LS CARES to present Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun

Lee’s Summit CARES will present Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun from 6:30 to 8 ls-cares-logo-2015-2p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 19 through Feb. 16 at Great Beginnings Early Education Center, 908 NE Bluestem. The program, which is designed for parents of children through 6 years old, is offered in collaboration with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and ReDiscover.

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 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.

R-7 middle schools recognize Students of the Month for December

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District middle schools recently recognized their December Students of the Month. Students of the Month are recognized based on outstanding citizenship, conduct, attitude and school involvement.

Students of the Month from Bernard Campbell Middle School are Emma Thieme and Simon Murray. At BCMS, Emma is involved in the talent show and school musical. Away from school, Emma enjoys attending school games. At BCMS, Simon is involved in cross country, basketball, student council, band and concert choir. Away from school, Simon enjoys competitive baseball and basketball and is a scorekeeper for Lee’s Summit Junior Basketball Association.     

Students of the Month from Pleasant Lea Middle School are Claire Franciskato and Kyle Lesue. At PLMS, Claire is involved in cross country, awards assembly, cheerleading and the musical. Away from school, Claire enjoys dance classes and church activities. At PLMS, Kyle is involved in talent show and cross country. Away from school, Kyle enjoys Boy Scouts and his soccer team.     

Students of the Month from Summit Lakes Middle School are Clara Feagans and Clayton Carlson. At SLMS, Clara is involved in the talent show, musical, awards assembly, ukulele club, Falcon Smart, Club 121 and archery club. Away from school, Clara enjoys Girl Scouts, fishing, hunting, competitive swim team, church youth group and is an active member of the Lee’s Summit Police Department Youth Court. At SLMS, Clayton is involved in orchestra, cross country, Falcon Smart, musical and CyberPatriot Team. Away from school, Clayton enjoys Boy Scouts, baseball and is a den chief in a Cub Scout troop.


The spirit of generosity is alive and well in our community

By Dr. Dave Benson
Lee’s Summit R-7 Interim Superintendentdave-benson-1-2

A vital foundation for all successful school districts is a consistent and positive relationship with the community. During this holiday season, I wanted to share information about how our schools and community make meaningful connections through two-way charitable endeavors.

We are grateful that Lee’s Summit R-7 students and families who are struggling financially receive help from a number of organizations and individuals. During the holidays, school staff members work with many of these organizations through adopt-a-family programs. Families in need receive presents, food and other necessities. To protect privacy, R-7 employees who work on the family adoptions make sure that the families being helped remain anonymous at all times.

Several of the organizations adopting our school families are often our own student groups as well as employees from various schools and departments.

Throughout the year, our generous community continues to reach out to children. A variety of organizations assist with the Backsnack program to provide food for students to take home. In addition, several churches and other charitable organizations have created summer programs that provide meals to students who qualify for the federal free/reduced breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. These programs are much appreciated by the students as well as our school staff members who know how difficult the summer months can be for these children.

These quiet acts of kindness in support of our students and families greatly enhance their lives and strengthen our entire community.

Our students also have the opportunity to cultivate a spirit of generosity by joining forces with other organizations for community-service projects and fundraisers. Students partner with a wide variety of organizations and agencies to help people coping with serious illness, families who are struggling to make ends meet, pets in need of adoption, soldiers serving overseas or the elderly — just to name a few causes. Working with our district’s staff members, students have opportunities to enhance their leadership and organizational skills while working for the greater good. In addition, staff and students frequently collaborate with their schools’ business partners to enhance this relationship and do even more good.

By partnering with charitable organizations, students develop positive character traits and learn about the benefits of living a generous life. Research has shown what many of us have known for years — that generosity is not only a positive for our communities and our world, it helps improve our overall health. During an interview several years ago, George Lucas of “Star Wars” fame, wisely said, “The best way to pursue happiness is to help other people. Because there is nothing else that will make you happier.” By teaching our students the value of giving to others, we are influencing their actions and their quality of life for years to come.

This two-way generosity — our community giving to our schools and students as well as our schools giving back to the community — helps create an even stronger connection and spirit of cooperation within our district. It also keeps the important cycle of giving alive — today and in the future.

On behalf of our staff and students, I want to thank the hundreds of individuals and organizations who provide assistance to our families in need and who partner with our schools to make the world a better place.

LSWHS choir performs at retired teachers and school personnel meeting

Una Voce, the Lee’s Summit West High School Chamber Choir, performed for approximately 30 retired teachers and school personnel at the December meeting of the Jacomo Chapter of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association.

The students performed a number of holiday songs. Also included was “Pure Imagination,” which the students performed as a tribute to the late Gene Wilder of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” fame.  After performing, the students introduced themselves, visited with the retired staff members and were treated to cookies and punch.

Una Voce is directed by Amy Krinke of LSWHS.

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Sunset Valley Elementary student video focusing on nutrition and fitness wins $500

A video created by students at Sunset Valley Elementary won the $500 prize in a recent Fuel Up To Play 60 Program competition. The two-minute video focused on healthy nutrition and physical activity. The prize money will go to the students’ school.

Karen Reynolds, Sunset Valley physical-education teacher, submitted the video located at Students creating the video were Derek Robb, Alexia Smith and Samantha Massood.  

LSHS student named December Student of the Month at Cass Career Center

Malena Zwolak, a senior from Lee’s Summit High School, was recognized as the December Student of dccassstudentofmonth2016the Month at the Cass Career Center. She is a fire science student at the technical school, which serves school districts in this region.

The Cass Career Center Student of the Month Award is sponsored by the Cass County Elks Lodge No. 2791. The Elks present a certificate and a gift card to the winners.

LS R-7 Destination 2021 five-year strategic plan available on district website

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Destination 2021 five-year strategic plan is available on the destination-2021-logo-finaldistrict’s webpage at Also known as the Comprehensive School Improvement, the plan was developed by a team of community and staff members.

The plan was approved by the R-7 Board of Education during August 2016. The team of approximately 55 employees and citizens worked together throughout spring 2016 to develop the plan with an additional 70 participants providing input into the plan via focus groups.

The plan focuses on five areas – governance; student performance; highly qualified staff; facilities, support and instructional resources; and parent and community involvement. Destination 21’s major emphasis continues to be on instruction, learning and student success.

To ensure accountability, the plan’s components are placed on a timeline and reviewed annually by the community and staff team, the Superintendent’s Leadership Team and the Board of Education. The plan, which is considered a living document, can be updated to reflect changes in areas such as educational technology through the input of these teams.

Lee’s Summit R-7 has a tradition of long-range, comprehensive planning, and the current R-7 document is actually the R-7 School District’s sixth five-year strategic plan. Previous strategic plans were also developed by community and staff members in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2006 and 2011. Destination 2021 covers 2016 through 2021.

Summit Pointe Elementary kindergarteners participate in Hour of Code

Activity included mystery guest from Rocket Software

Summit Pointe Elementary kindergarten students participated in an Hour of Code and other special activities during Computer Science Education Week, a world-wide event that runs Dec. 5-11.

Kindergarteners spent the first two days of the week exploring the most basic types of commands computers use in preparation for coding activities on their Chromebooks.

During the week, the students also participated in a Google Hangout with a mystery guest. Students worked together to determine “What does this person do for a job?” They asked questions to narrow down options and, using deductive reasoning skills, were able to determine that their guest, Mark Sapp of Rocket Software, works as a computer programmer.

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PLMS strings students to be featured in KSHB Channel 41 holiday broadcast

The Tiger Travelers from Pleasant Lea Middle School were recently videotaped for the “Sounds of the Holiday” broadcast to be aired Christmas Day on KSHB Channel 41 and Channel 38 the Spot.

The students were videotaped on the stage of Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College during November, performing several holiday numbers. Broadcast schedule for holiday show on Channel 41 is 6 to 8 a.m. on Dec. 25. It will air on Channel 38 The Spot from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 24.

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LSNHS students recognized at Missouri Youth In Government Convention

A total of 36 Lee’s Summit North High School Youth In Government (YIG) members recently participated in the Missouri YIG Convention, held Dec. 1-3 in Jefferson City.

Lee’s Summit North students elected convention officers were Maleah Ahuja, governor; Alexa Kemper, speaker of the House; and Claire Voiss, secretary of state.

The 2017 candidates from LSNHS are Cole Dunton, governor; Erica Odell, speaker of the House; Anna Donaldson, secretary of state; and Sabra Hasek, attorney general. Of these four, Erica Odell and Sabra Hasek won the election and will serve as officers at next year’s convention.

LSNHS students winning 2016 awards were Daniel Valmassei, finalist defense attorney and winner of the moot trial competition; Ahilyn Aceves, finalist witness in moot trial competition; Caroline Luna and Quincy Carrizales, best researched bill; and Nia Lange, voice of the House award.


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