Cougar Connect

Week of August 28, 2023

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A Message from Mrs. Leonardo

Dear Kennedy Community,

We had a great turnout at our 6th-8th grade social last Thursday. Thank you for attending. If you missed the information about the 7th-grade Grand Canyon and Yosemite trips, I am including the presentation in the newsletter. For our 8th-grade families, I will send an email to you in the next two weeks that details the important events for your students and how you can get involved.


Your students get their Chromebooks in their science classes this Wednesday and Thursday. Chromebooks are supposed to be taken home and brought back to school each day. Here are a few important guidelines that we need your support with:

  1. Students need to charge their Chromebooks each night. Please find a space outside of their sleeping area to charge their Chromebooks.
  2. Students need to take care of their Chromebooks. They should not walk to and from classes holding their laptops. They should not use their laptops at brunch or lunch. Students should be mindful of where they leave their backpacks.
  3. Students should use their laptops for classwork and homework. If they are not using their laptop to be productive, remind them about our school policies and have them put their laptops away.

We greatly appreciate your support in helping us teach students how to manage their laptops.

πŸ”₯Practice Evacuation Drill Tuesday, August 29

We will have a practice fire drill on Tuesday, August 29 in the morning. We will practice evacuation procedures with all students and staff. We are required to have a monthly drill, so I will notify you each month about the drill. Please review San Mateo County's Big 5 protocols below.

πŸ“‹PTO Meeting

Our very first PTO meeting will be this Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm in the Kennedy Library. Our first meeting will be in person, then we will move to Zoom in the months to follow. We invite everyone to attend!

Here are the next important events at Kennedy. While they are not happening this week, I think it's important for families to have the information as soon as possible so that you can make plans and adjust your schedules.

🍎Back to School Night

Back to School Night will be Tuesday, September 5th from 5:45 to 7:30 pm. Please note the time change. Our Calendar of Events has been updated to reflect the change, but if you have a paper copy of the calendar of events, it won't reflect the changes we made. I will have additional details in next week's bulletin, but from 5:45 to 5:55 I will greet the Kennedy community in the gym. Then students and their families will be dismissed to visit classes from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Teachers will be given 10 minutes to give a very brief overview of their class. Families travel to classrooms in the order of their students' schedules. We will have students fill out their schedule in class this week so that they will be ready for Back to School Night.

Please keep in mind that Tuesday, September 5 will be a minimum day. We will be dismissed at 1:50 pm due to Back to School Night.

ℹ️High School Information Night

After Back to School Night, we invite 8th-grade families to come to the Kennedy gym to learn about important high school dates. We will meet from 7:30 to 8:15 pm.

β˜•Principal's Coffee Thursday, September 7

My first Principal's Coffee will be on Thursday, September 7 in the Kennedy Library. I plan to get started by 8:45 am. I'd also like to tour classrooms by 9:15 am.

πŸ•›Super Minimum Day Thursday, September 7

Our teachers will have professional development meetings almost every month this year. On these days, students will be dismissed at 12:00 pm.

πŸ«±πŸΌβ€πŸ«²πŸ½School Site Council Meeting/English Learner Advisory Committee Meeting

I had an SSC and ELAC meeting scheduled for this Wednesday, August 30, but since we still need time to collect nominations and vote for our members, I have moved SSC to September. This will give me some more time to form the committees. Our first meeting in September will be in person in the Kennedy Library. We will then meet virtually each month following our first meeting.

To nominate yourself for School Site Council, please fill out this form by Friday, September 8. Once we have nominations, our school community will vote. I'll send more updates about this process next week.

🐾Kennedy Website

I am actively working on our Kennedy website to make sure it has the most up-to-date information and links. Thank you for your patience!

Have a great week!

Mrs. Leonardo

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Homework Reminders

Your students should have homework Monday through Friday. Our English language arts and math teachers will assign homework on a nightly basis. Here are the general homework guidelines for each grade level:

6th Grade: 30 minutes

7th Grade: 45 minutes

8th Grade: 60 minutes

These times may vary depending on the assignments and projects, but students should have some math or reading assignment each night. If your student says they do not have homework, please make sure they show you their assignments in Google Classroom. You can also check PowerSchool for grades. If your student says they finished their assignments at school, make them show you their finished work.

If students are finished with their assignments, they can still:

  1. Read their independent reading books.
  2. Practice reading or math i-Ready or Khan Academy lessons.
  3. Review notes from classes to make sure they understand their lessons.
  4. Create flashcards for key vocabulary terms and review them.
  5. Clean out or organize their backpacks, binders, and folders.

Grand Canyon Information

If you are interested in having your 7th-grade student go on the Grand Canyon trip, please review the presentation by clicking here.

Please fill out the student application and return it to the front office by September 20th. Click here to access the student application.

Kennedy Musical Information Night

Sara Rosenbloom, our drama teacher, will be leading our Spring Musical. We are excited to announce this year’s production--The Addams Family Musical Jr.! This year we will be live and in person, and we are looking forward to a fantastic production this spring! Students will work as a group to create a musical. This is a performance opportunity for students to build community, sing, dance, and act in a group and create a show we can all be proud of. Being part of a production is a lot of fun and a great way to participate in the school community. Last year over 300 students participated in the musical in some way!

If you are interested in participating in the musical, in any way, and finding out more information, please attend the informational meeting this Thursday from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm on Zoom.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 899 8018 0366
Passcode: Drama

Important dates and information:

  • Thursday, August 31st, 6:00 pm-7:00 pm Informational Meeting

Spring Musical Show Dates: April 26-28 2024.

Contact Ms. Rosenbloom if you have any questions:

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After School Enrichment: Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula

BGCP is still receiving applications, but students are being placed on a waitlist.

If you are interested in enrolling your student in the Boys and Girls Club, please sign up here.


Call or text: (650) 804-9045

Arrival and Dismissal

Kennedy gates open at 8:00 am. Students need to be dropped off in the main front parking lot and enter the black gates near the end of the driveway and drop-off zone.

Campus supervisors begin supervising students at 8:00 am. Students will not be allowed to enter campus before 8:00 am without supervision. Students should refrain from loitering in groups in front of the school and near our neighbors' yards.

As you drop off your students, please be aware of students crossing the street. Please remind your students to walk their bikes and scooters on sidewalks. Please refrain from pulling in and out of neighbors' driveways.

White-painted curbs along Goodwin, Connecticut, Maddux, and Washington Avenues are also drop-off zones. Please be aware of the bus loading zones. Avoid parking in the bus zone on Goodwin Avenue near the school office. Avoid parking in the SamTrans loading zone on Washington Avenue. Kennedy staff will ask drivers to move if they are parked in loading zones before buses arrive.

Washington Avenue is also an entry point in the morning.

At dismissal, students can exit from any unlocked gate. If you are picking up your student, be sure to tell them where you plan to pick them up.


Public transportation is provided through SamTrans. Route 79 is for Kennedy students only. In the mornings, students are dropped off by 8:15 am. In the afternoons, students are picked up by 3:25 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Thursday afternoons, students are picked up by 2:00 pm.

The SamTrans bus stop is located on Washington Avenue near the Boys and Girls Club entrance. Kennedy staff will guide students to the bus stop and monitor them after school until SamTrans arrives.

The SamTrans bus schedule can be accessed on page 10 of the Maze Day packet. Click here to view.

The 2023 - 2024 Youth Unlimited Bus Passes will activate starting September 1, 2023, and expire August 31, 2024.

If you need assistance with bus passes, please contact Maria in our Kennedy Family Center. You can also contact Maria if you need assistance with Redwood City School District bus transportation. Maria can be reached here: 650-482-2409 ext. 2110 or

First Day of School Packet

  • The Redwood City School District has been sending out reminders to complete the First Day of School registration packet. These forms are digital.
  • The First Day of School packet includes emergency contact information, parent permission forms, state funding for district services, and district policies.
  • This school year, the Student Benefit Form is embedded in the First Day of School Packet. Completing this form is very important for our school as it will determine funding for our after-school program. The Student Benefit Form determines resources and services for our students in a variety of areas in addition to children having access to healthy and nutritious meals at school. Depending on the number of families who complete the survey, it will determine several other services and resources such as school library services, school funding, internet access, and teacher grants.
  • If you need assistance, please contact the Kennedy office 650-482-2409.

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 will receive planners during the second week of school, and included in the planner is the student handbook.

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

Google Classroom

Teachers will begin inviting families to Google Classroom over the next two weeks. We encourage all families to get connected with Google Classroom so that you may see your students' assignments. We will host a Parent Information session in the coming weeks where you can learn how to navigate Google Classroom, PowerSchool, Amplify, CPM, and other important tools for you to monitor your students' success.

Los Ayudantes Tutors Needed to Volunteer in the Classroom

Are you looking for an easy volunteer opportunity that makes a real difference? Then why not consider being a Los Ayudantes (The Helpers) tutor, and make a difference in the lives of English Learner students at Kennedy? At the direction of the teachers, you will work one-on-one with students helping them read articles, books, and other texts. You’ll also help the students think deeply about the subject matter making personal connections to the text. Most rewardingly, however, you can become an important, trusted adult and mentor in the students' lives when you make this commitment to tutor them throughout the remainder of the school year. You can volunteer once a week or more! Training is provided and you can also shadow one of our volunteers before you decide to volunteer. For more information and to volunteer, visit our website,

PTO Corner

We are very thankful for the support from our Kennedy parents. Without your monetary support, we would not be able to fund our fine arts, music, and STEAM programs. There are several ways to donate to the PTO. Please click this link to learn about all of the ways to support our Kennedy Cougars.

Direct Drive 2023-24 Click here

The Organization of Parents and Teachers (PTO) of the Kennedy Intermediate School (KMS) is dedicated to supporting and improving the educational experiences of Kennedy students through donations and volunteering.

What do we support?

Some programs we support include school dances, lunchtime activities, physical education, music, STEAM, art, drama, maker space, & 8th-grade celebration activities. We work closely with the KMS administration to help determine what programs and activities to support.

How can I volunteer?

Everyone (parents or guardians, teachers, and staff of Kennedy Middle School) is automatically a member and is encouraged to attend our monthly meetings. Please join us on the last Tuesday of the month, via Zoom from 7-8:30 pm, starting on August 29, 2023. Find more details and opportunities at:

How can I donate?

PayPal (click here)

CreditCard via Online Store (click here)

Donation Form (click here)

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.

Sign Up for Sports

The last day to sign up for fall sports is this Wednesday, August 30.

Fall Sports: Sign Up Here

Below is the list of sports available for students in the fall:

- School Volleyball League

- School Flag Football League

- Tennis

- Run Club

- Watersports

- Skate Clinic

- Basketball Clinic

Contact Michael Smith (After School Sports Coordinator) at 650-780-7254 or for additional information.

All forms should be submitted at Red Morton offices.

Coach Moe will host volleyball clinics in the Kennedy gym this Tuesday and Thursday after school. Tuesday: 3:20-4:30 Thursday: 2:00-4:00

Kennedy Family Center Updates

We heard your inquiries about parenting classes and workshops. Please fill out this form to help us gather more feedback.

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

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Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

We are incredibly grateful for your support!

We received Kleenex, flip chart markers, pencil sharpeners, dry-erase markers, Post-Its, and glue sticks from an anonymous person or two. Thank you!

Thank you, Christina Keegan, for the highlighters.

Thank you, Ameena McNamara, for the binder paper.

Thank you, Mariana Eymann, for the headphones. Mrs. Virnich's students will use these!

Thank you, Casey Teague, for the x-y axis whiteboards and binder paper.

Thank you, Astrid Usong, for the x-y axis whiteboards.

Thank you, Jalila Lee, for the markers and Kleenex.

Thank you to the Swint Family for the pencil sharpeners!

Thank you, John and Tracey Lee, for the classroom scissors.

Thank you, Jessica Bryski, for the ballpoint pens, color coding dots, Crayola colored pencil class pack, and the classroom timers.

Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

Upcoming Events

  • PTO Meeting Aug. 29 Zoom, 7:00 pm (link will be sent by Tuesday afternoon)
  • *NO SCHOOL* Labor Day Holiday Sept. 4
  • Back to School Night Sept. 5 5:45-7:30 pm
  • i-Ready Assessment Window Opens Sept. 5 - 19
  • High School Information Night for 8th-Graders Sept. 5 7:30-8:15 pm Kennedy Gym
  • Principal's Coffee Sept. 7, Kennedy Library 8:45 am
  • Super-Minimum Day Sept. 7 12:00 pm dismissal
  • Picture Day Sept 18 (during PE) 8:30 am-3:15 pm
  • Kennedy Food Distribution Sept. 19, Kennedy Gym 9:00-10:30 am

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

There has been an update to the Kennedy Back to School Night schedule. Please note the change on the updated 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.