Westview Elementary receives $1,000 thanks to Corinne Drummond’s fourth-grade class

Students win first place in their grade level in KC Healthy Kids’ I Am Here photo contest

Fourth-graders at Westview Elementary won $1,000 for their school through the KC Healthy Kids’ I Am Here photo contest. The students, who are in Corinne Drummond’s class, submitted photo stories showing how their community helps or hinders healthy habits.

Mrs. Drummond’s class is in the running for a $2,500 grand prize. A peer-judged “Shark Tank” style pitch contest will determine the grand prize winner. Awards will be used to promote student wellness by creating a Naturally Healthy League with emphasis on sports, arts, gardening and healthy choices.

Through the contest, teachers helped students think critically about how their surroundings – walking trails or broken sidewalks, safe playgrounds or blighted lots, schoolyard gardens or fast food restaurants – impact their health.

 Third- through eighth-grade students from six counties in the metro area were invited to participate.

KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of Greater Kansas City’s children, will present winning classrooms with $1,000 first place awards at a ceremony March 6 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

The awards ceremony will take place during KC Healthy Kids’ Champions for Health youth summit. At this all-day conference, 200 students who participated in the contest will learn to speak out for healthier food in schools, walkable communities, urban farms and gardens and more.

Lee’s Summit R-7 dashboard provides quick-reference, go-to website

Site includes facts about student achievement, finances, human resources, support services and community involvement

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District website features a quick-reference dashboard as part of the district’s efforts to better inform the community about student achievements and district statistical information.

The dashboard, which features interactive numerical displays and graphs, is available at http://dashboard.lsr7.org/. It features six screens – student achievement, student data, human resources, finance, support services and community involvement. Examples of information are ACT college-entrance scores, graduation rates, district enrollment, cost per pupil comparisons and student technology.

The R-7 dashboard was recommended several years ago by the district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan Team, a broad-based group that helps develop the school district’s five-year strategic plan. School district groups involved in providing feedback for the dashboard included the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Business Roundtable and PTA Council. District staff members from a variety of departments helped provide information for the dashboard.

KC Wolf talks to Lee’s Summit R-7 Elementary Nutrition Council

Kansas City Chiefs mascot focuses on healthy eating and the importance of physical activity

Dan Meers, also known as KC Wolf, talked to members of the Lee’s Summit R-7 Elementary Nutrition Council at the group’s Jan. 30 meeting. Mr. Meers, a Lee’s Summit resident, is the long-time mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs football team.

During his presentation, Mr. Meers discussed his role as a mascot as well as how important it is for him, the Chiefs players, students and adults to eat healthy and to exercise daily. These factors are important in our lives every day to stay healthy and strong. He added we only have one body — we can’t change it out like we change our clothes, so we have to take care of it. Mr. Meers also recommended getting enough sleep, following the MyPlate example for daily eating and limiting sugars and fats.

The KC Chiefs mascot praised the Elementary Nutrition Council’s recent food drive to benefit Lee’s Summit Social Services. Hawthorn Hill Elementary collected the most items with 2,036.

Nutrition Council includes student representatives from all 18 Lee’s Summit R-7 elementary schools. The members meet monthly to provide feedback about school meals and also serve as ambassadors for healthy eating habits within their schools.

Dan Meers, KC Wolf, talks to Lee’s Summit Elementary Nutrition Council members.





Hawthorn Hill Elementary staff and students pictured with KC Wolf are (from left) Scott Smith, physical-education teacher; Jennifer Eastep, cafeteria manager; and Henry Lee and Kamryn Sariah, both sixth-graders.

R-7 staff and students receive Reflections of Character Awards

Several Lee’s Summit R-7 staff members, students and volunteers were among 13 local citizens receiving Reflections of Character Awards at the Jan. 25 Lee’s Summit Mayor’s Character Breakfast. The awards are presented to community members who are nominated based on character traits.

R-7 employees presented with the awards were Sarah Graff, Lee’s Summit North High School math teacher and tennis coach, recognized for generosity, and Dave Eames, a local graphic artist and part-time designer for the district’s Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, recognized for citizenship.

Students honored at the event were Karrigan Blankenship, a student at Summit Pointe Elementary, respect; Hayden Mitchell, a student at Lee’s Summit North High School, sportsmanship; and Dawson Kruser, a student at Sunset Valley Elementary, appreciation.

Rex Brown and Bob Crance were recognized for cooperation. Both are long-time mentors and volunteer coaches for the Lee’s Summit High School robotics team.

PLMS selects January High 5 Award winners

The Modern Language department at Pleasant Lea Middle School selected the school’s High 5 winners for January. Winners are (from left) Val Fry, Outstanding  Eighth-grader; Max Whisner, Most Improved  Eighth-grader; Ofelia Luna, Outstanding Seventh-grader; and Bryson Elliott, Most Improved Seventh-grader. Dr. Janette Miller (center), PLMS principal, presented the students with their awards.

The school’s Partners in Education, Lee’s Summit Medical Center and Mazuma Credit Union, sponsor the award. The High 5 Award was designed to promote academic excellence among students of PLMS. Mazuma Credit Union presents the students with a gift card for Chipotle and Lee’s Summit Medical Center provides a Taco Bell gift card.

PLMS selects December High 5 Award winners

The Science Department at Pleasant Lea Middle School selected the school’s High 5 winners for December. Winners are (from left) Aaliyah Roland, Outstanding  Eighth-grader; Raven Ryan, Most Improved  Eighth-grader; Hannah Tai, Outstanding Seventh-grader; and Alex Lynch, Most Improved Seventh-grader. Dr. Janette Miller (center), PLMS principal, presented the students with their awards.

The school’s Partners in Education, Lee’s Summit Medical Center and Mazuma Credit Union, sponsor the award. The High 5 Award was designed to promote academic excellence among students of PLMS. Mazuma Credit Union presents the students with a gift card for Chipotle and Lee’s Summit Medical Center provides a Taco Bell gift card.

LSHS Courtwarming royalty announced

Lee’s Summit  High School will celebrated courtwarming Jan. 26 and 27, including a school assembly, basketball game and dance. The theme for this year’s spirit week and dance was the 1920s “A Roaring Good Time.” The king and queen, Seth Romi and Lindsey Allin, were crowned at the game on Friday night. Mr. and Miss Spirit competition winners, Andrew Mitchell and Emily Williams, were announced at the assembly on Jan. 26. Courtwarming royalty included in photo are (from left) Logan Hopson (freshman), Brea Hurst (freshman), Hunter McDonald (sophomore), Mallory Butler (freshman), Kyle Gerding (freshman), Sophia Spallo (sophomore), Aaron Wilson (sophomore), Katie Spallo (sophomore), Riley Nofziger (junior), Stephanie Janczewski (junior), Noah Koontz (junior), Bailey Prier (junior), Joey Belmore (senior), Julie Sexton (senior), Andy Huffman (senior), Gabby Eyre (senior), Charlie Rao (senior), Jada VanDuyne (senior), Lindsey Allin (senior), Evan Sanders (senior), Olivia Rodriguez (senior), Seth Romi (senior), Erica Milligan (senior) and Erik Holm (senior).

LS R-7 to host Kindergarten Round Up March 27 at all elementary schools

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District will host Kindergarten Round Up from 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 27 at all elementary schools. The event is for children who will be kindergarten students in 2018-19.

To be eligible to enter kindergarten next year, children must reach the age of 5 before Aug. 1, 2018. Children will participate in Kindergarten Round Up at their home elementary school. To determine your child’s school, you may enter your address at this webpage: http://www.infofinderi.com/ifi/?cid=LSRS13J5TQSE7.

Online enrollment information will be shared at Kindergarten Round Up, and the online enrollment portal will be available after March 27. Kindergarten screenings will be held during June.

Missouri Innovation Campus selected for KC Business Journal’s Capstone Award

Lee’s Summit R-7 school opened in 2017 thanks to cost-saving partnership, bond issue

The Missouri Innovation Campus was among 25 Kansas City area construction and real-estate projects to earn Capstone Awards from the Kansas City Business Journal. The Capstone Awards will be presented at a March 28 reception in Overland Park.

Winners were selected in nine categories, and the Missouri Innovation Campus was one of four metro-area projects honored in the community impact category. The Lee’s Summit R-7 facility was the only Lee’s Summit project to be honored with a 2018 Capstone Award. To qualify for the award, projects had to be move-in ready by the end of 2017.

The Missouri Innovation Campus houses the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s Summit Technology Academy and Missouri Innovation Campus programs as well as graduate and undergraduate programs within the University of Central Missouri (UCM) Lee’s Summit facility.

The facility is funded thanks to a 2015 no-tax-increase bond issue as well as a unique partnership with higher education. Through this partnership with UCM, Lee’s Summit R-7 and the university constructed and are 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. The R-7 School District is the sole owner of the school with UCM paying its portion through a lease agreement.

Summit Technology Academy is a unique high-school program that prepares students for careers in areas such as engineering, computer science, health care, human services and digital media technology. The Missouri Innovation Campus program is a progressive collaboration between the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. By engaging business partners and community organizations, the MIC offers an accelerated program that greatly reduces the time it takes students to complete a four-year degree, significantly lowering college debt and providing job-ready skills that are highly sought after by business. The MIC program was highlighted by President Barack Obama during a visit to the University of Central Missouri’s Warrensburg campus in 2013.

The Missouri Innovation Campus features 60 classrooms including shared spaces for the school district and university programs as well as spaces designated for each organization. The facility takes advantage of exterior light with corridors that can double as additional learning areas at some locations. The Missouri Innovation Campus also features medical school-caliber skilled nursing labs and simulation rooms; professional quality digital media technology; high-tech engineering, biomedical and computer science instruction areas; and an international studies area with state-of-the-art distance learning technology. A testing center is located on the second floor and provides everything from GED to computer software certification testing as well as electronic monitoring of individuals taking the exams.

The community celebrated the new school at a Sept. 5 grand opening, and the Missouri Innovation Campus hosts open house events throughout the year for prospective students, their families and local citizens. For more information, visit the Summit Technology Academy webpage at https://sta.lsr7.org/.

Lee’s Summit R-7 community group travels to Jefferson City to advocate for public schools

Citizens share district’s legislative platform, discuss public education funding and issues

Members of several Lee’s Summit R-7 School District community groups traveled to Jefferson City Jan. 24 to talk to state elected officials representing this area as well as other General Assembly leaders. The group spent the day advocating for adequate and fair funding for public schools and other legislative priorities.

Individuals participating in the advocacy day were representatives of the R-7 Board of Education and Citizens’ Advisory Committee. The group consisted of Phyllis Balagna, Jackie Clark and Dennis Smith of the Board of Education; Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, superintendent; Elaine Bluml, Mia Fulson, Stephen Hill, Mike Johnson, Cita Trice and Mark Van Blaricum, all of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee. Also attending was Rick McDowell of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council.

The group met with the following legislators from the Lee’s Summit R-7 area: Sen. Mike Cierpiot, Rep. Rebecca Roeber, Rep. Dan Stacy, Rep. Donna Pfautsch and Rep. Rick Brattin. In addition, the community members met with the following General Assembly members: Sen. Gary Romine, Senate Education Committee chair; Rep. Kathryn Swan, House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee chair; and Rep. Elijah Haahr, House majority floor leader. The group met with Mike Reid of the Missouri School Board Association and Ryan Stauffer of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to discuss education and workforce issues. They were also introduced on both the floor of the Missouri Senate and House.

During the meetings with lawmakers, the community members focused on the district’s legislative priorities for the 2018 Missouri General Assembly session and discussed pending legislation.

The R-7 School District’s complete list of legislative priorities is available on the district’s website at http://www.lsr7.org/district/2013-legislative-platform/. This website also includes a Toolkit for Advocacy and contact information for elected officials. Community members are also invited to sign up for the district’s legislative electronic advocacy newsletter by visiting http://eepurl.com/KnDQL .  

Rep. Kathryn Swan (center) is pictured with Dr. Dennis Carpenter, R-7 superintendent, and Jackie Clark, R-7 Board of Education member.







Pictured with Rep. Elijah Haahr (center) are (front row, from left) Mark Van Blaricum, Mia Fulson, Cita Trice, Jackie Clark, (back row, from left) Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Stephen Hill, Dennis Smith, Elaine Bluml, Mike Johnson, Rick McDowell and Phyllis Balagna.






Sen. Mike Cierpiot introduces the Lee’s Summit R-7 group on the floor of the Missouri Senate.









The group meets with Sen. Gary Romine in his office. Pictured are (front row, from left) Stephen Hill, Cita Trice, Mia Fulson, Jackie Clark, Phyllis Balagna, (back row, from left) Mike Johnson, Elaine Bluml, Mark Van Blaricum, Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Sen. Romine and Dennis Smith.

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