Here’s what’s new for the south KC school districts

Schools are back in session this week. See what is new for the three surrounding school districts.

Cover photo: Grandview High School Sport Stadium gets new bleachers, press box and scoreboard this year. Photo by Bill Rankin. 

Back to School

New and exciting things are happening in the upcoming school year


Major upgrades are underway at the Grandview High School athletic stadium. Construction crews are in the process of revamping the Grandview High School Sports Stadium with new bleachers on the home team side. Also, a new press box and a state of the art digital scoreboard will be added. The project is part of the district’s 2017 bond issue that promised stadium upgrades. A portion of the project will also be funded through sponsorship opportunities that include naming rights, digital advertising and more.  The stadium renovation is expected to be completed by August 2019.

Also slated for renovation are several student bathrooms at Grandview High School, Belvidere Elementary School and Conn-West Elementary School, the high school tennis courts, and the high school cafeteria pillars will be outfitted with Bulldog decal.

New administration includes two new principals:  Dr. VaShawn Smith at Grandview Middle School and Kelly Nash at Butcher-Green Elementary School.  Kirk Hipple has been selected as the District Athletics and Activities Director.

Martin City K-8 Teacher Cindy Long has been selected as one of six Kansas City Regional Teachers of the Year. As Regional Teacher of the Year, she now has the opportunity to compete for Missouri Teacher of the Year for 2019-20. The Missouri Teacher of the Year will be announced in August 2019 and will be honored at a ceremony in Jefferson City in October along with all Regional Teachers of the Year.

Center School District

In April, 82  percent of Center School District voters approved a $48 million no tax increase bond. The bond will allow Center School District to update all district buildings to improve student and teacher safety and security, fund infrastructure maintenance projects, build a new Indian Creek Elementary School and expand Red Bridge Elementary to accommodate enrollment growth.  

New Superintendent Michael Weishaar

Center School District is currently working to improve safety and security in all buildings. That work will continue over the next three years. Indian Creek Elementary is currently in the design phase and plans to unveil the new elementary school is scheduled for August of 2021. Red Bridge Elementary’s expansion will be ready by August of 2020.

 After successfully leading the passage of a $48 million bond in April, overseeing a large jump in Annual Progress scores from 82 to 90.4 percent, and recieving a “Districts of Distinction” honor from Administrative Districts magazine, Dr. Sharon Nibbelink stepped down from her position as superintendent in May. Taking her place will be Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Weishaar, former Assistant Superintendent. In addition, Edward Tate will be the new Center High School Principal and Dr. Jarius Jones will serve as the new Middle School Principal. 

Hickman Mills

 After the closing of Symington and Johnson elementary schools, those students will be reassigned to

Image result for hickman mills high school
Sixth graders will be transferred to the former Hickman Mills High School, which is now the Middle School.

different schools. After the closing of the Freshman Center, 9th graders will be transferred to Ruskin High School. Sixth graders from all schools will be transferred to the Middle School located in the former Hickman Mills High School.

This year, all Ruskin students will receive a MacBook. Additionally, Hickman Mills is growing its college and career programming by expanding Project Lead the Way to Pre-K through 12th grades, partnering with industry professionals in school settings, having college visits for 4th and 5th graders, and encouraging robitics and lego opportunities.

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