Benninghoven Family Newsletter

May 11-15 2020

Vision: A place where everyone pursues their greatness.

Mission: A community coming together for our kids.

Dates to Remember:

Kindergarten Round Up has begun! Please see more info below.

Friday May 15- Virtual Spirit Day! Wear and share your knights spirit! Use #uKnighted512 or email pictures to Dr. Gonser and she will share for you.

May 18-22 Field Day Week! More info coming soon.

May 18 Site Council Meeting 9:00AM

May 22- Last Day of School

May 25- Memorial Day

From Dr. Gonser

Greetings Benninghoven Families,

We hope that each of you are staying safe and continuing to adapt to our ever-changing circumstances. If there is anything that our school team can do to support your family, please reach out to us. We are here for you. Much like the rest of our world, many things are still up in the air at school too. Making future plans with so many unknowns is tricky. Please know that we are doing our best to update you on things as quickly as possible, and in a way that is organized, efficient, and safe. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this school closure. Within this newsletter you will find information about initial plans for the end of the school year. There is still much to be determined that is dependent upon decisions that must be made at the county and state level. We will continue to update you as often as possible.

You will also find some information about exciting upcoming events that we hope your child will join us for! Virtual spirit day is Friday, we are accepting Virtual Talent Day submissions this week, and we will have Field Day Week next week! Also be sure to check out Mrs. Kaufman's May Art Challenge. It is sure to keep your young artists busy. Also, thank you to the students and families who helped to make Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 special for our Knights staff. There is nothing more precious to a teacher than the relationships we form with our students, and it was so nice to hear from many of them last week. We miss them terribly!

Thank you for your continued support Knights Community.

Take Care,

Dr. Gonser

Follow us on Twitter @BHknights512

Find us using #uKnighted512 or #Wild4Benninghoven

Missing You Video

Click to view a video from all of our Knights Staff to all of our Knights students! A special thanks to Ms. Marcus for collecting and producing this video and its images.

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Quick Links

Mrs. Pyle's Homepage

Find lessons and resources from our amazing Social Worker!

Specials Homepage

View lessons and resources from Art, Library, Music, PE, Band & Strings!

Parent Resources

This button will take you to a collection or parent resources curated by our district Social Workers. You will find activities, community supports, and School District Info.

Digital Math Manipulatives

Needing counters, number lines, dice, shapes, etc? Digital resources here!

SMSD Parent's Guide to Continuous Learning

Click here to view the document referenced in Dr. Fulton's letter to the community. This will be available in every newsletter moving forward.

Student Web Ex Instructions

Need help getting your student into WebEx from their iPad? Instructions Here!

SMSD Digital Learning Resource Video

Tips, suggestions, and support for learning at home

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Student Meals To Go

There has been a change to meal distribution procedures. Free breakfast and lunch will continue to be served to all children ages 1 to 18 at our four school sites. Beginning Wednesday, April 15 meals will be distributed only on Mondays and Wednesdays. There will be no meal distribution on Thursday, April 16 or Friday, April 17.

After April 15, this means families will be picking up:

On Monday- two days of breakfast and lunch meals

On Wednesday- three days of breakfast and lunch meals

This change in service allows families and community members less human interaction, providing an additional measure of support in following current Stay at Home Orders, and limiting travel in the community.

Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Dates: March 24, 2020 - May 22, 2020


  • Comanche Elementary, 8200 Grant St., Overland Park
  • Rosehill Elementary, 9801 Rosehill, Lenexa
  • Shawanoe Elementary, 11230 W. 75th St., Shawnee
  • Hocker Grove Middle School, 10400 Johnson Dr., Shawnee

Children must be present to receive meals.

  • No reservations are needed.
  • Meals will be available for pick up outside the school front drive.
  • Meals will be placed on a table for individual pick up.
  • An adult accompanying children may pick up the meals for each child without all children needing to exit a vehicle.
  • Please follow social distancing and avoid crowding when coming to the table.
  • Students are allowed to walk to school to pick up a meal.

Meals are prepared by District Food Services staff and distributed following food safety and sanitary practices.

These meals are funded entirely by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Contact the Food Services Department with any questions at 913-993-9710 or Visit the foodservice webpage here.

Menus will be rotated and posted. Menus are subject to change due to availability. See menus here.

Each breakfast meal includes these components: fruit, grain, and milk

Each lunch meal includes these components: protein, fruit/vegetable, grain, and milk.

Privacy Statement

Please take a moment to review the privacy statement below that was sent out by district communications last week. We thank you for helping protect the privacy of all of our students and families.
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Tech Support At Home

Technology support will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The district’s Web Help Desk ticketing system is available at to any employee or student. If you call the Help Desk, you will be asked for a username and password. Your child's password is their student ID number that can be found on the back of their iPad. The password you need is Benninghoven1!. If for some reason this password does not work, email your child's teacher to have the password reset.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) team has placed a permanent link/app on all devices for easy access. This link can be accessed by clicking on the link that looks like this: or by clicking on this Help Desk link. The Help Desk can also be reached by phone, and is available to all employees and students at (913)993-8880. ICT encourages using the ticketing system as much as possible as phone support is more limited.

The ICT team will also be able to offer WebEx sessions to users that would like “face-to-face” support. You may view the support document we have created at this link: Using the SMSD WebEx Platform to help people install and configure the necessary software

2020 Census

Please take a look at the following fact sheet. It contains some important information on why completing the census is so important.

Parent's Guide to Continuous Learning Opportunities

With guidance from the Kansas State Department of Education, the Shawnee Mission School District has developed a continuous learning framework to guide our efforts for the remainder of the school year. You have or will soon be receiving communication of learning plans from your child’s teacher. Please CLICK HERE to access the Parent Guide to Continuous Learning document to learn more.
It is time to begin enrolling students in Kindergarten for the 20-21 school year! This will look different this year due to the school closure. Please begin by reading the letter below from Superintendent Dr. Michael Fulton. Then, follow the prompts below to complete the steps outlined in Dr. Fulton's letter.
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First, check your address to enroll at the correct school.

Use the link below to check your address. REMEMBER: you must enroll at your home school. If you wish to transfer to another school, that is a separate process.
Address Look Up

If you click on the button titled "School Finder" at this link, you can enter your address and your home school will populate.

Next, go to the Kindergarten Round Up Homepage

Click the next link below to get there. Then select "SM Northwest Feeder Area" at the bottom of the page. You will then be prompted to submit an electronic RSVP form.

Then you will receive an email....

After you have submitted the Kindergarten RSVP form, you will receive an email with next steps from our Office Manager Mrs. Cunningham. It will include directions for completing the enrollment process. Those updated instructions are included in the following section of this newsletter.

When all of your enrollment paperwork is complete, you will receive a confirmation packet letting you know you are officially enrolled in Kindergarten at Rhein Benninghoven Elementary for the 20-21 school year!

A Kindergarten Round Up Informational Presentation is now available on our website homepage and through the link below! You can meet the kindergarten team, learn about enrollment, and other critical topics.

Kindergarten Round Up Info Video

Watch to meet our teachers, learn about enrollment, and more!

Kindergarten Enrollment Next Steps

We are excited that so many families have begun the enrollment process online. If you have completed the RSVP form, here is what needs to be submitted to complete enrollment.

Step 1 - Complete the District Online Enrollment Form - District Enrollment Form please click on this link if you have not completed the enrollment form. The information in this document is the foundation of this process; it provides critical information we need to know about your student. We will automatically get this form when you submit it.

Step 2 - Submit Copies of the Following Documents: the last 3 documents in bold are health related documents. Due to limited access to healthcare facilities, it may be difficult to get these items right now. Therefore we will go ahead and process your enrollment without the last 3 documents if you cannot get them at this time. All other documents are still necessary. We will need all documents, including those in red, before your child can attend school in the Fall.

  • Copy of Student Birth Certificate
  • Copy of your Lease or Mortgage Statement
  • Copy of 2 Utility Bills
  • Copy of Parent/Guardian Drivers Licence
  • Copy of Last Physical Exam
  • Copy of Immunizations
  • Copy of Home Health History Form - this is an SMSD Form that can be found online; it must be printed for you to complete. Click the following link to access this document: Home Health History Form English or Home Health History Form Spanish

Finally, we need to get all of these documents from you. Here are your options for submitting completed documents:

  • ​Email completed documents to - you can scan them or take a readable picture with your phone and send in an email. You can send all the documents together, or individually.
  • OR On Monday, May 4th from 10:30- 1:30 we will process paperwork in person at Benninghoven Elementary. If you prefer to drop off hard copies of paperwork, please use the front circle drive during this time. There are 2 options available:
    • If all of your paperwork is complete, please park in the parking lot and walk up to the drop box that will be outside the office window. We will have large envelopes next to the drop box. Place all documents in an envelope and write your child’s first and last name on the outside of the envelope.
    • If you need to make copies of documents when you arrive, please pull your vehicle into the circle drive and wait in a line inside your vehicle. When you pull up the cone at the front door, it is your turn to come into the office. Please come into the entryway and let us know which documents you need copied. When your copies are made, please return promptly to your vehicle so the next person can have a turn.

Kindergarten is such a special time and the enrollment process is the important first step in getting your student's educational journey started! Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. When your child’s enrollment is completed, you will receive a confirmation letter from out office.

PreK Enrollment

We will continue to offer PreKindergarten at Benninghoven Elementary for the 20-21 school year. We still have a few spots available, but we anticipate they will fill fast! If you would like to enroll your child in PreK at Benninghoven, please see the directions in the link below. Also, any student in the Shawnee Mission School District can attend PreK at Benninghoven; they do not have to live in our attendance area. Please note that there is a monthly tuition fee associated with PreK at Benninghoven.

5th & 6th Grade Talent Show

The week of May 11-15 we will host our annual Talent Show virtually! All 5th and 6th graders are invited to participate and submit their videos between May 9th and May 17th. See the guidelines below and use the Flip Grid link to participate!

Talent Show Guidelines and Information:

  1. Videos must be 5 minutes or less
  2. School appropriate content (“Could I show this to a bunch of PreK or K kids?”)
  3. ALL TALENTS WELCOME! (music, art, movement, magic, comedy, etc.)
  4. Have fun with it! We can’t wait to see what you can do!

Additional Details on the BH Music Homepage.

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Field Day Info

We will celebrate virtual field day the week of May 18-22. We realize that dedicating an entire day to field day activities is not practical at home, and that many students and families still want to take part in this tradition. We are trying to find some middle ground by offering field day activities all week! Next Monday we will share a menu of activities for students to participate in throughout the week. Staff and 6th grade leaders are currently filming video instructions to lead each activity. Typically on field day, our field day activities are the classroom content for the day. Similarly, we will lessen the content from homeroom teachers this week to encourage and enable participation in field day activities.

Summer Programming Update from Dr. Fulton

May 7, 2020

The Shawnee Mission School District continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on current and future programming and events, including summer programs. We are writing to provide an update on planning for summer, 2020.

The State of Kansas has announced four phases to reopen the state (Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas). Each phase has a tentative timeline, which is subject to extension due to health circumstances surrounding the pandemic. [Important: The new plan to reopen Kansas does not change the Governor’s original order (EO 20-07) closing all school facilities until May 29, 2020.​]

In light of updated guidance from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Johnson County health officials, and in collaboration with the other Johnson County School Districts, and with emphasis on the on-going health and safety of our students and staff, here are our current plans for summer, 2020 (additional details will be provided when available).

  • SMSD schools are currently closed, and will open following guidance from the state and county departments of health.
  • Schools will communicate with parents the plans for students to retrieve personally owned items, return library books/textbooks, etc. This will begin the week of May 18-22, 2020.
  • Students, other than graduating seniors, will retain their digital devices over the summer. Please watch for additional information regarding devices from your building principal.
  • In-person graduation ceremonies have been moved to July, if it is possible to have large gatherings by then. A decision will be made by June 15 about whether or not those celebrations can be held in person or will be virtual.
  • The last day of school for all other students is May 22.
  • The last contract day for teachers is May 27.

Summer Programs
Due to challenges related to school building closures, summer enrichment programs will not be offered this summer for students in grades K-8. Summer School programs will be offered virtually to all Shawnee Mission School District students who are either entering ninth grade or are currently in high school during the summer of 2020.

Students who have not taken a course and would like to move forward to complete graduation requirements can sign up for initial credit through eSchool. All information, including steps for enrollment can be found on the eSchool website. eSchool will run one session: May 26-June 30 (Fitness for Life course May 26-July 21).

Students who have previously enrolled and failed a course can sign up for recover credit through the Summer Academy. All information, including steps for enrollment, can be found on the Summer Academy Website. Summer Academy will have two sessions: June 8-26 for all semester 1 courses, Health, and American Government; and July 6-24 for all semester 2 courses. Financial Literacy will be offered both sessions. For a full list of courses offered, please visit the Summer Academy website.

We recognize that public health information surrounding the pandemic is subject to change on a daily and weekly basis. Thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility during this extraordinary time in our community.


Mike Fulton

6th Grade Transition Meeting Recap

If you weren't able to join us for our virtual meeting with the TRMS administrative team, we took a few notes for you. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Fee payment is July 30th 11:00- 6:00 and July 31 7:00- 2:00 at Trailridge.
  2. We encourage your child to get involved in a sport or club at TRMS. There are many clubs to choose from, and you can always start a new one if your interests aren't represented yet. Sports for 7th graders include volleyball, cross country, and wrestling.
  3. If you have a 6th grader who applied for PROWL, you should hear back around May 15th.
  4. We were scheduled to take math placement tests for middle school this spring at the elementary school. Instead, these assessments will be given right away in the Fall at Trailridge.
  5. Please consider joining TRMS PTA! This partnership is important at all levels and your involvement makes a difference.
  6. During the school year, the middle school doors open at 8:05. Students can eat breakfast at 8:15. Classes begin at 8:45.
  7. You will have the opportunity to sign up for bussing at fee payment.
  8. Be sure to let your child know that backpacks are not permitted in the hallways. They can transport belongings to and from school in their backpacks, but they must remain in lockers during the school day.
  9. You can pay for food services the same way you do at Benninghoven. In fact, your current balance will roll over to next year if you choose.
  10. The TRMS motto is "Beat Yesterday". This emphasizes the importance of growing one day at a time and always striving to do your personal best. Also, you need to know R.O.A.R.- Respectful, On task, Act safely, Responsible.

We hope this info is helpful for you and your child as you prepare to transition to middle school. There is a link to the Trailridge Middle School homepage below.

End of Year Procedures

With the end of the school year approaching, we are initiating some procedures that we want to make you aware of. This week we will reopen the office with limited access on Thursday, May 14. I want to reiterate that this access is extremely limited. If you need help with the following items, you can use the Sign Up Genius link below to schedule an appointment in the office:

  1. Kindergarten & PreK enrollment
  2. Instrument pick up
  3. Student enrollment or unenrollment support.

If you sign up for an appointment, only one person will be permitted inside at a time. Please park your vehicle and come to the front door. Press the call button at the door. If there is no one else in the entryway, you will be buzzed in. If there is someone else currently in the office, please wait at one of the cones outside that are spaced 6ft apart. Please do not arrive without an appointment. This will make social distancing difficult and cause delays.

When you enter, there will be a table set up at the doorway. Please wait here for help. This table is set up to ensure social distancing. We will help you with the four needs listed above from that location. In order to enter the office, please ensure the following:

  1. You will be required to wear a face mask.
  2. Follow all personal hygiene practices recommended by the CDC- frequent hand washing, cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow, and stay home if you aren't well.
  3. If you have travelled to any quarantine location or have been in contact with a sick person, please do not make an appointment.
  4. If you have a fever or persistent cough, please do not make an appointment

This week, the needs listed above are the priority. Next week we will send out information about retrieving students' items from inside the school. At this time we are not distributing personal items and are not permitted to allow anyone past the office and into the school building. Plans for this moving forward are contingent upon state and county guidelines.

We do want to let you know that students have the option to keep school iPads over the summer. We will collect all iPads (including 6th grade iPads) when we return for the 20-21 school year. If you do not want to keep your iPad over the summer, you are not required to. We will have an opportunity for you to return it to school next week if you choose. Please know that iPad incident fees will still be applied if a device is damaged over the summer. We will not be able to replace damaged devices over the summer when our school offices are closed. If your child will not be attending Benninghoven Elementary next school year, you will be required to return the iPad before Friday, May 22. These plans are also contingent upon state and county guidelines moving forward and more details will be shared next week.

We will send out more information about additional end of the year procedures in next Monday's newsletter. Thank you for your patience as we follow district, county, and state guidelines for increased access.

Technology Note

Dear SMSD Families,

Our iPad security system is designed with the expectation that all devices will regularly connect to the district network, from inside the network, in order to receive all necessary security updates. One consequence of school buildings being closed is that student iPads have not been able to connect directly to the network.

Today, some iPads have received a message, saying that their security certificate has expired. This is caused by not having directly connected to the network for an extended period of time.

If your child’s iPad has displayed a message today, saying that the security certificate has expired, and their iPad is currently unable to access the district network, please send an e-mail to:, with the subject “Please Update”. You will receive an e-mail back with instructions on how to update the iPad.

(Important: If your child’s iPad did not display this message, it is fine, and you do not need to do anything at this time.)

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.


Drew Lane
​​​​​​​Executive Director of Information and Communication Technologies