Katonah Elementary School

106 Huntville Road, Katonah, NY 10536

Ms. Cristy Harris

Assistant Principal:
Mr. Terry Costin


Fax: 914-763-7789


September Principal's Letter

Dear KES Families,

Welcome to the 2015-16 School year! We are hopeful that you are experiencing a relaxing summer and are beginning to get excited about the possibilities that the new school year holds. Currently, we have 426 students enrolled at KES, which includes our 73 incoming kindergartners as well as 25 students who recently moved into our area. We also have several teachers and teaching assistants joining our staff this year. On behalf of everyone at KES, we extend an extra warm welcome to these newest members of our learning community.

Quite a bit of work has been taking place at KES over the summer in preparation for the upcoming school year. Our custodial crew has been busy making our school sparkle while our office staff has been continuously updating the student data systems, ordering materials, and preparing all that is necessary to run a smooth operation throughout the school year. Operations and Maintenance have several infrastructure projects currently underway at KES. Saving Big Red, the ever so popular slide in the KES playground was a priority and the slide itself as well as the surrounding area is in the process of being renovated. When complete, Big Red will have a new switch-back approach up the slope planted with native sustainable ground covering and new stairs with banisters made from weather resistant (Non-Pressure treated) wood. The basketball back boards are being re-anchored and straightened, and a 6’ fence is being installed along 2 sides of the playground to catch run-away balls before they can reach the street. Under the Energy Performance Contract, the school’s heating system is being converted to natural gas, saving 25% of the cost of fuel oil.

On the educational front, there were teacher representatives from each of the elementary buildings working on refining our mathematics curriculum, which will be shared among grade level teams in the fall. Curriculum development in the area of ELA also took place and new units of study will be implemented in September. This year, there will be a focus in the area of writing in grades K-5 and all teachers will be participating in staff development provided by consultants from the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Project. We look forward to sharing more specifics about the academic programs during the scheduled Curriculum Nights, including an anticipated district-wide pilot of published math programs.

Research shows that the home-school connection is a key component to the success of our students. Common understanding of the school’s practices and policies is helpful to ensure clear and consistent expectations. The KES Family Handbook, found on our school website, as well as the Elementary “Be Your Best!” Code of Conduct, which will be sent home during the first week of school, are valuable resources and should be reviewed carefully. There are many forms of communication utilized throughout the year to keep families informed, which include: Principal Coffees, Connect Ed messages, PTO news blasts, newsletters, back- pack mail (on Thursdays), and messages posted on both the School and District websites. We look forward to our continued collaborating with PTO Co-Presidents, Kristin Condon and Mary Gaza, to facilitate communications and enhance student programs. Whether you are new to KES or a seasoned member of our learning community, we encourage you to join our PTO and consider reserving some time to volunteer for activities that are held throughout the school year.

A significant amount of professional time and attention was given to class placement in order to create balanced classes. Student performance and profiles as well as the ratio of boys to girls were among the factors considered in addition to parental input. The faculty participated in the placement process although assignments were finalized by administration. We are confident in the thoughtful decisions made related to each student’s class placement, and appreciate your support of your child’s teacher assignment. If you have submitted all of the necessary documentation, your child’s placement will be available on the Parent Portal. If you have not submitted the required documents, you will need to do so and once the information is received and processed, your child’s class placement will become available on the Parent Portal. If you still need a Parent Portal account, please access relevant information on the District’s website by clicking on the Technology link. Families without internet access should notify the main office.

School hours are 9:15 AM to 3:40 PM. We encourage all students with a bus assignment to ride the bus to and from school. We will be reviewing basic bus safety and behavioral expectations with all students at the start of the school year. We appreciate you taking the time to remind your child to use an inside voice and keep hands, feet, and belongings to themselves and out of the aisles. In the case work obligations or after school activities make taking the bus difficult, please review the following drop off and pick up procedures.

AM Drop-Off
Drop-off takes place in the circular driveway where you will pull up to the designated drop off area. Drivers should remain in the car and children should exit the car on the sidewalk side of the car (opposed to the traffic flow side). If you require more time to drop off your child, please park your car (in the lot across the street or in a spot on the street) and walk your child to the Plaza. Please note: Students dropped off prior to 9:10 AM are unsupervised; students arriving after 9:15 AM are considered tardy.

PM Pick-Up
If you are picking up your child, they should bring a note with them to school in the morning and hand it in to their classroom teacher. Pick-ups are at 3:40 PM and take place at the side of the building closest to Huntville Rd. The doors are designated by a sign. Upon arrival at the pick-up location, staff members may ask the parent/guardian/caregiver to show identification and you will need to sign out the student(s) you are picking up. Please note: In order to conduct a safe dismissal for all students, we respectfully request that you do not plan to pick up your child between 3:15 PM and 3:40 PM from the Main Office.

“Walkers” are students who are not assigned to a bus because they live within walking distance from the school. Walkers enter through the Plaza doors in the morning along with the students coming off the busses and those being dropped off. In the afternoon, “walkers” may either be released directly by their teacher at 3:40 PM or be designated as a pick-up to be signed out by the parent/guardian/caregiver at the pick-up area.

There are also students who are assigned to a bus but choose to either walk or ride their bicycle to and from school. These students are required to have a note with them in the morning for the days they will walk or ride home from school.

In the mail, sometime over the next few days, you will receive a letter from your child’s grade level team of teachers along with a brightly colored  KES Daily Dismissal Plan form. This is a building level form we keep on file as your child’s standing dismissal plan for each day of the week. Your child will be dismissed in accordance with what is written on the form unless a note is sent in from home with your child in the morning on a given day indicating a change of dismissal plans. Please complete and send in the form at your earliest convenience, but no later than on the first day of school. The Emergency Dismissal Plan form you completed and submitted to the District will be put into action in the case of an emergency; the Emergency Dismissal Plan supersedes the KES Daily Dismissal Plan.

In the weeks ahead, many events and activities will be taking place. They will come upon us quickly, so be sure to mark your calendars!!!

Friday, August 21st
Transportation letters mailed
Tuesday, August 25th
11:00 AM-12:00 PM New Family Orientation for Grades 1-5
Wednesday, September 2nd
Kindergarten Orientation (AM or PM) for Students and Parent/Caretaker
Grades 1-5 First Full Day of School
Thursday, September 3rd
Kindergarten’s First Full Day of School
5:00-7:00 PM “Welcome Back Picnic” (Rain date: September 18th)
Monday, September 7th
Labor Day- School Closed
Wednesday, September 9th
Picture Day
Thursday, September 10th
*Curriculum Night: Kindergarten and First Grade
Monday, September 14th
Rosh Hashanah- School Closed
Tuesday, September 15th
Rosh Hashanah- School Closed
Wednesday, September 16th
9:15 AM Principal’s Coffee- Open Forum
9:30 AM PTO General Meeting- School Safety Presentation
*Curriculum Night: Second and Third Grades
Saturday, September 19th
5th Grade Car Wash (Rain date: September 26th)
Thursday, September 24th
*Curriculum Night: Fourth and Fifth Grades
Monday, October 5th
Scholastic Book Fair (all week)

*Curriculum Nights are for adults only.
7:00 PM: Principal’s “Opening Remarks” in the gymnasium (need only to attend once).
7:30 PM: Presentation of Curriculum in the classroom

Last year we began to explore Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, which we will continue again this year. Let me begin by sharing one word, which if it is not already, will soon become a very popular word in your household- YET! The “Power of Yet” is one of Dweck’s most simple, yet powerful, ways to instill a Growth Mindset in our children. The next time your child says something along the lines of, “I can’t do this!” you should try responding with a simple “yet” and see if this helps to turn around the negative attitude into something more positive. There are so many wonderful opportunities for meaningful learning to take place each and every day at KES. Our goal is for every child to reach their full potential to have a ‘mindset’ of working hard, putting forth effort, persevering and an “I think…I can!” attitude.

We look forward to greeting your children on Wednesday, September 2nd.   Until then, enjoy the remaining days of summer!

Cristy Harris and Terry Costin


Summer Reading and Math Activities

July 2015

Dear Katonah-Lewisboro Families,

We hope you are enjoying the beginning of the summer. Attached please find information related to summer reading and math activities as we are recommending that our students take time to keep their skills sharp.

Please consider completing the reading log and math calendar with your child and have them return it to his or her classroom teacher in September.

We look forward to welcoming our students back to school in September. Enjoy the summer!

The Elementary Principals



KES Celebrates 75 Years

THANK YOU to the Katonah Community
for the wonderful opportunity to celebrate!

KES Students Win Camp Scholarships

Three Katonah Elementary School students have been selected by the Katonah Village Improvement Society as recipients of the John Jay Homestead Adventure Days History Camp Scholarship.

Fourth-graders Megan Condon, Scott Esposito and Aidan McCarthy each wrote award-winning essays about the Civil War, citing information they have learned about the North vs. South.

Congratulations to the three winners!

Seasonal Reminder:

Please be sure your child comes to school in clothing that is appropriate for outdoor play. Open toe shoes and flip-flops are inappropriate shoe attire for our playground area; students may be asked to refrain from certain activities.(Family Handbook, pg. 12)

Common Core Mathematics Guides

Typing Pal Online


IXL Math