The goal of Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Schools is to become the state's premier district by 2020.
Tuesday night, a handful of parents spoke out about what might be standing in the way.
About two dozen people gathered in the auditorium of Kenmore West High School, where a community meeting was hosted by School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro.
Additional sessions are scheduled for Feb. 25 in Kenmore East High School and April 29 in Holmes Elementary School.
"This is really an informational session to get information from you," Mondanaro said. "We want your input directly on what's working well and what we need to do better at."
On the "working well" side of the ledger, two parents offered kudos for the district's literacy program.
Areas needing improvement include teacher training and performance assessments, and maintaining effective programs and practices beyond elementary school.
One parent spoke of the difference in the education his son received in elementary and middle schools.
"In sixth, he was challenged; in seventh, he appears to be one of the masses," the man said.
Another parent asked whether the district is prepared for a cut in state aid, should one come midyear.
"We have set ourselves up, we think, in good financial stead for a possible cut," Mondanaro responded.
Mondanaro was asked by another parent about which school district he considers best in the state and how Ken-Ton measures up.
"I don't necessarily want to say that," the superintendent said. "I think we are moving in the right direction. It's just going to take a lot of work."