Lee's Summit Journal

Survey finds lukewarm response to moving sixth-graders to middle schools

More than 25 members of the Pleasant Lea Middle School football team spent part of a warm weekend this fall pulling weeds at the Lee’s Summit school, installing a weed barrier and covering it with rocks.
More than 25 members of the Pleasant Lea Middle School football team spent part of a warm weekend this fall pulling weeds at the Lee’s Summit school, installing a weed barrier and covering it with rocks.

A lukewarm survey

Lee’s Summit School District patrons are receptive to a bond issue that would finance school renovations and construction, according to a telephone survey conducted earlier this fall, but a significant percentage of respondents oppose the idea of moving sixth-grade students to the middle schools and constructing a fourth middle school to accomplish it.

The school board has endorsed the sixth-grade move and is working toward an April 2020 bond issue that would finance a number of improvements around the district — without increasing the property tax rate.

Asked about the general idea of a bond issue, 58% of respondents said they favored or strongly favored it. But approval soared to 96% when told that the tax rate would hold steady.

But residents were divided on the sixth-grade move after being told the reasons behind the decision and the proposed effective date several years from now.

Forty-three% agreed with the decision, but 40% did not. Almost all of the rest didn’t care.

And only 41% said they would be more likely to vote yes if a fourth middle school were part of the plans. And 37% said the new middle school would make them less likely to approve the measure.

The community was more enthusiastic about other potential upgrades. The percentage of respondents who were more likely to approve the bond issue if it included specific projects:

Safety/security upgrades: 95 percent.

Lee’s Summit High School renovation/expansion: 84 percent.

Mason Elementary School expansion: 70 percent.

Renovation of Prairie View for an early childhood facility: 68 percent.

Renovation of existing middle schools: 67 percent.

Renovation of all other schools: 62 percent.

Missouri Innovation Campus/Summit Technology Academy expansion: 53 percent.

The results, presented to the school board late last month, came from 400 telephone interviews of registered voters, drawn roughly equally from the three high school attendance areas. The margin of error is 4.9%.

The district posted an online survey as well, and administrators have been visiting individual schools to get more bond issue ideas that may have been missed.

Lee’s Summit High School students also are weighing in on what upgrades are needed there.

Meetings coming up on superintendent search

The Lee’s Summit School District will hold four community meetings in mid-November to obtain community sentiment on the search for a new superintendent. The lineup:

Nov. 12, 7 to 8 p.m., Lee’s Summit High School, Brockman Lecture Hall, 400 S.E. Blue Parkway.

Nov. 13, 7 to 8 p.m., Lee’s Summit North High School, Performing Arts Center, 901 N.E. Douglas St.

Nov.14, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Missouri Innovation Campus, Room B204, 1101 N.W. Innovation Parkway.

Nov. 14, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Lee’s Summit West High School, Bateman Hall, 2600 S.W. Ward Road.

For those who can’t attend, the district will post an online survey during that time period.

SCA’s Greg Finch honored by Christian School Alliance

Summit Christian Academy history teacher Greg Finch has been named the 2019 Teacher of the Year by the Great Plains Alliance of Christian Schools, which represents schools in the Kansas City area.

The announcement was made at the organization’s annual student conference. Finch is SCA’s Teacher of the Year.

“I am so thankful to have Greg Finch at SCA,” Head of School Linda Harrelson said in a news release. “He embodies the finest qualities we look for in a teacher: a love for the Lord, the students and learning, plus the confidence in his calling as a Christian educator. He is truly a gifted amazing teacher and this honor is so very deserved.”

Summit Tech open house is Nov. 14

Summit Technology Academy, the R-7 School District’s career-focused academy, will host the first of three open houses this month for students and parents to learn more about its half-day programs for juniors and seniors.

Enrollment at Summit Technology Academy is not limited to residents of the Lee’s Summit School District. It serves students from other area high schools as well.

The first open house will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Missouri Innovation Campus at 1101 N.W. Innovation Parkway, where STA is located. The session will offer information about career-focused programs, real-world experience and dual college credit opportunities. Among the topics addressed in breakout sessions are the International Baccalaureate career-related program, the Cerner Scholars Program, University of Kansas Degree in 3, University of Central Missouri Nursing Fast Track and early planning.

The University of Central Missouri is asking for RSVPs for a breakout session from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. focusing on the accelerated college program offered at the Missouri Innovation Campus. Go to sta.lsr7.org/openhouse.

Additional open houses are planned for Jan. 9 and Feb. 6.

SCA students share Chinese culture

Global education begins as early as kindergarten at Summit Christian Academy, which each year enrolls a significant number of foreign students.

Two of those students, Alex Huang and Teresa Xiong, visited the kindergarten classrooms, to share Chinese culture with the younger students.

Guest presenter Andrew Florio, senior pastor at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, provided porridge for all of the students, who not only tasted it, but tried to figure out if it would float. Almost all the students predicted it would, but found that wasn’t the case.

Part of the lesson was a reading of “Goldiluck and The Three Pandas (a version of Goldilocks and The Three Bears), with students handling props from China that matched illustrations in the book.

Recycle electronics at Lee’s Summit West

Lee’s Summit West High School will host a recycling event and PTA fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 9 in the front parking lot of the high school, 2600 S.W. Road Road.

Individuals can drop off various electronics, including computers, to be recycled. The PTA will accept donations for this service. For more information refer to the flyer below: