Cass County Democrat Missourian

Ray-Pec offers busing to all, regardless of proximity to school

Harrisonville High School students (from left) Colleen O’Reilly, George Frees and Nathanael DeVenney have returned from the Hugh O’Brian State Leadership Seminar.
Harrisonville High School students (from left) Colleen O’Reilly, George Frees and Nathanael DeVenney have returned from the Hugh O’Brian State Leadership Seminar. Courtesy photo

Ray-Pec offers busing to all

All students in the Raymore-Peculiar School District can ride the bus starting this fall, no matter how close they live to school.

Previously, bus service was available to students who lived at least one mile from school. Students who lived closer generally were not eligible for bus transportation. The Ray-Pec school board changed the policy on June 27, however, prompting Superintendent Kari Monsees to say it was a good decision for the convenience and safety of families. The board had discussed transportation for all during its June 13 retreat.

The state of Missouri provides some reimbursement for transporting students who live more than a mile from school, so the district will absorb the expense of busing those who live closer.

“After considering the benefits to families and the impact on the budget, district leaders recommended changing the policy to provide transportation to all students,” the district said in a news release.

Statistics from earlier this year showed that 618 of Ray-Pec’s 6,285 students were classified as walkers.

Belton schools honored for disciplinary efforts

Cambridge Elementary School in the Belton School District has received the Silver level of recognition for its efforts with the Kansas City Regional Professional Development Center’s Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS). Belton Middle School/Freshman Center was recognized with a Bronze award.

To be selected, the schools must meet criteria that lead to a strong culture of character and positive efforts to bring staff, students and families together to create a successful, encouraging environment.

School supply drive in Harrisonville

The Harrisonville community is encouraged to donate school supplies for needy children during the annual Stuff the Bus drive July 15-23.

Donations can be dropped throughout July at any Blue Barrel location: Community Bank of Harrisonville, Commerce Bank, the Cass County Public Library-Harrisonville Branch, Schroeder Chiropractic, Harrisonville United Methodist Church, Harrisonville Church of the Nazarene, Hawthorn Bank, The Vault, Cornerstone Community Church, Heartland Baptist Fellowship, Crossroads Assembly, Brick House Coffee, Quality Auto and the school district central office at 503 S. Lexington St.

The most needed items include 1-inch binders, five-subject dividers for binders, composition notebooks, TI-30-XII scientific calculators, dry erase markers, highlighters, wide-ruled notebook paper, zippered binders, plastic school boxes, post-it notes, glue sticks, scissors, 24-count crayons and markers.

Monetary donations also are accepted. Checks, with “school supplies” in the memo line, can be mailed to Bright Futures, 503 S. Lexington St., Harrisonville, MO 64701. Make online donations at

Community Bank of Harrisonville is hosting the drive in conjunction with Bright Futures Harrisonville. The supplies will be distributed at the Bright Futures Back-to-School Fair in late July. Last year, Bright Futures Harrisonville distributed more than 300 backpacks of school supplies to children.

Back from learning about state government

Five Harrisonville High School students took part in Missouri Boys and Girls State exercises in June.

Seniors Ethan Inman, Michael Dahn and Austen Cesonis attended the American Legion Boys State program, held June 15-22 at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

Seniors Rebekah Bartlett and Savannah Timmons attended the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program June 23-29, also at the University of Central Missouri.

Through simulations, both programs give students hands-on experiences in the operation of state government.

Free pre-K for lower-income families

Because of a change in state funding, the Raymore-Peculiar School District is able to offer free pre-kindergarten classes to families that qualify for free and reduced lunch.

The morning session at a Shull Early Learning Center runs from 8 to 11:15 a.m. Monday through Friday, and the afternoon session runs from noon to 3:15 p.m.

Outside of class, Shull offers child care in the Sharks Den program. To enroll for the fall, call 816-892-1210 or email to

Hugh O’Brian seminar burnishes leadership skills

With funding from the Harrisonville Public School Foundation, Colleen O’Reilly, George Frees and Nathanael DeVenney attended the Hugh O’Brian State Leadership Seminar last month at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.

The seminars, created by the actor who played Wyatt Earp in the early days of TV, are “designed to help high school sophomores recognize their leadership talents and apply them to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community.” The staff at Harrisonville High School selected the three students to go.

“I learned that being a leader doesn’t just come through leading a committee or group project,” O’Reilly said, “A good leader sets an example that makes others want to follow them and change things for the better.”

The best part of the experience, she said, was making friends with leaders from across Missouri. Frees said he was moved and motivated by a reflection session on the final night.

“It felt like I was part of a community that can do good in the world,” he said. “I learned how to create concise and realistic goals, as well as how to follow through on them. I also am keeping in contact with many others from the conference and we have all committed to help each other complete our goals.”