SMN News for September 10, 2018

Where tradition began, excellence continues.

Skyward- Family Access

In Family Access, parents and guardians can

  • keep track of your student's attendance, grades and assignments, and schedule.
  • view messages and updates posted by your student's teacher or principal.
  • update your student's emergency information.
  • use Skylert to choose which alerts you would like to receive and how you want to receive them.

In Student Access, students can

  • view homework assignments
  • view messages and updates posted by your teacher or principal

To login to Skyward web access, click the LOGIN button above.

⇒PARENTS and GUARDIANS: Each year you need to fill out the ONLINE VERIFICATION forms to update information for each of your students. Click here to find instructions to fill out those forms.

My Volunteer Pal (MVP)

Thank you for your interest in the Shawnee Mission School District’s My Volunteer Pal (MVP) program! Educating and caring for today’s students is a collaborative partnership, and volunteers play a valuable role in making our classrooms, schools and district great!

In as little as thirty minutes per week, you can make a positive difference in the life of a student. The Shawnee Mission School District MVP Program connects adult volunteers with students ages four to 18. MVPs can assist in a wide range of school activities, including mentoring, volunteering in the classroom, joining classes and schools for field trips, tutoring in a variety of subjects, or simply being a positive, adult role model in the life of a student. No special skills are required; only a willingness to commit your time and energy and the ability to develop a good relationship with a young person. Volunteers enjoy flexible schedules, and most activities take place on school grounds, during school hours.

Examples of opportunities include, but are not limited to:

· Chaperones for SMSD-approved Field Trips*

· Examples: band, orchestra, camps, Wildwood, Cheerleading, Dance Trips, DECA, journalism, thespians, sports, etc.

· Chat ‘n Chew

· Chess Club

· Mad Science**

· Master Gardeners**

· Mentors

· Classroom volunteers.

· Tutors

· Watch Dogs

*Refer to SMSD BOE Policy IFCB for a definition of USD 512 Approved Field Trips and Non-Sanctioned Field Trips.

**MVP training is required anytime a student is handed off to another adult before or after school who is not the parent, guardian, parent approved adult, or school employee (i.e. after-school activities).

Steps to Become a MVP Volunteer (please do these steps in order):

1. Complete an online MVP application. Visit for more information.

· It is recommended that MVP applicant’s begin the process at least six weeks prior to a scheduled event or activity.

· Applicants must complete the online application before they can do fingerprinting. Fingerprinting must be repeated every three years.

2. Attend a MVP training session. District training dates and times are posted on the “Volunteering” page on the district’s website: Check with specific schools for additional training opportunities.

· Morning MVP sessions, which combine the training and fingerprint screenings, are limited to 12 participants and require a reservation. Please call 913-993-6447 or email to check for availability and make a reservation.

3. Complete Fingerprinting. Drop-in fingerprint screening is available at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st Street, Shawnee Mission, KS 66204, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30a.m. to 12:00p.m. and from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.

· Fingerprint screenings can only be done AFTER attending a training session AND completing the online application.

Thank you again for your interest in the SMSD MVP Program. We are excited to work with you toward helping ALL students succeed! Please e-mail or call (913) 993-6447 for more information.


Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! Here are a few reminders for new and returning students/parents.

· If the student is more than 10 minutes late from the start of school the student must sign in at the Attendance Office and obtain a pass to class. The first 10 minutes you are considered tardy. After 10 minutes you will be marked absent.

· Parents if your student is ill, needs to leave early for an appointment, etc., you may leave a message on our hotline 24/7 at 913-993-6945. Please leave the students name, grade, reason, your name, your phone number and time to be released if applicable. We pick up calls frequently and ask you call at least 30 minutes prior to you picking up your student.

· Parents are not required to sign their students out in the Attendance Office. The student will sign themselves out and exit the front doors.

· If a student will be gone 3 or more days- they need to come to the Attendance Office prior to the absence and obtain a “Parents Formal Written Request for Extended Absence for More than Two Days” This form will need to completed/signed and returned to your students Associate Principal for approval.

· Shawnee Mission North follows the district attendance policy. We will mail to your home a letter making you aware that your student has missed 7 times in one or more class periods. Once your student has obtained 10 absences in one or more classes- documentation will be required to excuse the absence.

Should you have any question you may call our office.

Mindy O’Connell

Attendance Clerk


Why does my student have late start days every Thursday?

Have you ever wondered what goes on at school that causes your son or daughter to get an extra hour of sleep on Thursday’s and possibly throws a wrench in your scheduling and morning routine? During the time of 7:30am to 8:45am every Thursday morning, the teachers at SMN actively participate in what is called a Professional Learning Community (PLC). This PLC collaborative model offers a systems approach to school improvement. Teachers are organized into course specific, or interdisciplinary collaborative teams in which the teachers work interdependently to achieve common goals to ensure high levels of learning for every student. At the core of each PLC, the teachers discuss and attempt to answer the four following essential questions each week.

Four Essential Questions:

  1. What do we want students to learn? (essential, guaranteed and viable curriculum)
  2. How will we know if each student is learning each of the skills, concepts, and dispositions we have deemed most essential? (administer frequent, team-developed common, formative assessments)
  1. How will we respond when some of our students do not learn? (Timely, Directive, Systematic Intervention)
  2. How will we respond when they do learn? (Timely Enrichment/Extension)

Simply put, you can be assured that during that one hour and fifteen minutes of PLC time to kick off the day each Thursday morning, each and every teacher at SMN is utilizing their time and resources effectively to make sure their focus is on student learning rather than “teaching.” If you have further questions about the PLC process or how it works, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Higgins

Upcoming Changes to our Calendar

To our Parents/Guardians & Community

In the next newsletter (published on 9/24/2018) there will be information regarding changes in our Master Calendar. In the past we have utilized a PDF calendar and this year we will be moving to a different platform. Please stay tuned for information and assistance in being able to access our calendar for all school events.

North Area Parent Information Nights

In an effort to raise awareness of pressing issues that we are facing in our community, give parents/guardians access to knowledge and resources, as well as bring community agencies to the parents/guardians, East Antioch has organized North Area Parent Information Nights. Each quarter there will be a different topic and speaker arranged.

Fliers for the first two events are attached.

First Call ( a local non-profit that provides clinical, educational and prevention services to individuals and families in Greater Kansas City impacted by substance use disorders, will be presenting at our first night event on September 26th at 6:30pm at East Antioch.

SPEAK UP ( a local non-profit united in breaking the silence and reducing stigma surrounding all mental illness and suicide. They will be presenting on Thursday, November 29th at 6:30pm at Hocker Grove Middle School.

Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Did you know that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth aged 11-18? If a friend comes to you for help, remember to ACT:

Acknowledge: Take it seriously and listen attentively. The majority of people who die by suicide gave some indication of their intention to those close to them.

Care: Let the person know that you care and understand.

Tell: Tell a trusted adult. Examples include parents, teachers, counselors, social workers, resource officers, and any other adult you trust. That adult can help your friend find the support he/she needs.

Let’s look out for one another, and together we can prevent suicide. (Sources: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Infographic, Learn to ACT)

Donations Welcome

During lunch, students will be able to access our Rose Garden. We would like to take this opportunity to ask for donations to assist us in fixing up the space. If you have picnic tables to donate, that would be appreciated as well. If you would like to make a donation to help us with this project, please contact Dr. Jeremy Higgins.

New Macbooks


If you haven’t noticed yet, your student has received and is hopefully completing homework on their new shiny MacBook Air to use from the school district. With these new MacBook’s comes added responsibility of the student’s part. To help protect the MacBook and also protect your bank account, we are mandating that each student is to leave on the case that has been provided by the district. If you notice that your son or daughter does not have a case protecting the device, please instruct them to go see Ms. Crawford (in the Learning Commons) or Mr. Jamison (in the office) immediately to get the case put back on or to purchase another one. Our teachers have been instructed to take the MacBook if they see a student device without a case. If you have questions about this policy or specific questions about your student’s MacBook, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Crawford or Mr. Jamison.

Fees associated with damage to the MacBook:

  • MacBook Airs
    • 1st Damaged Device: $100.00
    • 2nd Damaged Device: $150.00
    • 3rd and Subsequent Device Damage: Actual cost of repair/replacement or $300.00 whichever is greater.
    • Accessories and parts that don’t carry a warranty are charged at actual replacement cost.
    • Stolen Device: Proof of being stolen, such as a filed police report, must be provided to prevent being charged the replacement cost of the device. A damaged device fee may still be incurred. If proof of theft cannot be supplied the student will incur the full replacement cost of the device.
    • Lost Device: A lost device will incur the replacement cost of the device.
  • Replacement Costs for Items Not Covered by the new Fee Structure.
    • Apple MacBook Charger Replacement - $79
    • MacBook Case Replacement - $45
    • Apple Duckhead - $10
  • Full Replacement Costs for Devices
    • MacBook - $747.40

Graduation 2018 Ceremonies

To access the commencement videos, on the SMSD main page, hover over “Academics” and click on “Graduation”

Then you can view or download the video.

NHS Induction Ceremony

Wednesday, Sep. 12th, 6:30pm

7401 Johnson Drive

Overland Park, KS

Ceremony will begin in the Auditorium with a reception to follow in the Learning Commons.

Pep Club Announcements

Homecoming Parade – Friday, September 14th at 1:45

Homecoming Game – Friday, September 14th at 7 p.m. (announcement of Homecoming Queen and attendants at halftime)

Spirit Week – September 10th- 14th

Monday: Fandom Day

Tuesday: Neon Day

Wednesday: Backwards Day

Thursday: Teacher Student Swap Day

Friday: Class Color Day (Freshmen – White, Sophomores – Gray, Juniors – Red, Seniors – Black)

Purchase a 2019 Yearbook

2019 Yearbooks can be purchased through the bookkeeper in the main office or at through Jan. 19, 2019. Cost is $48 if purchased at school.

If you didn't purchase your book during fee payment, the money ($48) or a check made out to SM North, can be taken to the bookkeeper by January 19. If you would like to pay with a credit card, payment can be made at Choose SM North. There is a $2 service fee if you choose to pay online.

After Jan. 19, only 65 extra overstock supply of yearbooks will be available for $65. These will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Once they are gone, none will be available.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Indian adviser, Becky Tate at 913-993-7012.

Senior and Underclass Photos were sent home with students on Sept. 6 and 7

Those wishing to have a retake can sign up in the office for retake day Oct. 19.

Retakes cost $3 for anyone not purchasing a photo package.

Picture Retake sign up sheets are in the front office, the sign up deadline is Oct. 12 and retakes will be on Oct. 19.

If you did not order a picture package, there is a $3 retake fee that you can pay the photographer from Rolland Studios at the time of retake.

If you have yet to take a photo and are taking a photo for the first time, there is no retake charge as this is a first-time photo. You should also sign up in the office so we can send you a pass.

Passes will be emailed out to students prior to October 19.

Proofs and pre-ordered photo packages were passed out in English classes on Sept. 6 and 7. If you wish to order photos online you can do so at using the code on the photo package.

If you did not receive your proofs or photo package, please check with your English teacher or with the office.

If you have any other questions or problems, please email or call yearbook adviser Becky Tate.


Senior Tributes in 2019 Yearboook

Don't miss out on celebrating your senior's graduation with an Senior Tribute in the 2019 Indian.

The first deadline is Sept. 18.

Our 1-on-1 Senior Tribute Design night will be scheduled the Tuesday prior to the first two deadlines (Sept. 18 and Oct. 16).

Seniors love to see a Senior Tribute purchased by their loved ones in the yearbook at the end of the year, don't be left behind, purchase one now!

There are three due dates for ads, with prices increasing after each deadline.

* After the first deadline on Sept. 18, the prices increase.

Senior Tribute forms can be dropped off at the SMN front office or mailed to SM North attn. Becky Tate.

If you would like to pay with a credit card and/or submit all your photos and Senior Tribute contract online, they can be uploaded and paid for at Choose SM North.

After you send your Senior Tribute in, you should see a proof by Feb. 9. Not all will be done by then, but a majority will be. If you haven't seen yours by then, please call 913-993-7012 or email and check on the ad. Photos will be returned in late April.

Thanks so much for your support of the Indian yearbook and we look forward to designing your senior’s ad.

If you have any questions, please contact yearbook advisor Becky Tate at 913-993-7012 or at .

News from Choir

The Shawnee Mission North Choir Department kicked off the school year with a day-long retreat. Students participated in various activities including yoga for singers, specialized vocal training, section rehearsals, team building exercises, and a car wash. The choir students were joined by parents and siblings to end the day with an Ice Cream Social, singing the SMN Alma Mater en masse in front of the Brick House.

SMN Choirs will begin our annual Mum Sale on September 17. Consider us in your fall decoration purchases. Watch for flyers soon!

The first SMN Choir Concert will be on October 9 in the SMN Auditorium at 7 pm. Admission is free.

ELA 1 Honors

In Natalie Johnson-Berry’s Honors 9 ELA classes students read their first short story “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. They engaged in a simulated activity for this story as a form of experiential learning and to extend student thinking. As a follow-up, students participated in a Socratic seminar to achieve a deeper understanding of the text, critically question, examine, and explore different perspectives, viewpoints, and moral implications of the story. To further extend their learning and skill set students completed multiple types of writing to understand how mood and tone impact a text. The clip below represents a small portion of the simulated activity.

Following these exercises, students also participated in a question and answer period with former honors students to help prepare them for the expectations of Honors ELA.

In Natalie Johnson-Berry’s ELA 1 classes students are exploring the various ways writers effectively incorporate characterization within a text and gaining a better understanding of irony through the short story “The Sniper.” Students took part in various activities such as concentric circles, perspective writing, philosophical chairs, to communicate their viewpoints on major concepts and themes.