School season is prime time for classes, homework, sports… and the flu. With the flu virus most active from October to May, getting vaccinated is the #1 way to prevent the flu and the fever, sore throat, body aches, and even serious health complications it can cause. We are partnering with the Chester County Health Department to offer a flu shot clinic to community members.
Kennett High School is proud to announce that seniors Benjamin A. Jordan and Sarah E. Ploener have been recognized as National Merit Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Benjamin and Sarah were among approximately 1.6 million juniors who entered the 2018 National Merit Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) that served as an initial screen of program entrants.
In addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, Benjamin is a member of the Varsity Academic Team, Future Business Leaders of America, the Mock Trial Team, Model UN, and the German activity club. He also plays doubles for the varsity tennis team.
Sarah plays clarinet in the marching band and jazz band, and is a member of the string ensemble. She is also a member of the Varsity Academic Team, the Demon Robotics Team, Model UN, and the Gender Sexuality Alliance.
“We are tremendously proud of Sarah and Benjamin for their accomplishments,” said Kennett High School Principal Dr. Jeremy Hritz. “They are outstanding students who represent everything that is great about Kennett High School.”
The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
These students are eligible to continue in the program competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth more than $33 million to be offered in the spring. To advance to the finalist level and to be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several additional requirements. These include an outstanding academic record, endorsement by the principal, and SAT scores that confirm the preliminary results. The semifinalist and his or her counselor must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes the student’s essay and information about the student’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.
As the saying goes, “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.” No one reflects this better than Mrs. Angela McGrath, office clerk at New Garden and Bancroft Elementary Schools. She assists students, parents, teachers, and administrators to help keep both elementary schools running smoothly.
Mrs. McGrath grew up in Kennett Square and attended St. Patrick’s School from the first grade until the middle of her fifth grade year. She then transferred to the Kennett Consolidated School District, where she remained until graduating from Kennett High School in 1974. In her senior year, she participated in the work-release program, which allowed her to work at the National Bank and Trust of Kennett Square in the Accounting Department. Upon graduation, Mrs. McGrath was offered a full-time position with the bank and stayed with the company for eight years.
“While attending Kennett High School,” says Mrs. McGrath, “I enjoyed taking business courses, including typing, shorthand, and accounting. The skills that I learned in high school supported my work when I was offered my full-time position at the bank.”
When her son entered kindergarten at Mary D. Lang Elementary School (now the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center) in 1982, she switched career tracks to work at the local Thriftway. Then, in 1996 after applying to work in the District, Mrs. McGrath was offered a position as a one-on-one instructional assistant at Kennett Middle School.
The student she was supporting at that time moved away midyear, so she began to work in New Garden Elementary School’s office in the mornings and at the high school office in the afternoons. At the end of that school year, she was offered a position at New Garden Elementary School as an office clerk and continued there until 2011. She now divides her time between New Garden and Bancroft Elementary Schools.
As an office and attendance clerk, some of Mrs. McGrath’s tasks include issuing purchase orders, delivering supplies, and assisting administrators and parents.
“Hopefully,” explains Mrs. McGrath, “with my work in attendance, I can help students and parents become more aware of the District’s policies to help them avoid potential notices of violation or other citations. My goal is to help students understand the importance of responsibility so that when they get into middle school and high school they can be more prepared.”
Mrs. McGrath enjoys every part of her job, from her coworkers to the students and parents. “The kindness and generosity of the parents and PTOs at both schools has been humbling,” she says. “Having students come up to me years later and outside of school to say hello and still remembering my name is always a highlight. I have attended graduation every year since my first year of students reached graduation, to support the students I serve.”
Outside of her work, Mrs. McGrath enjoys cooking for the family, beading and making jewelry, and visiting her favorite beach in Florida: Cocoa Beach. Her son, who attended school in the District from kindergarten through graduation, went on to attend Millersville University and is now a full-time professor at Strayer University. She has many pets, including 28 chickens, a turtle that a New Garden Elementary School student named Dribble, and a blue-headed Amazon parrot that she’s had for 18 years. Her newest project is keeping honeybees! Mrs. McGrath and her husband just celebrated 40 years of marriage.
In March 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health amended its regulations regarding school immunizations. These regulations take effect August 1, 2017 and will impact students for the 2017-2018 school year. The amendments will affect many students in the Kennett Consolidated School District and any student who is not in compliance by August 28, 2017 will face exclusion.
Changes taking effect:
- The deadline for immunization verification is now the first day of the 2017-2018 school year, August 28th 2017. Previously, school administrators could work with students and families until well into the school year before a student faced exclusion. This is no longer the case. Any student who has not provided proof of immunization by August 28, 2017 will face exclusion.
- All students need 4 doses of the polio vaccine, with the 4th dose AFTER their 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous polio vaccine. This amendment could affect students of any grade.
- For students entering the 7th grade, vaccinations remain the same (Tdap & Meningitis Vaccines), but are now subject to the new deadline of August 28, 2017.
- Seniors in the 2017-2018 school year will now need a meningitis vaccine by August 28, 2017. This is the second of two meningitis vaccines that are required for students.
This month, letters were mailed to the parents/guardians of students who need vaccines prior to August 28th. If you have any questions regarding where your child stands, you can contact your school’s nurse before June 14.
- Bancroft Elementary – Mrs. Maureen Orlando, firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-925-5711
- Greenwood Elementary – Mrs. Tricia Harlan, email@example.com or 610-388-5993
- Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center – Mrs. Kelly Hostetler, firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-444-6285
- New Garden Elementary – Ms. Patricia Body, email@example.com or 610-268-6903
- Kennett Middle School – Mrs. Diane Shannon, firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-268-5874
- Kennett High School – Mrs. Kathleen Eginton, email@example.com or 610-444-6615 OR Mrs. Jane Heemer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-444-6615
After June 14, if you have any questions, please contact Diane Shannon, RNC, MSN, School Health Coordinator at email@example.com
If you do not have access to health insurance, immunizations can be obtained at the Chester County Health Department.
Walk-In Immunization Clinics are Tuesdays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Wednesdays 12 noon – 6 p.m. with no appointment necessary. However, you must bring your immunization records.
601 Westtown Road
West Chester, PA 19380
Again, any student who is not up to date by August 28, 2017 will face exclusion.
The 2017-2018 student school year will begin on Monday, August 28, 2017, and is tentatively set to end on Thursday, June 7, 2018, dependent on the need for inclement weather make-up days. The winter holiday will run from Friday, December 22, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018, with school resuming on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Spring break will be Monday, March 26 through Friday, March 30, 2018. Graduation is scheduled for Friday, June 8, 2018.
Six (6) inclement weather days are added to the end of the school year. There are five days designated as “local holidays” in accordance with the ruling of the Department of Education. The designated local holidays are Monday, January 15, 2018 (Martin Luther King holiday); Monday, February 19, 2018 (President’s Day holiday); and Monday, March 26 through Wednesday, March 28, 2018 (spring break).
Click here to download the 2017-2018 KCSD Calendar
Students and their families agree that the Kennett Consolidated School District’s second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Family Night was an overwhelming success. The evening was designed to encourage dynamic interactions among family members and increase awareness of the District’s STEM opportunities. Attendees participated in activities that focused on STEM principles by encouraging students and their families to build, create, and learn together.
Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) staff and students volunteered to operate 26 STEM activity stations. All the stations were designed for children ages kindergarten through eighth grade. Attendees had the opportunity to explore 3-D printing, create slime, conduct chemistry experiments, learn about the Blue Demon Robotics program, make their own soap, play math games, and test out computer apps.
Specific activity stations introduced students to what the District’s STEM program has to offer. A popular station with younger students was the Three Little Pigs engineering activity. At this station, students had to build a house from toothpicks and mini marshmallows that could withstand the huffing and puffing from the big, bad wolf (a hair dryer).
Maia Gibbons, a second grade student at Greenwood Elementary School, was proud when her paper bridge held up to the weight of a large book placed on top of it. While she credited her father, an engineer, for helping her, her father gave her full credit for the successful design.
“STEM Family Night is a great event for the entire family,” Kennett Middle School Principal Mr. Lorenzo DeAngelis said. “Parents have the opportunity to learn about the District’s STEM program, and students have the freedom to explore through age-appropriate activities.”
Malcolm and Lisa Stoddard have two children who attend Bancroft Elementary School. The Stoddard’s enjoyed the variety of activities and commented that their children had been looking forward to the evening.
Jeff Hsu and his wife, Weiying Gao, are both engineers. Their oldest son, Jeremy, is in fourth grade, and they commented that they appreciate that the multitude of hands-on STEM activities offered at his school are sparking his interest.
For more information regarding Kennett Consolidated School District’s STEM program, please contact the District’s math and science curriculum specialist Dr. Lydia Hallman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a video from the evening:
In 2011, a new club was founded at Kennett High School. Demon Robotics, now in its sixth season, welcomes all skill sets, technical or nontechnical, and has more than doubled in membership since its formation. This year, the team is proud to announce that it is headed to the FIRST World Championship in Saint Louis, Missouri, April 26 to 29!
According to its website, “FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.” By developing accessible and innovative programs, the public charity hopes to motivate young people to pursue fields related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Participating in these programs allows students to build not only robots but self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. As FIRST says, it’s about “more than robots”—there is something for everyone on a robotics team.
“Demon Robotics makes Kennett a place where you don’t have to be athletic to go to a championship,” says Molly Hohner, a sophomore at Kennett High School who has been with the program for two years. “With Demon Robotics, our best qualities become the school’s best qualities. This program makes Kennett a place where, no matter what you want to do, you can achieve your dreams. Robotics brings a feeling of achievement to the students who participate and brings students together who may not have otherwise met.” Molly is the team’s secretary and marketing team lead.
All officers and team members of the club are Kennett High School students. This season, the team has 25 student members and 13 adult mentors. This season started off with a first for the team: at their first competition, at Westtown, they finished regular matches in first place, dominated in all the finals matches, and ended in second place. The team was also awarded the Industrial Design Award, sponsored by General Motors, which “celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge.”
At the second competition of the regular season, the FIRST Robotics Competition Mid-Atlantic Event at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, the team finished first. After the qualification matches, the Demons finished with nine wins and three losses, placing them in third and securing their position as an Alliance Team Captain. Then, in the elimination matches, the team won all their quarter-final and semifinal matches, taking the team to the finals. To win in the finals, an alliance must win two of three matches. After losing their first match, the Demons came back strong to win matches two and three and secured a first-place win for the weekend’s event.
These performances and awards qualified the team to compete at the Mid-Atlantic Regional District Competition at Lehigh University in April. This highly competitive three-day event was another wonderful experience for the team to develop their skills on the field of play, technically, and networking through communications. Although the team came into the event placed fourth, they did not compete in the final rounds. The very last announcement at the end of the weekend’s event, after all the awards and recognitions were presented, was that one team in attendance had secured itself a place at the FIRST FRC World Championships in Saint Louis by its overall performance this season—and that team was team 4342, Demon Robotics!
Once the team had settled down from all the screaming (and some happy tears), there was some serious work to be done. The Worlds would be held eighteen days later, which meant transportation, lodging, logistics, and funding would all need to be sorted in a very short period. Team members were looking forward to another thrilling and fulfilling competition, so everyone got behind the effort, with families, the school, and the community showing support.
Thirteen students, eight mentors, and six additional parents traveled to Saint Louis for the six-day adventure, proudly representing Kennett on the world stage. Out of 400 teams, Demon Robotics played at the same level they had all season. At one point in the competition the team held the high-match score. The students reveled in the extremely high level of play, and enjoyed watching other matches as much as playing in their own as well as talking and networking with other teams.
The trip provided far more opportunities than just the competition: there were speakers and work sessions for students and mentors to attend. Universities that offer FIRST-specific scholarships were on hand in “Scholarship Row,” and hundreds of businesses and organizations that support and offer STEM careers and interests were available to talk with students about their future plans. Teams also attended a Cardinals game. Since so many students forgo their proms for this event, ours included, there was a full “Robo-Prom.”
“It wasn’t until I joined the robotics team that I truly had a chance to explore and figure out what engineering was. I fell in love with working in the shop and solving the problems,” says Sarah Ploener, a junior who has been on the team for three years. She serves as the team’s vice president and as team lead on the Chassis Build and Drive Team. “Every year our knowledge deepens, which is what being on the team is truly about. The success of this season shows us that we are improving and that we are doing what we are meant to do. Sure, receiving our first-place banner was amazing, but the real reward is proving to ourselves and our peers that we can do this.”
The team’s accomplishments this season indicates how far the team has grown in its six years. The entire team, students and mentors alike, are ecstatic about the results. They would like to thank all the people who came out to cheer them on; parents, family members, team alumni, and other Kennett High School students, in addition to the many people near and far who watched the livestream. Without their support and generous contributions from the community, the team would not have been able to experience this season and the successes that came along with it.
Ronan Gorman, a Kennett High School freshman in his first year of the program, says, “Demon Robotics has been a great opportunity for me and I have been very fortunate to have access to the many mechanical ideas, processes, and terms that have shown me what a future in engineering will be like. With the guidance and knowledge of my mentors, I have learned many techniques that ensure certain processes or tasks are completed well and efficiently. It has been a great opportunity to get a head start for my future in engineering.”
Interested in volunteering time, talent, or funding to the program? You can contact the club’s adviser, Mr. Dan Folmar, at Kennett High School, or see the team’s website for more information: www.demonrobotics4342.org.
The Kennett Education Association (KEA) held its 26th Annual Scholarship and Awards Reception, May 30, to recognize outstanding students for their academic merit and school citizenship. These students represent the excellence that the members of the Association encourage in the Kennett Consolidated School District.
The Kennett Education Association is the professional organization of teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, school nurses, and school social workers of the Kennett Consolidated School District. Each year members of KEA select students from different levels and disciplines for special recognition for their outstanding academic achievements and school citizenship qualities. The awards are funded by contributions from members of KEA. This event represents over $7500 in support by members.
Receiving awards for their accomplishments at the elementary level were fifth graders Sadie Maxwell and Bryan Calderon (Bancroft Elementary School), Emerson Wolff and Owen Orpello (Greenwood Elementary School), and Sahana Shivakumar and Martin Hernandez (New Garden Elementary School). These students were awarded certificates and $50 book gift cards.
Recognized for their performances at Kennett Middle School were eighth graders Alondra Herrera-Esquivel and Rio Jeffrey King who received certificates and $100 book gift cards.
Earning accolades at the high school level for excellence throughout their high school careers in their disciplines were seniors Jacqueline Tucker (Business Education), Lydia Pebly (English) Juan Martinez (Fine Arts), Zachary Hrenko (Mathematics), Yvonna Liszewski (Music), Gemma Erickson (Social Studies), Madison Brown (Technical Arts), Cullen Abelson (Science) and Henry Shattuck (World Languages). Each of these awards carried with it a check for $200.
Association President Michael Kelly presented the most prestigious award of the evening to senior Lydia Pebly who will be pursuing a teaching career. Mr. Kelly congratulated Lydia on winning the KEA Award in not only 5th grade and 8th grade but also two times that night. He also welcomed Lydia into the profession and commended her for her dedication to building the future. In her application letter, Pebly did not write about knowing that she wanted to be a teacher from early on. In fact, she wrote that that decision did not occur until this year.
Mr. Kelly remarked, “Lydia believes now that teaching is her purpose. Hoping to make an impact and inspire her students just as her teachers have impacted and inspired her.”
Mr. Kelly presented Ms. Pebly with scholarship money in the amount of $5000 to be paid over her four years of college.
A reception hosted by KEA followed the presentations.