The theme for Winter Homecoming activities taking place this week at Harrisonville schools is “Aloha Cats.”
The Winter Homecoming king and queen will be crowned Feb. 9 during a home basketball game as the Wildcats boys’ basketball team hosts Excelsior Springs. The junior varsity game tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity contest.
Afterward, Harrisonville High School students are invited to a “luau hangout” hosted by the Student Council in the multipurpose room.
Kentucky Trail named a State School of Character
Kentucky Trail Elementary in Belton is one of 63 schools nationwide chosen as a 2018 State School of Character by Character.org.
Kentucky Trail joins Mill Creek Upper Elementary and Grace Early Childhood, two other Belton district schools that earned the honor in 2015.
During the last three years, the Kentucky Trail staff has worked to embed Conscious Discipline structures and language into their day-to-day interactions with students. According to the Conscious Discipline website, the approach aims to “equip educators to integrate social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation so they spend less time policing behavior and more time teaching vital life skills.”
The philosophy, developed by a teacher, emerged after “experiencing the challenges of a broken system full of hurting children and frustrated adults.”
The process began at Kentucky Trail with a committee of staff and community members creating core values that laid the foundation for the program. Character education lessons were developed and made a priority, the district said, so students could maximize learning and make the values intentional.
“I am delighted our staff and school community embraced the idea that to do what’s best for kids we would have to reframe our approach to their education,” said Kentucky Trail principal Alisa Seidelman. “Our staff has gone above and beyond in their efforts to give children the opportunities to succeed in a safe and nurturing environment.”
Kentucky Trail will hold the School of Character distinction for three years. The award makes the school eligible for a national recognition to be announced later this year.
Olivia Burton is Ray-Pec’s top speller
Eighth-grader Olivia Burton will represent the Raymore-Peculiar School District on March 6 at the Cass County Spelling Bee.
The Ray-Pec South Middle School student won the district championship by successfully spelling “lunatic” on Jan. 23 during the ninth round of the district-wide bee.
After a six-round spell-off involving three students, Charis Gines, an eighth-grader at Ray-Pec East Middle School, claimed the runner-up spot. His clinching word was “quiche.” Charis was competing with Aiden Carver and Eli Mast for second place.
Twenty-seven students in fourth through eighth grades participated in the district bee. The winner of the county competition will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which takes place in May in Washington D.C.
Ray-Pec theater teacher to direct 100th production
Theater teacher Todd Schnake will be directing his 100th production for the Raymore-Peculiar School District this month when high school students present “The Diviners.”
In a first for Ray-Pec, “The Diviners” will be presented along with the musical “Quilters” on alternating nights, using the same set but different groups of actors.
“Quilters” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 and Feb. 15 and at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, while “The Diviners” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, Feb. 16 and Feb. 17. Both shows will be in the Ray-Pec High School Theatre.
“Quilters” looks at the contribution and challenges of women who settled the frontier. It uses blocks of a quilt as a metaphor for life challenges.
“The Diviners” is a humor-laced drama with that tells the story of a mentally challenged boy and his friendship with a drifter during the Great Depression.
Schnake directs both productions. His wife, Pam Schnake, teaches theater at Ray-Pec East Middle School, and his son, Dane, joined the district this academic year as theater teacher at Ray-Pec South Middle School.
The “Quilters” cast includes Abby Ball, Katie Clewell, Chloe Coons, Kiara Galloway, Alec Heriford, Jillian Humke, Kerstin Randolph, Kaylee Schaeffer, Ella Schnake, Matthew Stewart, Chely Stratton and McKenna Wilson. Trevor Diepenbrock is the music director for the production.
“The Diviners” cast includes Tayler Bates, Logan Daniels, Trevor Diepenbrock, Peter Dyreng, Kylie Hansen, Spencer Harris, India Kittrell, Sarah Poisner, Jeffrey Sykes, Nate Thurman and Larissa Wratney.
Technical crew chiefs for the shows include Becca Bessette, Raef Bell, Katie Carlisle, Nick Hime, Talmage Kelley, Molly Loman, Caden Maxwell, Bailey Leighter, Riley Linn, Sadie Moore, Ce Ce Moss and Zach Scott. Teacher Karla Penechar is the technical director and Pam Schnake, Michael Connelly and Kay Connelly provide additional production assistance.
Tickets, which are $5 for students and $7 for adults, can be reserved through the box office by calling 816-892-3999, ext. 2400. Free babysitting will be provided.
Play time gets ‘Wild and Wacky’
Parents and children got rid of the winter wiggles recently at morning and evening “Wild and Wacky” events hosted by the Harrisonville School District’s Parents As Teachers program.
“Wild and Wacky,” held twice each year, focuses on physical activities that allow children to crawl, climb and slide through an obstacle course made up of large soft objects.
Parents As Teachers is a free program for parents of children up to age 5. It offers resources that include a semiannual newsletter, home visits with parent educators, developmental screenings, play groups and special events.
A Parents As Teachers play group meets at 9:15 a.m. every Tuesday that school is in session at the Early Childhood Center, where children can play, do crafts and socialize.
For more information, call 816-380-4421, ext. 2805.
Two Ray-Pec schools honored for culture of learning
Peculiar and Stonegate elementary schools were among 16 schools in Missouri chosen as Professional Learning Communities Exemplary Schools.
The schools were honored for promoting cultures focused on collaborative learning while using data to increase student achievement. They were recognized Jan. 30-31 during the Powerful Learning Conference.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Democrat