Kent News

Kent Principal Grant Althouse

Greetings Kent Community,

I would like to introduce you to three new staff members joining the Kent team to start 2019.

Christy Stocker will join the sixth grade as our new English language arts and social studies teacher, and she will also be teaching our sixth grade poetry enrichment class. Ms. Stocker comes to Kent after a career teaching humanities at the middle school and high school levels. Her recent work experience includes teaching fifth through eighth grade English language arts at Nicasio School, where she also served as the school principal. Christy is excited to get to know the students and families in Room 11.

Maryellen Gore will join the physical education department in January following the retirement of longtime P.E. teacher Matthew Kelly. Ms. Gore has worked with students in kindergarten through eighth grades at a variety of schools, including recent teaching experience in Bellevue Union School District and at Miller Creek Middle School. Ms. Gore visited Kent for the full day on Friday, December 14th, working closely with our P.E. teaching team and meeting her classes of fifth and seventh graders. Maryellen will be a wonderful addition to our P.E. department!

Siera Taylor joins our Counseling team as our long term substitute for Corey Shaw, who will be on maternity leave for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year. Ms. Taylor’s experience includes counseling work at the elementary, middle, and high school level, including a substitute counseling assignment at our very own Bacich Elementary! For the weeks of December 3rd and December 10th, Ms. Taylor worked closely with Ms. Shaw and Ms. Longo in anticipation of this transition, and had the opportunity to work with a number of students and staff. Siera will be a strong addition to our counseling team, working to promote the social, emotional, and academic success of our students.

In other Kent news, we are so proud of eighth grader Athena Nguyen for her perspectives piece, which was broadcast on KQED radio two weeks ago. You can listen to her perspective here. Also, today we wrapped up our two-week special schedule to allow for our school-wide reading of Refugee by Alan Gratz. Please encourage your child to finish the book over the winter break if they didn’t finish at school.

Joining the Kent school community has been a 2018 highlight for me, and I sincerely appreciate our community of families for the warm welcome and for your consistent support of our students and our school. I’m looking forward to our work together in 2019 and beyond!

All my best,

Grant Althouse
Kent Principal

Kent Activities Update

Melissa Stephens

A huge thank you to everyone who made our hot cocoa sales possible today. It was an amazing treat! Special thanks to Vicki Sonu Song for providing all the compost-easy cups and to Tiffany Rowe for going above and beyond to make this happen. A big thank you to our incredible WEB leaders who helped serve as well!

What an amazing inter-district connection we made today when several seventh graders from the Service Innovation class put on kindness skits at the Bacich assembly! They performed four original skits on kindness, finding the light, and celebrating all cultures. The overarching theme was love. Each Bacich student was gifted a small wooden heart with the word "love" imprinted on it to hold onto until they felt someone needed it more than they did. Then they will pass the hearts on, rippling out kindness and compassion. I am so grateful to everyone at Bacich as well as Kent who make these connections so rich for all of us!

Bacich Kent Kindness Assembly

Tomorrow is the big day! Our first ever Countdown Court!

Have your Falcons get in the spirit to ring in the New Year by wearing silver and gold, 2019 glasses and hats, and Happy New Year gear! This will be a beautiful way to honor all customs and traditions while sending our kiddos off to Winter Break with a smile. Cheers to a new tradition!

Thank you,

Melissa Stephens

Activities Director

Kent Library

Kent Librarian Rebecca Jelen

All School Read Ahead! Thank you for your support with our All School Read of Refugee. It has been incredible to be a part of the last two weeks as we have come together in this unique shared experience. Some groups have been reading the book aloud, some have read the book silently, while other students who have read the book already have been reading books related to the topics and characters in the book. I have been reading the book to about 50 students each day in the library and it's clear that the story is engaging students across the grades.

For those who have not finished the book before break, we encourage students to do so on their own either over break or when we return. For students who do not have a copy of the book, there will be ample opportunities after break to listen to the book or borrow a copy from the library. We highly encourage families to read the book and discuss some of the important and intense themes and moments from the story. We will have follow-up activities leading up to Alan Gratz's visit to our school on May 13th, including an essay contest in which the winners will get to share lunch and conversation with the author on that day. Stay tuned for more details in January!

Student Reading Refugee

If your student borrowed a copy of Refugee from the school, please have them bring their copy back as soon as they finish it so we can donate our books to another school. We also welcome any other copies you may have purchased. Thank you!

Book Drive for Laurel Dell: Thank you to the many families who helped us to "give the gift of reading" to our partner school, Laurel Dell, this holiday season. We were able to supply most of the books on their list and delivered them this week to the excited students. We know it's not always easy to choose where you give this time of year, and we so appreciate your help with this annual drive!

Mock Newbery Club: The Mock Newbery Club has been furiously reading these last couple of months in preparation for our prediction of the award winners, which will be announced on January 28, 2019. Our group is comprised of students in grades 5, 6, and 8 who meet every two weeks to trade books and discuss what we are reading and which books we feel are deserving of this recognition. The titles we are reading were selected after I culled blogs, lists, and talked to other librarians and book sellers. For a full list of titles, click here.

Battle of the Books Ahead: Kent's second annual Battle of the Books will begin in January. This team competition will invite students to work together to read from a list of ten books including some new titles and classics. The group will meet once or twice a month to trade books, work with their team and practice for the competition, which will be held at lunch in the library in June. More info to follow!

Thank You, KSPTA Book Fair: Thank you to all of the wonderful families who donated books to the Kent Library through the book fair. I am overwhelmed with the generosity of our families and community and can't wait to process the books and get them into students' hands. Special thanks to Crystal Almanza and her amazing book fair team for putting together this great event.

FastForward Magazine: Have you seen the Kent Middle School News? This incredible publication, put together by the team at FastForward and featuring writing and art from Kent students, can be found in the lobby of the Kent Library. The issue includes an interview with our principal, Mr. Althouse, and an interview with Alan Gratz. Get your copy today!

Read! Winter break is a great time to snuggle up with a book and encourage your child to read. I hope that kids will take their books on trips or enjoy them at home. Reading daily is a habit students can develop anytime and time off from school is the perfect moment to begin. Don't forget to download the Overdrive or Libby app from the Marin County Free Library. With this app you can check out ebooks and audiobooks from anywhere you have an internet connection!! Listening to a book as a family on a long car trip is a shared family experience that encourages conversation and family bonding. Download the apps today!!

Thank you,

Rebecca Jelen
Kent Librarian

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Kent Announcements

View Kent Daily Announcement on Kent website.

Yearbook Are Now On Sale!

Don't miss out on this important memento for your Falcon! Just go to this link: Our school code is 7587.

  • Nameplate options will only be available until January, so get those requests in early.

Attention Eighth Grade Parents

Please send in your eighth graders' baby photos for that traditional page in our yearbook. These may be in hard copy or digital form! Simply email to

Attention Sixth Grade Parents - Tdap Requirement

  • Tdap vaccine proof due by January 25, 2019.
  • Students who do not provide the updated proof of immunizations will be unable to register for seventh grade enrichment classes.

Kent Site Council

Next Meeting: January 15, 2018, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Main Office Conference Room

  • All Kent parents are welcome to attend Site Council meetings. Please visit our Site Council page for meeting dates, agendas, and minutes.

Kent Resources

Please visit our Kent Families page for information such as the Bell Schedule, Parent Handbook, and other important resources and forms.