NEW LSNHS football team completes community-service projects
NEW LSNHS football team completes community-service projects
NEW Gymboree help LS R-7 extended school year students explore music
NEW Lee’s Summit R-7 School District archery program finishes season on target
The Lee’s Summit North High School football team completed a number of community-service projects during July, working together at locations throughout Lee’s Summit. The team members worked at Hope House and Lee’s Summit Social Services, focusing on landscaping and outdoor clean-up projects. Students also worked at several Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation facilities, completing clean-up and other outdoor projects.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District indoor archery program wrapped up its 2014 season with a strong effort at the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) World Tournament held July 11-13 in Madison, Wis.
Longview Farm Elementary, Summit Lakes Middle School and Lee’s Summit West High School shot qualifying scores at the national level to advance to the World Tournament. From the nearly 2.15 million NASP archers worldwide, only 2,425 archers from 198 schools made the season-ending showcase.
The Missouri State Champion team from Summit Lakes Middle School did one better than their national tournament standings, placing an impressive fifth in the middle school division at world competition, highlighted by Coby Ingram’s fourth-place podium finish.
Longview Farm Elementary, placing 16th, and Lee’s Summit West, placing 23rd, had solid scores as well.
Two days after the conclusion of the World Tournament, NASP held the All-Nations, All-Star Tournament pitting the top 16 archers from the United States against the best from around the world – this year represented by South Africa and Canada. Lee’s Summit West All-American Shelby Winslow shot for the United States and took home the Top Overall Female Award for the highest scoring average over the two-day, five-round event. Shelby’s scoring average was a world-class 295, out of a possible 300.
Dr. David McGehee’s blogs may be found at http://lsr7supt.blogspot.com/. The latest blog, posted July 23, answers questions from his Twitter account readers – one about the district budget and one about engaging with employees.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved a contract with Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) on July 17 that will provide two Head Start preschool classrooms during the 2014-15 school year. Head Start is a federally funded instructional program serving low-income, 3- and 4-year-old students.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 program will serve 68 qualifying students with one classroom located at Meadow Lane Elementary and one at Westview Elementary. Children in the program will attend either a morning or an afternoon session four days each week.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with MARC to offer Head Start within Lee’s Summit R-7,” said Dr. David McGehee, superintendent. “Head Start is a valuable program for children and their families that strengthens communities. The program makes a tremendous difference for students in terms of their academic success and their futures.”
“Head Start early education opportunities for children will impact Lee’s Summit R-7 families who cannot afford fee-based community preschool,” said Kerry Boehm, principal at the district’s Great Beginnings Early Education Center. “Educational services will close the achievement gap that exists for children who have had no school readiness training prior to entering kindergarten. The Head Start program promotes school readiness by enhancing cognitive development, pre-academic skills, health, nutrition, social skills and other services to support children and families enrolled in the program.”
Initiated at the federal level in 1965, Head Start has an impressive record of helping children transition successfully from preschool to elementary school while fostering stable family relationships. In addition, the program is recognized for enhancing children’s physical and emotional wellbeing and helping students be prepared to succeed as they transition into elementary school.
All Head Start students will receive two meals each session, including breakfast and lunch for morning students and lunch and a heavy snack for afternoon students. Transportation to and from the program will be provided for students through the R-7 Transportation Department.
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District officials were approached about offering Head Start by representatives of the Mid-America Regional Council during spring 2014. Staff members from both organizations worked together during the last few months to develop plans for the launch of the Lee’s Summit R-7 program.
More than 22 million children have participated in Head Start during its nearly 50-year history. In the metropolitan area, MARC serves as the grantee for Head Start programs in Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties.
For more information about the R-7 Head Start program, call the school district at (816) 986-3265.
Lee’s Summit North High School Broncobots held two robotics camps for children during July. Students from fourth through sixth grade attended the one-week camps, forming eight teams and competing as alliances with and against one another. The camps were modeled after FIRST national robotics competitions, an engineering program designed for high school students. Teams were given four days to design and build a robot out of VEX parts with one day for competition. The game, Quack Attack, involved each alliance collecting colored ducks and scoring them in either a high, medium or low goal; the alliance with the most points at the end of the three-minute match wins.
Admit it, you’ve been in a store and you started moving or even singing along to the song playing. It’s hard to hear music and not move in some way! Karian Hayes, owner of Gymboree Play and Music of Lee’s Summit, used music to support and encourage movement with students in the Lee’s Summit R-7 extended school year program.
Movement and physical activity are important to young children, especially for individuals with complex motor skills. To encourage movement each child used wave drums, bells, rain sticks, bubbles and a parachute. While having fun moving, the students also worked on skills such as cause and effect, coordination, imitation, listening and working together.
Ms. Hayes shared, “These kiddos are amazing! It is so much fun to watch them learn and explore though songs. Their smiles and laughter are contagious. I love playing with these kids!”
Next time that magical effect of music over takes you while out in public, give in, have fun and enjoy the moment.
Close to 100 administrators from throughout the Midwest gathered in Lee’s Summit July 22 for the region’s first Google for Education Leadership Symposium. Hosted by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, the event was designed to bring education leaders together to showcase how technology can increase student engagement, help students achieve in school and prepare students for future careers.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District was selected to host this first Midwest event based on the district’s approximately two-year-old Google Chromebooks initiative. Through this innovative project, R-7 students and teachers are using the Chromebooks to enhance day-to-day classroom instruction and improve student achievement.
The R-7 School District’s technology initiative has focused on development of district-wide instructional goals based on student success. Once these goals were determined, school district staff members researched a variety of technology tools, selecting the Google Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education as the best fit.
R-7 staff members presented the symposium’s keynote focusing on high-level vision and district-wide strategies as well as the technology devices and professional development supporting these goals. Keynote presenters from Lee’s Summit R-7 were Dr. David McGehee, superintendent; Dr. Kevin Daniel, associate superintendent instruction and leadership; Dr. Amy Gates, executive director of technology; and Kevin Whaley, director of instructional technology.
During summer 2014, the R-7 School District is adding 3,000 Google Chromebooks to its schools, bringing the district-wide total to 7,000 devices. Teachers use the Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education for instruction and to collaborate with their co-workers, sharing successful teaching strategies and lesson plans.
Students may collaborate on group projects or work on individual assignments using any device from any location since information is saved to the cloud. The Google Chromebooks are also affordable, portable and user-friendly with a long battery life. Within schools, the Chromebooks are located on charging carts and are checked out to individual teachers for use in the classrooms.
The Google for Education Leadership Symposium, an all-day event, was held at Lee’s Summit West High School. Participants attending the Lee’s Summit conference included superintendents and other administrators from approximately 40 school districts within the Midwest.
During the symposium, educators discussed how to:
These days it’s more common to find a tablet, cell phone, remote or video game controller in the hands of a child at play than a bat, ball or glove, and, “I don’t feel like exercising,” is a refrain said around the world by many adults. What if you had additional physical or medical barriers would that be a valid excuse not to exercise? If you ask the students in the Lee’s Summit R-7 extended school year program, there are no excuses!
Stephanie Parrish and Sarah Riggins with YES! Kids Fitness became a part of the solution by helping the students develop skills to promote movement through exciting and fun physical movement activities. Superheros flying through the air, popcorn exploding, ladder races and ball throws were just a few of the activities the students engaged in.
“All the kids were trying and having fun. The kids in the wheelchairs were just amazing. It was really cool to work with them and see their personalities shine thorough,” said eighth-grade Campbell Middle School volunteer Sara Riggins. “Some of the kids had made up their minds that they didn’t want to do the activities. By the end of the class everyone was doing it and having fun, which is really cool to see.”
Stephanie Parrish shared, “Wow!! It doesn’t matter your disability. Every child can participate in one way or another! The few ‘I can’t’ or ‘I won’t’ turned into ‘watch me, I can do it!’ Their smiles got brighter and brighter to know they accomplished a ladder drill or threw a ball! From the cartwheels at the end to jumps of joy the kids were having fun. I had a blast!”
So what is the solution? There many local opportunities for physical activity programs, even for children with special needs, and parents must be role models for an active lifestyle. There are NO EXCUSES!
The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District recently earned the School Breakfast Challenge Award from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Through the award, sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Council and the Missouri Food Bank, the school district is receiving $2,000 that will go toward health and wellness activities for students.
R-7 officials said the participation increase was a result of the Bag-a-Breakfast effort at all 18 elementary schools. This program provides elementary students with the opportunity to purchase breakfast as they enter their schools and then eat the to-go version of breakfast in their classrooms. Thanks to Bag-a-Breakfast, participation in the morning meal more than doubled throughout the district’s elementary schools.
School districts are eligible for the cash prizes if they have at least a 20-percent increase in breakfast participation among students when comparing the 2012-13 and 2013-14 years.
According to Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members, the program has benefitted the many students participating.
“It is a win-win,” said one school principal about the program. “Students are getting to class on time and getting fed.”
The program was also praised by teachers for providing students with a simple, healthy breakfast with minimal distractions and almost no mess in the classrooms.
“Breakfast gives children a boost and helps them start their day,” said an elementary teacher. “They are better able to focus, and behavior is improved.”
Hans Christian Anderson once said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” When it comes to children with limited or no vocal communication, music can be a powerful language indeed. That proved to be the case when Lee’s Summit R-7 speech pathologist Julie Thomas partnered with Randy Buffington, Angie Keeting and Julia Reece to provide an interactive music program for students of varying ages and disabilities in the Lee’s Summit R-7 extended school year program.
The musicians brought their guitar and ukuleles to help the students prove that no matter what your level of ability might be, you can still make music. The students became involved in various ways, by singing, dancing or playing instruments such as the cabasa, maracas, clatterpillars, wave drums, tone blocks and sticks.
Student Lily Kingsley said she enjoyed the campfire sing-alongs. “My favorite was Old MacDonald. I played the triangle,” she added, “but wanted to play the bug rattler (clatterpillar).”
Zachary Thortan shared, “I enjoyed playing the one that went ‘ch-ch-ch’ (cabasa). I liked the singing. My favorite was the ‘Frozen’ song from the movie.”
The biggest raves for the music program came from the volunteer musicians themselves. “It’s a joy to use music to lift the spirits of children! I love kids and I love sharing the joy of life through music,” noted Randy Buffington, minister of worship at First Baptist Church of Lee’s Summit.
Angie Keeting shared that it was the highlight of her summer. “I loved all of their smiling faces as they play the instruments with us,” she said.
The youngest musician, Julia Reece, a freshman at Lee’s Summit North High School, said, “It was awesome. I had fun watching the kids play their instruments and sing.”
To sum it up, music ROCKS and so do the compassionate and generous individuals who volunteered to share the universal language of music with the students.