Volume 4, Issue 23 (March 15, 2024)

Video Link: https://youtu.be/stGWDXO17-w


At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, which you can view on Youtube, I discussed some of the challenges we’ve encountered with the ongoing Capital Project construction work taking place in the district. Like many school districts throughout the country, historic inflation has limited the amount of work that can be completed within the voter-approved Capital Project budget. We witnessed construction costs increase 28.3% in the span of just two years, which would be the equivalent of $21.2 million for the $75 million project. Just to put that into perspective, the two schools slated for the final phase of the project (Kenmore East and Lindbergh Elementary) were originally budgeted at a combined $15.1 million, so the cost increases from inflation would have been enough to eliminate all work at both buildings. Through the great work of our team, we will still be able to complete much of the scheduled work, though certain components had to be removed from the project.

We remain committed to addressing as many priorities as possible and have developed a proposal for a supplemental Capital Project to use Capital Reserve funds. With the use of these funds, we will be able to include work that cannot be completed in the current project due to inflation. This $8.5 million supplemental project will be funded entirely from our Capital Reserve Fund and will have zero impact on property taxes. It’s important to note that Capital Reserve funds may only be used for capital improvement purposes. This work will be eligible for NYS Building Aid and it is our goal to maximize aidability to ensure that as much funding returns to the district as possible. The project will include the following priorities:

  • A renovated single point of entry with a new vestibule and a restructured main office layout at Lindbergh Elementary. This will enhance security and provide an improved customer service experience.
  • A entire replacement of the roof at Kenmore East High School, which is a major health/safety priority
  • The installation of hundreds of cameras to ensure sufficient coverage in all buildings for enhanced safety/security
  • Continued upgrades to PA and door access systems
  • New directional LED lighting at the Kenmore East athletic fields. This will facilitate night games for expanded sports scheduling options. We will utilize state-of-the-art newly designed lighting which will greatly diminish whitewash and will be focused on the field to minimize the impact on neighbors.

We will seek voter approval for this referendum during the upcoming Budget Vote & Board of Education Election, which will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 21st at Hoover Middle School. More information regarding the vote will be available in the coming weeks. We will be providing all members of our community with opportunities to learn more about this proposed project by hosting two public forums. One will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 29th in the Kenmore West auditorium and the other will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30th in the Kenmore East auditorium. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend. Both forums will also be livestreamed on our website at www.ktufsd.org/BOElive. I encourage everyone in our community to learn about this project and plan to vote on May 21st. Remember, this will not have an impact on property taxes.


We are very excited to kick off Wellness Week, which will take place this Monday, March 18th through Friday, March 22nd. Organized each year by the Ken-Ton School District Wellness Committee, Wellness Week is a week-long observance that emphasizes the importance of health and wellness for students and staff.

Wellness Week reflects our commitment as a district to supporting our students, staff, and families in living happier, healthier lives. It is important for us to focus on wellness not just for ourselves but for those around us and those who depend on us. All across the district, an assortment of different activities and initiatives have been planned by school wellness teams to help students and staff on their own wellness journey. Please join me in taking advantage of all the different opportunities next week will bring. You can access more Wellness Week resources by clicking here.


This week, as we continue our celebration of Women's History Month, we focus on another Buffalo resident who dates back to the city's earliest days: Margaret St. John. Her story is closely related to Sarah Lovejoy, who we learned about last week. Mrs. St. John was a widow living in Buffalo with her two daughters when the city was burned by the British during the War of 1812. Like the vast majority of residents, Mrs. St. John evacuated with her daughters as the British advanced on December 30th, 1813. When they returned to the city, they found it almost completely destroyed with nearly all structures burnt to the ground. Mrs. St. John's home was the only one still left standing. This was in the middle of winter, making the situation perilous for residents. Mrs. St. John and her daughters spent the remainder of the winter providing shelter to her neighbors, who had nowhere else to go. They also made clothing for them, saving many lives. St. John's Place, a street in Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood, was named in Mrs. St. John's honor. You can read more about her family’s story on the Buffalo Street’s website.



Next week is National Poison Prevention Week, which seeks to raise awareness of poison prevention nationwide. This is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of poisons for people of all ages and promote community involvement in poisoning prevention. SafeKids.org provides the following guidance for families to protect children from poison:

  • Keep household products stored safely to prevent poisoning. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, so make sure household cleaning products and personal care products are away, out of children’s reach and sight.
  • Keep all household cleaning products in their original containers. Also, when buying products, look for child-resistant containers to help prevent poisoning to children.
  • Read and follow product labels. Check for ingredients that can be harmful to kids and make sure you use and store products according to the label. Kids can get into things quickly, so remember not to leave cleaning products or personal care products unattended while you are using them.
  • Remember products that might be harmful to kids. Check your home for products like cleaning supplies, liquid laundry packets, personal care products, plants, pesticides, alcohol, and medicine.
  • Save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home (1-800-222-1222). Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day. They can answer questions and help with poison emergencies.

You can learn more poison control tips at safekids.org.


Each week, we will highlight some of the exciting things taking place in the district. Be sure to follow the Ken-Ton School District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@ktufsd) for more school highlights!

Kenmore West ‘Girls Leadership Academy’ Mentors Hoover Elementary Students

Students at Hoover Elementary have new friends and mentors thanks to the Kenmore West High School Girls Leadership Academy (GLA). The GLA consists of 11 Kenmore West students who provide mentoring, support, and friendship to younger students in the Ken-Ton School District. Over an eight-week period, the young ladies spent time with second-grade students in Elizabeth Hake and Kayla Lewandowski’s classrooms at Hoover Elementary. The goal was to teach the younger students how to spread kindness and express gratitude through various activities. For example, they had a student stand up in front of the class and receive compliments from his/her classmates. GLA is overseen by Family & Consumer Sciences teacher Gina Muroff, school counselor Kimberly Sedita, and school social worker Michelle Taberski. They work with these young ladies on building leadership skills and pursuing community service projects thanks in part to their collaboration within the Ken-Ton School District and other local groups such as the Character Council of Western New York and Kenmore Tonawanda Rotary Club. Read more about this unique initiative on our website.

125 Students Earn a Place in Selective All-County Ensembles

We could not be prouder of the 125 students from Franklin Middle School, Hoover Middle School, Kenmore East High School and Kenmore West High School who earned a place in the Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA) All-County festivals! These students represent some of the most talented student musicians in Erie County. For the ECMEA festivals, participants join students from schools across the county and work under the tutelage of experienced music directors to master several challenging pieces for a public performance. See the full list here on our website.

Kenmore East & Kenmore West Students Take Part in 2nd Environmental Ambassador Summit

Students from Kenmore East and Kenmore West recently participated in the second annual Niagara River Greenway’s Environmental Ambassador Summit. The event, held at the Linde facility, brings students and organizations together to improve green space in the greater Tonawanda area. Each group of students developed and displayed proposals for projects which were then presented in front of a panel of judges who are working to bring those projects to life. Kenmore East’s proposal was to create a chalk competition in which student ambassadors from participating schools draw their ideas for an ideal transportation system connecting Buffalo and Niagara Falls which is efficient, zero-carbon-emitting, and aesthetically appealing. Kenmore West’s proposal was for a school vegetable and pollinating garden that would benefit students through learning opportunities and locally grown produce to eat at lunch. Both groups received a $1,000 stipend to bring their proposals to life. You can read the article on our website.

Athletics Department Highlights Winter Sports Accomplishments 

Check out the incredible accomplishments of our winter sports teams and athletes by reading the latest Ken-Ton Athletics newsletter. Highlights include the combined Kenmore East and Kenmore West Boys Swimming, Boys Bowling, and Girls Ice Hockey teams, Kenmore East Boys Ice Hockey, Kenmore West Girls Basketball, Kenmore West Indoor Track, Kenmore West Unified Bowling, Niagara Frontier League Sportsmanship Award winners, Scholar-Athlete distinctions, all-division or all-league honors, and more. Access it by clicking here.

Franklin Middle Students Record Weather Conditions for NASA Program

Franklin Middle School students recently had the opportunity to take part in an exciting program sponsored by NASA called the GLOBE program, a unique collaboration that brings together student scientists from around the world. Students were challenged to take meteorological readings by recording the temperature and other atmospheric conditions such as cloud cover. They then entered those findings into a NASA database, which students from around the world are able to utilize. The best thing about the program was that NASA verified the data entered by our students through data collected by NASA satellites!

Lindbergh Celebrates ‘Love of Literacy’ Week With Author Visit, Guest Readers & More

This week was “Love of Literacy” week at Lindbergh Elementary, a week-long celebration to inspire students to become lifelong readers. The week kicked off with a visit by author Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, who has published more than 10 books including "Every Day Birds" and "The Sound of Kindness.” She presented at three different assemblies throughout the day about her love for writing and the process of turning an idea into a piece of work. Other activities this week included a fun book swap and guest reader visits which included staff members, district administrators, and a few Ken-Ton Big Picture Program students from Kenmore Junior/Senior High School.

Edison Elementary Students Collaborate on Amazing Colorful Mural

During the school’s recent Color Carnival on February 16th, students collaborated on an amazing mural that now adorns the school’s main hallway. The Color Carnival is an annual event in which students in individual grade levels wear the same color clothing and participate in fun activities. For the project, each student traced their hand and decorated it with their assigned grade-level color. PTA member Aimee Cooper then used all of the colored hands for leaves to create an incredible tree mural which included the words, "We are each unique and beautiful, but together we are a masterpiece." It was an amazing representation of the solidarity of the Edison community!

Lindbergh Elementary Students Spread Kindness Throughout the Community

During the months of January and February, students at Lindbergh Elementary worked extremely hard to promote kindness within the school and outside in the community. Some of the activities that took place included the Great Kindness Challenge, Random Acts of Kindness, Clash of the Coins, and raising money for charitable causes such as the Jerry Starr Ken-Ton Schools' SleepOut which benefits the Ken-Ton Closet and the Family Support Center. Because of all their hard work and commitment, Lindbergh was proud to become officially recognized as a national Kindness Certified School through the organization behind the Great Kindness Challenge!


This week, we recognize Kenmore East business teacher and Career Academies Coordinator Nancy Pray, who has been awarded the Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council (NFIEC) Commitment to Education Award.

Kenmore East and Kenmore West have the unique distinction of offering four NYS-certified career and technical education (CTE) programs through the district’s four Career Academies: Cybersecurity & Networking; Business, Marketing & Finance; Information Technology; and Pre-Engineering. The Career Academies allow students to choose a concentration and course sequence that provides them with real-life workplace experience and specialized learning in a career area that interests them as well as internship opportunities through local business and industry partners. As Career Academies coordinator, Nancy is the driving force behind these programs. She works throughout the year to facilitate professional development opportunities for Career Academy teachers, maintain close relationships with business and higher education representatives, identify internship opportunities, promote the Academies to recruit students, facilitate visits to higher education institutions and local businesses/manufacturers, and help guide students in course requests/scheduling.

The NFIEC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect industry and education to create opportunities for students and adults to participate in the workforce of today and tomorrow. The Commitment to Education Award recognizes the work of a business or individual that demonstrates sustaining efforts to advance and support education in Western New York institutions and school districts. Nancy will be presented the award in May.

Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Pray for this distinction.


Monday, March 18th - Friday, March 22nd

  • District Wellness Week

Tuesday, March 19th

  • Gr. K-4 Report Cards Posted to Parent Portal

Thursday, March 21st

  • Elementary School Early Release & Parent/Teacher Conferences (12:40 p.m. dismissal)

Thank you for reviewing this information. As always, we remain Ken-Ton Proud, Ken-Ton Strong, and Ken-Ton Moving Forward!

Sabatino Cimato,

Superintendent of Schools

For previous editions of the Ken-Ton Weekly Connection, visit