January Update

Dear parents,

Happy New Year! I know that 2015 will bring great learning opportunities for our students. Please know that our teachers and staff are committed to helping each child succeed and reach their highest potential in the Kent City Schools.

Last month, I updated our Board of Education on the results of my Entry Plan Survey, which over 170 people completed. Here are quick summaries of the five questions, as well as some of the suggested changes.

  1. Please describe the culture of your school and the District. What aspects are positive and should be kept, and which components could benefit from change?

Summary: Overall, comments were positive and showed a real awareness that we care about our students. A number of respondents complimented our positive school culture and expressed pride in the District. Change: We can benefit from better communications at all levels.

  1. What are your hopes and dreams for your school and the District?

Summary: It’s clear that everyone supports the positive learning environment at our schools and wants to make sure that our students feel safe, have fun and enjoy learning. Change: Continue to focus on improving graduation rates and maintaining the financial security of the District.

  1. What is going well at your school and in the District?

Summary: Results included positive comments about each of our schools, which focused on the way each staff works as a team to serve the best interests of students. Change: Continue the commitment to address the ever-growing needs of our students.

  1. What aspects of your school or the District might benefit from change?

Summary: We received a number of very specific comments and suggestions, which will be reviewed and considered. Change: Review programs, improve communications and promote fresh ideas.

  1. What expectations do you have of me as your new superintendent?

Summary: Respondents challenged me to evaluate the Kent City Schools program and guide them to the next level by being well informed and proactive. Change: Respondents made their feelings clear—“We need a leader who believes in us and appreciates us—and puts kids first.”

            Thank you to those who participated for your time and thoughtful responses. If you have further thoughts, please e-mail me at ke_gjoseph@kentschools.net or call me at 330-676-7610.

Thank you again for your continued support of the Kent City Schools,

George J. Joseph




December 2014/January 2015

Dear parents,

On behalf of the Kent City School staff, we would like to wish you a happy holiday season.  Winter Break begins on Monday, December 22, 2014 and continues through Friday, January 2, 2015.  We look forward to see everyone back to school on Monday, January 5, 2015.

After two weeks away from the classroom, early readers can forget some of their newly learned vocabulary and reading skills.  Please consider trying the following activities.  I encourage parents of early readers to take advantage of the wonderful books available about the holiday season.

Vacation Tips for parents with young readers

  • Have your child read to you each day throughout the Winter Break.
  • Choose a calm place, free from interruption, for your child to do reading each day.
  • As your child reads, indicate spelling and sound patterns for example… cat, sat and pat.
  • When your child reads to you and makes an error, point out the words missed and assist them to read the word correctly.
  • Ask your child to tell you in their own words what takes place in a story.
  • To test your child’s understanding, provide short breaks and ask your child questions about the characters and events in the story.
  • Ask your child why they imagined a character acted in a certain way and ask them to support answers with information from the story.
  • Before the end of a story, ask your child what they think will occur next and have them explain why.
  • Make reading together fun and enjoyable.

Writing Challenge: Have your child write a letter to his or her teacher or principal about what they are doing during the Winter Break.  Send the letter to school on Monday, January 5, 2015.

Thank you again for your continued support of the Kent City Schools,

George J. Joseph                                                        


Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays,

As 2014 comes to a close, it is important to reflect on a very full year of activity in the Kent City Schools.

It goes without saying, 2014 brought many challenges to the students, families, administration and the Board.  Transitions are difficult and unwelcome; yet, through resilience and determination, these difficult changes provided each of us opportunities for engagement, new relationships, and learning all sides of many issues.

2014 was transformative in terms of staff, as well.  For those staff members and students we no longer see on a daily basis, we hope KCS holds a place in your heart, just as you do in ours.  We thank you for adding to the experience and knowledge of the people you touched.  We have welcomed many new faces into the Kent Schools family, including a new superintendent, Mr. Joseph, who continues to do an excellent job getting to know our families, staff and stakeholders.

There have been so many success stories – too many to articulate in a small space.  From the excitement of those first sight-reading words in our Kindergarten classes, to the recent inductions of the National Honor Society, to exceptional athletic accomplishments and musical accolades…the determination and dedication of the students and staff is outstanding.   It is a good time to be in Kent!

To ensure progress, the Board and Administration continues to respond to feedback on issues facing the district.  Your input is always welcome.  This month, we will be concentrating on planning for the future, formulating new ideas, reconsidering old ones, and preparing to meet 2015 with our very best effort.

In closing, on behalf of the Board, I send our most sincere appreciation to each of the following:

  • To the families, in your role as partners in education, as tireless volunteers, as cheerleaders for your children. Your support is invaluable!
  • To the community members, one and all, who provide the resources for the next generation.  We hope you are pleased with the investment in the future.  Come see what’s happening in our buildings!
  • To each and every staff member who fulfills their days by encouraging, challenging and nurturing this community’s youngest members.  Keep up the great work!

Very best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season to all!

Merry Christmas!   Happy Hannakuh!   Happy Kwanzaa!   Feliz Navidad!

Rebekah Kulis