school districts in New York State are facing significant fiscal challenges this year and Ken-Ton has its own unique challenges as well with the Huntley plant closing. All stakeholders are encouraged to educate themselves on factors affecting next year's budget. Presentations, meeting details and additional information will continue to be made available at throughout the budget process.

Thank you for your support of our schools! It is an honor to serve such a wonderful community!

Dawn F. Mirand, Superintendent of Schools
Since our last SchoolGram, the Board of Education has been busy visiting schools and attending advocacy meetings in preparation for our budget season. It has been a wonderful experience getting the chance to see our schools alive with activity and being able to visit the children in the classrooms. We have had one-on-one conversations with faculty and staff, as well as thorough tours of the school buildings to assess the needs of each space. I would like to thank the Board members who have taken time out of their days to attend and I'd wish to express the Board's appreciation to the staff of each building, Superintendent Mirand, Assistant Superintendent for Finance John Brucato and Director of Buildings and Grounds Tim Ames for accommodating us. As we work on developing our budget, these experiences have allowed us to better understand the brick and mortar needs we must contemplate.

During our public budget sessions, we have also begun examining specific numbers related to what challenges lie ahead in the budget process. The closing of Huntley, the proposed continuation of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (over $41 million dollars lost in Ken-Ton), constraints of the tax cap, small increases in foundation aid (approximately $200,000 increase this year) and lack of mandate relief are all factors to be considered. Often times we are asked by our stakeholders what they can do to help. First, we of course invite you to attend our meetings (meeting schedule, agendas and supporting documents can be found on the Board of Education tab of the District website This will allow you to see firsthand where we stand and to ask questions you may have. Secondly, we encourage you to become more informed about the concerns we face as a district. To assist in this, Vice President Andrew Gianni has put together a wonderful website for all schools in WNY to use that clearly illustrates the trials the K-12 public education system faces (you can find that information at Finally, we hope you will reach out to our local elected officials to bring about change at the State level. Please consider writing to our Governor Cuomo, State Senator Marc Panepinto and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger to let them know how much you value our children and public education in Ken-Ton!

Dr. Jill O'Malley, Board of Education President
Principals are in the process of sending home letters providing information about school visitations and orientations. School visitation opportunities will be provided during the school day to all students who will be changing schools next year at the elementary and middle school level with transportation provided by the District. For the weeks these visitations will take place, visit (High school orientations will take place during the summer.) The following parent nights have also been scheduled:
  • Edison Elementary School: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 2016
  • Franklin Elementary School: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, 2016
  • Hoover Elementary School: 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, 2016
  • Lindbergh Elementary School: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • Franklin Middle School: Thursday, May 12 (5-6 p.m. for 4th Graders; 6:45-7:45 p.m. for 5th Graders)
  • Hoover Middle School: Tuesday, May 10 (5-6 p.m. for 4th Graders; 6:45-7:45 p.m. for 5th Graders)
New start and end times have been approved by the Board of Education and more information can be found at Please note that this is only the first step in the scheduling and transportation process. The start and end times provide the parameters for schools to begin developing their schedules and for the Transportation Department to begin coordinating with schools and planning bus routes. Schools are farther along in the scheduling process than in a traditional year and will share information with families as soon as it becomes available. 
Post-Season, Section VI & NFL Updates
  • Kenmore/Grand Island Girls Hockey won its fifth straight Section VI Championship and went on to the Frozen Four, finishing second in New York State
  • Kenmore East Boys Hockey won the Section VI Small Schools Final against Williamsville East at the First Niagara Center on Feb. 29 and will compete in the NYS quarterfinals on March 5
  • Kenmore East Girls Basketball made it all the way to the Class A-2 Championship against Lake Shore
  • Kenmore West Girls Basketball won its second straight NFL title
  • Kenmore West Wrestling: Anthony Argentieri (Section VI 120-pound champion) and Charlie Milks (Section VI 160-pound runner-up) earned a place in the state finals Fen. 26-27
  • Rifle: Kenmore East's Morgan DiMaria (Section VI Air Rifle champion) earned a place in the state finals Feb. 26-27
  • Kenmore West Boys Indoor Track: Cody Lambert finished second in the Long Jump at the Section VI championships, earning a place in the state finals
For more updates, click here
New 2016-17 Immunization Requirements Posted

Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, all students entering 7th and 12th grade will be required by the New York State Department of Health to have the meningococcal vaccine. Information from the Department of Health about the vaccine can be found here, and parents will be receiving this information from the school nurses.
Innovative High School Programs On Display

On February 12, State Sen. Marc Panepinto visited his alma mater, Kenmore East High School, to learn about the innovative and rigorous programs offered at Ken-Ton's two high schools such as the Career Academies, Art Pathways, and prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Click here to read the story.
'Support Our Schools' Rally Scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, March 11
State Sen. Marc Panepinto will host a "Support Our Students" rally beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 11 at Kenmore West High School, located at 33 Highland Parkway, Tonawanda, inside the auditorium. The purpose of the rally is to advocate for more funding for New York State schools to provide the best possible education for students.
Hoover Middle Geography Winners
Hoover Middle School Principal Carmelina Persico poses with Zach Terry, winner of the school's Geography Bee, right, and runner-up Alex Ferraro. Click here for the story.
Kenmore Middle Geography Winners
Kenmore Middle School Principal Elaine Thomas poses with Louis Taravella, winner of the school's Geography Bee, right, and runner-up Dominic Stanz. Click here for the story.
Lindbergh Elementary School Kicks Off 'Read to Ride' Program
With a fun puppet and magic show assembly, Lindbergh Elementary School recently kicked off its Read to Ride program, which encourages students to read for fun. Every student who completed seven hours of recreational reading from Jan. 11 to Jan. 29 earned a free admission ticket valid at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort for the months of July and August. Other fun activities planned included making a bookmark, wearing a readable hat or piece of clothing to school, hosting a book swap, and wearing their pajamas to school to "cuddle" up with a good book.  
March 3-5: Edison Elementary Production of 'Annie Jr.'
Edison Elementary will take to the stage with "Annie Jr.," an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical with hits such as "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard Knock Life." The show will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, March 3-4, and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Click here to read the story.
March 3-5: Kenmore West Production of 'Evita'
Kenmore West will present the musical "Evita" Thursday, March 3 through Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. The story of Argentina's controversial First Lady is told through a compelling score that fuses haunting chorales with exuberant Latin, pop and jazz influences.  Click here to read the story.
March 10-12: Kenmore East Production of 'Cinderella'
The Kenmore East High School production of Rogers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella," the  beloved and timeless musical based on the classic fairy tale, will take place Thursday, March 10 through Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.  Click here to view the poster.
Ken-West Basketball Players Serve as Role Models
Kenmore West High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team has enjoyed a stellar year, but one of the highlights of the season is always the team's annual trip to Hoover Elementary School where they serve as role models for the younger students. Click here to read the story.
Donations Welcome for March 12 Ken-East Indoor Garage Sale
The Kenmore East Senior Celebration Committee is currently collecting donations for the fourth annual Indoor Garage Sale to raise money for the school's successful post-prom party. Donations of gently used, good-quality items are needed such as books, games, clothes, toys, collectibles, housewares, and furniture. Items will be accepted until March 5. The Indoor Garage Sale, which also includes a bake sale, will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 12 in the school cafeteria. Admission is $1 for adults and young adults, and children age 12 and under are free. For questions about the event or to arrange the drop-off of donations, email or call 874-8402 ext. 22324.

Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District