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2013 Penn Ave S
Minneapolis 55405
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9:30am - 4pm

Kenwood FAQs

School hours are 9:30am - 4:00pm.  Students can begin to enter the school at 9:15am.  Breakfast is free of charge for anyone who would like to eat. Students riding buses will enter door 1. We expect that students walking or being dropped off will also enter door 1, but this policy may change.  Please make every attempt to drop students off by 9:25am so that they are in their classrooms and ready to learn by 9:30am. Students arriving after 9:30am should enter door 1 to be buzzed in by the office, where they will get a late pass.  Students being picked up will be at door 8 (along Franklin Avenue) at 4:00pm.  All students should be picked up no later than 4:10pm. 

Each child should have basic supplies such as pencils, markers, crayons, glue, scissors, notebooks and folders.  Specific grade level supply lists are posted on the main webpage.

You will receive notification (email and/or robo call) regarding the location and times for the bus stop in mid-late August.  Please call the school office at 612-668-2760 if you have not received notification by August 31st.   Plan to arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early (or more for the first few weeks) as buses adjust to the schedule. Please keep in mind that transportation may need to make updates to the schedule as more students are added to in-person learning. Many families exchange phone numbers with the other families at the bus stop in case of an emergency.  Staff will assist students with getting off the bus in the morning and on the bus at the end of the day.

Transportation provides an app called “Here Comes the Bus” to help families navigate when the bus is coming. (This system tracks buses, not students.) Be advised that this is not a perfect system and does not work if there is a substitute bus or substitute driver. To sign up, you will need the student ID number and the school code of 87018.

Students arriving at school enter at door 1 (Penn Avenue) between 9:15 - 9:25am so they are ready to learn by 9:30am.  If you arrive after 9:30, please send your student to door 1 to be checked in and receive a late pass.  Please DO NOT park or stop in front of the school on Penn Ave.  This area is reserved for buses.  If you are dropping off, you may pull up on Penn Avenue past the brick fence to allow students to exit the car, then depart so the next person can do the same.  You may also find parking in the neighborhood and walk to the school.  Please use the crosswalks and do not cross in the middle of a street.  Drop off and pick up is a busy time.  School ends at 4:00 and students should be picked up at door 8 (along Franklin Avenue) in a timely manner.  All students should be picked up no later than 4:10pm.  

Our location is wonderful, but parking can be an issue. Families should find street parking in the neighborhood.  Parking lots are reserved for staff members. Staff hours vary, so even if spots are available, please do not park in the lots. Please check street parking signs carefully and be aware of any snow emergency rules that may be in effect.  Do not park on the school side of Penn Avenue (this is reserved for buses), in front of door 4 on 21st street or door 8 on Franklin Avenue.  These areas are clearly marked with city street parking signage and are for the safety of students. Thank you for your cooperation.

Whenever there is any change to the after school plan, please email both the classroom teacher and the office ( before 10:30am, although earlier is better.  After 10:30am, please call the main office at 612-668-2760.  Teachers and staff are not always able to check email during the school day as they are busy working with students.  We understand that last minute changes happen, however we ask that you do what you can to avoid that happening on a regular basis as the office and classrooms are especially busy at the end of the day

612-668-2766 – Kenwood Health Office (put this number in your contacts)

If your child is not coming to school, please call the health office to leave a message. Please make sure to include:

  • the student’s first and last name
  • classroom teacher
  • reason for the absence (including any symptoms the child is having)
  • the person making the call
  • and a number where you can be reached if there are any questions.

Students should not return to the building until they are without symptoms (fever, vomit, diarrhea) for 24 hours with no medication.

Please view this reference sheet for guidelines for most illnesses.

You can find more information on the district health website at

Below is a list of organizations that families use for before/after school care.  Please note that we are not promoting any of these organizations, merely letting you know what might be available.  These organizations are NOT run by Kenwood school staff.  Please contact them regarding availability and fees.

Students are welcome to bring a lunch prepared from home (no nuts please!) or eat a school lunch. School lunches may be prepacked and include an entree along with sides of fruits and vegetables. Milk is also available. MPS does not serve any products with nuts or pork. Menus and other information can be found at  All students are given a lunch number to enter when they are having school lunch.  Teachers will help students learn their numbers.  Please see the section “Application for Educational Benefits” for information on how to set up a lunch account and purchase meals.  Due to allergies, we respectfully ask that if you are sending a lunch to school you save your nut products for home.  

The cafeteria has policies in place for students with allergies. Kenwood has numerous students with life-threatening anaphylactic conditions and many other students with sensitivity to particular foods.

Several years ago, the school adopted a Wellness Policy, and treats are no longer allowed in the classrooms. No food items will be used in school as incentives, rewards, snacks, celebrations, etc. There are two exceptions to this rule: 

  • Kindergarteners will get an afternoon snack (your child’s teacher will communicate with you about this)
  • Teachers can decide to make an exception for a celebration that is a long-held Kenwood tradition.

Students may eat at home before coming to school or eat breakfast at school.  School breakfasts are FREE to anyone who would like one.

The Application for Educational Benefits (formerly known as Free and Reduced Price Lunch) needs to be filled out each year by every family for a few reasons.  It lets families know if they qualify for either free or reduced prices for lunch and it is also one of the ways funding is determined for schools. Families of all income levels should complete the application. Applying matters! Information provided on Applications for Educational Benefits:

  • determines benefits for students and families such as no-cost meals at school, free bus cards, and discounted internet service.

  • generates about $100 million in district funding each year, and qualifies schools and community sites to serve no-cost food to youth 18 and under both after-school and in the summer months.

The Application for Educational Benefits can be completed at SchoolCafé.com.

  1. Visit SchoolCafé.com and login with your username and password.

  2. Click on Apply for Benefits (or Eligibility Benefits), then click on Apply.

  3. Follow the instructions to complete your online application.

Students have recess for 30 minutes each day, typically either before or after lunch. Students go outside every day unless the temperature is below zero or the windchill is ten below.  Please make sure to send winter gear (jackets, hats, gloves, snow pants and boots) each day. You are welcome to provide a set of boots and/or snow pants to leave at school in your student’s designated locker/cubby. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LABEL ALL ITEMS – we all shop at the same stores and snow gear all looks alike!

There is a limited supply of snow gear in the health office for students who do not have appropriate outdoor gear or forget something at home. If you are in need of winter gear, please reach out to School Social Worker Ally Adamski or Family Liaison Keri Mabry.

Look for the blue Kenwood School folder in your child’s backpack. This folder will travel back and forth to school and will hold homework, notes from the teacher, field trip notices, school newsletters and other school information. Be sure you know when the teacher wants it back and when it should come back to you. Each teacher may have a slightly different schedule for folders, but always look for it on the first school day of the week, as that is when most school-wide communications come home.  

Teachers also each have a website with information including their daily schedule. Go to the Kenwood website and click on the “Directory" tab. Teachers may also send email communications.

Emails titled “Principal Update” are sent weekly or as needed via School Messenger and are also posted on the Kenwood website for you to reference at any time. Weekly newsletters are created by Keri Mabry, our Family Liaison, and can be accessed here: The Kenwood Courier.

Please make sure to update the office any time your contact information changes.  

Go to the district site and look for School Messenger or visit the website below. You will be able to log in or create your account and update your preferences on how you receive information. You can also add others to the account.

Every teacher has a different system of using parent volunteers. Most teachers don’t use volunteers until October. Teachers use the first month to allow students to familiarize themselves with Kenwood and the classroom routine. This way when a parent comes in to volunteer, the children already feel like classroom experts.  

In addition to classroom and field trip help, volunteers often help in the lunchroom, with PTA events and fundraisers, the Woodchuck Walk and MIA Art Adventures. If you have 30 minutes a week or 30 minutes a year, there are multiple ways to get involved if you are interested. Volunteering is not a requirement, but if you are interested we would be happy to have you.  Volunteer needs will be communicated through E-Blasts, classroom emails, the Kenwood Courier and Sign Up Genius.  All volunteers attending events outside of the building (field trips) will need to complete a basic background check, provided free of charge by MPS.  Background checks are valid for two years.  More information will be coming out regarding this process.

Also, each class has a Room Parent(s) who acts as a main contact for the teacher and as a liaison between the PTA and classroom families. Room parents are responsible for identifying classroom needs and helping to communicate and support volunteer efforts within the class. Again, each teacher has their own approach but look for the sign-up at the beginning of the year.

Kenwood Elementary promotes several environmental learning initiatives and efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. Look for different programs going on around school throughout the year.

The Green Team hosts a community re-use and rummage sale during the 1st few days of summer break. They have also built and maintained a garden outside the school playground along 21st Street since 2010 and installed 2 more garden beds in the spring of 2021.  In the spring, our students get to help plan and plant the garden.

Kenwood also participates in a twice-yearly bike/walk to school day. A few years ago, we started the Woodchuck Walk which allows students to walk through Kenwood Park once a week on their way to school in the Fall/Spring.

In 2020, we instituted a successful composting and recycling program in the lunchroom and that will continue. 

The district calendar is posted online at and is linked on the Kenwood website. We also have an event calendar on the Kenwood website where you can find events more specific to our school. It’s a great idea to view the district calendar and enter dates into your personal calendar for when students will not have school so they do not take you by surprise.

September 8:  First Day of School, grades 1-12

September 10:  First Day of School, grade K

October 20:  Parent Teacher Conferences (all day) (NO SCHOOL)

October 21-22:  MEA (NO SCHOOL)

November 5:  Teacher Record Keeping (NO SCHOOL)

November 24-26:  Thanksgiving Break (NO SCHOOL)

December 20-31:  Winter Break (NO SCHOOL)

January 17:  Martin Luther King Jr. Day (NO SCHOOL)

January 28:  Teacher Record Keeping Day (NO SCHOOL)

February 21:   Presidents’ Day (NO SCHOOL)

February 22:   Parent Teacher Conferences (all day) (NO SCHOOL)

April 1:  Teacher Record Keeping Day (NO SCHOOL)

April 4-8:   Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

May 30:   Memorial Day (NO SCHOOL)

June 10:   Last Day of School

June 13-14:  Possible Make Up Days

The district sets aside two days per year (fall and spring) for teachers and parents to sit down and engage in conversation regarding individual students.  Each school will also designate 2 other evenings for conferences.  These dates will be communicated at a later date.  Interpreters are available upon request. 

We have an online directory. The directory is the best tool for getting in touch with other parents and finding emails, phone numbers and addresses. It is an opt-in directory so you must sign up in order for your information to be included. Only Kenwood families will have access to this directory.

The Site Council is a representative forum of licensed staff, parents, community members and school administration to give all stakeholders in the Kenwood School community a voice in the school’s decision-making process. Unlike the PTA, the Site Council does not host events and activities to build community or raise funds. Its primary focus is on school policies, the budget, and issues that Kenwood might face in relation to the District. Meetings are generally the 1st Thursday of the month. Check the school website for exact meeting dates and times. The Site Council Board members are listed on the Kenwood website.

The PTA is an organization made up of parents and staff .  The main goal of the PTA is to create community-building events, although it also fundraises for our arts residencies. PTA is  currently undergoing some shifting as they look to see how to engage with all families, how to support families and staff, what the money is being raised for and how to be equitable within our larger community.  The Kenwood PTA is part of the National PTA organization. Throughout the year, PTA communications and notifications will come via the weekly Kenwood Update. Information can also be found on the PTA Facebook page, Kenwood Community School PTA. The current PTA Board members are listed on the Kenwood website, along with meeting minutes.  PTA is actively looking for new members and would love to have an opportunity to talk with you.  If you are interested in joining, please contact the PTA President or Lori Smith.

There will be opportunities this year for families to contribute to our arts residencies programming, and more information will be communicated in the future.  In the past, we have incorporated some of our fundraisers into a few community events such as The Kenwood Crawl.  

You can also contribute to Kenwood on a more ongoing basis.  Please note that we are NOT endorsing or pushing particular businesses or products. But if you already shop at these stores, we simply ask that you take advantage of the bonuses offered to schools. The money raised pays for supplies used in the office and PTA school events — and the money really adds up.

General Mills BoxTop$ for Education: Box Tops is changing to fit today's families. The Box Tops mobile app uses state-of-the-art technology to scan your store receipt, find participating products and instantly add Box Tops to your school's earnings online. BoxTop brands include Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Kleenex, Hefty, Ziploc and more. Go to to find a complete list of participating products. Proceeds earned from this program support Kenwood Student Council.

Amazon Smile: If you are an Amazon shopper, you can help earn money for Kenwood School. Log into with your usual amazon user ID. Search for “PTA Minnesota Congress 004884 Kenwood Elementary PTA” as the charity you want to support. Every little bit helps!

  • On a computer you can simply look up AmazonSmile, login to your charity and make a bookmark.

  • On your mobile device (iphone)

1.  You cannot use Amazon Smile with the Amazon App on the iPhone. However, the good news is that you can set up a shortcut to the Amazon Smile website which gives a near identical experience to the app. It’s very quick and easy to do. If you have the Amazon App installed you should remove it. To do this, tap and hold the app icon until it starts to jiggle. Tap the cross at the top left of the icon and confirm that you want to delete it. Don’t worry, this will not delete your Amazon account or any of your settings.

2.  On your internet browser go to AmazonSmile

3.  Tap the 'share' button on the bottom of your screen

4.  Tap the 'add to home screen' icon

5.  You will now have an Amazon Smile icon on your home screen which you can use in exactly the same way you used
the Amazon App

Residencies bring professional artists to Kenwood to work with students and teachers to enrich the classroom experience and reinforce aspects of current curriculum. Residencies are a crucial and unique piece of the Kenwood experience and are funded 100% by the PTA. Some examples are: Brother Ghana African drumming, Fall Family Festival, Midwest Food Connection, Taiko and the MN Center for Book Arts. A number of the residencies provide final performances. Your child’s teacher will communicate residency dates and performance times to you.

The PTA has an arrangement with a cab company to provide free rides to Kenwood for events. If you need to get to the school for an event, performance or conference, call Lori Smith or the main office at 612-668-2760 to make arrangements.

In addition to the Site Council and PTA, Kenwood families have created Kenwood Families for Equity and Justice, The Kenwood Green Team, and Kenwood PAALs (Parents Advocating for Advanced Learners).  These groups are always happy to welcome new members at any time.  To learn more about any of these groups, please visit the check "Families" tab on the main website or reach out to Lori Smith.

Check the "Directory" tab on the main website, or look below for some common staff contact information.

Principal: Heidi Johnson –

School Secretary: Danielle Sanders –

School Social Worker: Ally Adamski –

School Nurse: Traci Cruikshank –

School Health Associate: Seiyefa Baralatei –

Family Liaison: Lori Smith –

Kenwood Office – 612-668-2760

Kenwood Attendance Line/Health Office – 612-668-2766

First, take a look at the Kenwood website – there’s lots of good information there!  If it’s more of a district question, check out the MPS website at If you can’t find it in either of those places, feel free to reach out to Family Liaison Keri Mabry at and she will be happy to help.

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2013 Penn Ave S
Minneapolis 55405
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