Lee's Summit Journal

Lee’s Summit school district near top in latest state report on school performance

Advancing to next month’s regional spelling competition are Summit Christian Academy students (from left) Olivia Truesdale, Michael Ward, Lucie Epema, and Adrian Haack.
Advancing to next month’s regional spelling competition are Summit Christian Academy students (from left) Olivia Truesdale, Michael Ward, Lucie Epema, and Adrian Haack. Courtesy photo

Local districts excel in state performance review

The Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit school districts finished at the top in the latest state report on school performance.

The Annual Performance Report for 2018 evaluated academic achievement by all students as well as demographic subgroups — plus college and career readiness, attendance and graduation rates.

“We are proud to announce that the Blue Springs School District has received a perfect, 100 percent rating on our Annual Performance Report, conducted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” district officials announced last week on Facebook. “This honor is a direct reflection of a true team effort from our students, staff and community members.”

Lee’s Summit said it earned a 99.3 percent rating by earning 119.2 of 120 possible points. It scored 100 percent in all categories except academic achievement by subgroups.

“Students and staff have done phenomenal work reviewing and implementing systems and programs that have assisted with increased performance,” Superintendent Dennis Carpenter said in a statement. “We have much to celebrate; including growth in the subgroup achievement category, improving from an 82.1 percent to a 92 percent without losing any points in other categories.”

The Lee’s Summit district serves most of Lee’s Summit, but children in the northern part of the city attend Blue Springs schools.

Art on display in Jefferson City

For the second straight year, Summit Christian Academy student Ashlyn Steller will see her artwork displayed in Jefferson City because the sophomore once again is the Senate District Eight Art Exhibit Winner.

Each of the 34 state senators in Missouri view work submitted from their districts and select one image to be printed and displayed at the state Capitol to advocate legislative support for the arts.

Steller’s work will be displayed for the rest of 2019 in the hallway that leads from Senate parking to the Capitol’s ground-floor entrance.

Innovation campus expands offerings

After adding bioinformatics this school year, the Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit will launch a software engineering program — adding to the number of fast-track college degrees available to students in the area.

Enrollment in those and other courses will take place in the spring, and an open house is scheduled the evening of Feb. 7 for the high school component of the program.

The campus is a partnership involving the University of Central Missouri, the Lee’s Summit School District, Metropolitan Community College and more than 50 corporate partners that offer paid, three-year internships. Students begin by taking courses at Summit Technology Academy, a high school operated by the school district. Then they can earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri only two years after leaving high school.

Bioinformatics professionals try to identify trends in patient treatment and research by analyzing the data generated within the health care field, ultimately improving patient outcomes and health. Entry level salaries range from $55,000 to $65,000 a year.

“This program is for students who have a desire to use bioscience and computer science skills together,” said Stan Elliott, MIC director. “Students learn to become detectives as they analyze data and look for trends.”

Software engineers typically earn $60,000 to $70,000 a year after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The UCM program is accredited by the non-profit ABET (Accredited Board for Engineering and Technology).

“This new program provides very rigorous math and science coursework so that our students can be successful in the software engineering field,” Elliott said.

Other UCM degree programs at the campus include systems engineering technology, drafting and design technology, computer science and cybersecurity.

Summit tech open house Feb. 7

Summit Technology Academy (STA) will host an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 where prospective students can explore programs that can lead to fast-track bachelor’s and associate degrees. Students from a number of area school districts attend Summit Technology Academy starting in their junior or senior years.

The open house will take place at the Missouri Innovation Campus, 1101 N.W. Innovation Parkway in Lee’s Summit.

A half-hour session begins at 6 p.m. for middle school and freshman students who want to plan ahead. That’s followed by an hour-long presentation on how students can start earning college degrees while still in high school.

Summit Technology Academy sets students on five career pathways: engineering, computer science, health science, human services and finance, and arts and communication.

Kindergarten parents to meet in Blue Springs

The Blue Springs School District, which serves northern Lee’s Summit, has scheduled a Feb. 19 meeting for the parents of students who will enter kindergarten next fall.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Cordill-Mason Elementary School, 4001 S.W. Christiansen Road in Blue Springs.

Spellers qualify for regional Christian School bee

Four Summit Christian Academy students will advance to regional competition in Plano, Texas, next month after doing well at the Association of Christian Schools International District Spelling Bee held recently in Shawnee.

They are eighth-grader Olivia Truesdale; sixth-grade students Michael Ward and Lucie Epema,, and seventh-grader Adrian .Haack. The four were among 17 SCA spellers at the district bee.