Back to School for South Kansas City
The upcoming year offers some exciting changes for many schools, both public and private.
Center Schools – A major change for the Center School District will be seen at Center Middle School. Part of its library is being restructured into an Integrative Learning Space. “Big banks of personal computers will be repurposed so kids can use their chrome books,” says Kelly Wachel, spokesperson for the district. Instead, a variety of “learning pods” will consist of comfortable seating, tables and white boards. The change will be more inviting for team projects as well as individual ones, says Wachel. The school district has also launched Center Impact today, which recruits mentors to be paired with high school students to help influence attendance and friendship.
Grandview Schools – Martin City students will be greeted with the beauty of nature when they return to school this year. The school’s outside nature/garden area will be completed, including a pond, raised garden beds, benches and other items. In addition, 13 new school buses have been added to the district’s fleet. The new buses have automatic doors and improved camera systems. Five elementary teachers (three in Martin City) will be teaching in a nontraditional setting called Innovation Classrooms. The program encourages teachers to select the best designs, curriculum, instruction, technology and assessment for the class. Finally Honeywell has donated $16,000 to expand a STEM initiative called Project Lead the Way into the elementary schools.
Hickman Mills Schools
Many changes at Hickman Mills School District starting with the new superintendent Dr. Yolanda Cargile. Thanks to the school bond that passed in April, Ruskin High School is receiving a new addition for more classroom space as well as renovated locker rooms. The Freshman Center, housed in the former Hickman Mills High School, will now include 7th and 8th graders from Smith-Hale Elementary School. Baptiste Educational Center has been reconstructed to include a new administration center as well as accommodate students transferring from Burke Elementary school, which has closed.
At Sion High School, 107th and Wornall, students will get to sleep in late on Thursdays, as the school introduces additional time for office hours and one on one meetings. Back by popular demand, the language department is offering Medical Spanish, which allows students to use their translation skills in the growing vocation of health and human services. A Student Wellness program will center around more than just the physical. It will also include intellectual, emotional, social, occupational and spiritual. Finally, Environmental Science as well as Public Speaking and Communications studies have been added to the curriculum. A green screen filming room will enhance their National Award-winning Journalism and Communications Program.
Lutheran High School of Kansas City, 124th & Wornall, has partnered with Metro Homeschool Robotics to add an industrial arts program. Two rooms have been dedicated to robotics and over $20,000 worth of equipment. The first robotics classes will be Woodworking and Metal works. A 3D printer has also been added in order to enhance the CAD courses offered at LHS. The school has also redesigned and renovated its weight room to become a user friendly weight and fitness room for both faculty and students. “We hope this updated room will service not only our student body, but our community as well.” commented assistant principal David Rindt.
Calvary Lutheran School, 124th & Wornall, is celebrating its 70th Anniversary of serving families and students in the greater Kansas City area. They will celebrate with an annual auction October 21st. The theme is Roaring 20s – A Speakeasy Mystery. The school’s theme this year is “Walk in the Light.”
Barstow Schools, 115th & State Line Rd., has had the honorable distinction of being asked by Cambridge University in England to participate in its 800th Anniversary by the Cambridge Student Union, which was limited to schools showing innovative education leadership. Barstow has found great success after it introduced its global satellite program and online learning.
Daniel Academy, 106th & Wornall Rd., will be celebrating 10 years at their location. The Christian school includes preschool through high school. This year starts with new basketball and soccer coaches.
St. Thomas More, 118th & Holmes Rd., introduces a new Spanish Language Arts program for Kindergarten through 8th Grade students. The immersion program will be taught twice a week. The school also purchased new science books and microscopes. “We want to make sure the kids get introduced into STEM foundational skills,” says Principal Brian Borgmeyer.
Avila University, 120th & Wornall Rd, In addition to a new coffee shop, Avila University will be adding two new majors: health care communications and health care informatics which has been renamed data science. Renovation of Goppert Theater is expected to begin in 2018.