History – 1949 to Today

The Lee’s Summit School District was reorganized in 1949 when 16 rural elementary districts combined with the Greenwood School District and the Lee’s Summit City School District. These rural districts included High Mound, Cedar Hill, Hazel Grove, Maple Grove, Colbern, Lone Oak, Oakland, Cyclone, Center Point, Wright, Tennyson, Woodland, Hazel Dell, Tarsney and Mason. In 1949, the school district totaled a little over 1,200 students. Today, close to 17,500 students attend our school district. Reorganized School District No. 7 — more commonly known as the Lee’s Summit R-7 District — now includes 18 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, the Summit Ridge Academy (alternative school), Great Beginnings Early Education Center and Summit Technology Academy.

Cedar Creek Elementary School, located on the district’s far west side on Third Street, opened in fall 1997 as a “first-phase” school. The school was funded by an April 1996 Proposition C issue, which was approved by voters. A second phase was completed during the 1998-99 school year.

Greenwood Elementary School, located in the city of Greenwood in the district’s far southern portion, was one of several schools already in existence when the district reorganized in 1949. The original building was constructed as a high school and grammar school. The building has been here since 1910 and additions were completed in 1965 and 1978. A 2002 bond issue funded an addition and renovation at Greenwood.

Hawthorn Hill Elementary School, opened in fall 2001 and is located on the southwest side of the district. It was funded by a 1999 voter-approved bond issue. It is named after the Missouri state flower, and the school is located on a small hill.

Hazel Grove Elementary is located on the district’s northwest side and sits next to Unity Village. The school was built in 1940 on land donated by Unity. A new wing was added in 1951. A 1999 bond issue funded an addition at the school.

Highland Park Elementary School opened in fall 1998. It is located near what was once known as the Highland Farm, owned by Milton Thompson. Highland Park is funded by a 1996 voter-approved Prop. C issue.

Lee’s Summit Elementary School is located in downtown Lee’s Summit and is one of our most historic schools. It sits on the site of the 1907 Lee’s Summit High School building. This same location was also once home to an elementary school, built in 1922. The current elementary building was constructed in 1955, and additions were built in 1955 and 1958. A 2002 bond issue funded an addition and renovation at the school.

Longview Farm Elementary School, located on Lee’s Summit’s far west side, opened in fall 2005. It is located in a renovated Longview Show Horse Arena on the historic Longview Farm. Thanks to an agreement involving the a local developer and the City of Lee’s Summit, Gale Communities provided approximately 28 percent of the school’s cost. The school’s construction process included efforts to preserve and restore historic attributes of the original structure. Also included is a major addition built to resemble the original facility.

Mason Elementary School is located on the district’s far eastern side just north of Lake Lotawana, an older lake community. The original Mason building was constructed in 1942 with additions built in 1951, 1956, 1965 and 1978. A large addition was completed in 2000.

Meadow Lane Elementary School is located just north of downtown Lee’s Summit. When Meadow Lane opened in 1972, it was almost completely surrounded by farms. Since then, this farm land has all turned into residential neighborhoods. A 2004 bond issue funded renovation and a major addition to this school.

Pleasant Lea Elementary School shares a site with Pleasant Lea Middle School and is southwest of downtown Lee’s Summit. It was built in 1966 and is located near the district’s highest point or  “summit”.  A major addition was completed in 2000, and the 2002 bond issue funded a kitchen/cafeteria addition.

Prairie View Elementary School is the largest elementary school in the district and also one of the largest in the state. The school is located on Lee’s Summit’s east side. The original Prairie View building opened in 1980 and two additions were added in 1985 and 1987. The 1987 addition doubled the building’s size.

Richardson Elementary School is one of two “first-phase” elementary schools opened in fall 1993. Both Richardson and Trailridge elementary schools opened second phases in 1994. Richardson is located on Lee’s Summit’s east side, and is named after a Lee’s Summit family.

Summit Pointe Elementary School opened in fall 2007. Summit Pointe is located in the southwest corner of the school district. It is the district’s 17th elementary school.

Sunset Valley Elementary School, the district’s newest school, opened in August 2009. It is located in the southeast portion of the school district and is funded by an April 2008 no-tax-increase bond issue.

Trailridge Elementary School opened its first phase in 1993 and its second phase in 1994. A 1995 bond issue funded the completion of eight additional classrooms at the new school. It is located in southern Lee’s Summit, near the city of Greenwood.

Underwood Elementary School opened in 1991. It is named after Dr. William Joseph Underwood, former assistant superintendent. Dr. Underwood retired from the school district in 1976 and remained active in the community and the schools until his death in 1999. Underwood Elementary is located in northern Lee’s Summit and shares a site with Bernard Campbell Middle School.

Westview Elementary School is located on Lee’s Summit’s west side and is visible from highway 50. The school opened in 1956 on what was then considered the city’s west side. Growth has since moved the west side several more miles to the west, and Westview is now more accurately located near the center of town. The April 2002 bond issue funded a new gymnasium addition and renovation to the school.

Woodland Elementary School opened in fall 2001 and is located on the southeast side of the school district. It is named after Woodland Elementary, an old one-room schoolhouse located around one mile south of the new school. The old schoolhouse served students through eighth grade and closed around the time of the school district’s reorganization in 1949.

Our second middle school, Bernard C. Campbell Middle School, opened in 1992. The school is named after Dr. Campbell, who served as our district’s superintendent from 1943 through 1980. Dr. Campbell guided our district through reorganization in 1949 and was instrumental in establishing the district’s tradition of excellence. Campbell Middle School shares a site with Underwood Elementary School.

Pleasant Lea Middle School opened in 1971 and an addition was completed in 1973. The school was renovated during the summers of 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1999. Pleasant Lea Middle and Elementary Schools are named for an early settler of old Lee’s Summit — Dr. Pleasant Lea. There is some question about whether he is actually the “Lee” in Lee’s Summit. A major addition was funded by the 2004 bond issue.

Summit Lakes Middle School opened in fall 2000 and is located in southern Lee’s Summit, sharing a site with Trailridge Elementary School. It opened as a “first-phase” school, designed with a student capacity of 600. A 2004 bond issue funded the school’s second phase, increasing capacity to nearly 1,000 students.

Lee’s Summit High School is located near downtown Lee’s Summit just off highway 50’s eastern outer road. Building B, located farthest from the highway, houses freshmen and sophomores. It was constructed in 1963. Building A, home to juniors and seniors, was constructed in 1951. This building opened its doors in January 1953, and the first graduating class at this school was June 1953. The Fieldhouse, constructed in 1963-64, and the Performing Arts Center, built in 1979, are located between the two divisions. A major addition, including a lecture hall, was completed during the 2000-01 school year, and a 2002 bond issue funded additional renovation at the school.

Lee’s Summit North High School is located in north central Lee’s Summit. It opened in 1995 and is the district’s second high school. The school was funded by three voter-approved bond issues, which were passed in 1993, 1994 and 1995. A 500-student addition opened during the 2000-01 school year, bringing the school’s student capacity to approximately 2,000.

Lee’s Summit West High School is located in western Lee’s Summit, west of Ward Road. It opened in fall 2004 and is considered a “first-phase” school designed for 1,600 students. As enrollment grows, an addition can be added to bring the school’s student capacity to 2,000 students. LSWHS was funded by a no-tax-increase bond issue, approved by voters in spring 2002. A major addition opening in fall 2009 was part of an April 2008 no-tax-increase bond issue.

Summit Ridge Academy is located in a facility which opened in fall 2004. The school building was funded by the 2002 voter-approved bond issue, and it replaces a smaller facility formerly located on the LSHS campus. Summit Ridge Academy opened in 1997 at its original location and was initially called the Lee’s Summit Alternative High School. During 2000-01, the school began enrolling middle-school students and the name was changed to Lee’s Summit Alternative School. Summit Ridge Academy currently serves students from seventh through 12th grades who need an alternative learning environment to be successful.

Summit Technology Academy, geared toward preparing students for technology careers, opened in fall 1999. The unique school is located in the former AT&T plant (now known as the Summit Technology Campus). The business provides the space and equipment for the school, and the school district provides the staffing. In addition, Summit Technology Academy is the home of The Missouri Innovation Campus, a unique partnership involving the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, the University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan Community College and industry-leading businesses.

Great Beginnings Early Education Center opened during summer 2005 and is located on donated land within Legacy Park in eastern Lee’s Summit. It houses the Early Childhood Center program for developmentally delayed and special-needs preschoolers and the Parents As Teachers program for families with young children. Approximately two-thirds of the funding for this building was raised from contributions through the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, and the remaining third comes from the 2004 no-tax-increase bond issue.

The district’s special-education, day-treatment facility, Miller Park Center, opened in 2009 and is located in downtown Lee’s Summit. It houses the district’s behavior learning program which serves students from kindergarten through high school. It also houses a number of Special Services Department employees, including occupational/physical therapists, educational diagnosticians, social worker, behavior/autism specialists, Health Services as well as instructors for visually impaired students and orientation/mobility. In addition, the R-7 PTA has an office in the Miller Park Center.

The Before and After School Services (BASS) mission is to provide support to families by caring for their children during out of school time in a safe, nurturing, fun and educational environment. BASS, initiated in Lee’s Summit R-7 in 1996, is comprised of four programs: Kids Country, KC Cubbies, 3LYNX and SummitRise. Kids Country provides care to children kindergarten through sixth grade in all elementary schools. KC Cubbies is the preschool program at Great Beginnings Early Education Center. 3LYNX provides services to middle school students as well as high school students in the special education program, up to age 21. SummitRise is the elementary program providing care to children on late-start Wednesdays to support teacher collaboration.

 Lee’s Summit R-7 Aquatic Center, the district’s swim/dive facility, opened in 2009 and is located on the campus of Summit Lakes Middle School. The center serves high school competitive swim programs with opportunities for middle-school intramurals, physical-education/health instruction, extra-curricular elementary instruction and community aquatics.

R-7 support services are housed in several areas. The Transportation Center office and garages are located on Hamblen Road, south of Highway 50. Facility Services is housed in a building next to the Transportation Center, and Nutrition Services and the district’s warehouse are located near the Lee’s Summit High School campus.

The Tony L. Stansberry Leadership Center serves as the district’s administrative offices and opened in July 2007. Funded by a 2006 no-tax-increase bond issue, the facility is named after Dr. Stansberry, who served as the R-7 School District superintendent from 1996 through 2006.

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