Cass County Democrat Missourian

Safety system coming to Harrisonville schools

Fathers and grandfathers joined their students for donuts before class last month at Harrisonville Christian School. Among those attending was Chris Branstine, pictured with Preston Branstine and Mahlon Case.
Fathers and grandfathers joined their students for donuts before class last month at Harrisonville Christian School. Among those attending was Chris Branstine, pictured with Preston Branstine and Mahlon Case. Courtesy photo

Harrisonville schools gets safety system

The Harrisonville School District is acquiring a new safety system that will require anyone who wants to enter a school building during the school day to swipe his or her driver’s license. The system produces a visitor badge with the date and location of the event or meeting, as well as the person’s name and photo.

The Harrisonville school board approved the purchase from Raptor Technologies last month, and the district hopes to have the system in place this spring.

“Part of keeping students and staff safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times,” Superintendent Paul Mensching said. “The Raptor system allows us to track visitors, contractors and volunteers in our schools, as well as manage student checkout.”

The system conducts a limited background check against the national database of registered sex offenders, Mensching said, but doesn’t check criminal or traffic history.

“Raptor also checks our student information system to make sure you are permitted to check out a student.”

Peculiar foundation donates 29 AEDs to schools

The Peculiar Charitable Foundation has funded the purchase of 29 Automated External Defibrillator machines for Cass County school districts. The machines can shock a heart back into action in the case of cardiac arrest.

The Raymore-Peculiar district got three of the machines. The donation includes one wall mount, carrying cases for two of the devices, replacement pediatric-sized pads for each new machine, and replacement batteries for all the defibrillators. The value of the new equipment was nearly $5,000.

One new AED was installed in a wall mount on the second floor of Raymore-Peculiar High School, the district said. The other two units will serve as portable units for each middle school, for use during the outdoor activities of cross country, football and track and field.

Sherwood students re-enact Galileo’s trial

He’s been dead since 1642, but the Italian astronomer Galileo went back on trial recently at Sherwood Middle School for his assertion that the sun, not the Earth, is the center of the solar system.

The mock trial, conducted by Bennett Smith’s seventh-grade social studies class, re-enacted the Inquisition hearing of Galileo. The original trial forced Galileo to recant his theory of heliocentrism, which challenged the belief system of the Catholic church.

The students read a script, written mostly by Smith, and used that information to decide Galileo’s fate. Jurors filled out graphic organizers to help them process what they’d heard.

Administrators chosen in Pleasant Hill

The Pleasant Hill School District has hired two new administrators for the school year that starts in the fall.

Lauren Goddard will be the district’s director of student services. For the last five years, she has been a special education process coordinator for the Belton School District. She recently earned a doctorate in education leadership from Baker University.

Jim Schlichting will join Pleasant Hill as director of technology, the same position he now holds in the Wellington-Napoleon School District. During his tenure, that district went from no assigned devices to one device per student, Pleasant Hill officials said.

Ray-Pec student on medical fast track

Gracie Allan, a senior at Raymore-Peculiar High School, has been accepted to Missouri Southern State University’s “Yours to Lose” Accelerated Medical Program.

Among hundreds of applications, she is one of up to 25 students admitted to the program. Upon completion of the accelerated curriculum, she will earn her bachelor’s degree in biology in three years and be automatically accepted into the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience’s new medical school in Joplin.

Starlight scholarships available

Starlight Theatre is offering $2,500 Vincent Legacy Scholarships to ethnically diverse middle school students who want to pursue professional training in the performing arts. The application deadline is March 29.

Students in grades six through eight may apply. In addition to meeting ethnic and financial criteria, applicants must show a passion for the performing arts, maintain a 3.0 GPA, attend school regularly with no unexcused absences, and demonstrate an interest in community service.

All requirements and application forms are at For more information, email or call 816-997-1134.

The scholarship program was established in 2006 by community leaders Greg and Rebecca Reid. Besides receiving money for dance, vocal and/or acting training, the two or more winners will join a group of former Vincent Legacy scholars and adult mentors who can guide and encourage them along the way.