Cougar Connect

Week of October 16, 2023

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A Message from Mrs. Leonardo

Dear Kennedy Community,

Fall is here! In addition to slightly cooler weather and all of the pumpkin-flavored treats you can eat, in our school district fall means it's time for the Panorama Survey. πŸ™‚

Feedback is a gift. Without feedback, we cannot improve. This is why I encourage all Kennedy families to participate in our fall Panorama Survey.

We will use your feedback to improve our practices at Kennedy. RCSD encourages families, students, teachers, staff, and even administrators to complete the fall survey.

Here is the link for the family survey:

The survey will officially open on Monday, October 16th. I will send another reminder to complete the survey later this week.

Your students will complete the student survey in their PE classes this week. Thank you in advance for your participation!

🏫No School November 1, 2023

Please add this date to your calendars. There will be no instruction Wednesday, November 1 due to RCSD teacher professional development.

Change to Principal's Coffee November 2, 2023

My November Principal's Coffee will be an evening event. Parents and guardians who work in the mornings are interested in attending these events, but they cannot attend due to their work schedules.

This evening event will focus on i-Ready data and i-Ready for student growth and how to access and use PowerSchool to keep track of your student's academic progress.

The evening Principal's Coffee will be held from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Library.

I will include additional details in next week's Cougar Connect.

🎯Goal Setting Conferences

Conferences will be held Monday, October 23 through Friday, October 27 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Students will conference with their first-period teacher.

Teachers sent text messages and emails to families on Thursday with their conference sign-up links.

Please reach out to your student's first-period teacher with any questions.

It is important for students to attend these conferences; students will lead the conferences and discuss their goals for the remainder of the trimester and the rest of the school year.

πŸŽ“High School Fair

Kennedy will host our annual High School Fair in the Kennedy gym from 6:00 to 7:00 pm this Thursday, October 19. Come learn about local public, private, and charter high schools. This is a district-wide event, so any Redwood City family is welcome to attend.

For high school information and updates, please visit our High School Information website.

πŸ’²Student Store

Our student store was open for pick-ups on Tuesday and Wednesday. Students got to pick up Hello Kitty blankets, Squishmallows, Uno cards, Kennedy swag, and so much more. Thank you, Julia Feng and Omalis Villanueva for assisting me with packing items and distributing them to students. We had over 200 orders to fill. We did it!

πŸ“šKennedy Book Fair

The Kennedy Scholastic Book Fair is coming November 13-17th! Click here to explore Kennedy's Book Fair website. Click here to learn more about e-wallet.

πŸ’―Progress Reports and i-Ready

Progress reports were mailed home on Friday. For the most up-to-date information about your student's grades, please log on to PowerSchool.

i-Ready reports will be included with progress reports. You will get to see your student's current reading and math levels at this point in the year.


i-Ready is the online reading and math program RCSD uses to screen and monitor student progress. Students take the diagnostic assessment three times a year (fall, winter, and spring).

This school year I am requiring students who scored at K-8th grade levels on reading or math to complete 30-49 minutes of practice on i-Ready per week. Students need to pass lessons with 80% accuracy or higher. i-Ready research shows that students who complete these lessons at their level make great gains in math and reading. You can read the research here.

Each grade level will determine the number of lessons students are required to complete each week.

If your student scored ninth-grade level or higher on the i-Ready reading or math diagnostic assessments, they do not need to work on i-Ready. We are currently researching other alternatives to challenge and engage our learners who have exceeded grade-level expectations.

πŸ›ΆField Trips this Week

Final 6th-grade Canoe Field Trip: Mrs. Virnich and Mr. Howard's science classes; Wednesday, October 18

STEAM Field Trip: Ms. Hernandez's 4th-period STEAM class

πŸ€Register for Redwood City Parks and Rec Winter Basketball

The deadline for basketball is Thursday, October 26. Sign up here:,

πŸ””Reminders About Attendance

If your student must be absent, please inform us about their absence. Please remember that a doctor's note will be required after three days of absence. Students are required to make up all assignments they missed once they return. Please reach out to your student's teachers in order to get clarification about incomplete or missing work. Remember: if students miss a day, they miss a lot. One of my goals this year is to decrease our chronic absenteeism rates, so you'll hear more from me about attendance. Please reach out to us for any additional support you may need.

You can call the Kennedy attendance line and leave a message. Dial 650-482-2409 and press option 3. You can leave a voicemail message with your student's first and last name, date of birth, grade, your relationship to the student (parent, guardian), and the reason for their absence. Our office staff checks the voicemail messages from 7:30 to 10:00 am.

You can also email our new attendance clerk Tatyana Tafoya:

πŸŽƒHalloween Dance Friday, October 27

Please be advised that in order for students to attend the Halloween Dance in the Kennedy gym, they must have a 2.0 GPA or better. This means no Ds or Fs. They must have good attendance and good behavior. This means no behavioral referrals, suspensions, or incidents with other students or staff members. Please sign up here to volunteer for the dance:!/showSignUp/20F0C48ABA62CABFD0-44674854-kennedy

That's all for now!

See you soon!

Mrs. Leonardo

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School Site Council Meeting

Our next School Site Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 17 at 2:30 p.m. Our SSC will review my School Plan for Student Achievement.

Here is our agenda.

Here are the minutes from last month's meeting.

Here is our updated 2023-24 Kennedy Family, School, & Student Compact: click here. Please review this compact with your students this week.

Once you have reviewed our compact, please agree or disagree with this compact by October 31, 2023. You can agree or disagree with our compact by clicking here.

Kennedy Advanced Band Performed at WHS Football Game

Our Kennedy Cougars performed with Woodside's band at a Wildcats game last week. Nice job, Kennedy!

PTO Calendar

The Kennedy school calendar is now on the PTO website and has been updated with school events and activities for the year! You can add it to your personal calendar by going to and clicking the +Google Calendar button on the bottom right of the calendar.

PTO Corner

Hello, Kennedy Community!

We are halfway through October already and it's going to be time to celebrate Halloween soon!

KMS will host a Halloween Dance on Friday, October 27, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the gymnasium.

In order to make this event a success, we’re looking for some parents to help out! Many thanks to Marcela S. for taking the lead to get us organized. There are lots of ways to help, big and small - check out the sign-up here:

Thank you to the 25+ parents who were able to join us for the September PTO meeting last week. The group received school updates from our admin team, were briefed on grant-writing efforts to fundraise for our drama program, learned more about the Student Store, and engaged in a discussion about the PTO budget process and priorities.

Here is a link to the draft Meeting Minutes for September 26, 2023, for further details. September 26th 2023 Kennedy PTO - Minutes

Everyone is invited to join us for our next PTO meeting on Tuesday, October 24, at 7:05 pm via Zoom. Remember, all parents are automatically members of the PTO and your voice is important!

To support KMS, PLEASE DONATE at the link:

Follow the KMS PTO on Instagram and Facebook, @KennedyCougarsPTO.

Check out for more info.

Kind regards,

Jess Bryski

PTO President


Updates from Boys and Girls Club

Hello BGCP Families,

We want to remind everyone about our Attendance Policy: students are expected to attend a full day of the program every day. Our program runs until 5:50 p.m. each day. We provide a diverse set of options for students such as academic support, enrichments, chill time, and high school exposure. For them to experience these components, students need to attend the program.

We recognize that students also participate in other activities outside of our program. If your student is unable to attend, we ask that you communicate this information via email or text. You can also fill out our Accommodation Request Form if there is any specific day your child cannot attend. We do ask that if an accommodation is made, students attend three full days of the program. Here is the link for you to fill out and our contact information:

BGCP Office Number: (650)804-9045

BGCP Email:

We are excited about all the fun and engaging activities we have in store this year! We look forward to staying in communication and serving our students. Thank you, BGCP families.

Arnulfo Prado

Kennedy BGCP Site Director

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SEPTAR Meeting

Join SEPTAR for our next association meeting on October 17 at 7 pm on Zoom. The topic will be "Navigating Transitions". There will be three breakout rooms with presentations from RSCD teachers, staff, and a Sequoia Union High School District representative. The transitions being discussed will be Pre-K to K, elementary to middle school, and 8th grade to high school. You can choose which transition you want to learn about! To register, go to
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Kennedy Family Center Updates

Our October Family Challenge is HERE! Find out the details in this month's podcast (9:33 mark)

Please take a picture of your family going on a hike or walk together, and send a picture to the family center: You can also text a picture to (650) 656-0501. The winning family will receive a family prize pack. Watch the podcast for more information!

October Podcast

ELAC: English Learner Advisory Committee

Cynthia met with 13 families for our English Learner Advisory Committee on Wednesday evening. We are SO excited about this committee. We are looking forward to working together this year in support of our students! Please reach out to Cynthia for more information:

Our next meeting will be held Wednesday, October 18th from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. The Google Meet link will be sent on Wednesday morning.

Padres de Kennedy 2023 WhatsApp Group

If you prefer to receive information in Spanish and by text, click on the link to join the Kennedy Family Center's WhatsApp group β€œPadres de Kennedy 2023"! You will receive updated Kennedy Middle School information in Spanish and reminders of our school events.

Parent Support Groups

Parent support groups are back at the PAL Center. This week's support group will cover topics on mental health.

6:30 to 7:30 pm at the PAL Center 3399 Bay Road in Redwood City

For more information, contact Rocio: (650) 204-0638 or

Cynthia Cardona, Community School Coordinator

Maria Segundo, Admin Assistant

Kathryn Lige, Lead Mental Health Counselor

Contact the Kennedy Family Center by phone: (650) 482-2110

Second Harvest Food Bank

Our foodbank distribution will be held this Tuesday, October 17 at 9:00 am in the Kennedy gymnasium parking lot.

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Redwood City Parks & Rec Sports This Week

Flag Football

Monday, 10/16

5:00 - Kennedy Cougars Gold vs. KIPP at Hawes Field

6:00 - Kennedy Cougars Green vs. Clifford Dolphins at Hawes Field

Wednesday, 10/18

4:00 - Kennedy Cougars Green vs. North Star Gryphons at Hawes Field


8th Grade

Monday, 10/16

4:00 - Kennedy Green at Hoover

6:15 - Kennedy White at Hoover

Thursday, 10/19

4:00 - Kennedy Green at Red Morton

6:15 - Kennedy White at Red Morton

7th Grade

Monday, 10/16

4:00 - Kennedy Green at Kennedy

5:30 - Kennedy White at Kennedy

Thursday, 10/19

5:30 - Kennedy White at Red Morton

6:15 - Kennedy Green at McKinley


Monday, 10/16

4:00 - Kennedy White at Kennedy

4:45 - Kennedy Green at Kennedy

Thursday, 10/19

4:45 - Kennedy Green at McKinley

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What's Happening in the Kennedy Library?

Book Club has started! We meet on Tuesdays after school. If you are interested in joining, come by the library to sign up or sign up here.

Get more details from Ms. Cooper and the awesome Kennedy Library by visiting the Kennedy Library Website.

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Meet the Woodside High School Principal Event Kennedy 7th & 8th Grade Parents.

Please join us for a casual and informative evening with Principal Karen van Putten, teachers, and new prospective parents. Karen will share an overview of the school's strong offerings as well as her vision and priorities for Woodside over the next few years, including programs and expanded course offerings. Kennedy graduates who are currently Woodside upperclassmen will be in attendance to give the student perspective.

October 16th at 7 pm

Parents of 7th and 8th Graders

Host: Angie and David Tinson

Address: 1242 Edgewood Road, Redwood City, CA 94062

Link: Kennedy Event

High School Event Updates

Please check the High School Shadow Programs & Informational Event Links document.

  • TIDE and Woodside posted their shadowing request links.
  • Carlmont posted links for campus tours and the Chat with a Carlmont Student event.
  • Sequoia will open the shadowing request link on 9/13/23.
  • Menlo-Atherton will open the shadowing request link within the next ten days.

High School Information Website

Student & Family Handbook

In order to make our handbook for students and families more accessible, we have digitized it. Please know that the information in the handbook will be continually updated to ensure families are informed. Students received planners during the fourth week of school, and included in the planner is the student handbook.

Click to view and save the Kennedy Student & Family Handbook.

Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

We are incredibly grateful for your support! Thank you!

I didn't get a chance to open up boxes (AGAIN) this week, but I will do this Monday.

Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

Upcoming Events


  • School Site Council Oct 17 Virtual 2:30 pm
  • High School Fair Oct 19 Gym 6:00-7:00 pm
  • Super Minimum Days (Due to Conferences) Oct 23-27 In-Person 8:30-12:00 pm
  • Fall Conferences Oct 23-27 In-Person 1:00-4:00 pm
  • Picture Day Make-up Oct 24 Gym 8:30 am-12:00 pm
  • PTO Meeting Oct 24 Zoom 7:05-8:30 pm
  • Halloween Dance Oct 27 Gym 6:00-8:00 pm
  • 8th Grade Yosemite Trip Oct 29-Nov 2 Yosemite National Park
  • No School Nov 1-Teacher Professional Development

Click here to view the most up-to-date version of the Kennedy Calendar of Events.

Kennedy Middle School

With a commitment to excellence, Kennedy Middle School engages, encourages, and empowers students in challenging and creative learning opportunities while preparing them for their futures in high school and beyond.