Cass County Democrat Missourian

Harrisonville School District offering classes to help ease kids into preschool

Sixth-grade students working on their Skittles lab included, from left, Ashlee West, Braden Mitchell, Brett Gurney and Haley Mannino.
Sixth-grade students working on their Skittles lab included, from left, Ashlee West, Braden Mitchell, Brett Gurney and Haley Mannino.

Monthly sessions help kids ease into preschool

Three-year-old children living in the Harrisonville School District — along with their parents or caregivers — are invited to monthly preschool preview days at Harrisonville Early Childhood Center, 500 Polar Lane.

The preview days, which are open to children who turned 3 before Aug. 1 of this year, have a different format than the weekly playgroups organized by Parents As Teacher, the district said. Parents will sit with the children during large group story and calendar time and will then work with them at several preschool activity stations.

The children can learn about school expectations, and parents can get ideas for activities to try at home. Siblings are not invited to the preview sessions.

Two classes will be offered on each preview day.

Students with last names beginning with A through L are asked to attend from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m., and students with last names that begin with M through Z are to attend from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Adults must bring a photo identification. The preview dates for 2019-2020 on Fridays: Sept. 27, Oct. 25, Nov. 22, Jan. 31, Feb. 28, March 27 and April 24.

Last winter, the Harrisonville school board agreed to alter the early childhood program in order to devote more resources to preparing 4-year-olds for kindergarten. At the time, officials said that 4-year-olds generally are more ready for preschool than 3-year-olds are. The new setup is designed not only to bolster the performance of future kindergartners, but to gradually introduce 3-year-olds into classroom life. Anyone with questions can call the Early Childhood Center at 816-380-4421.

KC SuperStar picks top singer

Before a sold-out crowd at Johnson County Community College, recent Center High School graduate Maurissa Cunningham sang her way on Aug. 25 to a $10,000 scholarship in the 2019 KC SuperStar competition.

At the conclusion of the competition, Cunningham left for Wichita State University for her freshman year studying musical theater.

A fund-raiser for the Jewish Community Center, KC SuperStar seeks out the best high school singer in the Kansas City area. A four-judge panel selected the four top finishers, and the final choice was left to the audience.

Winning a $5,000 scholarship for second place was Sam Aubuchon, a 2019 graduate of Blue Springs High School. The audience chose Emma Mathieson, a senior at Shawnee Mission West High School, as the third place winner and recipient of a $2,500 scholarship. Alexa Morgan, a senior at Shawnee Mission South High School, won fourth place and a $1,000 scholarship.

The other finalists received $500 scholarships: Sam Wise, Leavenworth High School; Jacob Collier, Oak Park High School; Rachel Hudson, Belton High School graduate; Miguel Reyes, Turner High School; Sophia Schulte, Olathe North High School graduate, and Erika Kolseth, Blue Valley High School.

Skittles sacrificed for science

As Christy Gurney’s sixth-grade science class learned about the scientific method, an unusual laboratory was created at Sherwood Middle School.

No beakers or Bunsen burners. No test tubes. Just Skittles and writing materials.

The students had to address this problem: Which color is most common in a fun-sized package of Skittles?

After forming a hypothesis, they counted the Skittles and sorted by color. They recorded their data in a chart and displayed the results in a bar graph. Finally, they analyzed their data and drew a conclusion based on the evidence. The students undoubtedly gained an appreciation for how scientists think, but they really loved the candy.

’81 HHS grad inducted into Wall of Fame

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation, in partnership with the Harrisonville School District, inducted Harrisonville High School alum Denise (Massie) Davidson into the Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame on Sept. 6.

Davidson graduated from HHS in 1981 and was honored for her service and leadership in law enforcement and the community. She started as dispatcher for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, became the agency’s first full-time female patrol deputy and attained the rank of captain.

The induction was originally scheduled for February, but had to be canceled because of winter weather.