Longview Farm Elementary hosts tour for former resident of historic farm

Bessie Chitwood recalled fond memories of Loula Long Combs from 90 years ago

Kimberly Hassler, principal of Longview Farm Elementary, conducted a memorable tour of the school for Bessie Chitwood, a resident of the historic farm approximately 90 years ago.

Mrs. Chitwood lived on Longview Farm from age 6 to 10. She attended Lee’s Summit R-7 schools and shared her fond memories of Loula Long Combs. Pictured are Mrs. Hassler (left), Mrs. Chitwood (center) and Sara Steward, Mrs. Chitwood’s daughter.

PLMS Tiger Tribe students create holiday messages for hospital patients

Pleasant Lea Middle School recently created a new after-school program — Tiger Tribe — designed to allow students who would like to attend any home game to participate in pre-game supervised activities. Beginning this semester, students are able to stay after school and join Tiger Tribe which offers a number of activities such as team building, learning chants and cheers, making positive posters for athletes, playing games and participating in community service projects.

During December, students created holiday messages for the patients of Lee’s Summit Hospital. They have taken great pride in the fact that they might brighten someone’s day, said a school spokesperson.

“We started this club as a way of involving more students in school activities and we have been impressed with the number of kids who have come out to support our Tiger athletes,” said co-sponsor Marcy Hess.

Students pictured are Kyra Wilburn, Claudia Erps, Christy Distefano, Jackie Shepherd, Abbey Tracy, Bailey Birchfield, Jager Johnson, Matthew Banhart, Izzy Concepcion and Harryson Salcedo.


Richardson Elementary Student Council participates in Angel Tree field trip

Richardson Elementary students recently worked together to make the holidays brighter for others through Student Council’s Angel Tree Project. The school’s Student Council collected money for the project during the holiday season, using the funds collected to shop for families facing financial challenges.

On Dec. 11, the Student Council students and sponsors visited the Lee’s Summit Wal-Mart using the money collected from students and staff members to purchase gifts for families in need. They also participated in bell ringing to raise money for the Salvation Army.

Student Council sponsors assisting the students included Tracy Rasmussen, Brittiny Bernard and Casey Blakemore.

One of the students participating in the field trip shared: “My favorite part was shopping for the families.  It was fun picking out gifts that they would like!”

Another student added, “I really liked ringing the bells and caroling. It was cool to see how people would smile when they saw that we were caroling instead of just ringing the bells.”

LS CARES to present Becoming a Love and Logic Parent classes during January and February

Lee’s Summit CARES will present two parenting courses during January and February.

Parenting the Love and Logic Way, designed for parents of youth from 11 to 18 years old, will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 9-30 at Pleasant Lea Middle School, 630 SW Persels Road. Cost for the course is $50 per person. This course will teach parents how to maintain a positive relationship, how brain development impacts behavior, how to help teens handle peer pressure, communication strategies that work, setting limits that can be enforced and reducing parenting stress.

Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 17 through Feb. 14, at Great Beginnings Early Education Center, 908 NE Bluestem. The course is designed for parents of children through 6 years old. Cost is $50 per person. During this course, parents will learn effective ways to establish a positive discipline foundation in the home. In addition, common behavior issues will be addressed such as arguing and whining, bedtime, picky eating and encouraging your child to listen the first time.

The program is offered in collaboration with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and ReDiscover.

Scholarships are also available for qualifying residents of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

For more information, to pre-register or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.lscares.org 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.

Ashley Barton receives LS R-7 Learning for Life Award for December

Ashley Barton was named the Lee’s Summit R-7 Learning for Life Award winner for December. She is a fourth-grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary.

The award is presented to one employee each month who is nominated by co-workers and selected by a staff committee.

“The students in her class are highly engaged and from year to year want to be in her class,” said a colleague. “She is a loving teacher that helps guide students to be productive students and citizens.”  

LS R-7 schools receive KC STEM Alliance grants totaling more than $2,000

Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit North High School, Lee’s Summit West High School and Pleasant Lea Middle School recently received grants from the KC STEM Alliance in support of the schools’ science, technology, engineering and math opportunities for students.

KC STEM awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to support FIRST robotics programs and Project Lead the Way programs in schools throughout the Kansas City area. The three Lee’s Summit R-7 schools received more than $2,000 in grants.

The district’s three high-school robotics programs — Team Driven at LSHS, Broncobots at LSNHS and LSWHS Team Titanium — each received $550 to support these nationally recognized programs. Pleasant Lea Middle School’s Tiger_STEAM teams received $200 for the Black Team and $200 for the Gold Team. Lee’s Summit West High School also received a $150 grant for Team Titanium Tech.

International Relations Council Networking Event to be Jan. 9

Partnership includes Summit Technology Academy and UCM

The community is invited to learn more about prestigious international studies programs offered through Summit Technology Academy and the University of Central Missouri at the International Relations Council’s Networking Event, scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 9. The free event will be held at the Missouri Innovation Campus, 1101 NW Innovation Parkway.

Those attending the Networking Event will have the opportunity to:

  • Sample food from authentic ethnic restaurants from around Lee’s Summit.
  • Stroll through the Student Showcase and discuss student projects with high schoolers from Summit Technology Academy (STA).
  • Mingle with college and high school international students and ask them about their home countries and their experiences in the United States.
  • Visit with the faculty of the University of Central Missouri (UCM) Department of Government, International Studies and Languages as well as other faculty from the university.
  • Meet internationally-minded business people who share a global perspective.
  • Get to know the Summit International Studies Academy (SISA) at STA which is open to high school juniors and seniors from around the metropolitan area.
  • Meet representatives from the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, the R-7 School District, the Kansas City World Trade Center, Global Ties of Kansas City, the International Relations Council, as well as area modern language teachers and social studies teachers.
  • Hear how UCM is transforming its International Studies Department curriculum with a prestigious Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Learn about all of the exciting programs at STA, UCM and the Missouri Innovation Campus.
  • Check out the service projects of the STA Interact Club (Rotary International).

For more information, please contact Curtis Cook at curtis.cook@lsr7.net.

Kansas City Chiefs award Lee’s Summit R-7 School District $10,000 grant to support nutrition and physical activity

Lee’s Summit Elementary and Sunset Valley Elementary each awarded $5,000 to support student health and wellness

The Kansas City Chiefs, in partnership with Midwest Dairy Council and Fuel Up to Play 60, awarded a $10,000 NFL Hometown Grant to support the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s healthy nutrition and physical activity programs. Lee’s Summit Elementary and Sunset Valley Elementary each received a $5,000 grant based on their success with Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school health and wellness program that encourages students to become healthy leaders in their community. The schools use the funding to encourage physical activity and collaborate with the district’s nutrition department on promoting healthy eating.

The Hometown Grant, developed by Fuel Up to Play 60 and the NFL, provides these organizations with an opportunity to identify deserving schools and award them with a $10,000 grant to help meet their health and wellness goals. In its fourth year, the Hometown Grant program allows each of the 32 NFL Clubs, Fuel Up to Play 60 and local dairy representatives to provide funding to schools throughout the country.  

“Mobilizing communities to advocate for and implement healthy changes at schools nationwide requires collaboration at the local and national level,” said Midwest Dairy Council’s Robyn Stuewe. “Fuel Up to Play 60 is making an impact in schools across the country and here in the Kansas City-area, through unwavering support from the NFL and America’s dairy farmers working together to help students in the Lee’s Summit School District fuel greatness.”

Research demonstrates that good nutrition, including daily breakfast and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance. However, recent studies show that more than 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast each day and only one in three children are active every day, potentially leaving many at a disadvantage inside and outside of the classroom. From students and teachers, to parents and community members, everyone has a role to play in emphasizing the importance of physical activity and good nutrition in order to lead healthier lives.

Created in partnership by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program creating real transformational change in over 73,000 schools nationwide. As a result of the program, last year more than 13 million students ate better by adding nutritious foods like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to their meals. Additionally, nearly 16 million are getting more physically active during the school day.

Representatives from the Midwest Dairy Council, the Kansas City Chiefs and Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt presented representatives from both schools with their grants at an assembly at Sunset Valley Elementary on Dec. 5. 

The grant presentation at Sunset Valley Elementary.

SLMS students capture awards in ‘For the Love of Music’ essay contest

Lauren Kyanka and Sophie Ackerman, students at Summit Lakes Middle School, captured awards in the school’s essay contest, co-sponsored by the school’s business partner, Arvest Bank. Students were asked to write a essay of 500 words or less based on this prompt: “How has music affected who I am and will become?”

Lauren was the seventh-grade winner, and Sophie was the eighth-grade winner. The winning students each received two tickets to “Hip Hop Nutcracker,” performed Dec. 10 at the Midland.

Judges for the essay contest included the SLMS Partners In Education Committee and music educators.

Lauren Kyanka (left) and Sophie Ackerman won the SLMS essay contest.

LSNHS sends care packages to U.S. soldiers deployed overseas

Lee’s Summit North High School staff and students recently reached out to U.S. Armed Forces soldiers serving overseas. Thanks to a school-wide effort, LSNHS sent more than 80 pounds of food, toiletries and other items to the military personnel through the Adopt-a-Soldier program.

School officials worked with Lee’s Summit Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5789 to contact the soldiers.

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