Tonawanda News

December 11, 2013

Kenmore Middle students searched in incident

By Jessica Bagley jessica.bagley@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — KENMORE — All of the male students at Kenmore Middle School were called to the auditorium Tuesday morning and told to empty out their pockets and belongings after someone attempted to start a fire in a bathroom on Monday. 

“All of the boys were spoken to,” Superintendent Mark Mondanaro said. “There has been some nonsense going on, not dangerous stuff — just pranks. It was an attempt to get to the bottom of it.”

No evidence was found, Mondanaro said, and those who had attempted to start a fire were not successful. The fire department was called as a precaution on Monday, but no evacuations occurred.

Parents of Kenmore Middle School students said the school’s actions were improper, and said that their children were searched with no reasonable suspicion that they were involved in the incident.

No letter was sent home about the attempted fire or the auditorium meeting, parents said. 

At the school board meeting Tuesday, Mondanaro also provided a brief update on the consolidation project. He said he has received questionnaires back that were sent to the district’s curriculum specialists and administrative staff, including the special education director.

“These got them thinking about how the scenarios would impact the curriculum and other programs,” he said. “We got them back last week and are just starting to go through them. People are thinking about it, they are engaged and it is a very worthwhile project.”

The feedback will be incorporated until the final report on the four consolidation options, which will then be presented to the public and faculty in the coming months.

Mondanaro said Tuesday that “some of the concepts sound good in concept,” but that they may affect state aid or capital projects.

“We have old buildings that are getting older,” he said. “The time has come for us to think about another capital project.”

The consolidation project is aimed at saving money in light of decreasing enrollment and right-sizing. If the board chooses to vote on one of the options, that will occur in February. The plan will then be implemented for either the 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 school year.

Board President Bob Dana also said that the district will be represented at the State Education Commissioner John King Jr.’s forum on Thursday. Dana will represent the board, and a staff member and parent will also attend.

The attendees will answer questions via email before the forum, Dana said.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.