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Oct 4, 2018

October is now upon us and we cannot believe summer has already transitioned into fall. In early September we held a successful Open House where parents met teachers and other Kentwood parents, and then signed up for their first quarter conferences. In addition to looking at curriculum, parents were given an in depth explanation of how Kentwood goes above and beyond traditional education, by analyzing IQ and other testing scores and then setting up each student's academic program accordingly.

Students wishing to participate in this year's production of "Rock 'n Roll is Here to Stay" have already auditioned and practices are now underway. This is certain to be an amazing show and we cannot wait to perform.

Color War was a huge success! Students were divided into four teams - red, yellow, green and blue - and then competed in unique fun and challenging competitions designed to evoke laughter, spirit and all out excitement. Student involvement from the elementary school to the high school was self evident - from all the dyed hair coloring, face painting, eccentric costumes and frenzied cheering.

Favorite Sports Team Day was also a massive hit. The Miami Dolphins were the most popular team overall and while Mr. Fein denies having anything to do with it, we cannot help but feel he played some part in Liverpool being the second most popular shirt!

A large percentage of the students were also involved in Bonanza Day and all participants received a reward. Make sure to look for this month's "Bonanza Activity"! Field day as usual proved to be an abundance of fun. In addition to the usual competition in soccer/kickball, football, basketball and tennis, students were also involved in all types of exhilarating relay races and games.

This month promises to be another entertainment filled period with learning, field trips, and a host of other activities.


  • Thursday, Oct 4 - Favorite Sports Team Day
  • Friday, Oct 12 - Bonanza Day
  • Thursday, Oct - Parent Conferences - No classes
  • Friday, Oct 19 - Parent Conferences - No classes
  • Thursday, Oct 25 - Field Day
  • Wednesday, Oct 31 - Trunk or Treat

Bonanza Question

Each monthly newsletter will feature a Bonanza Question or activity for your child to answer, do, or engage in. Those children participating will be eligible for a prize or special activity. We encourage you to spend time with your child partaking in these activities as it is an excellent opportunity to bond and connect with them. In order to be eligible for a prize, the student has to write the answer in his/her agenda, and has to make sure the parents signs next to the answer.

September Bonanza Question: What has two hands but cannot clap?

Deadline Day: Friday October 12, 2018

Info Bursts

  • If you have not scheduled a conference for your first quarter teacher meeting, please contact the front office as soon as possible to do so.
  • Look out for more information on "Trunk or Treat Day". This is a wonderful opportunity to decorate your car and along with many other parents, to participate in handing out treats to all the Halloween costumed students.
  • The 2018/19 Yearbook framework has been received from our publisher. Any High School students wishing to be on the Yearbook Committee should see Ms. Wiehl.
  • Late arrivals: Teachers pick up their classes, complete attendance and depart for Home base promptly at 8:30 a.m. Please note, therefore, that all students arriving after 8:30 a.m. must report directly to the REC center, where they will remain until 8:45 a.m. (in order to prevent morning disruptions and for us to take accurate attendance). Students arriving between 8:45-9:00 a.m. are considered tardy. They should be dropped off in the front office and will be admitted to class once the attendance sheets have been processed.

Director's Note - Elizabeth Upmal

The new school year is well under way and running VERY smoothly. In addition, I am extremely pleased with everything I am seeing in the classrooms. The students seem so engaged in the lessons (a huge thank you to our amazing teachers) and have picked right back up with the Kentwood structure and routine. All of our new students are also adjusting admirably and making friends. This promises to be one of our most successful school years yet!

As mentioned in the "info bursts" I would like to elaborate on the importance of being on time for school. Homebase is VITAL for our students. Not only is this the time to turn in homework, agendas and complete attendance, but more importantly, it is a time for the students to "get all their wiggles" out - so to speak. If children are upset over something that has occurred at home and they need to process the issue, they have time to do this. If they are upset about an event that occurred at school and need to complete a chain of they have time to do this. If they need a quick snack because they forgot breakfast, wish to tell a funny story about their recent vacation...whatever the case may be...THIS IS THEIR TIME!!!! In essence, they are missing crucial social and "settling-in" time within the classroom.

Please, do not take this time away from your child. We understand that there will be traffic and you may occasionally be late. It happens to all of us; however, students should not be repeatedly missing this critical time within their day. We look forward to working with each and every one of you this year.

Please to not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. We also welcome positive phone calls about the school, our staff, or any other aspect of our program.


Mrs. Pustaver

Happy October everyone! In reading we are finishing up Charlotte's Web. The children are really enjoying it! In Language Arts we are working on spelling and answering questions based on articles and documents. In Math we are working on many math concepts, including patterns, addition and subtraction with regrouping, word problems and money. In Science, we are learning about different things in nature, how they affect science and how science affects them. In Social Studies we are continuing our learning about Florida and the geography of our unique state. In Skills we are still working on the school rules and routines particular to Kentwood. We are doing great and our class is meshing really well!

Mrs. Richards

Our classroom theme this month has been "Celebrating our Grandparents". We began by interviewing our grandparents and then summarizing the information as an oral presentation. Surprisingly several grandparents had the same favorite novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird". Our class is continuing to read and discuss the novel, "Dear Mr. Henshaw". We learned how to plot latitude and longitude as we followed the path of Leigh Botts' father's travels. In Language Arts we're continuing to build our vocabulary skills and have begun writing an essay about our amazing grandparents. Our Math classes continue to work in groups or independently at their own pace. In Social Studies class we are continuing to learn about life in colonial times and the struggles they had to survive. One of our Science lessons discussed the properties of aluminum. We continued to explore aluminum with our science project using static electricity to make aluminum popcorn. In Skills class we've discussed unusual behaviors and how to react appropriately when we notice them. You can't help noticing the creativity in our classroom. We are anxious for our parents to see our "Bach-Mobiles" when they come for parent conferences. I am very proud of my class and the progress they are making.

Mrs. Steinberg

Fall is upon us, but our expectations are rising!!! We have finished our first novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and all the quizzes, chapter summary reviews, and the culminating test that accompanies it. Whenever we read a novel and then watch the movie, I always sit with crossed fingers until I hear the comment . . . "Mrs. Steinberg, the book was way better!" I can tell them, but it's much better when the kids make that discovery on their own. We will be completing our final essay of this grading period by doing a character analysis of the main characters in this novel, and this book gives us great material to work with. In Language Arts, we continue to work in our spelling books, focusing on spelling patterns, changing meaning when affixes are added, vocabulary, and sentence structure. The Comprehension books allow us to place and even heavier focus on pure comprehension skills, such as main idea sequencing, working memory, etc. These skills, in turn, help to increase comprehension in all the other subjects. In Math we have been fine-tuning all the prerequisite skills to facilitate the higher levels of math that are to come. For example, using the rules of divisibility make all the factions of fractions much less daunting. In Social Studies we have been learning about the 5 themes of geography and using note-taking skills plus mnemonics to help us remember the facts. The kids are, of course, all familiar with the old "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" but they had fun coming up with their own. I'm looking forward to our conferences so I can show off their hard work!

Mr. Lebo

The class continues to do a fantastic job as we move into the month of October! We are nearing the conclusion of our novel, Bridge to Terabithia, and the students have been enjoying the story. They are especially interested in the variety of characters, and their unique traits. The book also touches on many different situations that lead to good talks about social skills. Therefore, we often touch on these topics during the lesson and when we have skills class in the afternoon. There are also a number of art activities that are associated with the story. For example, the students will be decorating a poster board which relates to a cause that is important to them. The students recently worked on a persuasive essay in language arts. Utilizing the Kentwood writing system to help organize their information, the students made a very good effort. The spelling lessons have also gone well. In addition, these particular classes stress the importance of learning how to use the words correctly and in proper context. In Math, visual aides are used to help the class grasp the concepts, and graph paper continues to be a tool used to help the students organize their work. We are working on fractions in math. Changing mixed numbers into improper fractions, the reverse, and simplifying have been recent topics. We will be working on multiplying, dividing, adding, and subtracting fractions in upcoming lessons. In addition, we are learning how to integrate these areas into Algebra, and how they are used in the "real world". Native Americans and early settlers from Europe have been the topics of initial social studies lessons. We will be discussing colonization and events leading up to the Revolutionary War in future classes. In science, we recently had a lesson about cicadas, and the students set up their Kentwood science sheets for a lab. In doing so, we emphasize that the students understand the question being investigated, the materials being used, and the procedure that will be followed. The students come up with their own hypothesis, document the results, and state whether their hypothesis was correct or incorrect. In addition to the skills talks that have developed from our novel discussion, we have had some lessons about being respectful and how one cannot always get their own way. In other words, we discussed the importance of compromise as a social skill. As always, we stress the importance of utilizing social skills learned in situations inside and outside of school. Overall, the students are doing well, and I am proud of them!

Greetings from the Learning Lab!

Our year has gotten off to a successful start. We're almost halfway through our novel, "The Yellow House Mystery", and the students are all excited about what new clues will be uncovered in each chapter. We've also embarked on a thematic unit about Marine Mammals. We've studied the Sea Otter, the Walrus, the Patagonian Sea Lion, and the Fur Seal so far. We will be going on a field trip to the Miami Seaquarium as part of our study, so please be on the lookout for that permission slip. The children have also been quite busy progressing along on their individualized tasks, which are geared to the individual needs and levels for each student. You'll be able to actually view the work that your child is doing when we have our meeting on October 18th. We look forward to meeting each one of you at that time. Just as a reminder, we also have our upcoming trip to the Duncan Theater, where we will be seeing a live production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", by Washington Irving - just in time for Halloween! So if you haven't done so already, we need those permission slips, along with $5 returned by October 17th. Thank you for all your support, and for giving us the opportunity to work with your child.

High School

Hello everyone. It has been a busy, but productive few weeks. We are still enjoying the novel Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes. The students are learning about characterization, including the elements within the narrative that point the knight errant toward and away from what has come to be known as realism. "Don Quijote is a study in contrasts: often a ludicrous figure to be ridiculed or, at any rate, viewed with ironic detachment, yet on occasion a man worthy of sympathy, a character with whom the reader can identify. " The students are working hard to follow the plot. Those of you who may have read it or saw it know that it's not an easy plot to follow as it has many layers. In Spanish class we have been working on pronunciation exercises, vocabulary, spelling, and conjugation of Spanish -ar, -er, and -ir verbs. We have a great deal of fun with pronunciation, because the kids sometimes make mistakes that have other meanings and turn a simple sentence into something that Dr. Seuss would say. Everyone tries their best and has so much fun. In Math classes, when we first introduce a concept that the students state looks impossible. Then we demonstrate ways which make it easier to understand. Many times they have to pull each problem apart to be able explain the solution and that requires an understanding of each concept. Students have math homework at least twice each week. The completion of those assignments is imperative, because they count towards quarterly grades.

Please call or e-mail Mrs. Kennedy or Ms. Wiehl to schedule your quarterly conference. Conferences will be of short duration just to discuss academic progress. Other concerns will be discussed at a longer conference per our mutual agreement. We look forward to hearing from all of you.

Words of Wisdom

"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think."

- Margaret Mead

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