Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, May 2021

Hornet Families,

I cannot believe this will be our final Buzzin' in the Hive of the 2020-21 school year! I want to take a moment and thank each of you for your support during this year. We could not have accomplished so much without you.

I am beyond impressed with our staff and student's resilience this year! No matter what the year threw at us, our amazing teachers and staff came to school ready to teach and our students came every single day ready to learn! Thank you for your patience as we worked to navigate a year during a pandemic. We appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement.

The month of May will be very busy at Graden and this newsletter will have information about all of the activities Graden has planned for the month of May. Please mark your calendars for the following dates:

Monday, May 3rd - Wednesday, May 19th: 3rd, 4th, 5th grade MAP Testing

Thursday, May 6th: Kindergarten Kick-Off - 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Thursday, May 20th: 3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Track and Field Day

Friday, May 21st: K, 1st, 2nd Grade Field Day

Monday, May 24th: 5th Grade Virtual Promotion Sent to Families

Thursday, May 27th: 5th Grade Promotion Drive-By Parade - 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Friday, May 28th: Last Day of School 1/2 Day - Students release at 12:23 pm

*** More information below about each of these dates.

Thank you for all that you do to support Graden!

It's a great day to be a Hornet!

Mrs. Vanna Easley, Graden Principal



All Graden families will need to update their registration and residency in the Parent Portal beginning Monday, April 5th. Please login to the Parent Portal and verify residency by following the prompts. All families will need to provide two proofs of residency prior to submitting your information.

We know that all of our Hornets have specific learning styles and needs. If you are interested in providing parent input on your child's specific learning needs, please request a parent input form from the Graden office. All request forms are due back to Graden on Friday, May 7th.

***If you have questions, please contact Meghan Wheeler, Graden Registrar at 359-4340

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We have had many amazing opportunities to engage in interest groups this year. Our final interest group day will be Thursday, May 6th. Students will learn about music technology during the virtual assembly and engage in classroom interest groups! We look forward to continuing this tradition next year!


The MAP testing window opens this Monday, May 3rd - Friday, May 28th for all Graden third, fourth and fifth grade students. We have worked so hard this year despite the many challenges, and this is just one more way to help us identify our strengths and areas to grow. In the meantime, daily attendance (when healthy) is so very important as we work together to finish the year strong.

Below you will find Graden's MAP testing schedule. Your classroom teacher has sent a schedule home with additional testing information. We ask that you try to avoid making appointments during the testing window. We appreciate your efforts to encourage the importance of attending school each day!

**** Online Third and Fifth Grade Students

Online third and fifth grade will test in-person at Graden Elementary School. Thank you for bringing your student to Graden this month to prepare for the assessment. On testing days, online students will be at Graden from 9:30 am - 1:15 pm. We are asking families to drop students off at 9:30 am in the west car rider loop and pick up at 1:15 pm in the west car rider loop. This will ensure our online students are able to socially distance from our face-to-face students. Each testing day. Mrs. Easley and Mrs. Suchanick will take attendance and escort students to their testing classroom. When you arrive in the afternoon in the car rider loop, please wait in your car. Mrs. Easley and Mrs. Suchanick will call for your student.

***Please be sure to bring your laptop, headphones and a water bottle with you each day.

**** Online Fourth Grade Students

Graden online fourth grade students will take the MAP test at Renner Elementary School. Look for information from your classroom teacher regarding dates and times.

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As the end of the school year approaches, we are excited to announce that Graden will host an in-person and virtual track and field day!

Our kindergarten through second grade students will participate in fun field day games and activities and our third through fifth grade students will participate in both field day activities and track events.


  • Thursday, May 20th: 3rd-5th Grade Students
  • Friday, May 21st: Kindergarten-Second Grade Students


  • Virtual Students will have access to the field day activities through Seesaw/Schoology.
  • In-person students will participate with their class throughout the day at Graden.


  • Field day is an important part of our school year. We all look forward to this festive day of celebration!


  • All in-person activities will take place with your student's class ONLY and each activity will be sanitized between rotations.
  • All virtual events are designed to be completed indoors or outdoors using common household items. You will not be asked to purchase any specialized equipment or supplies. Make this a family friendly competition at home and the only goal is to HAVE FUN!
  • In order to maintain student safety for the in-person field day, no outside visitors will be permitted.
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Our last day of school is Friday, May 28th and it is a half day. Graden's hours on the last day of school will be 9:10 am - 12:23 pm. Students will watch the virtual talent show with their class and lunch will be served.


It’s hard to believe this school year is quickly coming to an end. I have enjoyed watching your students grow socially, emotionally, and academically as we navigated these unchartered waters together. Please visit the Graden Counseling Website for monthly counseling newsletters, community resources, parent referral forms, and social/emotional learning “hubs” where students can access their counseling lessons, as well as several other fun resources to cultivate social and emotional development. I have also attached a direct link to the May Counseling Newsletter below. Be sure to check this one out, as I have provided several awesome resources for children and parents related to technology and online safety. As always, I am available to chat via email, phone, or Zoom. You can reach me by email at or via phone at 816-359-5647. Looking forward to soaking up this last month together!

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Thursday, May 6, 2021: Kindergarten Kick Off: 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm at Graden Elementary: Families will sign-up for a time to visit Graden, meet our kindergarten teachers, engage in fun kindergarten activities and take a tour of the building.

****Use the link below to sign up for your time.

Students must be 5 years old on or before July 31, 2021 to enroll in Kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year.

Enroll your kindergartener beginning April 5th in Infinite Campus. Please ensure you have the following documents for enrollment : state issued birth certificate, 2 proofs of residency, and updated immunization records.

Call Graden Elementary for any questions: 359-4340


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We are beyond excited to recognize all of our fifth grade Hornets both online and face-to-face this year. While we would prefer a face-to-face promotion, we want all of our fifth grade students to know that we are honored and proud to celebrate this milestone with them.

We will celebrate by sharing a virtual promotion with all families. The promotion video will be sent to families the last week of school. This communication will come from myself and each of your teachers.

5th Grade Promotion Drive-By Parade:

We are excited to have a 5th Grade Promotion Drive-By Parade Thursday, May 27th from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. During the parade all 5th grade families will be able to drive through the Graden parking lot and be recognized by their current 5th grade teachers, specials teachers, administration and many other staff members.

****Decorate your cars and prepare for Graden to cheer and celebrate your 5th grader! All students will receive promotion packets during the parade. We are looking forward to celebrating this monumental time with all of our 5th graders.



We are excited to celebrate Mrs. Hibbs, Mrs. O'Brien and Mrs. Child on Wednesday, May 19th with a drive-by retirement celebration at Graden. Come drive through and say thank you and goodbye to these amazing hornet teachers.

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We are gearing up for a summer of fun here at Graden with English Landing students joining us! Summer school will run from June 7th to July 2nd. If you have not done so already, here is the link to enroll your child(ren) in summer school:

Here is a sneak peek of what our summer days will look like! We sure hope to see you at Graden this summer!

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Spring allergies are at an all-time high for this area and many students are visiting the health room. Common symptoms include nasal congestion, coughing, itchy/watery eyes, sore throat and skin rashes. As forecasted by the website, the pollen season for Kansas City runs from the end of March through Memorial Day Weekend. It will peak the last week of April and will slowly taper off by the end of May. Allergy symptoms often mirror symptoms of the common cold. So, how do you know the difference?

Allergy symptoms are an immune response triggered by an exposure to an allergen. In spring, pollen is the culprit that irritates the eyes and throat. Your child may complain of itchy eyes that are red, watery and puffy. Allergies can also cause a sore throat that is irritated by nasal drainage. These symptoms will occur for long periods of time during the spring (3 weeks or longer.) There are few things you can do to decrease allergy symptoms. If your child is playing outside, have them blow their nose, wash their hands and face, (especially their eye area) when coming back inside. On high pollen days, try limiting your child’s time outside and keep windows closed. If this eases symptoms, it’s a good indication that it may be allergies.

A common cold is caused is by a virus. A cold will produce symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose and sore throat. Nasal drainage that is thicker and not clear is likely to be caused by a virus than allergies. Colds can cause headache, low grade fever and body aches. These symptoms will come on fast and taper quickly, usually in a week.

There is no cure for allergies or the common cold. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medication that may ease the symptoms and severity of your child’s health condition.

As a reminder, children exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19: Cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, fever and Covid-19 can’t be ruled out by pre-existing condition, such as asthma or allergies should stay home and contact their primary care provider for guidance.

In Good Health,

Nurse Morris

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Spirit wear will be available online this year! If you are interested in ordering Graden spirit wear please access the link below.


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To comply with health and safety guidelines, we cannot offer outside food to our students at this time. This means we will not have birthday treats from outside the school. If you would like to purchase birthday treats through our Nutrition Services department, please click on the flyer below, fill it out completely and email to Ms. Elayne O'Connell @ If you have any questions please call the Park Hill Nutrition Services department at (816) 359-5726

*** Friendly Reminder: Please give a week's notice if at all possible

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The Park Hill Star recognition program was started in 2015 to celebrate support staff and teachers whose work is especially noteworthy.

The following is an overview of the Park Hill Star Program:

Our employees are the reason we are so successful here in the Park Hill School District, and we would like to recognize them for all they do for our students. That is why we present the Park Hill Star award once a month to a pre-K or elementary teacher, a secondary teacher and a support employee.

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2020-2021 PTA Meeting Dates

May 10th

Watch your email for a link to participate in meetings!


School Office (816) 359-4340

School Fax (816) 359-4349

Attendance Line (816) 359-4341

First Student Bus Company (816) 359-4560

Adventure Club (816) 359-5015

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