KES Newsletter April 8, 2019

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are all well today. It has been a busy week here at KES, so I have more information to share than usual….thank you for reading! For additional great reading, please check out the front page article featuring 2nd grader Skylar Dixon and Mr. McCarthy in the current edition of the York County Coast Star regarding our incredible success with Kids Heart Challenge.

I want to thank all of the families and caregivers who have been in the building recently for Parent Teacher Conferences, and to all of the families who came to the KES Kindergarten Concert this morning. Our students sang songs focusing on Citizenship, our Character Trait of the month, and it was really sweet. Special thanks to Mrs. Cherry for working her magic and to the Kindergarten Teachers, Specialists, and support staff for their hard work with these students all year long.

I want to thank the subcommittee of KEPTA parents who spent Tuesday night, Thursday night, and Thursday morning here at KES working on the proposal for a new and improved highly accessible playground here at KES, complete with nature play components. Kelley-Ann Morgan, Anush Hansen, Jessica Winters, Eamonn Hutton, and Erin O’Reilly Jakan presented before the Facilities Committee this week and will be presenting their proposal again at the RSU 21 School Board meeting on April 29th. Mr. Hutton designs natural play spaces professionally, and has created some wonderful designs that will be shared with the public in the coming months. It is a very exciting project and the next meeting will take place here at KES on Tuesday, April 9th at 7:00pm in the KES Library. Please join us if you can!

It was great seeing so many of you here for our Spaghetti Supper for Honor Flight Maine on Wednesday night. I have not received word yet on the final amount of money we raised, but we had a great turn-out, and we look forward to letting you all know how much we will be able to donate. Special thanks to KEPTA for organizing and hosting the event and to Ellen Demmons and the RSU 21 Food Service department for donating their time and expertise. I also want to thank Laurie Sidelinger from Honor Flight Maine for attending and helping with the event. We are excited to keep this great support going for a great cause!

Parents of 1st and 2nd graders are welcome to attend our annual Bikes for Books event with the Masons York Lodge 22 this coming Tuesday, April 9th, at 8:30am in the KES gym. If you have never experienced a 22 bicycle give-away, it is quite a thing to see. Please join us if you are able!

I want to let you know that the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is offering daily activities for children during the week of April Vacation, from Monday, April 15th, to Friday, April 19th. Please see the attached flyer for details.

I also want to let you know that the RSU 21 Communications Committee will be opening their agenda up to community participation during the last 30 minutes of their meeting time between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. There are two remaining meetings in this school year which will take place prior to School Board meetings and will take place on May 6th (at KCS) and June 3rd (at KES). Communication Committee members include representatives from the School Board and administration.

And finally, just a reminder that there is no school for students next Friday, April 12th. That day is set aside for teachers to finish offering Parent Teacher Conferences.

Have a great weekend!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

April Vacation Camp.pdf 

STEM Winter Newsletter 2019.pdf 

KES Newsletter March 29, 2019

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are well on this rainy day. Today is the last day to register your child for a Keith McClelland Audition. Those vocal and instrumental auditions will take place here at KES on Saturday, April 6th, between 10:00am and 2:00pm. Ten winners will receive $150.00 each toward music lessons.  If you would like to schedule your child for an audition, please reach out to Vickie Hamel today at

As part of the upcoming Kennebunk Free Library “Celebrating the Young Child” exhibition, the artwork of Pre-K students from KES will be showcased. The public is invited to view the exhibit at 112 Main St., Kennebunk, during regular library hours from April 8th to April 12th.  For library hours and information about other great library events, visit the Kennebunk Free Library website at

We had a wonderful Friday Morning Meeting today. Miss Wright and Officer Audra introduced “Citizenship” as the KES Character Trait for the month of April, so please look for ways to reinforce the concept of “Citizenship” with your child when you can.  We also had Gary Urey from the American Heart Association with us this morning. He joined us to recognize Mr. McCarthy for introducing the Kids Heart Challenge four years ago at KES, and he recognized the students at KES for raising an incredible amount of money over the last four years. Through this exciting movement-based fundraiser, KES raised $7,470 in 2016, $10,314 in 2017, $16,370 in 2018, and an incredible $18,353 this year, making us the second highest fundraising school in Maine. He also recognized 2nd grader, Skylar Dixon, in particular, for raising more money than any other individual student in the history of the event. Skylar alone raised $4065 dollars for this event this year. This announcement was a real great life example of true “Citizenship”.  Thank you to everyone who helped the children collect donations. Great work KES!

One more reminder about the KEPTA and KES Pasta Dinner to support Honor Flight this coming Wednesday, April 3rd, with seatings at 5:00pm and 6:00pm. Reserve your spot today to attend. Proceeds from this fun event will benefit Honor Flight Maine. The cost to attend is $7 for adults and $3 for children. Enjoy great food for a great cause. If you would like to attend but cannot afford the tickets, please email Mr. Quinn at Confidentiality will be maintained. Otherwise, RSVP for you & your family online...we hope to see you here!

And finally, if you are looking for an entertainment opportunity this evening, come to KES at 6:00pm for a free live performance of “The Wizard of Oz” starring students from Sea Road School. This production has been produced and directed entirely by students from MSK. Enjoy!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

       2019 Circus Summer Day Camp.pdf      Rivertree 

KES Newsletter March 15, 2019

Hello KES Families,

Happy Friday! I hope you are well and enjoying the warmer temperatures.  I am currently in the process of making my way around to each first grade classroom to read the Audrey Wood’s children’s book, Sweet Dream Pie. I am always so impressed at what incredibly respectful audience behaviors our students possess and this current group of 1st graders is no exception. Dr. Hawes has been making her way around the Pre-K reading to students in those rooms this week, and our four-year-olds here at KES have developed great skills (sitting and listening) for classroom learning as well. This morning our whole school population had a great opportunity to use those audience skills as we all enjoyed a special concert performance by children's’ musician, Rick Charette. Rick has released multiple childrens hits on a variety of Albums and CD’s over the last 40 years, and he is retiring this spring. He has been a great friend to KES in recent years and we were excited to have him here for one last farewell performance. The KES Kids Chorus and Mr. Michaud covered several of his songs, and he was clearly very deeply moved by having his own music performed for him and dedicated to him.

After our Assembly, all second graders were treated to a whole grade Mindfulness session with MIndfulness instructor Mindy Muse. In the past we have had her come several times throughout the winter to lead Mindfulness at our Friday Morning Meetings. This year only one date worked out, so rather than getting our younger kids started on something that would only happen once, we decided to limit the experience to 2nd grade, since they have had several sessions with Mindy over the years. Next year we will be back on track to have her with us as a whole school, but for this year, 2nd graders were the lucky winners! 

We are helping several students at MSK with their International Baccalaureate Community Service. We have finished with the clothing drive that two girls have organized, and we are now supporting a bedding drive that two boys have organized to support homeless shelters in portland. They are looking for donations of twin size sheets and new pillows. We have donation boxes in the lobby if you would like to help us with this initiative.

Just a reminder that KES 1st and 2nd graders will be participating in Bikes for Books again this year….the York County Masons will be with us for the big give-away on April 9th at 8:30am, one boy and one girl will win a bike in each 1st and 2nd grade classroom, so encourage your child to keep reading books and submitting slips for the drawings. 

On Tuesday night, the KEPTA’s KES Playground Subcommittee met with natural playground consultant, Sashie Misner, to discuss plans for replacing the current KES playground, as well as create a Natural Playground on the Northwest end of the property. Plans are moving forward and our next meeting is on Thursday, April 4th, so please join us if you can! 

Ryan Quinn

KES Honor Flight pasta dinner.pdf 

KES Newsletter March 8, 2019

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are all well today. I want to thank all of the parents, caregivers, and both family and community members who volunteered to support the KES Wellness Committee with Wellness Day this Wednesday. From people who led wellness sessions for students, to people who helped slice and dice all of that beautiful fruit. The students had a great day and we would not have been able to offer such a comprehensive program without the help from families and community members. Your support is greatly appreciated. I also want to thank all of the families and friends who came to our 2nd grade “Weathering the Seasons” Musical Showcase this morning. Special thanks to Mrs. Cherry for her hard work, to Mr. McCarthy for managing the set-up, and to the 2nd grade teachers and staff who support our 2nd graders every day. These 2nd graders have set a high bar for the kind of musical performances we can expect moving forward and we are proud of the great job they did!

This coming Tuesday night, March 12th, KEPTA’s KES Playground Subcommittee will meet in the KES Library from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. We will hear from two playground consultants and discuss plans to replace the regular KES playground, as well as create a Natural Playground on the Northwest end of the property. Please join us if you can!

This coming Wednesday night, we will be having Karmen Rouland, from the Mid Atlantic Equity Consortium speak to the RSU 21 school board and community from 5:00pm to 6:00pm at KES. She will be answering questions regarding a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Assessment for our school community, and you are welcome to attend. KES room location TBA.

On Friday, March 15, our Morning Meeting will be honoring special guest musician Rick Charette with a mini-concert in his honor. Mr. Charette has specialized in music for children for decades and has been a friend of KES for many years. He is retiring this year, so our assembly this Friday is dedicated to him and will include dedications and student performances covering his songs. We hope you can join us!

And finally, on Saturday, March 16th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm we hope you can be here at KES for KEPTA’s Family Fun NIght featuring Ben & the Peanut Butter Problem ...the event will include games, raffle items, music, food and fun, and proceeds will support field experiences for each grade at KES, as well as teacher grants for classroom initiatives. Please come help KEPTA support KES! If you would like to volunteer, donate, or help in some way, please email KEPTA at

Have a great weekend!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

McClelland_auditions_flyer2019 - Google Docs.pdf 

KES Newsletter March 1, 2019

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are all well today. I want to begin with a few words regarding the recent discussions related to racist actions by students in our district. While I have certainly dealt with incidences that involve racist behaviors and racist language used by children here at KES during the eight years that I have been here, most years go by with none being reported at all. My assumption and hope is that when those unfortunate incidents occur, that the students, or at least the parents of the students who those comments are directed at, will let me know. As a school, we pride ourselves in practicing restorative responses to all forms of unkind behavior. Having said that, children are, after all, children, and they sometimes copy and repeat things they have heard in music, on tv, in other forms of media, and in person. Anyone who interacts regularly with children knows how easily they pick things up, and how often they don't understand the meaning or the impact of what they say, or of how context and setting can change the way those things are internalized by others. With that in mind, we will continue to encourage and practice both inclusion and kindness every day at KES, to embrace diversity as a given and welcomed aspect of our school culture, and we look forward to the opportunity to offer professional development and learn more about how we can all better understand this sensitive and important subject.

Kennebunk Elementary School will host a series of three General Music Showcases in March and April. The children in Second Grade will present a program of song, poetry, and movement titled “Weathering the Seasons” on Friday, March 8, beginning at 8:30 am. The First Graders will share their music on Friday, March 22 at 8:30 am, with an adaptation of Demi’s Chinese folk story titled, “The Empty Pot”. Lastly, the Kindergarten will demonstrate “Ctizenship” through music as they sing on Friday, April 5, also at 8:30 am. Family and friends are welcome to attend. For more information contact Victoria Cherry at

The KES Wellness Team is planning the 10th annual Wellness Fair for grades K-2 to take place on the morning of Early Release Wednesday, March 6th, 2019. Our focus is on physical fitness, nutrition, and of course 5-2-1-0. A committee of teachers and ed techs are organizing a number of events for the day, including rotations of grade level workshop sessions and healthy snacks. We are still very much in need of volunteers, so if you are someone who has expertise or interest in the field of medicine, wellness, fitness or nutrition and would like to offer a presentation, please email Mr. McCarthy at Volunteers will be needed from 9:00am to 10:40am. Thank you for considering!

Just a reminder, KEPTA is still looking for Volunteers for Family Fun Night on March 16th ….It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN! Sign-up Genius to Volunteer below:!/showSignUp/20f054fafaa23a5ff2-kesfamily

Over the course of this year, as you may have guessed, the creation and development of our districts universal full-day Pre-K program here at KES finds us having outgrow the need for the Kindergarten Jump Start program that we have offered for the last several summers. We are grateful for the many teachers and volunteers who made KJS possible over the years and who, in many ways, made the case for our current comprehensive Pre-K program. Having said that, because we know that many young learners would still benefit from opportunities to interact with and immerse themselves in literacy during the summer, we are currently working in collaboration with Kennebunk Parks and Recreation to develop an “All about Books” summer opportunity that would replace their regular summer camp for incoming Kindergartners and incoming 1st graders. Parks and Recreations will be sharing more information soon in regards to this and other summer programming that they will be offering, so please stay tuned!

Have a great weekend!

Mr. Quinn

Sing This Summer 2019.pdf

River Tree Arts After-School Programs Spring.pdf 

KES Newsletter February 15, 2019

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are all well today! Between the two-hour delay on Wednesday, Valentines Day on Thursday, Kids Heart Challenge today, and the start of February Vacation, there has been no shortage of excitement here at KES this week. I want to thank all of the families who sent in refreshments for Valentines day, and give a huge thanks to everyone who helped our students collect an incredible number of donations for Kid’s Heart Challenge. Mr McCarthy was still counting pledge packets at the end of the day, but I will be sure to announce our grand total in my newsletter next week. It’s such a wonderful cause and I am so proud of the way our community helps us support the American Heart Association through this great event. All of our grade-levels, including Pre-K, were having an absolute blast in the gym all day long.

I also wanted to let you know that our Literacy Specialist, Lyn Smith, has published another wonderful children’s book titled What Makes an Opossum Tick? Working once again with illustrator, Jamie Hogan, Lyn’s new story is a companion book to her first work, A Porcupine’s Promenade. This new book with officially “launch” at 2:00pm on Sunday March 3rd, 2019 at Graves Library in Kennebunkport, as part of their Pasco Lecture series. Lyn and Jamie will both be there with copies available for purchase and signing. Please access the link below for more information on this event, and come to Friday Morning Meeting on March 1st for the unofficial “pre- launch”….Lyn will read the book aloud to all of us herself!

We want you all to mark your calendars for Family Fun Night at KES on Saturday, March 16th from 5-7 pm. This ambitious new fundraiser is being offered by our dedicated parent teacher association, KEPTA, who provide funding for field trips, teacher grants and so much more here at KES. The event will feature games, food, raffle items, as well as music & juggling by MSK teacher Benjamin Fogg with Ben & the Peanut Butter Problem, who did such a great job recently performing at KES Friday Morning Meeting. KEPTA is asking for lots of helpers, including folks who can help with set up and clean up. Consider lending a hand, and definitely please plan to attend! You can access The Signup Genius link below.... We hope to see you here!

A few more important upcoming dates for you to note include our Grade 2 Music Concert on March 8th at 8:30am, our Grade 1 Music Concert on March 22nd at 8:30 am, and our Kindergarten Music Concert on April 5th at 8:30am. All concerts will be held in the KES gym.

Please enjoy the newest edition of our KES 2nd grade student newspaper, The KES Times (link below), and have a great week... We look forward to seeing you back here at KES following February Vacation!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

FINAL KES TIMES Issue #2.pdf  

PASCO LECTURE SERIES - LYN SMITH (Author) AND JAMIE HOGAN (Illust.) - Louis T Graves Memorial Public Library

KES Newsletter February 8, 2019

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are all well today! I want to thank all of the parents who brought students to KES at 5:45am this morning to participate in the WMTW Weather at Your School forecast. WMTW meteorologist Ted McInerney was with us for the fourth year in a row broadcasting the morning weather from in front of KES. Clips have run throughout the day of our students participating in his forecast and of the presentation he offers each year for our 1st graders. You can see re-runs of the live clips this afternoon at 4:00pm on Channel 8, so tune in if you can!

This morning at Friday Morning Meeting, Nurse Brown shared a presentation with the children on cold and flu symptoms. She discussed the steps that we can take to keep ourselves healthy, prevent the spread of illness to others, and things we can do to help us recover quicker when we are affected by illness this cold and flu season. Attached you will find our district's guide "When to Send Your Child To School". Additionally there is a full presentation that covers the signs, symptoms, treatments, and guidelines for returning to school for some of the most commonly experienced illnesses. As always if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's health feel free to reach out to Nurse Brown at or 207-985-4402.

Also at Friday Morning Meeting we talked about “Friendliness,” our February Character Trait of the month. Kennebunk High School Wrestlers Alden Shields, Sean Radel, and David York were with us to share their definition of “Friendliness,” and we were able to recognize KES students who participate in Kennebunk Youth Wrestling as well. Please help us reinforce the importance of “Friendliness” with your children throughout the month of February.

This coming Tuesday, February 12th, the KEPTA Playground Committee will be meeting at 6:30pm in the KES cafeteria to discuss plans for upgrading the playground here at KES, as well as adding a Natural Playground to our grounds. We will hear from two consultants and share ideas at that meeting. If you would like to share thoughts or offer help in this endeavor, please join us at that time. We hope to see you here!

And finally, Mr. McCarthy asked me to remind everyone that we will once again be participating in the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge next Friday. Many of us remember it as Jump Rope for Heart. To show our commitment to keeping hearts healthy, we will have grade-level jump parties in the gym next Friday with lots of jump rope and jumping activities to support the American Heart Association. Three years ago the KES community raised over $7,000.00 for this great cause. Two years ago we raised over $10,000.00 and were one of the top ten fundraisers in Maine. And last year we raised a whopping $16,000. 00 plus. We hope you help us this year keep this great momentum going and growing! Please visit for more information. Envelopes and online donations will be collected until Friday, February 15th. Thank you in advance for your support.

Have a great weekend!

Yours in Education,

-Mr. Quinn

 When Should I Send My Child To School.pdf 

Illness presentation for FMM .pdf 

KES Newsletter February 1, 2019

Dear KES families,

Happy World Read Aloud Day! It has been such a wonderful experience for us to participate in this terrific event for the first time here at KES. We had so many guest readers in classrooms and the children absolutely loved listening to a large variety of quality read alouds throughout the day at all grade levels. I have a feeling that this may be the first annual read aloud day for Kennebunk Elementary. I cannot overstate the importance of reading aloud to your child. The time spent with a parent snuggled up on the couch with a great book is so valuable on several levels. First, hearing a fluent reader share a good book is engaging and builds the listener’s ability to comprehend more challenging text than he or she can read. Second, it is a terrific way to build a child’s vocabulary. However, I believe the most significant benefit is just the quality, quiet time that is carved out when you make reading aloud to your child a priority each day. I think back to that time with my own nearly grown children with such warmth and fondness. So, I hope you will all snuggle up on your couches this weekend with a good book. It’s a great way to pass the time on a cold winter weekend.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention team spirit day at KES. Many of us are really looking forward to the Super Bowl this weekend, and if you know me, you probably know which team I am representing today. Go Pats! We have many little Tom Brady and Julian Edelman fans in their jerseys today but we are happy to support any team that the children are representing.

I hope you all have a cozy and festive weekend reading with your sweet children, and celebrating the Super Bowl!

Finally, please see the message below about an upcoming event which I was asked to share with you.



Kennebunk Comprehensive Plan Open House February 6 at 6 pm at Town Office

Kennebunk’s Comprehensive Plan Committee is hosting its final Open House for residents on the evening of Wednesday, February 6 on the third floor of Kennebunk Town Hall in Room 300. Created by Kennebunk volunteers, the Comprehensive Plan outlines the steps Kennebunk should take to manage growth, and provides guidance to public and private decision-makers regarding the future development of the Town. An Open House allows residents to stop in for as long as is convenient, make written comments, and informally vote on which sections of the Plan they like or dislike. Children are welcome. If you can't attend this Open House, comments and feedback are also invited on the Kennebunk website at:

KKLL Update

KES Newsletter - January 25, 2018

Dear KES families,

I hope this message finds you all well. We had the good fortune this morning to be treated to a “teaser” of the Middle School of the Kennebunks production of Aladdin. The talent of these students is amazing and it is such a treat each year to see former KES students as they find their passion. There are several showings of the play at the middle school this weekend and I have been told that it is a terrific, family friendly show which will be fun for all ages. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

MSK student Ava Ford visited KES today for our Friday Morning Meeting to let us know about her Eighth Grade Service Project. For her project, Ava is holding 3 dance clinics for elementary students. To sign up and see more information about the classes, you can click on the links below!

Musical Theater Class on February 2nd from 10-11 AM

Musical Theater Class on February 9th from 10-11 AM

Hip-Hop Class on February 16th from 10-11 AM

Also, as a reminder, there will be a pre K parent information night held on January 31st from 5:30-6:30 in the KES gym for incoming families. This evening is intended for parents to gather information about our program and to take a quick peek inside a few of the classrooms. There will be several opportunities moving forward for the children to spend time at KES in order to build their comfort level within our school. Of course, if you have to bring your child with you we do understand, but didn’t want you to feel as though it is necessary. Following the parent session, online registration will be opened and can be accessed on our district website. We will also hold an in person registration day on Friday, February 8 from 9:00-3:00. If you have registered online, you will just need to drop off completed paperwork on this day. We will also be available to assist with the online registration if needed.

Finally, I wanted to remind everyone to please be sure that we have a full change of clothes for your child here at school. If you sent them in the fall, you may want to check in with the teachers to see if they still fit and are appropriate to the season. If you have any outgrown sweatpants that might fit our pre K-grade two students that you are willing to donate, we would love to have them. Just send them in with a note to have them brought to the nurse’s office.

Have a wonderful week-end.


KES Newsletter - January 18, 2018

Dear KES families,

It was so nice to have a full week finally so we could all get back into the swing of daily life at KES. This week, I would like to begin by telling you a little bit about our Pre K program, as I have realized that for many of you, it may be a bit of a mystery.

We are absolutely thrilled to have 120 pre K students enrolled at KES from Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel. We provide a nurturing play based program, which very much honors the developmental level of the young children that we serve. We have eight classrooms and quite a large staff, as the state requires that we provide a ratio of one adult for every eight students. Each classroom has one lead teacher and one educational technician who are with the children all day. Pre K is a self contained program, in that the children don’t attend allied arts classes such as music and PE. Rather, the program has an integrated approach and the arts are incorporated throughout the school day. Our pre K students have outside play twice per day when the weather allows, and a rest time is built in daily as well. Finally, our pre K children eat in their classrooms and are served a family style lunch. The classrooms are beautiful and filled with items you would expect to find in an early childhood setting, such as blocks, dramatic play items and art supplies. We will be hosting a parent information session at the end of January, so please feel free to share the attached flyer with others who may have a child who will be age eligible for pre K in the fall.

The teachers at KES are excited to participate in World Read Aloud Day for the first time, which takes place annually and will be held on February 1st this year. Individual teachers and specialists will decide what their own participation will look like, but we envision the children hearing a variety of high quality and engaging read alouds throughout the school day. If you would like more information, please feel free to visit the following website...

Finally, I have a message from our food services director, Ellen Demmons, which I would like to share with you. Please reach out to Ellen directly at with any questions. Families may apply for Free and Reduced meal benefits any time in the school year. We encourage you to apply even if the reduction in income is temporary. This temporary assistance is available to families affected by the government shut down and ones that have been laid off due to seasonal employment. Once income resumes, the family notifies the School Nutrition Program. Applications are available online or by requesting a paper one from the school.

Have a wonderful, snowy weekend ahead.




Parent Informational Night

KES Newsletter - January 11, 2018

Dear KES families,

Let me begin by telling you about the wonderful concert that we had at assembly this morning. Ben Fogg is a teacher at the Middle School of the Kennebunks and he is also a singer and songwriter. His music is catchy and fun for the children with a theme of kindness and empathy, which is certainly welcome and necessary at all age levels. He even recently wrote a song to support our district work with the Sandy Hook Promise, called Start with Hello. You may find your children singing about a “peanut butter problem” when they arrive home this afternoon, as I have certainly found myself humming that catchy little tune all day!

As promised, I also want to briefly share with all of you some of the professional development work that our staff has been involved with recently. The district has a focus this year on teacher clarity and learning intentions. We are working to be sure that children are active participants in their own learning and that teachers are explicit in what they are teaching and how we are going to help children meet the standards that we have identified as important for them to master. Children must know where they are on the learning continuum, where they are going, and how to get there with adult support. We have attended workshop sessions at the district level as part of this focus and have also continued the work here at KES. I spent a bit of time earlier in the year photographing examples of learning intentions already in place in our classrooms and this week two teachers allowed me to share videotaped lessons with the rest of the staff which demonstrated how to do this important and challenging work with young children. We are working to build a very strong foundation for your children and our professional development time is spent collaborating with one another so we can get a rare peek into each other’s classrooms. I have found over the years that the best support and ideas come from colleagues.

In addition, we are also continuing our work with restorative practices this year. The purpose of using restorative practices at KES is to build a healthy school community and to assist children with problem solving when they encounter conflict with one another. We believe that our mission as a primary school is to support both the academic and the social development of our young students, and restorative practices give us a structure for building a common language and approach regardless of which classroom a child spends his or her day. During the December early release we welcomed Ansley Newton of the Restorative Practices Collaborative of Maine to assist us in developing school wide common language which would support our work. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about our professional development work, or about any aspect of your child’s school day.

I hope you all have a terrific weekend. Bundle up as it sounds like it is going to be a cold one.



KES Newsletter - January 4, 2018

Dear KES families,

I am so pleased to be writing this “guest column” for the next few weeks during Ryan’s absence, and will begin by letting you all know that he is doing well and is eager to be back at school following his medical leave. Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you some information about our brand new pre K program as well as give you an update about some of the professional development work that we are undertaking this year, so look for those updates beginning next week.

The children all seem very happy to be back at school, and we have had a productive first few days back at KES. Now that the winter weather has returned, please remember to send your child with gear for outside play daily. This includes snow pants, boots, coats, hats and mittens as we really believe in the benefits of time spent outdoors when the weather allows us to get out there. The snowy days are the most fun during Maine winters, and when children are dressed for the weather, they have a wonderful time during recess.

As a reminder, next week we will have a schoolwide assembly and the pre K children will attend. It begins at 8:30 on Friday, January 11th and should be another wonderful opportunity to connect as a full school community.

Have a wonderful weekend with your sweet children.


Ellen Towne

Drama Kids

Wellness Newsletter

KES Newsletter - December 21, 2018

Hello KES Families,

I hope you are all well today. I want to start my newsletter with an update for you on Operation Gratitude. This month we collected 67 homemade scarves for military care packages, which brings our total to 647 over the last eight years. For people who are serving our country instead of celebrating with their families this season, I know those scarves and care packages mean a lot, so thank you if you were one of the KES Knitters!

I also want to thank the Rotary and The Spa at River’s Edge for providing holiday gifts for many of our families, and I want to thank Amanda Harnum for providing free haircuts this week for KES families. We appreciated their incredible generosity.

On a different note, I wanted to let you know that following the holiday break, I will be out on a medical leave until January 23rd. During my absence, our Pre-K director, Ellen Towne, will be filling in for me as interim principal. We also have several people in leadership positions here at KES who can support you with any issues you may have. Additional members of the KES Leadership Team include Lyn Smith, Cheryl Walters, Patrick McCarthy and Sean Hanson. Lyn Smith serves as our Instructional Strategist and she, along with Mary Boswell, oversees student achievement, student assessment, as well as interventions such as Title 1, MTSS (RTI), and teacher coaching. Cheryl Walters, our Speech Pathologist, is in charge of Special Services, and she also manages dismissal and staff duties, as well as a couple of our patriotic initiatives. Patrick McCarthy, our PE teacher, oversees staff communication here at KES, as well as many aspects of Friday Morning Meetings. And second grade teacher, Sean Hanson, manages meeting agendas and chairs our Professional Development committee. In addition to this professional team, our Student Support Team includes our School Counselor, Kelly Wright, our School Nurse, Kelly Brown, our School Resource Officer, Audra Higgins, and Ellen Towne, our Pre-K Director. Mrs. Mattuchio, at the front desk, is your best bet for help finding the right person for whatever your needs may be, and our Superintendent, Katie Hawes, is right here in our building, and is very involved, so please do not hesitate to reach out in my absence, for anything you may need.

With one third of the year under our belts, I just wanted to say “thank you” to all of you for a great start to the year and for all of your support. Here at KES our staff places great value on parent participation and we want to also thank you for sharing your beautiful children with us each day. Most of them are very excited these days and it is a wonderful thing to experience.

In closing, I hope that over the holiday break you all enjoy some warm, wonderful time with family and friends as well as some well deserved down-time, and a peaceful, healthy new year. I look forward to seeing you all right back here in 2019!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

River Tree Arts

Support Group

KES Newsletter - December 14, 2018

Hello KES Families,

Happy Friday! I hope you are all well today… I want to thank all of the families who joined us on Tuesday night this week for our Family Math Night. I also want to thank our many KES staff members who hosted such a great opportunity for children and adults to experience math as a way to have fun together....It was a great thing to see! Special thanks to Miss Dugas and Mrs. MacLeod for initiating and organizing this event.

I also want to thank all of the families who took advantage of Family Fun Night and sent us a photo of their family activities. We have quite a growing collection of photos that we will be posting on our website in the new year, so if you haven’t already sent a photo to Diane Guay, you still have time! Her email address is

And just a reminder that Monday is the last day to send in scarves for Operation Gratitude. We started off this year having sponsored 580 care packages with winter scarves made by KES family members and supporters to be sent to American troops serving in cold climates during the holidays. I look forward to updating you with our new total once this year’s donations are tallied. Thank you for supporting this excellent cause, and special thanks to Mrs. Walters for her dedication to this great cause.

Those of you who were with us this morning saw the huge philanthropy donations our students have been collecting this month. This was the first community service project for our pre-K students, and they brought in tons of books to donate to children in need. For the second year in a row, Kindergarten has been collecting clothes for the Kennebunk Cares Closet. They had numerous huge boxes and bags of clothing donations and we want to thank Mr. McCarthy for delivering those for us. First grade collected snacks and toys for the Ronald MCDonald House. Alicia Milne, director of the Ronald McDonald House, was here with us this morning to thank our students for their generosity. And last but not least, our 2nd graders created a “pet inspired” Christmas Tree for the Adopt a Tree project which ultimately raised a whopping $8,000 for Lucky Pups Rescue. I am very proud of all of our students for their efforts to help others this month, and I hope you are all proud of them as well. They made a big difference for both people and pets in need of support this holiday season.

And on a final note, I want to ask parents who drop off students in the morning to be careful when passing cars on the left in the driveway. We ask parents who are dropping students off to remain in the driver’s seat and have the students they are dropping off seated on the passenger side of the vehicle so our staff can receive them directly onto the sidewalk. For parents who want to get out of the car, we ask that you park in the parking lot and walk them up. It allows the line to keep moving, and more importantly it keeps students, parents, and duty staff safer in the process. Thank you for your help with this.

Please see the attached KES TIMES, our 2nd grade newspaper, for more great information about KES, as well as Mrs. Chestnut’s STEM newsletter. Have a great weekend!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

Support Group
STEM Newsletter
KES Times

FAQs On The Role and Powers of the School Board

As board members, we are often asked questions about our role, authority and the process for public comment at board meetings. Attached is a useful School Law Advisory article (Maine school boards are unique: Understanding that uniqueness is important) that discusses the unique nature of school boards in Maine. We have also created a few “FAQ’s” that may be helpful in answering common questions.

Do board members represent the towns that elected them?

Although this is a commonly held perception, school board members do not actually “represent” anyone. Unlike other elected officials whose job it is to represent the interests of their constituents, once elected, school board members are public officers whose authority comes from state law and whose sole duty is to oversee public education in the manner prescribed by law and consistent with school board policy.  The school board is a governing body not a representative body.  When making policy, the school board will listen to community input but ultimately must make decisions based on the best interests of the district’s students, employees and residents.

Can individual board members take action or address specific concerns?

A board member can certainly listen to a resident’s concerns or issues but has no authority to act individually. School board members have no authority except at board meetings when acting as a full board. Further, board ethics policy requires that all residents’ concerns be referred by the board member to the appropriate district personnel (principal, superintendent etc.) who would have authority to address a resident’s comments.

Can residents raise issues at school board meetings? Will the board members respond to their comments? What can be discussed at a public meeting?

The Freedom of Information Act requires that all school board meetings be conducted in public. Unlike a town meeting, there is no requirement for public input or right to speak at a school board meeting. However, RSU21 does include on its meeting agenda a “Public Comment Time” which is an opportunity for public comment on items which are not otherwise included on the agenda. See Policy BDEH Public Participation at Board Meetings.  

Per this policy, “the board ordinarily will not discuss, respond to, or act on public comment on non-agenda items during Public Comment. The Chair may refer such items to the Superintendent for further research and subsequent recommendations to the Board”. With respect to agenda items, “[b]rief comments from the audience on agenda items, prior to Board action, are commonly encouraged but may be limited at the discretion of the Chair.” Board members may respond to public comment as part of the discussion of any motion related to the agenda item.

For all public comment, “[n]o complaints or allegations will be allowed in public concerning any staff member or any person connected to the school system. Speakers may not discuss personalities or inject complaints about specific individuals, in name or by reference to position” and “[c]omplaints or allegations concerning specific personnel or persons (including students or any board member) connected to the school system will not be heard and should instead be directed to the Superintendent outside of meeting time.” Complaints concerning the superintendent should be directed to the board chair, if not resolved by meeting directly with the superintendent first.

KES Newsletter - December 7, 2018

Hello KES Families,

It was great having so many Pre-K parents from Mrs. Swan, Mrs. French, Mrs. Kent, and Mrs. Compton’s classrooms join us for the Pre-K Harvest Lunch on Thursday at Sharkbites: The KES Cafe. I worked in restaurants for many years when I was younger, so I got a chance to brush up on those serving and table bussing skills. Next year I may be putting out a tip jar….

And moving forward, if you come in for lunch here at KES, you will notice that we are starting to use real silverware in the dining room in an effort to reduce the disposable plastic that we have been throwing away each day. We hope to see you at Sharkbites again soon!

Thanks to Mrs. Walters and the KES Green Team, we have also started recycling old magic markers, through the Crayola Colorcycle….an amazing new program that turns used markers into energy. If you have old markers you can no longer use, feel free to send them in and we will recycle them!

I also want to thank KEPTA members for their willingness to start looking into the possibility of upgrading our playground equipment and possibly developing a “natural playground” here at KES. If you are interested in this possibility or have ideas that would help, I encourage you to start attending KEPTA’s monthly meetings. The next one is at noon in the Learning Lab here at KES on December 13th. We hope you can join us!

And don’t forget Math Night here at KES this coming Tuesday. This is a game-night event where your children (grades Pre-K-2) will have the opportunity to introduce you to some fun math games and activities that they have been learning at school. Please see the attached flyer for details, and join us for some family fun on December 11th!

Once again KES will be offering families an opportunity to have a “Family Night” with no homework this coming week on Wednesday, December 12th. This year Sea Road School and MSK will be joining us in this endeavor. We encourage you to do something fun as a family...whether you make cookies, play games, decorate for the holidays, or just bundle up and take a walk together in the chilly outdoors. We hope you enjoy some special time together and post a photo if you like on our website. Directions for how to do that will be coming out this week.

And finally, today is the last day of the first trimester, and teachers are now calculating grades, so report cards will be coming home next Friday…so please be on the lookout for those! Have a great weekend!

Yours in Education,

Mr. Quinn

Support Group
Prelude volunteering
Math night flyer