April 1, 2016 - Park Hill School District

Upcoming Events

Apr 05 - Election Day

Apr 07 - 8:30 am - Visit Blue Valley CAPS program

Apr 07 - 7:00 pm - CSDGKC Legislative Update (Independence)

Apr 08 - 11:30 am - Miles of Smiles Brush Up on Fashion Event (Argosy)

Apr 09 - 11:00 am - Northland Ethnic Festival (PHS)

Apr 12 - 4:15 pm - Policy Committee

Apr 12 - 6:15 pm - Reception for Incoming/Outgoing Board Members

Apr 12 - 7:00 pm - Board Reorganizational Meeting

Apr 19 - 10:00 am - MSBA School Board Advocacy Network Event (Jefferson City)

Apr 21 - 9:30 am - District Council PTA

Apr 25 - 7:15 am - Board Officer Agenda Review

Apr 27 - 5:30 pm - NRCC Excellence in Education Banquet

Apr 28 - 7:00 pm - Regular Board Meeting

Apr 29 - 7:30 am - Northland Community Foundation Breakfast (Harrah's)


School-Community-Professional Events (Mar 21-Apr 1)

Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education

Platte County Economic Development Council

Elementary and Secondary Principal Meetings

Board Candidate Informational Meetings

PTA Board Candidate Forum

Park Hill Professional Studies/Internship Student Meeting

School Visits - Renner, Park Hill High School

State Auditor – Cyber Audit – Boonville School District

The Boonville School District was the first of five school districts to undergo the State Auditor’s new cyber audit process. The State Auditor has released the Complete Audit Report on the findings of the cyber audit which includes a two-page Citizen’s Summary along with the district's responses to the recommendations. We anticipate the cyber audit will begin in Park Hill around April 18th.

Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education

Stephanie Amaya and I attended the Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education March 21-24. The Summit began with a full-day pre-conference course on Design Thinking in Schools. The Design Thinking process is based on a 5-step process, as follows: (1) Empathy (understanding the needs of the user or student); (2) Defining the problem; (3) Ideate/brainstorm solutions; (4) Prototype (make a model of the plan); and (5) Testing. In addition, we participated in amazing sessions ranging from an introduction to improvement science in education, continuous improvement approaches to develop high quality leaders, disparities in educational achievement, cycles of improvement to support professional development of teachers and incorporating student agency into the educational process. This conference will be used to continue the maturation process of our continuous improvement efforts.

Lakeview Substitute Administrator Note to the District

Jerry Arganbright, a retired principal from Iowa City, IA, has been serving as a substitute administrator at Lakeview Middle School due to Amber Kahler, Administrative Intern, being out on maternity leave. Following is a note that Mr. Arganbright shared with us regarding his experience at Lakeview. This is great recognition for the work that is occurring every day at Lakeview and the leadership of Mr. Larry Smith.

As I get close to concluding my time at Lakeview Middle School early next week covering for Amber Kahler, I wanted to drop you a short note of thanks. I have enjoyed my almost eight weeks at Lakeview, and it was actually fun to be part of all the energy within a good school in action. While I previously served many years in the high school setting in Iowa City, it was interesting and purposeful for me to be a part of another school and another school district. I told Principal Smith, if I was back in Iowa City I know there were quite a few processes and procedures I would take back with me.

I also wanted to add how much Larry Smith helped make my time at Lakeview enjoyable. In my years of working with many building administrators, Larry certainly does a great job in this position, and has very strong leadership skills. As you all likely know, he has strong skills working with kids, parents and staff; just my two cents for what it is worth. Thanks again, and guess it is time for me to get back to those undone projects Glenda has lined up at home, and hopefully improve my golf game a bit:)

CSDGKC Legislative Update

Click here to view Missouri General Assembly Legislative Update from Steven R. Carroll & Associates, Legislative Consultants-Lobbyists-Attorneys at Law.

~Academic Services

A Very Special Dance

Park Hill South Student Council is sponsoring a new event, the Essential Skills Dance. This dance will take place on April 2nd and was created to allow the high school and incoming freshman special education students to be able to attend a high school dance that isn't about the flashing lights, loud music, and crazy teenagers jumping around each other. Some students struggle to handle this kind of heightened sensory environment or understand how to interact with their peers in these situations. Therefore, the Park Hill South Student Council has created, with the help of Park Hill South's Special Education Teachers, Staff, and District Administration, a dance specially designed for these students.

The night will start off with a dinner served at 6 o'clock and will be followed by a dance and various activities from 7 until 9 o'clock. Throughout the duration of the event, many projects and activities have been planned for the students to participate in. First, students will be asked to properly set a table setting for themselves and help others around them. Secondly, students will be served dinner surrounded by members of Student Council, Parent Volunteers, Teachers and Administration. Students will be encouraged to engage in appropriate conversations and dinner etiquette throughout the night. After dinner, students will be given 3 options: go to the dance in the Gym, play different games we have selected, or participate in a photo booth with their friends and peers.

Teachers and Aids are welcomed and encouraged to come and participate in the night of activities with their students. We ask that adults wanting to share dinner with their students bring $5 to cover the cost of their meal. All profits from this dance will go to support the Special Education department at Park Hill South.

Essential Skills Teacher Honored by Down’s Syndrome Guild of KC

Congratulations to Essential Skills Teacher, Mamie Chambers. She was nominated by Lisa Roos as a Community Champion on World Down Syndrome Day (March 21st) for her support and advocacy for people with Down Syndrome. The Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City came to Hawthorn this week and surprised Mamie with balloons and a Target Gift Card for $50.00. Mamie is in her 2nd year of teaching here in Park Hill. She does an extraordinary job each day!

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Other School Districts Look to Park Hill for Continuous Improvement and MQA

This spring, Park Hill School District has been contacted by multiple school districts interested in our Missouri Quality Award process, continuous improvement classroom initiatives and other Quality processes. Earlier in March, the Mehlville School District (one of Park Hill’s comparative school districts) brought a team of 14 administrators, teachers and instructional staff to observe several of our schools. Park Hill's teachers and administrators shared, collaborated and taught other professionals about these concepts and deployment in the classroom. Mehlville’s team was very complimentary, expressing their positive learning experience about how well deployed our systems are throughout schools. They made comments about the effective use of data, PDSA cycles and classroom/school climate. In April and May, Joplin School District and Dunklin School District have confirmed visits for the same purposes.

Suicide Prevention Workshop Attended by Park Hill Staff

Dr. Chris Daniels, Dr. Corey Willich and Mrs. Stephanie Amaya attended a training on Suicide Prevention and Supportive Mental Health of Our School-Aged Youth this week. The workshop was the first in a series of mental health workshops aimed at reaching school district personnel in the KC-Metro area. The Mental Health Series is being provided by the KC-RPDC (Kansas City Regional Professional Development Council) at Union Station. The RPDC is a branch of UMKC and provides training and resources to local school districts around a multitude of topics. The session this month was taught by two professors from the UMKC Counseling Services Department. Highpoints of this presentation/training included identification of at-risk students, providing safe invitations to help, teaching participants how to ask students about suicide without saying the wrong thing, and providing practice situations for participants. This was a very efficient and effective training on a topic that is much needed within our schools.


Support Staff Update

The following listing of support personnel has occurred since 3-18-16:


  • Leive, Brian - Seasonal Grounds (Underground) 4-4-16
  • North, Christopher - Seasonal Grounds (Underground) 3-28-16
  • Pickard, Jared - Associate Teacher - English Landing 4-4-16
  • Pigg, Susan - Office Substitute - District Office
  • Richardson, Nick - Seasonal Grounds - Underground 4-4-16
  • Suchanick, Nicole - Administrative Assistant/Attendance (Graden) 4-13-16
  • Yusten, Loretta - Food Service Sub - Underground 3-28-16


  • Barringer, Bonnie - Certified Recess - Prairie Point 5-26-16
  • Bigler, Sherri - Food Service Manager - Line Creek 5-26-16
  • Listhartke, Seth - Lifeguard/Swim Instructor (Aquatic Center) 3-14-16
  • Meier, Lacey - Media Assistant - English Landing 5-26-16
  • Rohlfing, Brooke - Broadcast/Communications - District Office 5-20-16
  • Thomas, Stephanie - Site Manager - Gerner 4-8-16


  • Allen, Robyn
  • Bowman, Carly
  • Cooke, Laura
  • Hand, Amy
  • Hey, Kevin
  • Hickert, Preston
  • Kellogg, Annie
  • Lauffer-Mondt, JoAnn
  • Macias, Lisa
  • Simmons, Carol
  • Tate, Tricia
  • Taylor, Zach


Board Member Meeting Feedback

Click here to review Board Member Meeting Feedback from 3-31-16.