LS R-7 Board of Education saves district around $2.8 million by refinancing general obligation bonds

In anticipation of federal tax law changes eliminating the ability for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District to advance refund past-issued general obligation bonds, the district’s Board of Education approved the refinancing of two bond issues on Nov. 29.  

The refinancing of the remaining amount of these two bond issues will result in approximately $2.8 million in interest savings over the next 18 years until the bonds are fully paid. The refunded bonds were sold during the week of Dec. 11.  

The positive response to the bonds from investors is due in large part to the financial management of the Board of Education and administration. Lee’s Summit R-7 once again received the AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency after a lengthy review process. The feedback from Standard and Poor’s was very positive, with the rating rationale stating the AA+ reflects “good financial management as demonstrated by the district’s extensive long-term planning and conservative budgeting practices.”

LSNHS to host informational night featuring American Foundation for Suicide Prevention speakers

Jan. 16 event is open to the community

Lee’s Summit North High School will host an information night for parents and community members focusing on suicide prevention, scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, at the school, 901 NE Douglas St. Speakers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will present two programs: “More Than Sad” and “Talk Saves Lives.” Parents, community members and young adults are all invited to this event.

“More Than Sad” has helped more than 1 million students and educators learn how to be smart about mental health. The program teaches high-school students how to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others, challenges the stigma surrounding depression and demystifies the treatment process. Parents will learn how to recognize signs of depression and other mental-health problems, initiate a conversation about mental health with their child and how to get help. “More Than Sad” teaches educators to recognize signs of mental-health distress in students and refer them for help.

“Talk Saves Lives” is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, research on prevention and what individuals can do to fight suicide. Also included are the warning signs of suicide and how we can work together to prevent it.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. in the LSNHS Elliott Lecture Hall with a brief introduction and complimentary pizza. Please enter through the north doors on the Tudor Road side of the school.

Anyone in crisis is encouraged to call the National Suicide Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, 1-800-273-8255 or text ‘GO’ to 741-741.

Preparing for the possibility of snow days

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District offers a variety of ways to learn about school closings due to inclement weather. After the decision to close school is made, the district will communicate in the following ways:

  • A recorded telephone call will go to all students’ families as well as staff members via a service known as SchoolMessenger. Families are encouraged to make sure their phone numbers are accurate and to notify their children’s school if there are changes in these numbers.
  • Snow days are shared via R-7 social media, including on R-7 Facebook, found by searching for “Lee’s Summit R-7 School District,” and on Twitter, found via @LSR7.
  • Information is shared in the district’s electronic newsletter. To subscribe, visit http://www.lsr7.org/signup.  
  • The information is posted on the district’s website at www.lsr7.org.
  • School closings are included on the district’s information telephone line at (816) 986-1001.
  • Local media are provided information about school closings. Listen or watch for “Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.”

Through the district’s SchoolMessenger recorded phone service, Lee’s Summit R-7 has the capability to send a recorded telephone message to all families within minutes. This service is used for school closings as well as other communication. If severe weather necessitates that students be sent home early during the school day, these emergency calls would go to up to six phone numbers per student, including home, cell phones and parents’ work numbers. If a snow day is called the evening before or during the early morning, this emergency call will go only to students’ home phone numbers as well as to all R-7 employees’ home numbers. In the case of families with multiple children in the R-7 School District, SchoolMessenger will call the family just one time.

Families have the opportunity to opt out of the SchoolMessenger calls. Please note that if you do opt out of the calls, you will not receive any calls from the district or your child’s school via this service, including school information, snow-day and other emergency notifications.

Chamber and R-7 School District sponsor spring recognition program

Deadline to nominate is Jan. 31

When you hear the phrase “outstanding teacher,” who comes to mind? You may want to nominate this person for the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching/R-7 Teacher of the Year Award.

Twelve R-7 teachers will receive the Excellence In Teaching Award. Each award recipient will also become a finalist for the R-7 School District’s annual Teacher of the Year Award. The district’s Teacher of the Year goes on to compete in the Missouri State Teacher of the Year program.
Any teacher, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and any guidance counselor or library/media specialist is eligible for the program.

Former Excellence In Teaching Award winners are eligible to interview for the R-7 School District Teacher of the Year Award if nominated, although they would not be able to win the Excellence In Teaching Award again.

The recognized teachers will be selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the community. The 12 Excellence In Teaching winners will be announced in April and honored at a April 11 reception in the Aspen Room at The Stanley. The Teacher of the Year will be announced at the reception.

Nomination forms are being sent home with R-7 students during January. Anyone wanting a form may also visit the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District website at http://www.lsr7.org/ and select the Excellence In Teaching and Teacher of the Year option or call 986-1017. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.

Great Beginnings Early Education Center families helped by Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Approximately 55 families with children served through Great Beginnings Early Childhood Center received holiday assistance thanks to donations from Holy Spirit Catholic Church. The church is among numerous religious and civic organizations as well as businesses that help Lee’s Summit R-7 School District children and families facing financial struggles.

During December, the church donated “wish-list” items for the children as well as household items such as vacuum cleaners, dishes, paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning items. Also provided were gift cards for grocery shopping.

This is the 11th year in a row that Holy Spirit has helped Great Beginnings families during the holidays. Families receiving help are enrolled in Great Beginnings programs including Parents As Teachers, Title 1 preschool, special education and Head Start.

In addition to the holiday support, the church provided around 45 new coats for Great Beginnings children and around 60 backpacks. Holy Spirit also assists with specific situations such as a family in need of a carseat.

One family receiving gifts shared, “Oh my word, thank you for everything. I’ve been crying all morning after picking up the gifts at Great Beginnings. I could never thank you enough. Merry Christmas to you all!”

Another parent added, “I just wanted to say thank you so much for getting us signed up for the Christmas gifts at Holy Spirit! They went above and beyond in providing wonderful gifts for the children. We were so stressed leading up to the holiday season, thinking about three extra kiddos that needed presents. It is such a blessing to have so many gifts under our tree!”

BCMS basketball teams volunteer at Coldwater Food Pantry

The Bernard Campbell Middle School girls and boys basketball teams stepped away from the gym on Dec. 14 and put their teamwork skills to use at the Coldwater Food Pantry in Lee’s Summit.

The teams helped set up for a community dinner, unloaded and sorted family holiday gifts and helped prepare for the busiest time of the year for the pantry. Coldwater’s Friends Day Food Pantry is open from noon to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month or by appointment at other times. During the holidays, the schedule may be adjusted.

Volunteers distribute three bags of groceries to an average of 120 families at each Friends Day. Volunteer drivers also deliver groceries to 40 to 50 homebound seniors each Friends Day through the Senior Mobile Pantry.

If anyone is interested in donating or volunteering with Coldwater, contact the Director, Monica Hubbard at director@coldwater.me.

Choirs from Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West selected to perform at Missouri Music Educators Association conference

Two Lee’s Summit R-7 School District high-school choirs were selected to perform at the prestigious Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) conference, scheduled for Jan. 24 through 27 at the Tan-Tar-A resort in Osage Beach.  

The Lee’s Summit North High School Combined Women’s Choirs, directed by Jonathan Krinke and Brad Light, and the Lee’s Summit West High School Concert Choir, directed by Amy Krinke and Jacob Lowry, were selected through “blind” audition with a panel of judges reviewing recordings without knowing the names of the groups, the schools or the directors. More than 172 applications were reviewed this year.  Only five high school choirs were selected total.

The LSWHS choir will perform at 10:45 a.m. Jan. 26, and the LSNHS choir will perform at 1:45 p.m. Jan. 26.

BCMS Student Leadership Council contributed 506 items to Ronald McDonald House

The Bernard Campbell Middle School Student Leadership Council collected 506 items during December as part of a holiday donation to the Ronald McDonald House. The goal of the student effort was to bring joy to families facing difficult situations during the holiday season. Students pictured are Skylar Stubblefield, Raina Baker, Amelia Yanez, Savannah Jackson, Haley Reed, Joel Kilgore, Skylee Narron and Ashlyn Bandelier.

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