Kennett High School’s Lisa Teixeira: Teacher as Hero

Ms. Lisa Teixeira, library media specialist at Kennett High School, has won the National Liberty Museum’s Teacher as Hero Award. Ms. Teixeira will receive her award at a reception at the museum in Philadelphia on April 30.

The National Liberty Museum’s Teacher as Hero Award, a program sponsored in conjunction with the museum by State Farm, each year recognizes dedicated teachers in the Delaware Valley who “inspire, motivate and educate young people.” Teachers who have been recognized in prior years have “stood up for students’ rights; … advocated on behalf of a troubled student; … provided incredible enrichment opportunities for Sample Imagetheir students.” According to the museum’s website, “The National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving America’s heritage of freedom by encouraging people to find their own place in the story of liberty. Our core themes for young people and adults include leadership and good character; diversity and inclusion; peaceful conflict resolution; and civic engagement. Our primary art form is glass art, as it makes the point that freedom is as fragile as glass.”

Each year the museum asks for nominations and encourages people to look for qualities that include an appreciation for diversity, an ability to teach students how to resolve conflicts respectfully, and a commitment to giving students a deeper understanding of the relationship between rights and responsibilities. Teachers who honor the student voice, who take a risk to remove obstacles to a student’s liberty, and who incorporate all of these qualities into their daily relationships qualify for this award.

Ms. Teixeira was nominated for this award by Guidance Counselor Mr. Fran Ryan, who stated in his letter of nomination, “Ms. Lisa Teixeira is one of those rare individuals whose energy and humanitarian efforts far exceed that of even the most dedicated educators and community service leaders. Lisa is a fierce proponent of human rights, whether she is working in our small town of Kennett Square or whether she is serving halfway around the world. Lisa demonstrates all of the characteristics of a Teacher as Hero Award winner. Because she is our school’s librarian, she has the opportunity to interact with all of our students in grades 9-12. She is active in teaching literacy and research skills to our entire student body. She teaches lessons on a daily basis and uses her teaching as a platform to promote human rights, citizenship, and literacy skills. She also uses her sponsorship of our school’s Humanitarian Club, our Literature Club, Better Than Oprah, and for many previous years, our Student Council, to greatly enrich the education of our students in many ways.”

Mr. Ryan went on in his four-page nomination letter to enumerate the ways in which Ms. Teixeira personifies each of the qualities the award honors.

“Lisa is particularly sensitive to the cultural and educational needs of our Latino population which makes up approximately 37% of our student body. Lisa is a tremendous advocate and supporter of these wonderful students. Fifteen years ago I had the opportunity to travel with Lisa and two other colleagues to the region of Mexico from which many of our Latino students and their families migrate.  Representatives from the Department of Education in Mexico escorted our group to various public schools in the Guanajuato area. This program also included the study of the history and culture of Mexico. This experience helped all of us to see the plight of our students from Mexico with a new perspective. When we returned from our trip our group prepared and presented a workshop on Mexican culture and education to the faculties and administrators in our school district. Lisa’s tremendous research skills proved to be a great asset in helping us to put together this workshop. I believe that this workshop benefited our entire school district. It led to a better-informed and more compassionate approach to educating the Latino students throughout the district. This program could not have come close to reaching the level of excellence it did without the untiring efforts of Ms. Teixeira.”

Ms. Teixeira has traveled extensively throughout Mexico and South America on her own and is particularly interested in Mayan and Incan history and culture. She is a frequent guest speaker in the school’s social studies classes when students study these topics. The school’s Latino students are particularly appreciative of Ms. Teixeira’s knowledge of their history and cultures of origin.

Another way that Ms. Teixeira supports the school’s minority students is by serving as a mentor in the Walk in Knowledge program (WIN) that meets twice a week after school. Not only does she offer herself as a personal mentor, but she also offers the resources of the Library/Media Center to the other mentors and tutors that work in this program.

Ms. Teixeira has recently become active as a mentor in a local community program, Chester County Futures. Chester County Futures focuses on removing barriers to college attendance for minority and disadvantaged students. Her wisdom and optimism provide her mentees with great hope that they can one day attend college, despite the significant barriers they face.
    
An appreciation of diversity in the classroom can also be seen in the diversity of literature selections that are read and discussed in Ms. Teixeira’s Better Than Oprah book club. She and her club members select, read, and discuss books from a diverse group of authors and genres. The fact that the club members themselves come from diverse backgrounds is proof that Ms. Teixeira promotes diversity in this club.

Ms. Teixeira’s appreciation of diversity has not been limited to her work in Kennett High School and in Mexico. Her work has also reached around the world to China, where she taught English in China during the summers of 2012 and 2013 as part of an educator exchange program sponsored by the Chinese Department of Education. Her experiences in China helped her to develop a better understanding of Chinese culture and the Chinese education system. She shared much of what she learned in an amazing presentation that she made to teachers and students.

Back at school, Ms. Teixeira participates in the high school’s annual Multicultural and Diversity Awareness Conference. This conference brings students from across the Delaware Valley to participate in a day of workshops designed to promote cultural awareness, understanding, and tolerance. In preparation for this yearly event, Ms. Teixeira actively promotes literature and readings designed to support cultural awareness and tolerance.

Ms. Teixeira frequently encourages students to “take a stand” and “use their voices.” She promotes these ideals in her teaching and in her work with the school’s Humanitarian Club, and she has done so previously as the sponsor of the Student Council. She teaches students that they have a responsibility as American citizens to make a difference in the world. She encourages students to work to make changes if they see something that is unjust and to take part in the political process.

In discussing Ms. Teixeira’s willingness to take risks, Mr. Ryan pointed to her stand against the banning of books from the District’s libraries and the use of cameras to record students’ activities on the Internet. Ms. Teixeira has always been a proponent of individual rights as well as a strong voice to emphasize to students their personal responsibilities.

Mr. Ryan noted that Ms. Teixeira regularly seeks funding for important initiatives that benefit all students with a special focus on those that help students overcome obstacles. Recently she reached out to the Kennett Education Foundation and secured a grant to purchase Kindle e-readers to provide access to the latest technology to those disadvantaged students that otherwise would not have that opportunity. Lisa also secured a $45,000 Library Services and Technology grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that provided federal monies to purchase laptops for disadvantaged students, thus helping to level the playing field for students that lack access to technology in their homes. A grant she obtained from Swarthmore College provided money for books, tape recorders, cameras, and opportunities for college visits. In this program, students created anthologies about their own lives and were given assistance forming plans to attend college. The program also provided valuable mentoring from Swarthmore College students.

Ms. Teixeira has been the librarian at Kennett High School since 1997 and serves as chairperson. She is the senior librarian in the Kennett Consolidated School District. Ms. Teixeira holds a Master of Science in information studies from Drexel University. Prior to coming to Kennett High School, she was the children’s librarian at the Bayard Taylor Library in Kennett Square, she worked at Widener University in informational studies, and she did grant work at Drexel University, where she was also a teaching assistant.

In addition to advising clubs at the high school, Ms. Teixeira serves on numerous committees at the high school and in the District. She has two grown daughters and lives in Kennett Square, where she enjoys the life in the community. She is an active participant in the Kennett Amateur Theatrical Society and has played many roles in local performances.

Responding to her notification of the Teacher as Hero Award, Ms. Teixeira humbly said, “I am very grateful for the recognition, but we know it takes a village, and I’m just one member of the school community!”

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KMS Presents Shrek, Jr.

Kennett Middle School is excited to present Shrek, Jr.

  • Friday, May 8 at 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 9 at 1:00 and 7:00 PM

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students & seniors.

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KHS Creates Second Lip Dub Video

The students, faculty, administration, and staff lined the halls and filled the gymnasium of Kennett High School on Friday, March 27.  Their goal was to create a spirit filled video to be posted on YouTube.

Organized by senior videographers Kiersten Anderson, Lucas Ransick, Heather McDonald, and Tyler Mousley under the guidance of award winning video production teacher Frank Vanderslice, the students lip dubbed to Smash Mouth’s hit “All Star.”

Clubs, sports teams, band members, cheerleaders, and costumed characters danced and made noise as the cameras toured through hallways lined with students and festooned with signs and streamers.  The rainy day did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants, especially the seniors who ended the video with the chant “WE ARE – KENNETT.” 

In the photo above, Robotics Club members show club pride by displaying their competition number in the Lip Dub. 

This is the second time that Kennett High School has produced a lip dub video.  The last, in 2010, got a modest number of views. The goal this time is to get at least 50,000 views.  The true purpose of the event was to encourage students to display their spirit and school pride as they closed out the third marking period and headed into Spring Break.

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Kennett High School Announces National Merit Finalists

Kennett High School is proud to announce that five Kennett High School students have been recognized as National Merit Finalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

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The National Merit Finalists are (from left) seniors PJ O’Sullivan, Nichol Brown, Jonathan Baumel, Katherine Gallivan, and Richard Doty.

Nichol will attend Arizona State University, where she will major in English/linguistics. Katherine will study to be a physician assistant at Philadelphia University. At this point, PJ, Jonathan, and Richard are waiting to hear from their top-choice schools.
 
The 2014-2015 school year is the 60th year of the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program, which honors academically talented high school seniors and lets them compete for 8,000 National Merit Scholarship awards worth more than $35 million. The awards will be announced this spring.

To become a National Merit Finalist, a student must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying performance.
 
More than 1.5 million high school juniors in over 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2014-2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

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Child Protective Services Law Update

The Pennsylvania General Assembly once again amended the Child Protective Services Law (Act 153) in July of 2015 through what is known as Act 15 of 2015.  Significant changes to the background check requirements have been made, and the highlights to the law are summarized in this document below.

Act 15 defines direct volunteer contact as the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children and routine interaction with children.  Routine interaction is defined as regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.  

  • Effective July 1, 2016 or by adoption of a new School Board policy, volunteers must have clearances in order to be approved to offer their services in the schools.  
  • All fees associated with background checks have been waived.  Although Act 15 does provide a few exemptions within the law, effective August 31, 2015, the Kennett Consolidated School District will be requiring background clearances from all volunteers who are supervising children in an effort to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of all students. 
  • All Pennsylvania background checks are now valid for a five (5) year period. 
  • If a volunteer has continuously resided in Pennsylvania for 10 years AND swears in writing that he or she has never been convicted of a disqualifying crime in Pennsylvania or the corresponding offenses under the laws of any other jurisdiction, they only need to secure the Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse Clearance (Act 151) and the Pennsylvania Criminal History Check (Act 34); the Federal Clearance (Act 114) is not needed.

Volunteers may obtain these clearances by applying online at the following websites:

Once obtained the clearances must be  submitted to the school principal.

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    Kennett High School Senior Athlete Commits to the United States Military Academy at West Point

     

    Kennett High School celebrated senior Hannah Shiflet signing her letter of intent to play lacrosse for the United States Military Academy at West Point during a ceremony on March 9, 2015. Sample Image

    Hannah (seated, middle) was surrounded by her parents, Bob Shiflet (seated, left) and Sharon Shiflet (seated, right), as well as (standing, from left) her coach, Dale Watkins, her sister, Kate, her guidance counselor, Mr. Fran Ryan, and Kennett High School Athletic Director Mr. Jeff Thomas.

    Hannah began playing lacrosse for Kennett High School on the junior varsity team as a freshman. She has played defense and midfield for the varsity team for three years. She has also played for a club team for the past four years. In 2014 she earned the Blue Demon Award and was named an U.S. Lacrosse Academic All American. As a senior, Hannah will serve as the varsity team captain

    “Hannah is a tremendous athlete who will be missed,” Coach Watkins said. “She is a tenacious defender … a well-rounded student athlete who makes everyone around her better.”

    In addition to lacrosse, Hannah also plays goalie for the high school’s varsity soccer team. In 2011 and in 2012 she was named to the All-Conference Second Team. In 2013 and 2014 she was named to the All-Conference First Team. In 2014 she was also awarded the Kennett High School Award of Excellence and the Best Defensive Player Award. During her senior year, Hannah served as team captain.

    In 2014 Hannah won the Congressional Scholar Athlete Award.

    Hannah will be following in her parents’ footsteps by attending the United States Military Academy. “Attending West Point has always been my dream,” Hannah said. “Receiving a lacrosse scholarship makes my acceptance even more amazing.”

    Hannah intends to major in engineering.

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    Kennett Middle School Recognized as a School to Watch

    For the second time since 2012, Kennett Middle School was recognized by the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch program. This redesignation will be celebrated in May during a ceremony at the middle school.

    The Pennsylvania Schools to Watch program annually recognizes a small number of diverse, high-performing, growth-oriented middle schools that demonstrate academic excellence, developmental responsiveness to the unique challenges of early adolescence, social equity, and school structures and processes that support and sustain the path to excellence. The middle school joins a very select cadre of 31 schools in Pennsylvania and more than 370 schools across the country that have earned the distinction of being Schools to Watch; only four others are located in the Delaware Valley Region.

    A Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn School is a school that has made marked progress in meeting all of the nationally endorsed criteria for high-performing middle schools, including the following:

    • Academic Excellence. High-performing schools with middle grades are academically excellent. They challenge all students to use their minds well.
    • Developmental Responsiveness. High-performing schools with middle grades are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence.
    • Social Equity. High-performing schools with middle grades are socially equitable, democratic, and fair. They provide every student with high-quality teachers, resources, learning opportunities, and support. They keep positive options open for all students. 
    • Organizational Structures and Processes. High-performing schools with middle grades are learning organizations that establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence.

    As part of the evaluation process, a group of educators visited Kennett Middle School to observe, firsthand, how the school functions on a daily basis. During their observation, they noted several areas where Kennett was exceeding expectations, including the following:

    • Daily grade level team meetings effectively address student needs and challenges.
    • The entire staff knows and appreciates the complexities of each student’s life and makes extensive efforts to know each student well as early in the year as possible.
    • Faculty should be commended for making learning meaningful and relevant by tapping into the diversity with their school community.
    • Implementing the LEAD program to provide every middle school student with an advocate.

    “This was a collaborative effort that included every person throughout our school,” Kennett Middle School Assistant Principal Mr. Lorenzo DeAngelis said. “It took an honest, collective effort to complete the evaluation process, and I am extremely proud of our students, staff, and faculty.”

    Representatives from Kennett Middle School attended the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education Professional Development Institute in late February. At this conference, not only was the school officially announced and recognized, Kennett Middle School’s representatives presented highlights of the school’s programs.

    The middle school will also be recognized in Washington, D.C., at the National Schools to Watch Conference at the end of June.”

    My hat is off to all of the stakeholders involved with our middle school,” stated Dr. Barry Tomasetti, superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District. “Together, they have developed a productive school climate where excellence and respect for others is expected from everyone.”

    Since 1999, the Schools to Watch program has recognized more than 380 schools in 19 states, including 35 schools in Pennsylvania. A middle school that is designated as a School to Watch retains that honor for three years and must reapply, as Kennett Middle School did.

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    Kennett Consolidated School District Student Registration Checklist

    The Kennett Consolidated School District welcomes you to our district. Note: Students must have attained the age of 5 years on or before September 30th for kindergarten. For 1st grade, students must have attained the age of 6 years on or before September 30th of the year he or she is to be admitted to first grade or attained the age of five years, seven months before the first day of September and successfully completed a kindergarten program that satisfies the requirements established by Pennsylvania statutes, regulations, and rules. All registrations will be processed in the Student Registration Office located at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center by appointment only. You may schedule your appointment by calling (610) 444-4235.

    Below is the list of required documents in addition to the registration packet at the time of your scheduled registration appointment:

    1. Two (2) current proofs of residency. Valid proofs of residency consist of a lease signed by both parties (executed within the last year), deed, settlement statement (HUD-1), real estate tax bill, homeowner’s/renter’s/title insurance policy, vehicle registration card, vehicle insurance card, voter’s registration card, employer letter on letterhead (if not self-employed), bank statement or current (within 30 days or quarterly) mortgage statement or utility activation or billing statement (water, electric, oil, propane, cable, internet, phone). Current address must be listed on documentation. Further documentation may be requested at the discretion of the school district.
    2. Parent/Guardian identification: valid driver’s license, state issued ID or passport.
    3. Student’s original birth certificate, baptismal certificate or valid passport.
    4. Immunization record.
    5. Parent Registration Statement (provided in the registration packet).
    6. Home Language Survey (provided in the registration packet)

    If applicable: Residency and Guardianship Affidavits will be considered after July 1st.

    1. If parent/guardian and student are residing in someone else’s home, a Residency Affidavit must be completed by both resident and parent/guardian. At the time of registration appointment all parties must be present. Note: Two (2) proofs of residency and identification of the resident and four (4) proofs of residency and identification of the parent/guardian must be provided when submitting for approval. Acceptable proofs of residency and identification are listed on the forms. Forms are included in the registration packet. Further documentation may be requested at the discretion of the school district. Superintendent will review documentation submitted and provide final approval.
    2. If student is residing with someone other than the parent, a notarized Guardianship Affidavit must be completed by the guardian. Note: Two (2) proofs of residency and identification of the guardian must be provided when submitting for approval. Further documentation may be requested at the discretion of the school district. Superintendent will review documentation submitted and provide final approval.
    3. If student is placed with a family by a court system or foster agency, an original placement letter is required at the time of the registration appointment.

    To ensure a smooth transition in the educational needs of your child, the following documents should be provided:

    1. Copy of last report card and/or withdrawal grades if the child previously attended another school.
    2. Copy of unofficial school transcript if student has completed at least half a semester in grades 9-12.
    3. For special education students, a copy of the most recent Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and evaluation report.
    4. 504 Service Agreement/Plan

    Once all registration requirements have been met, you may contact the appropriate school (s) regarding orientation programs and class scheduling.

    • Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center, K – 409 Center Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-444-6260
    • Bancroft Elementary, 1-5 – 181 Bancroft Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-925-5711
    • Greenwood Elementary School, 1-5 – 420 Greenwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-388-5990
    • New Garden Elementary School, 1-5 – 265 New Garden Road, PO Box 488, Toughkenamon, PA 19374; 610-268-6900
    • Kennett Middle School, 6-8 – 195 Sunny Dell Road, Landenberg, PA 19350; 610-268-5800
    • Kennett High School, 9-12 – 100 East South Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-444-6620
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    Lista de Verificación para la Inscripción del Estudiante en el Kennett Consolidated School Distric

    El Kennett Consolidated School District le da la bienvenida al distrito. Nota: Para asistir a kindergarten, los estudiantes deben tener los 5 años cumplidos el 30 de septiembre. Para asistir a 1er grado, los estudiantes deben haber cumplido los 6 años de edad el 30 de septiembre del año que el alumno va a ser admitido al primer grado o haber cumplido cinco años y siete meses antes del primer día de septiembre y haber completado con éxito un programa de kindergarten que cumpla con las reglas, regulaciones y estatutos del estado de Pennsylvannia. Las inscripciones serán procesadas en la Oficina de Inscripción ubicado en el Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center. Es necesario obtener una cita. Puede pedir una cita llamando al (610) 444-4235.

    A continuación encontrará una lista de los documentos necesarios además del paquete de registro que deberá llevar a la cita de inscripción:

    1. Dos (2) pruebas actuales de residencia. Pruebas válidas de residencia son un contrato de arrendamiento firmado por ambas partes, una escritura, un contrato del cierre (HUD-1), una cuenta de impuestos a la propiedad, póliza de seguros de propietarios/arrendatarios/titulo, tarjeta de registro de su vehículo, tarjeta de seguro de su vehiculo, tarjeta de registro de votante, Dirección de los padres / tutor legal y comprobante de empleo con el membrete del empleador (si no trabaja por su cuenta propia), extracto de cuenta bancaria, o una declaración actual (correspondiente a los últimos 30 días o trimestre) de la hipoteca, recibo de servicios de la conección o la factura del (agua, electricidad aceite, propano, cable, internet, teléfono). La documentación debe presentar la dirección actual. Es posible que el distrito escolar le pida más documentación.
    2. Identificación del Padre/Tutor: licencia de conducir válida, identificación emitida por el estado o pasaporte.
    3. Certificado de nacimiento original del estudiante, certificado de bautismo o pasaporte válido.
    4. Certificados de vacunación.
    5. Formulario de declaración de inscripción para padres (Este cuestionario se incluye en el paquete de inscripción).
    6. Cuestionario del idioma que se habla en el hogar (Este cuestionario se incluye en el paquete de inscripción).

    Si corresponde: La declaración jurada de tutela y residencia se considerará después del 1ro de julio.

    1. Si el padre/tutor y el estudiante residen en la casa de un tercero, tanto el residente como el padre/tutor deben presentar una declaración jurada de residencia, firmada ante un notario público. Todas las personas deben estar presentes en el momento de la inscripción. Nota: Al enviar la aprobación, debe proporcionar dos (2) pruebas de residencia e identificación del residente y cuatro (4) del padre/tutor. Los formularios contienen una lista de los documentos que se pueden utilizar como prueba de residencia e identificación. Los formularios se incluyen en el paquete de inscripción. Es posible que el distrito escolar le pida más documentación. El Superintendente revisará la documentación presentada y dará la aprobación final.
    2. Si el estudiante reside con otra persona que no sea el padre, el tutor debe completar una declaración jurada de tutela firmada ante un notario público. Nota: El tutor debe proporcionar dos (2) pruebas de residencia e identificación al entregar los documentos para que sean aprobados. Es posible que el distrito escolar le pida más documentación. El Superintendente revisará la documentación presentada y dará la aprobación final.
    3. Si el tribunal coloca al estudiante con una familia o con una agencia de acogida, se necesitará presentar una carta original de colocación cuando se vaya a la cita de inscripción.

    Para que la transición hacia las necesidades de educación se realice sin problemas, presente los siguientes documentos:

    1. Una copia del último boletín de notas y/o las notas al retirarse de la escuela a la cual asistió anteriormente.
    2. Una copia del expediente académico no oficial, si el estudiante ha completado por lo menos medio semestre en los grados 9-12.
    3. En el caso de los estudiantes que reciben educación especial, necesitará presentar una copia del IEP (Plan de Educación Individualizado) más reciente y un informe de evaluación.
    4. Acuerdo/Plan de servicio 504

    Una vez que se hayan cumplido los requisitos de inscripción, póngase en contacto con las escuelas correspondientes para saber sobre los programas de orientación y los horarios de clase.

    • Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center, K – 409 Center Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-444-6260
    • Bancroft Elementary, 1-5 – 181 Bancroft Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-925-5711
    • Greenwood Elementary School, 1-5 – 420 Greenwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-388-5990
    • New Garden Elementary School, 1-5 – 265 New Garden Road, PO Box 488, Toughkenamon, PA 19374; 610-268-6900
    • Kennett Middle School, 6-8 – 195 Sunny Dell Road, Landenberg, PA 19350; 610-268-5800
    • Kennett High School, 9-12 – 100 East South Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348; 610-444-6620
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    Snow Make-Up Day – Update

    In accordance with the 2014-2015 calendar, student make-up days for school cancellations are as follows –

    Tuesday, February 17 will be made up on Thursday, June 11, 2015; Monday, March 2 will be made up on Friday, June 12, 2015; Thursday, March 5 will be made up on Monday, March 30, 2015; and Friday, March 6 will be made up on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

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