Kenwood Newsletter-December 2022

Check each Sunday for updates at the top of this newsletter

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  1. I am a big sister

  2. I love to travel and stay home.

  3. I was in a bungee jumping commercial.

  4. I think yogurt is gross.

I broke my foot during a volleyball game in high school, and then served four aces to tie and win the game!

4th Grade Teacher, Mrs. Lebsack

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It"s here! Our last couple of days before winter break and they will be super busy!

  • Monday, 2nd quarter reading incentive due today--no late ones will be accepted
  • The second graders will be making gingerbread houses on Tuesday morning since they missed out on this event due to covid.
  • On Wednesday we will have our holiday stations with our buddy groups. These consist of three stations that groups rotate through. They will play Bingo, make a quick craft, and learn a new holiday jig to do together school-wide during our assembly.
  • Our assembly is slated to begin at 10:20 am. on Wednesday. We plan on having songs sang together by Kindergarten and 1st grade, 2nd and 3rd grade, and 4th and 5th grade. Everyone can join in the singing after the first verse is sang. Due to the shortened day, students being honored with a Key of Excellence Award are being recognized during zoom announcements. Their group picture will be shown at the assembly. Parents are welcome to attend. The assembly will run from 10:20 to approximately 11:00 then students will be dismissed to eat their sack lunches in their classrooms.
  • School will be dismissed early on Wednesday. We plan on dismissing students in grades K-2 at 11:40 and grades 3 through 5 at 11:45. Please make your arrangements ahead of time to pick up your child at these times.
  • Due to early dismissal, students will have sack lunches that will consist of anytimers, carrots, apple, and milk. If you wish for your child not to eat cold lunch, they may pack a cold lunch of their own. We will be taking count on Monday to prepare for Wednesday's lunch.
  • I hope everyone enjoyed the Kenwood display at the Holiday Light Festival at Yanney Park. Thank you to Jessika Lehmann and Allee Birdwell for getting this organized along with the rest of the staff who helped our students decorate and hang. We all enjoyed it!

On behalf of the Kenwood staff, we wish you a great holiday season filled with love and joy spent with your loved ones. We will see you back on January 5th, 2023!

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  1. I do not have any pets.

  2. I have two sisters.

  3. I am not ambidextrous at all.

  4. I have two boys.

  5. I once owned a house with an indoor pool.

Ms. Pahl, 1st grade teacher

  1. Afraid of heights.

  2. Stopped growing in 8th grade.

  3. Shattered my nose playing sports.

  4. Only person in my family to graduate college.

  5. Addicted to chips and salsa/queso.

Mr. Howard, 5th grade teacher


*Key of Excellence Awards-Speak with Good Purpose will be shown in the next newsletter--January 2023


Ashlyn B., Kelti J., Kice E., Otto K., Zachary L., Owen S.
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Ben R., Sa'Nayah E., Francis D., Jimmy B., Ava H.
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Tate R., Raiden G., Zander N., Blake B., Emberley C., Camryn M.
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Danica M., Cynthia M., Calysa R., Gracelynn Y., Brooks H. - Missing-Kaleb K.
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Amanda B., Elaine A., Austin P., Charlie D., Mila A., Schylar P.
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Maxis W., Isabella R., Dontavious W., Lucy P., Autumn H. Missing-Conner P.
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December 1-Jade B.

December 2-Christian L.

December 4-Connor G.

December 6-Gavin L.

December 7-Everleigh B.

December 8-Treldon J.

December 9-Maddox R.

December 12-Tucker K.

December 14-Hadleigh D.

December 15-Adaya B.

December 16-Hayden K.

December 21-Michael J.

December 22-Carson J.

December 23-Kynley G., Naomee F, Dawniah W.

December 24-Tate R.

December 25-Laurel B., Mattis A.

December 26-Sparrow W.

December 27-Braysen K.

December 28-Joseph P., Alaina L.

December 29-Pyper P., Mykelti J., Taylor R.

December 30-Kyle H.

June Birthdays--Celebrate 1/2 Birthdays

June 3--Brady S., Mason W.

June 4-Braylen B., Jimmy B.

June 5-Blake H., Jayce J., Cassandra U., Collin U.

June 6-Finleigh C.

June 7-Misael A., Liam P., Braxton S., Ava H.

June 8-Harper K

June 9-Drew Long, Madelyn M.

June 10-Sophia B.

June 11-Natalie R.

June 12-Brooks H., Madelyn W.

June 14-Faolan M.

June 15-Miles H., Kikiana M., Shanley Z., Zolee S.

June 16-Easton R.

June 18-Benjamin L., Amaulo W., Alarariah T.

June 19-Mila A., Aspyn O., Cynthia M.

June 22-Traven S., Jacob C., Abigail C.

June 23-Addilyn B.

June 24-Presley K.

June 26-Grace S.

June 27-Joselyn B.

June 28-Brooks C., Kiara P.

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5-School begins

10-PTO meeting at 7 PM in the art room

16-Martin Luther King Jr. Day

20-Healthy Snack Sales-2nd grade donations

27-Magic School Bus at Merryman for grades K-3



Kenwood Parents:

First of all, a HUGE THANK YOU to all who supported the Kenwood Feed Your Community Food Drive. It was again a HUGE success. Please click on the video message from Mrs. Gillaspy on the newsletter, email link, or Kenwood facebook page to hear the outcome. It is heartwarming and sent a great message to our students about giving to others. We are so very proud of our students and grateful to Mrs. Gillaspy and our Fuel Up to Play 60 team!

Most of our testing was completed this week with a little bit more to go. I appreciate everyone's diligence in making sure that your child was ready to give us their best. After this week, our support service teachers and classroom teachers will be conversing to determine our next steps in identifying students who need additional supports. We also will be looking closely at the state testing data to determine our strength areas and other areas needing more direct instruction. Our students were SUPER TROOPERS!

Be sure to check out the Kenwood light display at the Holiday Lights Festival at Yanney from 5:30-8:30 pm until December 17th. We're getting to the end of the 2nd quarter with only a few more big events happening before our break. Here they are:

  • Tuesday, December 13th-MAP Math testing grades 2 and 3
  • Wednesday, December 14th-MAP Math testing grade 1
  • Friday, December 16th 8:45-9:30-Kindergarten Gingerbread House Day, Schoolwide dress up--Be YoursELF--dress like an elf or wear green and/or red
  • Monday, December 19th-getting a count for Wednesday's sack lunch--anytimers, carrot, apple, and milk, Quarterly Reading Incentive due today
  • Wednesday, December 21st-Early dismissal--K-2 will dismiss at 11:40 and Grades 3-5 will dismiss at 11:45, Holiday stations begin right away at 8:15 so don't be late!, 2nd Quarter/Holiday Sing-a-Long begins at 10:20

After the assembly the students will eat their sack lunches in their classrooms until dismissal time.

Congratulations to our Kenwood 4th and 5th grade Chorus as they did a great job of singing the National Anthem at the Tri-City Storm Hockey game on Friday. Thank you to Mr. Consbruck for making this happen and being a great leader!


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4th and 5th Grade Chorus at Tri-City Storm Hockey Game

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Second Step Weekly Focus-Calming Down

When you have a strong feeling, it’s hard for your brain to think. After you use your stop signal and name your feeling, you’re ready to calm down! You can calm down by doing some slow deep belly breathing, counting, or using positive self-talk. Think for a moment about your favorite Way to Calm Down. Remember to use it this week if you need to. Calming down helps you think clearly!

Mrs. Bauer's Kindergarten Class celebrating Kings and Queens Day

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  1. A town in Nebraska is named after my distant uncle–Crawford, Nebraska.

  2. Both of my parents are teachers.

  3. My favorite holiday is Halloween.

  4. I am left handed but golf and do sports right handed.

  5. I have two cats, Pickles and Penny.

Ms. McConnell, TLC teacher

  1. I love to read.

  2. Blue is my favorite color.

  3. History/Social Studies is my favorite subject.

  4. I’ve traveled to Europe twice.

  5. I have a chihuahua named Bennie.

Tamma Zulkoski, KCLC site coordinator


State testing was underway this past week. Our third, fourth, and fifth graders did a great job of showing us what they know about reading. This week all students will be involved in the assessments for this winter. We love to see how much they've grown these past two quarters! We try not to stress too much about these tests however we do highly encourage each student to give us their very best effort so we can make plans accordingly for the next half of the school year. Please make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, eats a healthy breakfast, and send them off to school with positive vibes!

Other events this week:

  • Feed your Community Food Drive - A huge thank you to Mrs. Gillaspy and her Fuel Up to Play 60 members as they organize this event of giving. Please click on the button on top of this information to see what it's all about.
  • On Friday, our first graders will hear a presentation about safety. Safe Kids Platte Valley, here in Kearney, has been awarded a railway safety grant. With this Railway Safety Service Learning grant, Safe Kids has enlisted the help of some of our local Kearney High students to go out and share some pedestrian and railway safety messages with the Kearney area first graders.
  • Also on Friday evening our 4th and 5th grade choir members will be singing the National Anthem at the Tri-City Storm Hockey game. What a great experience for all of them and for the audience as our singers are amazing! Thank you to Mr. Consbruck for this experience.
  • Congratulations to Lucy Pfortmiller and Connor Pesek for having their artwork chosen to be permanently displayed at Kenwood! Their art will be displayed for many future Kenwood cougars to admire. We value their focus, effort, creativity, and especially hard work in Art Class. Keep it up! See the newsletter for their personal picture and artwork.
  • At this time we are asking that we not have any visitors for lunch December 21st as it will be a sack lunch and will be a hectic day with a 11:45 dismissal.

As always, please see the newsletter or the Kenwood website for upcoming events. Have a great week!

Feed Your Community Food Drive at Kenwood Elementary


Lucy Pfortmiller, 5th grader

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Connor Pesek, 4th grader

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Parents are invited to lunch BUT we ask that you contact the school ahead of time so we can inform the Bearcat Diner of your order or other changes in schedules. Lunch times are also found on the Kenwood website. The month of May will be off limits as there are too many schedule conflicts to organize and work around so if you plan on coming, please do so before then. If you choose to bring fast food or other restaurant types of food, we will have you eat in the office or conference room area as it causes hard feelings for those who don't have those options.

Need to get a hold of a teacher, see the information at the bottom of this newsletter. We are here to help you!

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  1. Best thing I can draw is a stick person.

  2. My favorite food is mashed potatoes.

  3. My first car was a bright yellow mustang.

  4. I completed my student teaching in Houston, Texas.

  5. Growing up, my dad had a police K-9 that lived with us.

Mrs. Butler, special education teacher

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Managing Learning Challenges

Using our Calming-Down Steps helps us be better learners! There are many opportunities to practice your calming-down skills at school. You may have a strong feeling when you have to wait, or when you make a mistake, or when you have trouble finishing a difficult task. These are perfect moments to practice using your stop signal, naming your feeling, and calming down. When staff and students at our school calm down our emotions, it helps us all learn.
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December 12th-16th-Finish district assessments-all grades

Decembet 16th-8:45-9:30 Kindergarten Gingerbread Houses

December 21-Holiday Stations, 10:20 Assembly, Dismiss at 11:45


I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break with family and friends. It's nice to have some "down time" to refresh and remember all that we are grateful for!

This week some of the Kenwood staff will be volunteering at the North Pole Express. We will work on Wednesday night from 5:30-7:00 so we are hoping that we'll see some familiar faces there!

This Thursday, December 1st will be our first day of state testing. This is called NSCAS (Nebraska's Student-Centered Assessment System). The state is piloting this new format. Our district has determined that we will take it this winter and spring as the state will take the best score. Students in grades 3 through 5 will take NSCAS Growth Reading on Thursday, December 1st and NSCAS Growth Math on Tuesday, December 6th. Please encourage them to give us their very best. At the same time, we will be completing one on one testing with kindergarten and first grade with FastBridge eReading beginning December 1st as well.

The 4th graders will be traveling to Hastings on Friday, December 2nd. They will enjoy the IMAX theater, the museum, and of course their favorite, eating at McDonalds!

Next week we will be sponsoring a Feed Your Community Food Drive at Kenwood Elementary. Please click this link for more information.

Check out the newsletter for pictures of the Pig Race and Buddy Groups.

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December 1-NSCAS Reading grades 3-5

December 2nd-4th grade field trip to Hastings

December 5th-Decorate the Kenwood tree at Yanney

December 5-9--Feed Your Community Food Drive at Kenwood Elementary

December 6-NSCAS Math grades 3-5

December 12th-16th-MAP Reading-Gr. 1-3, Fastbridge Reading-Kindergarten

December 21-Holiday Stations, 10:20 Assembly, Dismiss at 11:45


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It’s okay to have strong feelings. But when you have strong feelings, it can be hard to think about what todo. You can get back in control by calming down. The first step is to use a stop signal to catch your own attention and to tell yourself to stop. You might say “Chill out!” “Stop!” or “Relax!” Next use your feeling detective skills to name your feeling. When you recognize your feelings, the thinking part of your brain can start to manage them. Take a moment to decide what stop signal you will use this week



Parents, here are the pacing guides for each grade level in the core subject areas in case you are interested in knowing when particular skills will be taught.


This turned out amazing! Thank you to Mrs. Raffaeli, Kenwood art teacher, for working with all Kenwood students on this "TEAM" art mural. Each hand has specific details of each individual student of our school. Our theme this year is just that "Together Everyone Achieves More" and this demonstrates that when we do work together, it can make a beautiful piece of art! I absolutely love this and how awesome it turned out! Come see it by our art room!
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We have numerous ways of staying connected and even more now--Remind App, school website, facebook, emails, texts--you name it. If you are ever having a difficult time getting a hold of someone, use the contact information below or contact the school. We want to make sure we stay in communication with everyone's needs.

Mrs. Clevenger

Hello! My name is Jill Clevenger and I have the best job of being a principal at Kenwood Elementary. This is my 18th year working at Kenwood with the most wonderful students, parents, and staff that there is. You will love and enjoy your time at Kenwood Elementary. I can't wait to meet and see our Cougar family again!

Kenwood Staff Contacts




Saralyn Feddersen -

Social Worker:



Counselor-Mary Fruhling-





First Grade:




Second Grade:




Third Grade:

Rachelle Chamberlain -



Fourth Grade:


Megan Buerer -

Lynn Lebsack -

Fifth Grade:


Broc Howard -



PE-Hope Gillaspy -

Art-Rivkah Raffaeli -

Music-Jake Consbruck -

Media/Library-Mary Roesler-

Counselor-Mary Fruhling-

Title Reading-Janice Polk -

Title Reading-Lisa Martenson -

Special Education/TLC-Amanda McConnell -

Special Education-Katie Butler -

Special Education-Brooke Modlin -

Speech/Language-Trish Abels -

School Psychologist-Ashley Carrier -


Health Room Assistant-Linda

About Us

Feel free to peruse our facebook page, website, and/or school app to keep abreast of our events, celebrations, and information.
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