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.

April 22, 2016
The signs of spring are upon us! Spring means voters will soon be going to the polls to cast their vote on next year's school district budget. I encourage all residents to learn about the budget and vote! You may learn more about the budget at . Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 17 at Hoover Middle School.

There have been many twists and turns over the past few months as the New York State budget was finalized. There indeed was much at stake for school districts. In the end, Ken-Ton saw a very minimal increase in Foundation Aid - the primary source of our state aid - of only 0.62%. This amount is not nearly enough to keep pace with escalating expenses such as health insurance, retirement costs and contractual salary increases. The District is also facing a loss of a little over $3 million in revenue from the closing of the Huntley plant.

Thanks to the efforts of Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, as well as a partnership between our District, Town of Tonawanda, and Erie County, and the efforts of the Kenmore Teachers Association, WNY Labor Federation and Clean Air Coalition, Ken-Ton will be able to apply for special funding set aside for communities facing a loss in tax revenue due to the closure of a fossil fuel plant. I was excited to join Assemblyman Schimminger and our partners in announcing this opportunity, which can help our District transition from the significant tax revenue once received from the Huntley plant. This temporary funding will prevent further cuts to programming while lessening the burden for our taxpayers.

Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air that is ahead as we enter the final months of the 2015-16 school year!

Dawn F. Mirand, Superintendent of Schools
Happy spring! For those of you regularly attending budget meetings, you have been aware of the over $3 million gap we had to close for the 2016-17 budget. While we were very excited that the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) has been restored, we were disappointed with only a 0.62% increase in Foundation Aid. The proposed 3.98% levy increase is under the tax cap and allows us to maintain academic programs including the core subject areas in addition to our excellent art, music, physical education, extracurricular and athletic programs. The cost will be $82 for a $100,000 home which is less than the Property Tax Freeze Credit for staying under the tax cap.

On April 7, we were able to celebrate the creation of a $30 million fund to help support communities that stand to lose significant revenue because of the closing of power plants such as Huntley. Advocating for this legislation began a few years ago with the Clean Air Coalition, WNY Area Labor Federation and our very own Kenmore Teachers Association. Thanks to their persistent efforts to educate our residents through the Just Transition meetings, our local leaders joined the cause to secure this fund. I would like to recognize the collaboration between the aforementioned groups, our Superintendent Dawn Mirand, Town Supervisor Joe Emminger, County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger who was instrumental in creating legislation for this fund. Although the process for applying for these funds won't be laid out until the summer, we hope to use some of that revenue to reduce the tax levy for our residents if funding is secured in the fall.

We hope you will join us at Hoover Middle School on May 17th to cast your vote on our budget and the associated propositions which can be found here: Hope to see you there!

Dr. Jill O'Malley, Board of Education President
The special Budget Edition of the SchoolGram will be mailed to households in early May prior to the May 17 Budget Vote and Board of Education election in accordance with budget guidance to school districts from the New York State Education Department. A PDF of the newsletter is available for viewing at and at The public budget hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10 at Kenmore West High School (in the East Cafeteria).
Closing Celebrations: Plans are in place for closing celebrations at Roosevelt Elementary School, Hamilton Elementary School and Kenmore Middle School. Major events are as follows:
  • Wednesday, May 11: Hamilton Elementary School art show, concert, ice cream social, alumni celebration and more (6:30-8 p.m.)
  • Friday, May 20: Kenmore Middle School Closing Celebration (evening)
  • Saturday, May 21: Roosevelt Elementary School Closing Celebration (1-4 p.m.)
  • Saturday, May 21: Kenmore Middle School Closing Celebration Gala at Banchetti's by Rizzo (7:30-11 p.m., age 21 and over, deadline for tickets: May 10)
  • Friday, June 17: Hamilton Elementary School end-of-year celebration (5-9 p.m.)

Transportation: To ensure the smoothest possible start of the year for transportation, bus routes are being finalized so they can be test-driven by drivers. Bus information will be shared with parents at the earliest possible date during the summer. The target for the Transportation Department to begin mailing this information is August 15.

Schedules: Scheduling at all levels is ahead of where it would be in a normal year. A committee of teachers, parents, principals and teacher aides will be exploring potential enhancements to the elementary school schedule. Click here for more information. Teacher input is currently being gathered on the middle school scheduling framework. Planning for high school staffing and sections is complete so that principals can begin running individual student schedules, a process that typically extends into the summer. Information will be shared by principals as it becomes finalized.

Pre-Kindergarten: Click here for an update on the YMCA Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program. Holmes Elementary and Franklin Elementary will continue to house Pre-K classrooms. Classrooms currently located at Roosevelt and Hamilton Elementary in addition to the classroom housed at Edison Elementary will move to the Kenmore Middle School building. Staff and the YMCA are working hard and are extremely excited to create a perfect learning environment for Pre-K students at KMS!

Open Houses: Don't forget to visit the 2016-17 School Locator to confirm your assigned school of residence and be sure to take advantage of the following open house and parent night events for schools with incoming students:
  • Edison Elementary School: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5
  • Franklin Elementary School: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12
  • Hoover Elementary School: 7 p.m. Monday, May 23
  • Lindbergh Elementary School: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18
  • 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)
Be sure to visit for the most up-to-date information!
Important Megan's Law Notification Information

In accordance with the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as Megan's Law, law enforcement agencies periodically provide notifications to school districts regarding registered sex offenders who may be residing or intend to reside within the school district. The Ken-Ton School District will begin disseminating these notices electronically so that staff and parents have fast and easy access to Megan's Law notifications via text, email and the District website. Parents can expect to be alerted via ShoutPoint (Parent Portal) of new Megan's Law notifications. In addition, a link will be posted on the District's homepage at with the date of the most recent Megan's Law notification. You can also find this information at
Five From Ken-Ton Win WNYESC Awards

Congratulations to Board of Education President Jill O'Malley, Food Service Director Kim Roll, teacher aide Dianne Shadden, elementary teacher/math coach Kari Fiutak, and third-grade teacher Kathleen Santa Maria who will be honored on April 27 as recipients of the Western New York Education Service Council Awards for Excellence!
Road to Kenmore East Hockey's NYS Championship

For the second time since 2012, the Kenmore East Boys Varsity Hockey Team has won the New York State Championship. A compilation of consecutive news articles from late February and March as the Bulldogs dominated the post-season leading up to their historic win has been posted.  Click here for the timeline.
National Honor Society Inductees Honored

Kenmore East and Kenmore West honored a total of 73 11th-grade students who were inducted into the National Honor Society for their academic achievements and contributions to the school. To qualify, students had to demonstrate the four NHS pillars: scholarship, character, leadership and service.  Click here to read the story.
Congratulations Ken-East/Ken-West Scholar Athletes!

A total of 13 winter varsity teams at Kenmore East and Kenmore West were distinguished with Scholar Athlete Awards from the New York State Public High School Athletics Association (NYSPHSAA) for maintaining a team-wide grade point average of at least 90 percent.  Click here to read the story.
School Innovation Leader Bill Daggett to Visit Ken-Ton

Dr. Bill Daggett, a national leader in school innovation and an avid supporter for public education, will speak at Kenmore West High School of Thursday, April 28 beginning at 7 p.m. Dr. Daggett will address today's challenges in education, emerging trends, and future-focused schools.  Click here to read the story.
Partners Gather to Celebrate Potential Huntley Funding

Superintendent Dawn Mirand and NYS Assemblyman Robin Schimminger were joined by Town Supervisor Joe Emminger, Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte and other partners to celebrate the creation of a fund to help communities like Ken-Ton facing revenue shortfalls from power plant closures.  Click here to read the story.
Edison Elementary Literacy Night
Edison Elementary students enjoyed many different fun literacy- and reading-themed activities at the school's recent Literacy Night. Click here for photos.
2016 SleepOut Update
Thanks to those who supported the Jerry Starr Ken-Ton Schools' SleepOut, Educators Totally Committed donated $6,701 to local organizations. Click here for the report.
Kenmore West High School to Present True Holocaust Story "Letters to Sala" 
At 7:30 p.m. from Thursday, May 5 to Saturday, May 7, Kenmore West High School will present the true Holocaust story "Letters to Sala" adapted from the book by Arlene Hutton. Tickets are $7 and discounted group rates are available. Click here to visit the production's Facebook page for up-to-date information. "Letters to Sala," named for the author of the letters, Sala Garncarz Kirschner, is more than just the true account of a young girl's survival in wartime Germany. It is also the story of the letters themselves, and a family's struggle to come to terms with the painful history they reveal.
Kenmore West Students Learn Hands-Only CPR
Thanks to the Emily Rose Foundation, hundreds of Kenmore West High School students have learned life-saving hands-only CPR that significantly increases the chances of survival for those who have suffered life-threatening cardiac arrest. Click here to read the story.
'Purple Pinkie Project' Raises Money for Polio Vaccines
Thanks to the efforts of elementary and high school students across multiple schools, an estimated 10,000 children in the world will be vaccinated against polio through the "Purple Pinkie Project" which supports the worldwide effort to eradicate the disease. Click here to read the story.
Chess Movement Founder Visits Kenmore East
Eugene Brown, founder of the Big Chair Chess Club who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2013 film "Life of a King," paid a very special visit to Kenmore East High School to help kick off the school's annual "Join the Winners" effort to support Kids Escaping Drugs.  Click here to read the story.
Student-Led 'Lend a Paw' Initiative Supports SPCA
Fifth-grade students at Lindbergh Elementary School recently donated nearly $400 to the SPCA through the student-run "Lend a Paw" initiative. They also donated many items and supplies used for the animals in the SPCA's care.  Click here to read the story.
Pre-Participation Sports Physicals: May 10-11 and May 12-13

For the 2016-17 school year, pre-participation sports physicals for fall, winter and spring sports will be offered by UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center during school hours in physical education class for two consecutive days in May: Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11 at Kenmore West, and Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13 at Kenmore East. These sessions will be similar to those that were held in August in previous years, with screen stations and exam rooms in the gym.
Any student that plans to play a sport in the upcoming year should attend this sports physical session if they are not planning to get their physical done by their private provider, which will continue to be accepted for sports participation. Students will need a completed and signed Health History form before they can have the physical done at school on those dates (forms are available on the District website at and in the school health offices). For more information, call your child's respective high school health office.

Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District