Lee’s Summit R-7 School District approves approximately 1.4-cent increase in tax levy

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Board of Education recently approved a slight property-tax increase amounting to 1.44 cents per $100 assessed valuation, when compared to the previous year’s tax rate.  The increase in the tax rate was necessary to make up for the decrease in existing property values as determined by the county assessor.

The Lee’s Summit R-7 tax rate for 2016-17 will be $5.9957 per $100 assessed valuation.  The Board of Education made the decision at its annual tax-rate hearing, held Sept. 22.

The Missouri Constitution allows school districts to maintain a consistent level of property tax funding from year-to-year. When property values decrease, the tax rate increases.  If property values increase, the tax rate decreases. For example, during the 2014-16 school year when property values increased by approximately 6 percent, the tax rate decreased by 14 cents. This chart shows the property value and tax rate changes over time.  

sptaxrateadjustmentchart2016(Click on graph to enlarge)


LSNHS celebrates homecoming

Students, staff and families celebrated homecoming with the annual Lee’s Summit North High School parade Sept. 22 in downtown Lee’s Summit. The LSNHS Homecoming football game is Sept. 23 with the dance on Sept. 24.  

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BCMS students selected for Be the Change Award

Raphia Mehmood and Austin Yarbrough were selected to receive the Bernard Campbell Middle School Be the Change Award for August. Selah Wheeler and Seth Bishop were selected for the Bernard Campbell Middle School Be the Change Award for September.

The criteria used for the award includes demonstrating exemplary behavior and displaying a positive attitude in the classroom and hallways, displaying a positive attitude toward teachers and other students, and exhibiting outstanding character at BCMS. The students also received a token of thanks from the school’s business partner, Summit Bank of Kansas City.


spbcms-bethechangeforagspPictured are (from left) Julie Joos of Summit Bank; Dr. Sherri Lewis, BCMS principal; Selah Wheeler; Seth Bishop; Raphia Mehmood; and Austin Yarbrough.

LS CARES to present Parenting the Love and Logic Way for parents of teens Nov. 7 – Dec. 5

Lee’s Summit CARES will present Parenting the Love and Logic Way for parents of youth from 11 to 18 ls-cares-logo-2015-4years old. The program is offered in collaboration with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and ReDiscover.

The courses will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Nov. 7 through Dec. 5 at Bernard Campbell Middle School, 1201 NE Colbern Road.

Parenting the Love and Logic Way will include information about how to maintain a positive relationship, how brain development impacts behavior, how to help your child handle peer pressure, communication strategies that work, how to set limits you can enforce and how to reduce your parenting stress.  

Cost for each class is $42 per participant. There is no cost for previous participants of the classes. Scholarships are also available for residents of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

For more information, to pre-register or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.lscares.org or contact Bev Hatley at (816) 347-3259. The United Way of Greater Kansas City and the City of Lee’s Summit assist with funding and program scholarships.

Marlins Man helps Hazel Grove Elementary raise money for PTA

Laurence Leavy, also known as the Marlins Man, continues to positively impact students and families at Hazel Grove Elementary. At the school’s PTA auction, held during April, Mr. Leavy donated what quickly became the most popular item — the opportunity for seven people to attend a Kansas City Royals baseball game in the Crown Club with the Marlins Man.

Danny Groves purchased the opportunity for $2,500 at the spring auction. The Groves family and another Hazel Grove family attended the game with the Marlins Man Sept. 13.

During November 2015, the Marlins Man visited Hazel Grove Elementary after receiving letters from first-grade students thanking him for his generosity toward others. He spoke to students during an all-school assembly and ate lunch with first-graders.

sphge-marlinsman1kidGrayson Groves and the Marlins Man at the Royals game.






sphge-marlinsman3kidsHazel Grove students (from left) Sydney and Sami Rock and Grayson Groves with the Marlins Man.

LSWHS volleyball to present ninth annual Dig for the Cure Oct. 11

The Lee’s Summit West High School volleyball team will host its ninth annual Dig for the Cure spdigforcure2016logofundraiser Oct. 11 at the LSWHS Fieldhouse.  LSWHS will compete against Lee’s Summit High School with games as follows: 3:30 p.m. for freshmen and 5:30 p.m. for junior varsity, followed by the survivors’ celebration and the varsity match.

Event beneficiaries this year include Gilda’s Club Kansas City, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community dedicated to providing, at no cost to members, a comprehensive and professional program of emotional support and education designed to enhance the mind, body and spirit of people whose lives have been impacted by cancer; Cancer Action, a community-based agency offering supplies, education, empowerment, hope and comfort to those touched by cancer; and LSWHS graduate Sam Smith, who continues to battle osteosarcoma, and whose family recently suffered an additional tragedy with the sudden loss of Sam’s father.

Dig for the Cure provides a meaningful setting for the two Lee’s Summit R-7 high school teams to work together in support of three very worthy benefactors. As in year’s past, Dig for the Cure 2016 will feature a court procession and balloon celebration to honor cancer survivors and fighters, and to pay tribute to the memory of those lost to this horrible disease.

Additionally, the local health and wellness community will be recognized for their extraordinary efforts in the fight against cancer. Advance T-shirt sales are available again this year, and anyone wearing a T-shirt to the event will receive two free raffle tickets. This year’s silent auction features a Jack Stack Barbecue tailgate package; a Traeger grill; and a Golf outing package to area courses, including Lakewood and Hallbrook Country Clubs. Additionally, a number of autographed items donated by the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals will be available, including authenticated signed bats used by Alex Gordon and World Series MVP Salvador Perez; an authenticated Eric Hosmer autographed hat, and a special edition jersey signed by Mike Moustakas.

Over 170 volunteers and 1,500 spectators will come together in an exciting, energy-packed evening, which last year raised over $22,000 to benefit cancer foundations and individuals.

LSWHS celebrates homecoming

Students, staff and families celebrated homecoming with the annual Lee’s Summit West High School parade Sept. 15 in downtown Lee’s Summit. The LSWHS Homecoming football game is Sept. 16 with the dance on Sept. 17.  

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Five LS R-7 School District students named National Merit Scholarship Corporation semifinalists

Five students from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District were recently named National Merit Scholarship Corporation semifinalists through the national program. Students recognized are Paige Maxwell, Lee’s Summit High School; Stacey Edmonsond, Lee’s Summit North High School; and Simone Jacoby, Marie Reuss, Jacob Schnitzlein, Lee’s Summit West High School.

Recognized students have the opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarship Awards, worth close to $33 million, to be offered next spring. There are approximately 16,000 semifinalists throughout the United States.

Paige Maxwell is the daughter of Dale Maxwell and Laura Maxwell. At Lee’s Summit High School, Paige participates in robotics, student senate, Tiger Smart, tiger mentoring, Lee’s Summit CARES Youth Advisory Board, soccer and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

Stacey Edmonsond is the daughter of Steve Edmonsond and Brenda Edmonsond. At Lee’s Summit North High School, Stacey participates in math club, National Honor Society, robotics, science knowledge bowl, National German Honor Society, medical club, German club, medical explorers, co-founder of Young Aspiring Student Scientists  and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate. She has also scored a perfect 36 on the ACT.

Simone Jacoby is the daughter of Dr. Michael RK Jacoby and Rayma Vinyard Jacoby. At Lee’s Summit West High School, Simone participates in speech and debate, Gay-Straight Alliance, National Honor Society, book club and Anime Club.

Marie Reuss is the daughter of Janet Reuss and John Reuss. At Lee’s Summit West High School, Marie participates in National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, cross country, track, Earth club and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

Jacob Schnitzlein is the son of Fay Schnitzlein and Rex Schnitzlein. At Lee’s Summit West High School, Jacob participates in robotics, student mentor-FTC robotics team at LSWHS, mentor to elementary FLL robotics teams, scholar bowl, Missouri Math League and chess club.

spnatmeritphotogroup-1Students are pictured in the order they appear in article. (Click on picture to enlarge)


Summit Technology Academy earns national recognition as a 21st Century Learning Exemplar

Designation is from P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning

Summit Technology Academy was recognized as an exemplar school for 2016-17 by P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning. The Lee’s Summit R-7 school received this honor for exemplary 21st century learning practices in preparing students for success in college, career and life.

P21’s 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program searches for and shares the stories of schools and districts that have successfully transformed student learning through innovative practices such as distributed leadership and community partnerships. Summit Technology Academy is the first secondary school in Missouri to earn this designation.

Elaine Metcalf, director of Summit Technology Academy, explains that the school is an off-campus opportunity for high school students seriously interested in computer science, engineering, health sciences or creative sciences.

“College credit is attached to all of the programs,” Mrs. Metcalf said. “Also, IT students can earn industry certifications offered by Cisco. Health science students can choose to go the extra mile and earn industry certifications as part of their course work.”  

Summit Technology Academy partners with the University of Central Missouri to deliver an early college, internship-driven Missouri Innovation Campus program.

The typical student at STA is usually focused on a specific career path and has the determination to explore that field through in-depth studies and practical application.  

“Our students want a rigorous program of study to help prepare them for college,” Mrs. Metcalf added. “For example, students don’t just read about what an emergency room nurse does, but actually experience it in some small way as part of the pre-professional nursing program. Engineering students, on the other hand, work side-by-side with engineers to research, design and solve a problem. All of the programs at STA have some type of field experience, shadowing, clinicals, industry mentors, etc. tied to them.”

The mission and vision of STA perfectly aligns with the P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning.

Thanks to a 2015 no-tax-increase bond issue and a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri, a new facility for the Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus programs will open in August 2017. The new building is under construction near Tudor and Ward Road.

“All learners deserve to grow in a 21st Century Learning environment,” stated Dr. Helen Soulé, P21 executive director. “It is P21’s vision for the innovative practices in education exhibited by all P21 Exemplars to be replicated across the country and world.”

In the spring of 2017, a case study on Summit Technology Academy and other 2016-2017 P21 Exemplars will be released and available at www.p21.org/exemplars.

spstadrawingAn architect’s drawing of the new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus, scheduled to open in August 2017.

LSWHS hosts Authors’ Panel and Writing Workshop

The Lee’s Summit West High School Library and the English Language Arts Department hosted an Authors’ Panel  and Writing Workshop for juniors enrolled in honors English. The Sept. 2 event featured authors Jennifer Brown, Amy Engel and Toriano Porter speaking with approximately 220 students.

Ms. Brown and Ms. Engel are both bestselling, award-winning and nationally known young adult authors. Mr. Porter is a former minor league football player and reporter for the Lee’s Summit Journal and current breaking news reporter for the Kansas City Star. He has also published two books. All three authors shared their own personal writing experiences  as well as their journeys to getting published. In addition, they answered student questions about the writing process.

The workshop was in conjunction with a personal narrative the students are currently writing. The essential questions for the day’s event included: “How do writers purposefully create engaging and meaningful stories?” and  “What is your personal story?”

Students questioned the authors about writer’s block, how to find writing ideas and how to create characters. Mr. Porter explained that he wants to share stories of the different people who inspired him. Ms. Brown noted that once writers start to pay attention, they notice we all “live life in stories.” Ms. Engel relayed to the students that writer’s block does not exist; instead, when writers don’t feel like writing, they should step away from their work. Brown reminded students that  “all the magic comes in the revision,” and the other two authors strongly agreed. Students returned to their personal narratives with new ideas and more respect for the craft of writing.  

splswwritingworkshopgroupPictured at the event are (front row, from left) Jennifer Brown, author; Amy Taylor, librarian; (back row, from left) Toriano Porter, author; Megan Chambers, librarian; Marisa Ayers, Lisa McWain and Jen Bailey, all English language arts teachers; and Amy Engel, author.






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