December 2018 | Superintendent News
" Love is kindness and family and friends. "
~ Ryan, 1st Grade
Dear Kenston Families,

The holiday season is a time for making memories and building on tradition. As you and your families enjoy the winter break take the opportunity to create a reminder of everything that you love and appreciate about this season. Here are several ideas to establish a new ritual with your loved ones. Best of all, children will not even realize that they are learning while on vacation.

  • Read a story together
  • Volunteer as a Family
  • Play in the Snow
  • Play a Board Game
  • Take a Nature Walk

Our schools will be closed for Winter Break from December 24 th with teachers returning January 4 th and students on January 7 th . I hope that each of you enjoy the holiday season and the opportunities that this time of year provides for us to join together with family and friends.

On behalf of the Board of Education and the Administration, we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Nancy R. Santilli
KHS Holiday Concert
2018 Football Season Highlight Reel
Proud of our students, staff and administration!

The Ohio State Board of Education has granted Kenston its Overall A Award . As an Overall A Award winner, Kenston’s state report card shows that we are demonstrating high academic performance and building bright futures for students of every background and ability level.

We are proud to be recognized with 28 other districts across the state. View the complete list.
Peaceful Environment at Kenston (PEAK)
In alignment with our commitment to an inclusive and positive district culture, the high school has created a series of experiences designed to support the 8th grade student as they transition to a high school setting. This local program, named Kenston Connect , is styled after a national program that exists in public high schools throughout the nation. The national organization is titled The Boomerang Project to illustrate it’s foundational philosophy, to give back more than you get. Two components of this project are middle school and high school transition programs with the single purpose of making schools great, safe and connected places for students to learn. Our 9th grade Kenston Connect was modeled after their Link program. Based on the feedback from students and faculty, and with the assistance of KHS, KMS is now pursuing Web , the middle school program for the 5-6th grade transition. Mentoring, leadership, communication skills are some of the strategic and intentional actions to support 6th graders in their new environment at Kenston and their middle school experience.

Also in alignment with our PEAK initiative, the four building principals and Board Office administrators attended a Cultural Sensitivity Training held at the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio . This full-day session was facilitated by leaders of Akron Public Schools and focused on understanding students for improved academic performance and well-being. Suggestions were provided on creating a welcoming school culture and climate, and how to understand students beyond academic measures; both fundamental components of our focused work on student engagement through the Schlechty Center.
Health and Wellness/Play Blue
Our staff will kick off the new year with “Step Up to a New Year”; the first ever, district-wide step challenge. The District Play Blue Committee initiated this voluntary, two-week challenge to inspire the Kenston staff to reach personal health goals, model our commitment to healthy lifestyles to our students, and build camaraderie within each building. The building with the highest average of steps will be recognized as the winner. Individual devices will calculate steps using the Countit App so results can quickly and easily be generated. Representatives from each building’s Health and Wellness/Play Blue building committee will oversee the district competition.
A working group of the Health and Wellness District Committee has continued to meet and collaborate with Project Aware . The expertise we are receiving is a combined effort of Miami University, Ohio Department of Education and the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio. Our collective goal is to ensure building teams have a framework for identifying, supporting and referring students with mental health challenges. We will continue this work in progress for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, through this collaboration, mental health professionals will be available to Kenston and offer Mental Health First Aid training to faculty during our February Professional Development Day.
The elementary English Language Arts programs use the work and reading units developed by well-known literacy expert, Lucy Calkins from Columbia University. She is one of the featured presenters at the National Reading Recovery K-6 Conference in Columbus in February. A small team of elementary teachers from TES/KIS will be attending to learn more about the implementation of some of the current reading materials we use.

For students pursuing vocational college and career pathways, Kenston will be joining area schools in the Career Opportunity Academy (CEVEC) offered through a consortium located in the Mayfield School District. CEVEC, with community workforce partners, will offer expanded opportunities for Kenston students who are eligible and can benefit from certified job trainers, career assessments and transition work experiences provided. A board resolution to join the CEVEC consortium will be included in the next Board agenda.
Not everyone shares in the celebration and joy associated with the holidays. For many people, the holidays are a time of happiness, good cheer, getting together with loved ones, and hope for the new year. For others, the holidays are a time of stress, sadness and unhappiness. There are many reasons why people feel down at holiday time. These include remembrances of past holidays, lost loved ones, financial hardship, and loneliness. Some of the symptoms of the holiday blues include headaches, decreased interest in activities that normally bring pleasure, a change in sleeping habits, feeling agitated or anxious, and changes in appetite. Here are some ways to help beat those holiday blues: Help someone else, create your own traditions, reflect on the positives in your life, try to surround yourself with supportive people, and maintain healthy habits such as staying physically active and getting plenty of rest.

If you are feeling overwhelmed during the holidays and need help for mental health and/or substance abuse issues, call COPELINE at 440-285-5665. The COPELINE is a 24-hour hotline available to Geauga County residents funded by the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services. You can also contact Ravenwood Health at 285-3568 or Catholic Charities at 285-3537.

We are grateful for the partnership that we have with the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services and these suggestions for supporting friends and family during the holiday season.
Organizational Meeting - Monday, January 7 - TES - 6:30pm
Regular Meeting - Monday, January 7 - TES - 7pm

Kenston Local Schools | l
17419 Snyder Rd, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 l 440-543-9677