Dorchester Reporter, February 27, 2020
By Katie Trojano, Reporter Staff
The Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School last week hosted its first annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) night for more than 260 students and their families. Participants engineered towers, made electromagnets, tested electronic instruments, participated in math games, contributed to a community art project, and more.
“I’ve never seen anything like this level of community participation at any of the schools I’ve worked at,” said Pallas James, the Kenny School nurse and event volunteer.
More than 40 Kenny school staff and community partners, in addition to 5th grade student leaders, volunteered their time to make the event a success.
“We want students to think of learning as something more than just testing and grades. We want them to remember their education as social and fun,” said Christopher Leonard, one of the Kenny School’s two science teachers.
The Kenny School will expand to K-6 in September, which will garner more financial support from the Boston School Fund for STEAM programming.
“Our K-6 expansion plan includes financial support from the Boston School Fund to develop a high quality, STEAM-focused learning environment that prepares students for success in high school, college and beyond,” said Emilly Bryan, the Kenny School’s principal. “As students rise from grade to grade, they will be exposed to advancing technology skills and courses that include the Google App Suite, coding, digital music production, graphic arts and more. Our goal is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to be leaders in our increasingly digital world.”
UMass Boston's professor Christopher Martell in partnership with the Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School in Dorchester has designed an elementary level, inquiry-based, literacy-focused, and multicultural social studies curriculum entitled Understanding Our Worlds.
Kenny School to get 6th grade
June 14, 2019
The Thomas J. Kenny School will add a 6th grade for the 2020-2021 school year, the school's parent council announced Friday.
Parents and advocates pushed for the expansion to the Oakton Avenue elementary school, which serves students in kindergarten through 5th grade. Its students currently have guaranteed assignment to 6th grade at the Mildred Avenue School
"Last night, Superintendent Laura Perille, and the BuildBPS team met with Principal Bryan, the parent council and members of the Kenny staff," the parent council wrote in a release. "Together, we worked collaboratively as a community to figure out solutions that do not compromise any of our students. We talked through the logistics and came up with smart solutions to ensure that we meet all the needs of our entire student population, while retaining the art and music programs we all hold dearly."
In the statement, the parent council thanked Perille; principal Emily Bryan; city councillors Annissa Essaibi-George, Michelle Wu, and Frank Baker; state Sen. Nick Collins; state Rep. Dan Hunt; and Erin Murphy, a candidate for city councillor at-large.
"Gaining a 6th grade ensures that our children can stay at their school, with teachers and friends they love," the council wrote. "To say this alleviates a stress on parents and guardians is an understatement. This truly is a game changer!"
MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY: Mayor Martin Walsh and interim BPS Superintendent Laura Perille pose with fourth graders after announcing the expansion of the My Way Cafe food and nutrition program at the Kenny Elementary School on Wednesday. Angela Rowlings / HERALD STAFF FILE