Kennett High School Named One of Nation’s Best

The Kennett Consolidated School District is proud to announce that U.S. News & World Report has once again named Kennett High School one of America’s Best High Schools.

To produce the 2017 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News & World Report teamed up with North Carolina based RTI International, a global nonprofit social-science research firm. The comprehensive rankings methodology is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, including disadvantaged populations, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators. Additionally, the graduation rate for ranked schools is 15 percent higher than schools that are not ranked.

New this year, U.S. News & World Report began factoring Advanced Placement® (AP) exams in the ranking methodology to highlight schools that expose their students to a diverse and rigorous high school curriculum. With an AP pass rate of 66 percent (meaning students scored a three or higher on an AP exam), Kennett High School students have shown that they can rise to a challenge.

“Congratulations to our students, faculty, staff, administration, parents, and Board of Education,” says Kennett Consolidated School District superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti. “These awards are the result of many focused individuals giving their best efforts to provide a remarkable educational experience for our children. A Kennett education is second to none in preparing students for a successful future.”

“The most recent recognition by U.S. News & World Report naming Kennett High School as one of America’s best is something that all students and teachers should embrace with pride,” says Kennett High School principal Dr. Jeremy Hritz. “This prestigious honor is the result of their hard work and dedication.”

For more information on the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking processes and details on Kennett High School’s rankings, please visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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Flu Vaccine Clinic

Stopping the Flu Starts with You

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.

When: Thursday, October 18 starting at 2:30pm

Where: Kennett High School’s cafeteria

Below are links to the form you will need to complete:

CCHD consent 2018 English

CCHD consent 2018 Spanish

For more information, visit www.chesco.org/health/flu. Same day, onsite registration only. If you have health insurance, bring your cards. All insurance types, including medical assistance, are welcome. Flu shots are free to those without insurance.

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New Vaccine Requirements

A reminder to all parents:

A number of students entering 12th are missing proof of their second meningitis vaccine and a number of students entering 7th grade are missing their  Tdap and/or meningitis vaccine. These vaccines are technically required before students can being school on August 28th. While we are giving students a 5-day grace period, please note that students will not be allowed to attend school on September 3rd (day after Labor Day) without proof of mandated vaccines.

For 7th grade students who still need to provide proof of the Tdap and meningitis vaccines, contact Diane Shannon at 610-268-5874 or dshannon@kcsd.org. Proof of vaccines can also be faxed to 610-268-5892.

For 12th grade students who still need to provide proof of the second meningitis vaccine (done after age 16), contact Susan Steuber at 610-444-6615 or ssteuber@kcsd.org. Proof of vaccines can also be faxed to 610-444-7013.

New Vaccine Requirements 2017 – English

New Vaccine Requirements 2017 -Spanish

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KCSD Releases 2018-2019 Calendar

The 2018-2019 student school year will begin on Monday, August 27, 2018, and is tentatively set to end on Thursday, June 6, 2019, dependent on the need for inclement weather make-up days. The winter holiday will run from Monday, December 24, 2018, through Tuesday, January 1, 2019, with school resuming on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Spring break will be Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19, 2019. Graduation is scheduled for Friday, June 7, 2019.

Inclement weather make-up days will be 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 21, 2019 (Martin Luther King holiday); Monday, February 18, 2019 (President’s Day holiday); and Monday, April 15 through Wednesday, April 17, 2019 (spring break).

Click to download a one-page version of the 2018-2019 KCSD Calendar

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Kennett High School Multicultural Conference Challenges Students to Change the World

In April, Kennett High School welcomed high school students, teachers, and school personnel to the 17th Annual Multicultural and Diversity Awareness Conference. The day was full of thought-provoking workshops organized by a student committee and led by students, educators, and adults who are all well versed in multicultural affairs. The event was kicked off by Mr. Ray Fernandez, the program coordinator and the assistant principal of Kennett High School. group of students

Mr. Fernandez opened the gathering by sharing that the conference is the highlight of the school year for him. “Every year,” he announced, “I look forward to this special event because it’s an awesome opportunity for all of us to not only learn, but to participate and receive a positive and rewarding experience.”

He continued by encouraging the students attending to become involved in the discussions throughout the day. “We want you to be an active participant, not a passive listener,” he said. “Listen, but also speak and ask questions, as well. Offer your thoughts and opinions.”

Following the thoughtful words of Mr. Fernandez, the superintendent of Kennett Consolidated School District, Dr. Barry Tomasetti, took the opportunity to say a few words and to applaud Mr. Fernandez’ hard work in making the Multicultural and Diversity Conference a highly anticipated event hosted by the District for 17 years.

Next to the podium was Kennett High School freshman Johnette Boddy who eloquently introduced the influential keynote speaker, Mr. John Suggs, community activist and executive director of CF Charities in Philadelphia.

Keyanna has volunteered at the conference since her freshman year. She is a member of both UNIDAD and Ujima, student groups focusing on Latino and African-American student leadership.

“I enjoy the Multicultural Conference because it enables me to step out of my comfort zone,” Keyanna says. “I get to meet new people and share ideas.”

Mrs. Tania Ramos Oton, a teacher from Esperanza Academy in Philadelphia, has been bringing students to the Multicultural and Diversity Awareness Conference for years. She comments that she welcomes the opportunity to expose her students from North Philadelphia to a youth conference about diversity. Two of her students, sophomore Wily Lopez and freshman Andrick Medrano, were looking forward to their workshop choices, stating that both held the potential to help them in their daily lives.

Students from 16 different schools attended the conference. All took away a heightened appreciation for their diverse cultural backgrounds. Mr. Fernandez explains that, “We are all unique, but we share the same dreams, struggles, and fears. It is this joining together and the safe space we provide at this conference that helps students realize that although we may be slightly different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside.”

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Kennett High School Inducts National Honor Society Members

The Kennett High School Blue and White Chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed the 2018-19 inductees at a ceremony and reception on April 4, 2018. The ceremony had been previously scheduled for March 21, but was postponed due to snow.

Chapter adviser Dr. Alicia Tamargo opened the program. Four National Honor Society members from the Class of 2018 delivered speeches highlighting the Cardinal Objectives, the qualities expected of members: Maxwell Judd (character), Francesca Caccamo (scholarship), Claire Dawyot (leadership), and Erin Duffy (service). Senior speeches were delivered by Allison Taylor and James Rosser.

Next, Mr. Jeffery Thomas, Assistant Principal, called the role of the existing members of the Chapter. These students were inducted into the Society last year: Ashton Albert, Leo Battalora, Jose Becerra, Tyler Bowdoin, Megan Bunke, Francesca Caccamo, Daniela Carmona, Clare Catanzaro, Hannah Church, Giulianna Claricurzio, Katherine Clarke, Anna Colamarino, Madelyn Conlin-Day, Michael Crognale, Jillian Curran, Abby Davidson, Claire Dawyot, Abigail Devestine, Kaitlyn Devonshire, Daniel Drennan, Abigail Duckworth, Erin Duffy, Nicholas Erni, Eliane Esparza Villarruel, Kevin Fiss, Melissa Fitzgibbon, Eric Gaver, David Geller, Victoria Gonzalez, Ryley Harris, Caroline Hertz, Sydney Holder, Nicole Huff, Quinn Huffaker, Alexa Hussey, Kelsey Jernegan, Cedric Jones, Benjamin Jordan, Delaney Joyce, Maxwell Judd, Jake Kalscheur, Brinda Kapur, Meghann LaCosta, Keiri Lemus Ramirez, Benjamin Lesher, Caroline Maroko, Matthew Patterson, Cameron Petrillo, Gianna Pippin, Elizabeth Rauscher, Lily Reilly, James Rosser, Katherine Rowe, Alena Rybarczyk, Jennifer Schaen, Morgan Schaen, Kathleen Schuetz, Linus Silbernagel, Elijah Smith, Lukas Staudenmayer, Samantha Sullivan, Allison Taylor, Emily Thompson, Madison Thureen, James Tuley, Citlaly Weed, Trinette Wheeler, Kaitlyn Willey, Chase Williams, Anna Wilson, Karma Yang, and Cynthia Zern.

Dr. Tomorrow Jenkins, Assistant Principal, called the role of new inductees who were welcomed into the Chapter: Seniors Sarah Anderson, Merritt Connolly, Joseph Davidson, Eliza Fantazzi, Pathampon Moonthianngam, Sarah Ploener, Lauren Sugar, and Anneliese Werner; Juniors Lilian Alba Rodriguez, Emily Augustine, Camille Avedisian, Kassandra Ayllon, Lizette Bedolla-Zavala, Amanda Bell, Jonathan Bell, Claire Borman, Julia Bradley, Jayna Bruno, Madison Canter, Mara Castleton, Avery Chapman, Ava Charlton, Heather Cooper, Alexandra Cresci, Maya Das, Zhuanel Du Toit, Kathryn Erisman, Christopher Ferrighetto, Victoria Freire, Timothy Freligh, Emma Giancola, Holly Gouge, Molly Hohner, Mary Holguin, Alexandra Hughson, Rachel Hyzny, Rhea Jiang, Mitchell Kosara, Meredith Krieger, Kevin Lemus Moreno, Samuel Lesher, John MacMillan, Peter Magasiny, Brenna McGowan, Olivia McLaurin, Sydney Mentzer, Tamblyn Mitchell, Jack Mullen, Zoe Nguyen, Caleb Pebly, Colin Petersen, Mirella Petrillo, Davis Piercy, Noal Rasero, Hildi Reiter, Kyle Robertson, Cole Robinson, Katherine Roche, Katelin Rumbold, Erin Salameda, Joseph Schlitz, Connor Schmidt, Evan Shinn, Ananya Shivakumar, Samuel Starr, Kristina Testa, Sydney Thureen, Tamryn Whyte, Elizabeth Wilkie, Emma Yue, and Brenna Zdebski.

Following the induction ceremony and roll call, Assistant Principal Raymond Fernandez administered the pledge of honor, and Dr. Tamargo announced the newly elected officers for 2018-19: President Rachel Hyzny, Vice President Tamblyn Mitchell, Secretary Victoria Freire, Treasurer Alex Starr, and Historian Rhea Jiang. Dr. Hritz then closed the ceremony and invited all to a reception in the cafeteria.

Members of the Blue and White Chapter must demonstrate and maintain high standards of the four hallmarks of the National Honor Society: scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Throughout the year, National Honor Society members participate in service activities, including tutoring and fundraising. This year they have organized two blood drives for the American Red Cross, worked on volunteer crews for the Mushroom Festival, and ushered patrons at this year’s musical Fiddler on the Roof. The group is also looking forward to activities in the community this spring, particularly volunteering at the Kennett Run.

Members of the Blue and White Chapter became eligible by posting a 3.75 grade point average (GPA) by the second semester of their junior year. Additional qualities of character, leadership, and service were assessed by the faculty of Kennett High School and reviewed by members of the National Honor Society Faculty Council, who are chosen by the principal from among the faculty and serve for a period of two years. This year’s Faculty Council included Mr. Robert Anthony, Mr. Vincent Civiletti, Ms. Sara Donovan, Mr. Joseph Hutcheson, Ms. Heather Morihara, Ms. Amanda O’Connor, Ms. Elizabeth Richey, Ms. Chanel Ruffin, Ms. Jennifer Schmalzbach, Mr. Robert Socash, Mrs. Hannah Taylor, Mr. Frances Vanderslice, and Mr. Robert Virgin.

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2017-2018 Calendar Revision – NEW

As a result of schools being closed six times because of inclement weather, the last student day for the 2017-2018 school year will now be a half-day on Friday, June 15, 2018.

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Kennett Inspires Creativity with Art and Music Programs

Eighth grade student Eduardo Guadarrama focuses on learning the guitar.

March is a month to celebrate visual art and music in schools with Youth Art Month, sponsored by the Council for Art Education, and Music in our Schools Month, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

Ms. Jessica Williams reviews chords with her students.

The importance of arts in our schools has been proven time and time again. According to the advocacy website DoSomething.org, students who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than peers who do not; students who study art are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

 and school attendance. In the District, arts and music thrive through unique and rigorous programs that cannot be found in other area schools. In March, we celebrate the guitar curriculum at Kennett Middle School and the ceramics and fine art programs at Kennett High School.

At Kennett Middle School, eighth-grade students have the opportunity to learn one of the world’s most popular instruments: the guitar. Between the two of them, music teachers Mrs. Patricia Mancuso and Ms. Jessica Williams have eight sections of guitar classes. The middle school has been offering the class since the 2004–05 school year.

Ms. Williams likes to keep the class contemporary by learning well-known songs like Bill Withers’s “Lean on Me,” While picking up a new instrument is difficult for anyone, with hard work, practice, and a few broken strings, the middle-school students learn to love their new skill. “This class is a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot and I didn’t know anything when I started, but now I can switch chords pretty well,” says eighth-grade student Eduardo Guadarrama, whose favorite song to play is Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

A performance ensemble like chorus and band or the guitar class can be tough, but there are those who see the advantages. Eighth-grade student Melanie Alvarado says, “It’s nice to have new learning experiences for free.”

The guitars were purchased through funds raised by the Kennett Consolidated School District Friends of Music, a parent-driven nonprofit that supports all music programs in the District, along with startup money from the District.

The students’ enthusiasm for the guitar is a snapshot of the role music education plays in their studies. “It’s really exciting to see students be musically creative, even if they don’t think they’re ‘musically inclined,” adds Ms. Williams. “They’re learning that they can be a part of music, too.”

Over at Kennett High School, students are offered exceptional artistic training in both ceramics and classic artistic mediums. in Mr. Thomas Hironimus’s fine-arts classroom, students study media and techniques like graphite, acrylic, and charcoal.

Eleventh grade student Alexandra Cresci with her oil pastel piece.

“My main goal is to prepare students for later in life, either in a higher education setting or to have the skills to pursue art on their own,” said Mr. Hironimus. He described his own art education and the skills gap he had when pursuing an art degree, which inspired him to go into education. His students are passionate and dedicated to their work; they have achieved high marks at the Chester County High School Art Festival in past years, held at the Chester County Art Association. Kennett High School enters 24 pieces of art every year, out of the nearly 500 pieces from around Chester County, and has placed first in several categories over the past eight years. Mr. Hironimus has even seen parents’ art displayed at local galleries. “We’re lucky to have a community that supports the art program at the high school.”

Students have also found success studying art in higher education, like at the Tyler School of Art, Kutztown University, and Millersville University. Next year, twelfth-grade student Maddie Conlin-Day plans to study textile design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, one of the most prestigious art institutions in the country. “Every day in the art room is a great day,” says Maddie. “I learned everything I know about art here.”

Students looking for something a little more “hands-on” can pursue the ceramics course, a yearlong class that is offered all four years (Most schools only offer an elective like this for part of the year.) “It really allows students to dive deep and hone their skills,” says high-school pottery teacher Mrs. Jodi Davidson.

“It’s a huge confidence builder for a student to take a piece of clay and create things they never thought they could,” adds Mrs. Davidson. “I still fall in love with the craft as a teacher and artist watching my students create.”

Students in the ceramics program begin with foundational skills, hand-building sculptures with clay and creating basic ceramics. 

Tenth grade student Ronan Gorman’s Advanced Level 2 hand thrown mugs.

As they move up, they learn to throw pieces on the wheel and make bigger projects, including sculptural pieces. Projects range from utilitarian tools, like mugs and bowls, to artistic projects, like masks inspired by world cultures.

Mrs. Davidson has been an artist since she was young—in high school, she created her own jewelry and clothing. She pursued her love of art at West Chester University, earning a degree in fine arts. After graduation, Mrs. Davidson fell in love with teaching art and eventually went back to school for her master’s in art education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. “Going to school for art is doable, and I love seeing students pursue their passion for art after high school,” added Mrs. Davidson.

Twelfth grade student Katie Schuetz’s First Year Ceramics lattice cup and teapot pieces.

Even for students who do not pursue art in higher education, participating in the ceramics course cultivates a love for art that

gram is undertaking a mosaic project to decorate the hallways of the art classrooms. The students mold and glaze the tiles in the school and help construct the mosaic, which is projected for completion at the end of the school year. embodies why art education is important. “Having a creative outlet is really important for all people,” added Mrs. Davidson.

Currently, the ceramics program is undertaking a mosaic project to decorate the hallways of the art classrooms. The students mold and glaze the tiles in the school and help construct the mosaic, which is projected for completion at the end of the school year.

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