Shop tax free Aug. 4-6 in Lee’s Summit

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, and running through midnight Sunday, Aug. 6, school apparel, supplies and many electronics will not be subject to city and state sales tax.

This is the 10th year that the City of Lee’s Summit will participate in the sales tax holiday which waives the city sales tax on eligible back-to-school items. Items such as articles of clothing, supplies, computers, computer software and the following items will receive the tax break:

  • Clothing – articles having a taxable value of $100 or less
  • School supplies – not to exceed $50 per purchase
  • Computer software – taxable value of $350 or less
  • Personal computers – not to exceed $1,500
  • Computer peripheral devices – not to exceed $1,500
  • Graphing calculators – not to exceed $150.

For more information about the holiday, check out the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

LS R-7 high schools excel at regional cheerleading competition, qualify for state

All three Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools captured awards at the Regional Cheerleading Competition, held July 22 at Lee’s Summit North High School.

Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools winning varsity awards included Lee’s Summit West High School, first place in 5A Large; Lee’s Summit North High School, first place in 5A Small; and Lee’s Summit High School, first place in Coed Small.

In junior varsity, R-7 schools won the following awards: LSWHS, first place in JV Large; LSNHS, first place in JV Small; and LSHS, second place in JV Large.

Based on the regional competition, all three varsity teams will advance to the state championship, scheduled for Oct. 28 and 29 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. All three junior-varsity teams qualified for a Junior Varsity Exhibition Event, scheduled for this same weekend.

LS R-7 Board of Education approves priorities for 2017-18 school year

Action items focus on student achievement, learning environments and communication

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education approved three district-wide priorities at the July 20 Board of Education meeting. The Board prioritized strategic action items focus on student achievement, learning environments and communication. The priorities follow.

  1. Increase the learning and achievement of every child through the development of a comprehensive academic framework informed by the needs of our students, the district’s strategic plan and the 2016 Academic Systems Review.
  2. Ensure equitable access to 21st century learning environments by engaging stakeholders in a process to update the district’s Comprehensive Facility Master Plan to meet the instructional and programming needs of all pre-K-12 students.
  3. Strengthen public trust in the district’s governance leadership team by systemically enhancing communication, involvement and collaboration to ensure constructive engagement within the school district community.

Board members will receive progress reports on the goals throughout the 2017-18 school year. Lee’s Summit R-7 administrators are assigned to oversee the goals and are creating action plans for each priority.

The priorities were developed after extensive discussion at the Board of Education’s two-day work session, held June 7 and 8. At these same work sessions, Board members created a one-page document listing norms of operation for the Board of Education and superintendent. The norms are available at this link (item 10.01 within the July 20 regular meeting). They include items such as preparation for Board meetings, confidentiality, Board of Education committee participation, communication, school visits and respect.

“The Board of Education listened to the community and put a lot of effort into self examination to develop both the priorities and the norms of operation,” said Bob White, Board of Education president. “With these priorities and the norms, I believe we are being responsive to our stakeholders as we keep moving forward.”

With the emphasis on the priorities and the norms, the Board of Education will also be operating more efficiently, Mr. White added.

“The Board and administration have worked diligently over the last several weeks to establish clear priorities for the upcoming school year.  These priorities will ensure our organization’s focus on enhancing student learning,  operational efficiency and  constructive community engagement as a means of furthering the tradition of excellence we all expect,” said Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, superintendent. “Our goal is to keep these priorities in the forefront and keep our community informed about this important work as we make progress throughout the year.”

Lee’s Summit R-7 schools prepare for solar eclipse learning opportunities

Unique experience will happen on Aug. 21

Staff members from throughout the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District are preparing for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse with an emphasis on both learning and safety. The unique experience will begin at approximately 11:41 a.m. and end at 2:36 p.m. with the maximum impact at 1:09 p.m. within the Lee’s Summit area.

The school district has provided all schools with optional activities for students. In addition, the district purchased close to 21,000 solar eclipse shades from the Missouri Optometric Association, enough eye protection for the district’s more than 18,000 students as well as all staff members. The shades are certified for safe viewing of the sun during an eclipse. It is important to remember that the only safe way to look at the sun, even during the height of the eclipse, is with the certified shades.

Schools and teachers will be determining the level of eclipse participation for their students. For information about your school’s planned activities, please contact the school.

This is the first time in United States history that a total solar eclipse will cross the nation from coast to coast. It is noteworthy that the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is near the eclipse’s path of totality, where the moon will completely block the sun for a few moments and engulf these areas in total darkness. A full or partial eclipse will be visible throughout North America with a partial eclipse also visible in parts of South America, Africa and Europe.

The next worldwide solar eclipse will be in 2019, and it will be visible in parts of South America. More information about the eclipse is available on a NASA website at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.

 

LS R-7 school bus mechanic captures first place in Missouri Best Technician Contest

Mike Walker, a mechanic with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Transportation Department, recently won first place in the annual Missouri Best Technician Competition, held during July in Columbia. The program is sponsored by the Missouri Association of Pupil Transportation.

The Missouri’s Best Technician Competition is an intense analysis of the a school bus technician’s  ability to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair various mechanical components found on school buses such as electrical systems, engines, braking systems and drive trains.

As the state’s top winner, Mr. Walker will have the opportunity to compete against the nation’s best school bus mechanics in the National Association of Pupil Transportation program, scheduled for November in Columbus, Ohio.

Three LSWHS students earn top score on ACT college admissions exam

Less than one-tenth of 1 percent earn a ‘perfect 36’

Alex Geoghegan, Allison Salamone and Molly Wooster of Lee’s Summit West High School each earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2016, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.

Alex, a 2017-18 senior, is the son of Sean and Laura Geoghegan. He is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate, earned academic letters each year in high school, has received  varsity letters in cross country and track the past three years and qualified for state cross country for three years. Alex is a member of LSWHS Una Voce chamber choir and has earned vocal music letters each year.

Allison, a 2017-18 junior, is the daughter of Lyn Salamone and Matt Salamone. She is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate, attended the Missouri Scholars Academy, is a Titan Ambassador and participates in cross country, track, Kindness Council, French Honor Society, Math Club/Missouri Math League, robotics, Science Bowl and Scholar Bowl. Allison is ranked in the top 1 percent in her class, has earned academic letters each year she attended LSWHS and received the departmental award for mathematics last year. In addition, she is a member of High Voltage Cheer’s senior team and coaches for the team’s youth competition.

Molly, a 2017-18 junior, is the daughter of Jeff and Jennifer Wooster. She attended the Missouri Scholars Academy, serves as captain of the Junior Varsity Science Bowl, is vice president of the LSWHS Kindness Council, volunteers weekly at Abundant Life Church and participates in LSWHS robotics, Math Club/Missouri Math League, Spanish Honor Society and Youth Advisory Council. In addition, she is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate.

Just a handful of Lee’s Summit R-7 students have achieved a 36 on the ACT over the past several decades. This is the first time that three R-7 students have earned the 36 within the same year.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1 to 36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take the optional ACT writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter to the recognized students, Marten Roorda, ACT chief executive officer, stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

Lee’s Summit R-7 Camp 3LYNX water day

Jamall Fowler was among students enjoying Camp 3LYNX’s water day, held July 6. 3LYNX is operated through the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Before- and After-School Services and is designed for middle-school students. The school district’s child-care programs include KC Cubbies for preschool children, Kids Country for elementary students and 3LYNX for middle school students. BASS also operates Summit Rise, a program for elementary-age students on late-start Wednesdays. For more information about the BASS programs, visit http://bass.lsr7.org/.

Lee’s Summit R-7 2015 no-tax-increase bond projects nearing completion

School facility improvements, new Missouri Innovation Campus are on time and within budget

Thanks to voter approval of a 2015 no-tax-increase bond issue, schools throughout Lee’s Summit R-7 are receiving facility improvements. The $40 million bond issue, approved by close to 80 percent of voters, is also funding the district’s new Missouri Innovation Campus, home of Summit Technology Academy. All school improvement projects as well as the Missouri Innovation Campus are on time and within budget.

Missouri Innovation Campus nearing completion

The new Missouri Innovation Campus, located near Ward and Tudor Road, is scheduled to open in August 2017. Construction on the new school began in March 2016 following a groundbreaking celebration. A community grand opening is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 5 at the new school.

Thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM), the school district and university are constructing and operating this cost-saving shared facility. Under the plan, Lee’s Summit 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 Technology Academy and Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) programs as well as UCM programs currently located in the UCM-Lee’s Summit facility. UCM is paying its portion through a lease agreement.

The shared facility will reduce operating expenses for the R-7 School District, allowing the district to move both the Summit Technology Academy and MIC programs 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.

School renovation and maintenance projects continue on schedule

Approximately half of the $40 million bond issue is funding numerous school improvements in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, ADA access renovations and special education. Also included are maintenance projects designed to protect the district’s investment in its schools as well as playground safety upgrades for all elementary schools’ soft play areas and replacement of deteriorated play equipment. Numerous improvement projects were completed during summer 2015 and summer 2016. The majority of the remaining projects will be finished by the start of school in August with just a few projects wrapping up during fall 2017.

The school improvements, maintenance projects and playground upgrades are positively impacting all 28 Lee’s Summit R-7 schools. A few examples of the many school improvements are classroom renovations at Lee’s Summit High School, entry security improvements at Lee’s Summit North High School, a concession/restroom building at the Lee’s Summit West High School softball/baseball complex, a gym addition and classroom renovations at Mason Elementary, classroom and art classroom renovations at Lee’s Summit Elementary and a kitchen and cafeteria renovation at Hazel Grove Elementary.

Examples of school maintenance funded by the bond are flooring, carpet, ceilings, painting, roofing, paving, mechanical, doors, windows, door FOBS, backflows, water sanitizing and masonry.

Visit www.lsr7.org for more information.

 

The new Missouri Innovation Campus will open in August.

LS R-7 featured in Google for Education national online magazine

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District was among seven educational organizations featured in “The Keyword,” a national blog focusing on successful use of Chromebooks and Google tools for education. The seven organizations are included among a number of “Impact Portraits,” developed during a 16-month investigation by the Evergreen Education Group.

The Evergreen Education Group discussed educational strategies and tools with more than 100 school leaders from six countries to develop the case studies. Each study included key factors that helped schools and students flourish when adopting technology for the classroom, including planning, professional learning, patience and support.

The June 2017 blog featured Lee’s Summit R-7’s move to one-to-one student Chromebooks. During August 2015, the local district gave a Chromebook to each of its approximately 17,500 students from kindergarten through senior high school. Known as Connect2Learn, the one-to-one program has increased learning opportunities for students and leveled the playing field for students from a variety of family incomes.

The students use the Chromebooks at school, at home or wherever a WiFi hotspot is available. District staff members have been working with internet providers to help families obtain low cost internet service. Lee’s Summit R-7 also maintains a website mapping businesses that support R-7 students by offering free internet hotspots.

By providing each student the Chromebooks, students have the opportunity for more personalized and more innovative learning experiences. Staff members, students and families have all been enthusiastic about the move to one-to-one digital devices.

In addition, Lee’s Summit R-7 used BrightBytes CASE exams to measure results from the one-to-one implementation. These exams showed increased in all four measures of the test after Connect2Learn’s first year. The test measures classroom, access, skills and environment.

LS R-7 online registration technical issues resolved

During the morning of July 6, our school district experienced technical issues with the payment option for our 2017-18 online registration. This issue was resolved as of approximately 8:30 am today. Thank you for your patience and understanding of this issue.

Families making payments while the system was experiencing issues will see a refund of the service charge on their credit cards. The district normally pays all service fees for families but during this technical issue, RevTrak’s software was charging it to families. These accounts are being credited today.

Quick Links –
To make payment, click here and follow these directions.
If you have not started registration, click here and follow the online registration directions.

We also wanted to share information about several reductions in student fees for 2017-18, approved by the Board of Education during May. The changes are the result of a review by the district’s administration of existing student fees. Reductions for 2017-18 follow.

  • The $10 per student activity and programming fee previously paid by families at middle and high schools is being eliminated.
  • The student Chromebook replace/repair fee will drop from $30 to $25 per student.
  • The parking fee for high-school students will be reduced from $25 to $10 per year.

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