Cougar Connect

Week of October 2, 2023

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A Message from Mrs. Leonardo

Dear Kennedy Community,

Happy First Week of October! It's a busy time with exciting events and important updates to share. I appreciate your ongoing support and involvement in our school community.

💯Progress Reports and i-Ready

Progress reports will be mailed home next week. For the most up-to-date information about your students' 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 will include more details about i-Ready in next week's newsletter.

🕛Super-Minimum Day This Thursday, October 5

Students will be dismissed at 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 5 due to teacher professional development.

SamTrans will arrive at 2:00 pm. Siena Youth, Peninsula Bridge, and RCSD transportation will arrive immediately after school.

Principal's Coffee This Thursday, October 5

My second Principal's Coffee will be held this Thursday at 8:45 am. I will give a brief overview and update from 8:45 to 9:00 am. Then, we will visit classrooms.

🗓️No School Monday, October 9 Indigenous People’s Day

Behavior Walking Home

If your student walks, bikes, or rides a scooter home, please remind them to be respectful of our community. We do not want students walking on neighbors' lawns or yards, ringing doorbells, or being a nuisance. I encourage neighbors to email me or visit the school with any concerns they may have, and I will reach out to Kennedy families in order to address these concerns.

🎱Volunteers Needed for 8th-Grade Events

If you are interested in volunteering for 8th-grade events, sign up here

🌟Students of the Month

We recognized our first Students of the Month for September on Friday. Students were honored for being prepared for the month of September. They all received a golden ticket that allowed them to choose one treat from the ice cream truck/van. Thank you, Lillian O'Connor (parent), for supporting me with the golden tickets!

🔔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:

😁Picture Day Updates

Picture Day flyers were sent home earlier in the week. If you are having trouble accessing the Jostens link because you do not know your student's PowerSchool ID, please have your student come to the office for support.

Picture Day Event Code: FE250723

🎃Halloween 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. We will need parents to chaperone for this event, so we will reach out in October for your support.

That's all for now!

See you soon!

Mrs. Leonardo

September Students of the Month

Congratulations to our September Students of the Month! Thank you for being prepared for the month of September!

Caroline A., Brainin A., Brian A., Yureli A., Joslin A., Katrina B., Charlotte B., David C. (x 2!), Leah C., Fernanda C. L., Evony C.M., Lauren D., Adriana F., Damon F., Adilene G., Genesis G., Vanessa G.A., Oden G., Ruby H., Guillermo J.P., Natalia J.S., Justin J., Juniper K., Michael K., James K., Lilanna L., Marlecy L., Samantha L.B., Waelyn L.T., Jeremy L., Johanna M.S., Luciana M., Jack M., Declan M., Isaac M., Dayra M.C., Jennifer M., Allison M., Melanie M., Oliova O'C., Jesus O., Lillian O., Fernanda P.R., Jeffren P.A., Edwin R., Kenny R.C., Enzo R., Sophia S., Angelica S.L., Valentina S., Raelynn S.P., Kinjal S., Malcolm S., Eleanor T., Giovanni T., Michael T. Jr., Leojandro T., Ansel T., Anjum T.D., Juvel V., Patricia V., Melani V.C., Adriana V., Holland Y.,

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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!

Close your eyes and remember what it was like for you as a middle schooler. Was it the best time of your life, the hardest, or somewhere in between? Now can you imagine being a middle schooler who’s family is living out of their car? What if your parents both worked 2 jobs and still couldn't afford to feed you and your siblings on a regular basis? If you’re hungry all the time, could you concentrate on that Math test? Could you participate in PE without socks or wearing shoes with holes in them? What about the kiddo who wants to finish their homework but doesn’t have reliable internet access at home? Can you imagine if your parents don’t speak English but very much want to be involved in your schooling?

These are all realities for many of our current Kennedy students. Unmet basic needs affect children’s ability to bring their best selves to the learning environment. As a community, all the kids are our collective responsibility. How can we come together to care for them?

In that spirit, this week I’d like to highlight the partnership between the PTO and the Kennedy Family Center. Led by Cynthia Cardona, an incredibly passionate advocate for families, the Family Center is open and available to all Kennedy students and their families, from 8-4 each school day.

You can find the following resources at the Family Center:

  • Food distribution for families

  • Clothing and hygiene products for students

  • Housing assistance and parent education

  • Crisis intervention and emotional counseling

The Family Center is an integral part of the Community School model that offers services and opportunities to students and their families to close gaps and barriers to learning. Our shared goal is to actively involve families in school life on a regular basis, creating a community of care at KMS.

The PTO is working with the Family Center to fill some of these gaps. The PTO is able to fund part of the Family Center through generous donations from the KMS community. Our goal is $20,000. Can you help us meet our goal?!

To support KMS, DONATE at the link:

Our Family Center is also collecting clothing items to provide to students when there are dress code violations, stains, ripped clothes due to PE, etc. If you have some of the following items available, please drop them off at the Kennedy Family Center anytime between 8am-4pm. Let’s take care of each other! Items needed include:

  • Gently used sweatshirts, sweatpants and t-shirts, sizes L/XL, but all sizes welcome

  • New items requested: socks and undergarments in all sizes

In order to improve communication with Spanish-speaking families, the Family Center has created a WhatsApp group! If you prefer to receive information in Spanish and by text, scan the QR code to join the WhatsApp group “Padres de Kennedy 2023"! You will receive updated Kennedy Middle School information in Spanish and reminders of our school events.

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

Check out for more info.

Kind regards,

Jess Bryski

PTO President


School Site Council

Kennedy is a Title 1 school. This means Title 1 funds are used to support effective, evidence-based educational strategies that close the achievement gap and enable the students to meet the state's challenging academic standards.

As a Title 1 school, we must have a School Site Council (SSC). Our SSC must review Kennedy's budget and School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). Our SSC must review and approve Kennedy's School Parent Involvement Policy 23-24, School-Parent Compact, and review our district's Uniform Complain Procedures.

School Site Council Meeting Updates

Our SSC approved our 2023-24 budget. I can now begin working on Kennedy's School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA).

SSC Agenda & SSC Minutes

Election Results

We had six parents interested in the three available SSC positions. Congratulations to the following individuals. I will be in contact with you about the next steps!

Irma Zoepf

Steve Osborn

Christina Codemo

6th-Grade Canoe Field Trips

Mrs. Virnich's 6th-grade science students visited Marine Science Institute this week for canoe field trips!

Kennedy Family Center Updates

Find out who won September's Family Challenge! Watch here (8:10 mark).

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 completing the challenge, 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:

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 “Padres 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

Thank you to the volunteers who assisted us with our food bank last Tuesday. Second Harvest Food Bank comes to Kennedy on the third Tuesday of every month.

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Celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month @ Kennedy!

Nearly 40 students stayed after school on Thursday to watch the movie, “Selena”, with Mrs. Morales in honor of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month! Students got to learn about Tejano culture and music, and why Selena continues to be a major influence today!

Students also got to eat tamales, chips and salsa, and conchas!

Thank you, Mrs. Morales, for hosting! Thank you, Hugo, for setting up tables and making sure Mrs. Morales had everything she needed.

Thank you to our PTO members who came to Kennedy and decorated our bulletin boards and fences with flags and banners in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Students really love the flags (many students want to keep flags that represent their countries!).

Ms. Hernandez opened her classroom at lunch for students to make marigold flowers. Known in Mexico as 'the flower of the dead', the Mexican marigold plays a key role in the annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival.

Redwood City Parks & Rec Sports This Week

Flag Football

Wednesday, 10/4

6:00 - Kennedy Gold vs. Hoover Huskies at Hawes Field


6th Grade

Monday, 10/2

4:45 - Kennedy Green at Kennedy

6:15 - Kennedy White at McKinley

7th Grade

Monday, 10/2

4:00 - Kennedy White at McKinley

5:30 - Kennedy Green at McKinley

8th Grade

Monday, Oct 2

4:00 - Kennedy Green vs. Kennedy White at Kennedy

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.

Updates from Kennedy's Mandarin Immersion Program

On Friday, our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders celebrated the Mid-Autumn Day festival at Orion School. Our 6th graders performed a Chinese song titled "Chinese Language," while 7th and 8th graders joined together in singing a song about the moon.

Thank you, students, for participating! Thank you, Ms. Cao, for your hard work!

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.


Come and find out WHY TIDE Academy is a great small public high school option in the Sequoia Union High School District!

Please join us for TIDE Academy's 8th Grade Information Night on October 19th at 6 PM and hear from our academic departments, students, administrators, parents, counselors and our partner Foothill College about our dual enrollment program. TIDE Academy also offers After School Tours and Shadow Opportunities to spend the day with a current TIDE Academy student! All information about our events is also on our website at

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Updates from the Redwood City Library

The Peninsula Libraries and San Mateo Office of Education are partnering together to provide 2023's San Mateo County Reads. This year the theme is Empowering Change: Stories of Climate Justice.

There will be 4 virtual author events in October. Both authors have written one of the selected books for San Mateo County Reads (picture book, and middle grade). Each author will provide 2 presentations:

  • Susan Verde, author of The Water Princess
    • Thursday, October 19 from 9:00 am-10:00 am
    • Thursday, October 19 from 1:30 pm-2:30 pm

  • William Kamkwamba, author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
    • Thursday, October 26 from 9:00 am-10:00 am
    • Thursday, October 26 from 1:30-2:30 pm

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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!

Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

Upcoming Events


  • Super Minimum Day (Staff Development) Oct 5, 8:30-12:00 pm
  • Principal’s Coffee Oct 5 Library 9:00-9:50 am
  • Indigenous People’s Day~ No School Oct 9
  • School Site Council Oct 17 Virtual Time TBD
  • 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

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.