Site of new Lee’s Summit R-7 school is busy construction area

Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus scheduled to open in August 2017

The site of the new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus is a busy construction area as work continues on this new Lee’s Summit R-7 school. The new facility is scheduled to open in August 2017 and is funded thanks to a 2015 no-tax-increase bond issue.

The $40 million bond issue, approved by close to 80 percent of Lee’s Summit R-7 voters, is funding the new Summit Tech / MIC as well as facility improvements at each R-7 school. Construction on the new school began in March with a community groundbreaking ceremony. The majority of the school improvements are taking place during the summer months. All projects are currently within budget and on schedule.

The school improvements are in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, ADA access renovations and special education as well as maintenance projects designed to protect the district’s investment in its schools. Also included are playground safety upgrades for all elementary schools’ soft play areas and replacement of deteriorated play equipment.

The new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus is located on 15 acres near Ward and Tudor Road. Thanks to a partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM), the school district and university will construct and operate a cost-saving shared facility. Under the plan, R-7 is paying approximately 40 percent of the new school with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent. Based on an agreement between the two organizations, Lee’s Summit R-7 will be the sole owner of the facility which will house Summit Tech / Missouri Innovation Campus as well as UCM programs currently located in the UCM Summit Center Campus. UCM is paying its portion through a rental agreement.

The shared facility will reduce operating expenses for the R-7 School District, allowing the district to move Summit Tech / MIC from leased space into a building owned by the school district. It is anticipated that due to increased rental costs resulting from the expiration of a long-running tax abatement, Lee’s Summit R-7 will save approximately $9 million over the next 20 years by construction of the new facility.

For more information and additional photos related to the bond projects, visit the district’s website.

jlSTA-MIC July2016 -1 jlSTA-MIC July2016sign jlSTA-MIC July2016-2Construction is underway at the site of the new Summit Tech / Missouri Innovation Campus.

Lee’s Summit R-7 students selected for Truman State University Summer Talent Academy

Addison Leabo and Brandon Blohm of Lee’s Summit West High School were among 35 specially selected students participating in the Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health at Truman State University. The academy was developed in partnership with A.T. Still University of Health Sciences and the Northeast Missouri office of the Area Health Education Centers.

The Summer Talent Academy for Professionals in Health is designed to enrich the learning process of rising high-school juniors and seniors by exposing them to coursework in health professions. The scholars are nominated by their schools’ principals or counselors from among students entering 11th or 12th grade. Students complete a rigorous application process and are selected on the basis on their formal application, school transcript, a teacher recommendation, an essay and a grade-point average in the sciences.

The academy is a one-week intensive session that offers talented students a head start on their future by allowing them to spend time on campus exploring high-tech health facilities, simulations and a working cadaver lab. Students gain exposure to a wide range of science-related fields.

jlTrumanTalentBlohm jlTrumanTalentLeabo

Missouri Innovation Campus grads featured in videos

Three graduates from the Missouri Innovation Campus are featured in videos recently produced by the University of Central Missouri. The videos focus on the program’s advantages for students and employers and include interviews of Cerner and DST staff members as well as the three 2016 Missouri Innovation Campus graduates. All three videos may be viewed on Lee’s Summit R-7 School District YouTube.

Students featured in the videos are Jamison Guilford, who interned at Cerner; Joseph Nooner, who also interned at Cerner; and Quinn Cosgrove, who interned at DST. Each video tells the story of the student’s journey through the nationally recognized four-year program including a focus on the three-year internships from the students’ and the employers’ perspectives. The students featured in the videos are currently full-time employees of the companies in which they interned.

During May 2016, the first Missouri Innovation Campus cohort — a total of 11 students — received their bachelor’s degrees in systems engineering technology from the University of Central Missouri. Students enter the program between their high-school sophomore and junior years and participate in three-year paid internships. The participants earn their associate degrees from Metropolitan Community College soon after high-school graduation, earning their bachelor’s degrees just two years after leaving high school.

Students featured in the videos are also alumni of Summit Technology Academy, operated by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Summit Tech is a unique secondary school designed to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.   

The Missouri Innovation Campus is a partnership involving the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, the University of Central Missouri and Metropolitan Community College. Also critical to the program’s success are the approximately 40 business partners participating in the high-tech internship program.

The program has been recognized at the regional and national level for reshaping the way students experience high-school and college education. By engaging business partners and community organizations, the Missouri Innovation Campus is able to accelerate the time it takes students to earn high-demand college degrees. They also graduate from college with little or no debt.

To learn more about the Missouri Innovation Campus, visit the website. To learn more about Summit Technology Academy, visit the website.

jlMICvideoQuinCosgroveAtUCMgradQuinn Cosgrove is one of three 2016 Missouri Innovation Campus students featured in videos.

LS R-7 Board of Education holds work session to discuss interim superintendent selection and tentative timeline

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education met July 14 to begin discussions and planning for the naming of an interim superintendent for the school district. During the meeting, the Board discussed the job description, posting of the open position and a tentative timeline for selection of an interim.

Dr. Gayden Carruth, executive director of Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City, attended the meeting and was available to answer questions related to the process of selecting an interim superintendent. 

Board members determined that the interim superintendent position would be posted on July 15 with interested candidates asked to send information to the school district before close of business day on July 25. At the meeting, Board of Education members said their goal was to have the interim superintendent selected by mid August and on the job by Sept. 1. The job is posted on the district’s website.

The Board of Education plans to begin the search for a permanent superintendent after the interim is named.

Since May 20, Dr. Brent Blevins, who had served as the district’s deputy superintendent of operations, has been serving as both the district’s acting superintendent and deputy superintendent of operations.

LS R-7 Transportation Department earns Missouri’s Total Fleet Excellence Award for school bus safety

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Transportation Department received the Total Fleet Excellence Award July 13 from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The award recognizes school districts for outstanding school bus maintenance and safety.

During March 2016, the R-7 School District received exemplary results during the annual school bus inspection, conducted by the Highway Patrol. Of the 151 school buses inspected, one had a minor defect which was corrected immediately. Initial inspection rating was 99.3-percent successful with the R-7 Transportation Department achieving 100-percent passage by the end of the day on March 25.

The annual inspection included items such as light bulbs, tires, seat frames, exhaust systems, brakes, windshield wipers and many other school bus components.

The R-7 Transportation Department has a long tradition of successful state school bus inspections and passage rates. The department has averaged a 95-percent approval rating the past 28 years, well above the state average of 82 to 87 percent. The department has received the state award for 10 consecutive years during summer conferences hosted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Transportation Department’s maintenance staff includes Eric Slover, fleet maintenance supervisor; Rusty Rhoads and Joe Hand, lead mechanics; Larry Rachaner, Chris Barnes, Charles Parrot and Mike Walker, mechanics; and Bob Talley, Payton Hargrave and Dan Stretch, mechanic helpers.

The R-7 School District transports approximately 12,000 students each school day, traveling more than 2 million miles annually within the 117-square-mile school district.

jlBusMaintenanceStaff2016Maintenance staff members include (from left) Mike Walker, Bob Talley, Rusty Rhoads, Chris Barnes, Eric Slover, Joe Hand, Payton Hargrave, Charlie Parrot and Larry Rachaner. Dan Stretch is not pictured.

LSWHS archery team captures awards at world championships

The Lee’s Summit West High School Titan archery team captured awards at the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) Archery World Championships, held on June 24-26 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Titan archery team achieved an outstanding fifth place finish at the World Championships in the 3D category and a top 10 finish in the target category.

Four of the top 10 female finishers in 3D were from Lee’s Summit West, including Isabelle Smith, Sam Stewart, Shelby Winslow and Lauren Smith. Other highlights included a personal best performance from Ben Focht in the target category. In the 3D category, personal bests were achieved by Isabelle Smith, Coby Ingram, McKenna Rice and Taylor Randolph.

The biggest individual highlight came from senior Sam Stewart  who shot her personal best in both targets and 3D with a 293 in targets and a 287 in 3D.

“Sam has been one of the most consistent archers on our team, and it was great to see her cap off her final high school archery tournament at not only a personally high level but sixth in the World,” replied coach Dave Winslow.

The NASP World Championships was the final leg of a successful 2016 Titan archery team journey which included a state championship and fifth place finish at nationals.

jlLSW-ArcherySamStewartSenior Sam Stewart saving her best ever archery score of 293 for her last High School tournament at the NASP World Championships.

Lee’s Summit R-7 honored as District of Distinction by national magazine

Publication recognizes district’s Missouri Innovation Campus

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District was one of 24 districts from across the nation honored in the July edition of District Administration magazine. The Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership with the R-7 School District, higher education and business, is featured in the monthly magazine, also available online.

Through the national magazine’s Districts of Distinction program, districts are recognized for leading the way with new ideas that work. Honorees were selected based on the quantifiable results and replicability of their initiatives. This is the sixth round of honorees in the recognition program, and districts are selected by the magazine’s editors.

Located within Lee’s Summit R-7’s Summit Technology Academy, the Missouri Innovation Campus has been recognized at the regional and national level for reshaping the way students experience high-school and college education. By engaging business partners and community organizations, the Missouri Innovation Campus is able to accelerate the time it takes students to earn higher-education degrees. They also graduate from college with little or no debt.

The program is a partnership involving Lee’s Summit R-7, the University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan Community College and numerous business partners. Students enter the program as high-school juniors, earn an associate degree from Metropolitan Community College just after high-school graduation and receive their bachelor’s degree two years later. A major component of the successful program is three-year, year-round paid internships with industry-leading businesses, further preparing students to join the workforce.

Through the Missouri Innovation Campus, students have the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees in systems engineering technology, drafting and design technology, computer science and cybersecurity. There are currently 85 students enrolled in the MIC and 40 business partners participating in the internship program.

Thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri and a voter-approved school district bond issue, the Missouri Innovation Campus will soon have a new home. A new facility for Summit Technology Academy, the Missouri Innovation Campus and UCM-Lee’s Summit is scheduled to open in August 2017.

Through the school district’s partnership with UCM, Lee’s Summit R-7 is paying approximately 40 percent toward the new school with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent. Based on an agreement between both organizations, the R-7 School District will be the sole owner of the facility with UCM paying its portion through a lease agreement.

jlMIC-DistrictOfDistinctionSeveral Missouri Innovation Campus students are pictured with Dr. Kirk Nooks of Metropolitan Community College.

LS R-7 School District launching online registration for all schools by fall 2016

All families are receiving instructions, usernames and passwords the week of July 5

Going back to school will be easier than ever this year thanks to the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s transition to online registration. The online procedures will replace the paper enrollment and registration which previously took place at each school during July and August.

All families — with students from kindergarten through high school — are receiving information in the mail during the week of July 4 regarding the new InfoSnap online registration software. The materials going to each family include instructions, usernames and passwords.

In addition to the time-saving advantages, online registration will improve accuracy of data since parents will enter their children’s information directly into the program. The previous enrollment and registration process required parents to submit paper copies with school staff members entering data from these forms into the database. For convenience sake, families will also have the opportunity to pay any school fees online.

Items that were previously provided as paper copies, such as birth certificates (for new students only), proof of residency and immunization records will now be uploaded by families using the online program. More information about residency and other requirements for enrollment are available on the Lee’s Summit R-7 website at

Summit Technology Academy hosts Air Force Association’s CyberCamp

Summit Technology Academy is among several distinguished schools from throughout the nation selected to host the Air Force Association’s (AFA) CyberCamp Program this summer. More than 75 students signed up for the Summit Technology Camp, scheduled June 25 to July 1, and July 25 to 29.

The program is taught by Lisa Oyler and Kevin Schulmeister, cyber security team coaches at Summit Technology Academy, as well as current CyberPatriot team mentors. Assisting with the camp are Teri Curp, Sue McCanless and Carrie Miller-Perry, assistant Lee’s Summit R-7 middle school CyberPatriot coaches for the 2016-17 school year.

As an AFA CyberCamp host, Summit Technology Academy receives software and a hands-on curriculum kit designed to teach students cyber safety, cyber ethics and critical network security skills and tools. Each AFA CyberCamp concludes with an exciting team-based competition that puts the campers in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. The local AFA CyberCamp competitions will closely mimic AFA’s annual CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which will enter its ninth season in October.

“As a CyberPatriot Center of Excellence, we felt compelled to provide cyber security education to a wider range of students,” said Mrs. Oyler. “Using the AFA curriculum students will be learning cyber awareness, ethical responsibility and how to secure networking devices and to develop a security policy. In addition they will be exposed to the rapidly growing and high-demand career field of cyber security.”

In addition to hosting one of the first AFA CyberCamps, Summit Technology Academy will field support 10 high school and eight middle school teams in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition this fall.

During spring 2016, two Lee’s Summit R-7 teams captured top awards in the CyberPatriot national competition. A team from Summit Technology Academy won first place in the open division, and a team from Pleasant Lea Middle School took second place in the middle school division.

Summit Technology Academy was recently designated as a CyberPatriot Center of Excellence by the Air Force Association. Just eight schools in the nation have received this honor.

During the 2016-17 school year, the school is adding a cyber security program as part of its Missouri Innovation Campus. For more information about Summit Tech, the Missouri Innovation Campus and the cyber security program, visit

The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created by the Air Force Association in 2009 to attract students to cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. In addition to the annual National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and the new AFA CyberCamp program, CyberPatriot has launched an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative designed to introduce young students to online safety. To learn more about CyberPatriot, visit

juSTA-CyberCampCyberCamp participates at Summit Technology Academy.

LS R-7 School District honored in national communications contest

District wins in print newsletter category in National School Public Relations Association competition

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District recently received an award of merit in the National School Public ju Our Schools Page 1 (1)Relations Association’s annual publications and electronic media contest. The local school district was recognized for the Our Schools publication, which is published five times each year and mailed to all R-7 households and businesses.

The annual communications contest included around 965 entries from throughout the country. Winners were announced in June 2016.

The Our Schools newspaper is produced in partnership with the Lee’s Summit Journal. Advertisements and distribution are managed by the Lee’s Summit Journal, and Lee’s Summit R-7 is responsible for all articles and photographs. Our Schools was first introduced in Lee’s Summit in the early 1950s and was initiated by Dr. Bernard Campbell, long-time superintendent who served the district from 1943 through 1980.

At the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Our Schools is produced by the district’s Communications Department which includes Janice Phelan, executive director, and Janie Rohlfing, administrative assistant. To view copies of the newspaper as well as other district publications, visit

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