Cougar Connect

Week of August 14, 2023

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A Message from Mrs. Leonardo

Dear Kennedy Community,

I am looking forward to welcoming our Kennedy Cougars back to school this week! Our first day of school will be Wednesday, August 16, 2023. School begins at 8:30 a.m.

Listed below are important reminders and updates to ensure our week runs as smoothly as possible.

After School Enrichment: Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula

If your student is enrolled in our after-school enrichment program, BGCP, they have specific areas to meet in order to sign in to the program.

6th-Graders: Please meet in the B-Quad.

7th and 8th-Graders: Please meet under the lunch shelter near the gym.

In order to support students with finding their meeting spots on the first day of school, BGCP staff will go to students' seventh period classrooms before the bell rings in order to escort them to BGCP.

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


Call or text: (650) 804-9045

After School Enrichment: Siena Youth Center

Students attending Siena Youth Center's after school program will meet in the front of the school at dismissal. Kennedy staff will be waiting in front of the school for students. Siena buses will park on Goodwin Avenue.

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.

For safety reasons, students have one entry point in the morning between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. After 8:30 am., students must enter through the front office for a late pass.

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.

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Bicycles, Skateboards, & Scooters

Students can lock bikes and scooters in the bike rack. The bike rack closes at 8:30 am. Skateboards can be left in the school office and picked up after school.

Students should practice bicycle, skateboard, and scooter safety while traveling to and from school. Bicycles, skateboards, and scooters should not be ridden on campus. Kennedy staff will ask students to walk all bikes, skateboards, and scooters until they exit the campus.

Please wear a helmet!

Bell Schedule

There will be no block schedule during the first week of school. Students will attend periods 1-7 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Our 6th-graders will have separate brunch and lunch breaks from their 7th and 8th-grade peers.

School dismissal is 3:15 pm.

Minimum Day dismissal is 1:50 pm. on Thursday.

The bell schedules for each grade level can be found on pages five and six of our Maze Day packet. Click here to view.


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.

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

Cell Phone Policy

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Kennedy Dress Code

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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.
  • We need 100% of all Kennedy families to complete these forms by August 16th.
  • 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.

Maze Day Packet

A digital Maze Day packet has been created for your convenience. It includes links and QR Codes for our Family and Student Handbook, Kennedy's dress code and cell phone policies, the calendar of events for the year, the bell schedules, information about school supplies, reminders about attendance, information about the Grand Canyon and Yosemite field trips, information from the PTO, the SamTrans bus schedule, and more.

You can find the Maze Day packet by clicking here. Hard copies are available in the office upon request.

Picking Up Schedules/Changing Classes

If students did not pick up their schedules at Maze Day, they can pick them up on Monday and Tuesday at the Kennedy office between 9 am and 2:00 pm.

On Wednesday morning, students can begin to pick up their schedules at 8:00 am at the Kennedy Library.

The only immediate changes we will make to students' schedules are if they are missing a class or if they have the same class twice. Please give us up to 10 days to assess class numbers before allowing changes to electives or other schedule requests. We will email students and give them directions about this process in our morning announcements.

Student Materials

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Students should have the materials listed above each school day. If families need support getting these materials, please contact our Family Center. School Chromebooks will be distributed the week of August 28, so Chromebooks will not be needed for the first two weeks.

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.

Vaccination Reminder for 7th-Graders

Please be sure to turn in your vaccination records. These records can be submitted to the Kennedy front office. Click the link to learn more from the California Department of Public Health.
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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)

Mark your calendars! Our first PTO-sponsored Dine-Out event will be Wednesday, August 23 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at Chipotle in Downtown Redwood City.

Sign Up for Sports

It's time to join Kennedy team sports! Registration for fall sports is now open. Click on the link below to register for volleyball or flag football.

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.

Kennedy Family Center Updates

Kennedy is a community school which means we have a family center to address non-academic barriers to learning. Services include but are not limited to student counseling, tutoring, after-school programs, and food distribution. If you need support please reach out to us, and we will work together to support you!

Kathryn Lige is our new mental health clinician. Kathryn will work full-time at Kennedy. She will be responsible for assisting teachers with social-emotional learning and lessons for students, individual and group counseling, and working with our mental health partners to ensure students receive counseling. Ms. Lige previously supported students at Garfield school. Ms. Lige does speak Spanish, so she will be able to assist students and families whose primary language is Spanish. Welcome to Kennedy, Ms. Lige!

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

Several families have asked how they can support Kennedy teachers with classroom supplies. You can access the Kennedy wishlist by clicking this link. Your purchases will ship directly to Kennedy. We will then place the items in our supply room for teacher use. Thank you for your support!

Thank you to the following families who purchased items off of our Kennedy Wishlist.

Gloria Comfort, Lisa Eli, and Jessica Osaki purchased pencil sharpeners, x-y axis whiteboards, whiteboard erasers, folders, timers, pencils, erasers, and multiple other things for teachers. An anonymous supporter also purchased Kleenex and construction paper for our teachers.

These items were given to teachers and we are all incredibly thankful for your support! I will continuously update our Kennedy Amazon wishlist based on classroom needs.

Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

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SF Giants Fundraising Opportunity

Attend a San Francisco Giants baseball game and help raise money for Kennedy Middle School!

$5 of every ticket purchased will go directly back to Kennedy.

Please use this link:

Please use this code: Kennedy

**Please note: SF Giants has a very strict no-resale policy for these tickets. Any resold tickets using school promo codes may be subject to termination of the school promo program.**

English Learner Advisory Committee & School Site Council

We need Kennedy parents and teachers to join Kennedy's

English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) and School Site Council (SSC).

Our first meeting will be Wednesday, August 30 at 5:00 pm in the Kennedy Library. Please email Mrs. Leonardo for more details. More information will be communicated in the next week.

Upcoming Events

  • First Day of School Aug 16
  • 6th-8th Grade Social Aug. 24, 6:00-8:00 pm Kennedy Blacktop
  • 7th-Grade Grand Canyon Info Meeting Aug. 24, Kennedy Gym 7:00-8:00 pm
  • 7th Grade Yosemite Trip Info Meeting Aug. 24, Kennedy Gym 7:00-8:00 pm
  • 8th-Grade Activities Info Meeting Aug. 24, Kennedy Library 7:00-8:00 pm
  • PTO Meeting Aug. 29 Zoom, 7:00 pm (link will be available soon)
  • Site Council & ELAC Aug. 30 Kennedy Library 5:00-6:00 pm
  • Principal's Coffee Sept. 7, Kennedy Library 8:45-10 am
  • 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 have been a few edits since Maze Day. These edits were made to fix typographical errors and the location of the 7th-grade Yosemite Info meeting. This meeting will be held at the same time as the Grand Canyon Info meeting in the gym. Seventh-graders will actually go to Yosemite next year, so this meeting is just to prepare families for fundraising and to answer any questions about the trip.

Final Notes

Thank you to all of our 8th-grade mentors. They did a great job supporting our 6th graders last week, and I am very proud of them. I didn't get a picture of everyone last week, so hopefully we will get to get a group picture this week!

Please email me if you have any questions or concerns. The first two weeks of school are always very busy, but the Kennedy staff is here to support you and your students.

See you soon!

Mrs. Leonardo

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.