Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, October 2021

Dear Graden Families,

Thursday, October 21st, marks the end of the first quarter. We have engaged in many learning opportunities this quarter and I am proud of all of our Hornet's hard work. I encourage you to take time with your child to reflect on their growth and numerous accomplishments he/she has gained in the first quarter of school.

We have over 150 students participating in building leadership roles spanning from the cafeteria, bus, office, safety, and greeter leaders! We truly have leadership occurring in every aspect of our building.

The Graden Fun Run Fundraiser will begin on Tuesday, October 18th and run through Tuesday, October 26th. I am excited for Graden to participate in the Fun Run this year and can't wait to see how much fun our students have. Read below for more information and watch for more communication in the future.

Our fall parties will be Thursday, October 21st. Though we are still not able to have parent volunteers in the building, each classroom is planning a fun and engaging day for students. We will also have ways that families can help by donating items for projects and treats. More information below and from your classroom teacher in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, October 22nd will be a NO school day for Park Hill Elementary students as teachers will be working on preparing report cards and finalizing information for the end of the quarter.

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held Wednesday, November 3rd and Thursday, November 4th. If you have yet to sign-up for a conference time, please reach out to your classroom teacher.

In closing, I would like to thank each of you for all that you do at home to support all of us at Graden. It truly takes a village to provide exceptional learning experiences for our Hornets and I appreciate all of your support!

It's truly a GREAT DAY to be a HORNET!!!

Dr. Vanna Easley, Principal

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Monday, October 4th: Fun Run Fundraiser Registration Opens (See Below)

Wednesday, October 6th: Early Release - 2:00 pm

Monday, October 11th: PTA Meeting - 6:30 pm

Thursday, October 14th: Mathletics Competition - 4:45 pm

Monday, October 18th: Fun Run Fundraising Event Begins

Monday, October 18th: David Kilpatrick Reading Parent Night (See Below)

Thursday, October 21st: First Quarter Ends

Thursday, October 21st: Fall Parties

Tuesday, October 26th: Fun Run EVENT

Thursday, October 27th: 3rd Grade Musical - 6:30 pm

Friday, October 29th: First Quarter Report Cards Available on Infinite Campus

Graden Fun Run Fundraiser Information

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We are excited to kick off our Hornet Fun Run on October 18th!

If you are not familiar with the Fun Run, you can find information about the fundraiser and the event at

This is a fundraiser to support healthy habits, leadership and character. Each day students will learn a different leadership or character lesson and we will wrap up our fundraiser on October 26th with a Fun RUN event outside on the track. All students will participate in the Hornet Fun Run, regardless of financial participation.

Our goal is to raise $15,000 for our monthly Leader in Me interest group days and our cultural arts assemblies. We would like to also continue to update our playground with additional equipment that makes it accessible for all of our students. Families can donate using the online platform an amount per lap ran (maximum 35 laps) or a flat rate.

Just as we worked to safely begin school this year, we are also safely hosting this event based on our school’s current guidelines. We’ll send more details, as we get closer to our kick off.

Key Dates to Remember:

Our goal is to have 80% of our Hornet families registered for this event.

Each classroom will have goals for registration as well.

We will have building-wide and classroom celebrations if we meet our goals.

  • October 11th: Donating Starts
  • October 18th: Fundraiser Kick Off at Graden
  • October 26th: Fun Run Event Day

I am beyond grateful for our Graden families and all you do to support our school! Thank you for your support this year!

More information will be sent home in backpacks.

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Food Supply Challenges
We recently shared that food and labor shortages are affecting our ability to get enough food to feed our students.

Because our community and our Board of Education supported our need to build a district warehouse, we can stockpile some foods, if we can get them. This is helping us ensure that we are still able to feed our students, while we look for other sources that allow us to meet the strict federal nutrition guidelines we must follow.

Our students and families might notice that we are offering less options, that our menus might change after we post them, and that we can't get certain foods, like cereal.

We will continue to update you on the impacts of this situation.

New Birthday Treat Guidelines
Because of food and labor shortages, our Nutrition Services department can no longer provide birthday treats after Friday, Sept. 17.

If you already ordered treats, we will be able to fill orders that were scheduled to go out this week. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we must cancel any birthday treat orders that were scheduled to go out on Monday, Sept. 20 or later. If you need a refund, please let us know.

Approved Birthday Treats:
We will start allowing families to send birthday treats if they want to do so, as long as they come from our list of treats that contain none of the major allergens.

Thank you for understanding that all classroom treats must come from this list, because we do not have the staff capacity to check for allergens that could threaten the health of some students.

Please bring birthday treats ahead of time (two hours after the start of school, at the latest).

  • Stickers
  • Erasers
  • Pencils
  • Crazy straws
  • Blow Pops
  • Juice boxes
  • Popcorn
  • Smarties
  • Dum Dum lollipops
  • Jelly Belly
  • Nerds
  • Ring Pops
  • Skittles
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Starburst
  • Swedish Fish
  • Life Saver Gummies
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We will have early release day once a month for teachers and staff to engage in professional development to continue to enhance learning opportunities for students.

We will release ALL students at 2:00 pm on early release days.

Please communicate with your classroom teacher and the office if you have alternate transportation on early release days.

2021-22 Early Release Days:

Wednesday, October 6th

Wednesday, November 10th

Wednesday, December 8th

Wednesday, January 5th

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd

Wednesday, March 2nd

Wednesday, April 6th

Wednesday, May 4th

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Interest groups will be held on early release days. Each Interest group day will include a virtual assembly and a classroom interest group activity. Students and staff will wear their leadership shirts and engage in Interest Group Day within their stable classrooms. We hope to create amazing opportunities for students to continue practicing Habit 8

Interest Group Schedule:

Wednesday, October 6th

Wednesday, November 10th

Wednesday, December 8th

Wednesday, January 5th

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd

Wednesday, March 2nd

Wednesday, April 6th

Wednesday, May 4th

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This year our Fall Parties will be on Thursday, October 21st. Each grade level has planned a fun celebration to have with their students in their classrooms. Though we are not able to have visitors at this time, we are excited that families can participate in sending donations to school to help each classroom celebrate.

Be on the lookout for communication from your child's teacher. They will provide you with more information about the day and have a place for families to sign-up to donate items needed for the parties.


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As you know, we have been working diligently in the building to ensure that all COVID safety protocols are followed. It is important that we let you know of the updated bus expectations as well.

  • Per transportation, drivers are expected to wear their masks when students are loading and unloading, but are NOT required to be masked as they are driving.

  • Students are required to wear their masks for the duration of the ride and stay in their assigned seats.

We wanted to share these two pieces of information with you as you may hear from your student that the driver is unmasked. If this is the case, please see the information above. If you have further concerns, you can contact First Student directly at 359-4560. Additionally, it is imperative that when students ride the bus that they remain masked. We are working to reiterate this expectation, but this mitigation strategy is allowing for minimal quarantines.

Thank you for your continued support!

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What: Elementary Family Night

Who: David Kilpatrick

When: October 18, 2021 form 6:00-7:30

Where: Park Hill South Auditorium 4500 River Park Dr, Riverside, MO 64150

Why: This is a Title I parent engagement activity to support the parent/school connection in the area of reading research and dyslexia.

  • Research and Dyslexia
    • What works and what doesn’t
  • Helping your child, nuts and bolts
    • Free resources to support your child’s learning at home
  • Q&A with author, researcher, and school psychologist, Dr. David Kilpatrick

Our goal is to share this important information with parents and guardians and we do not want child care to be a barrier. While children are welcome to attend, this is not an interactive child friendly session. This session is designed to support parents and provide the most current research on reading development.

If you are interested in joining the Reading Best Practices Family Night on Monday, October 18th, please complete the sign-up form. This will solidify your spot and ensure we have resources for you.


I am looking forward to more Chiefs football, spooky season, and cooler weather as we transition to Fall this month! I enjoyed working with your students on emotion identification and regulation last month. For October, all grade levels will continue to focus on emotion regulation through the use of healthy coping strategies. Counseling small groups will start this month as well. Visit the Graden Counseling Website for monthly counseling newsletters, community resources, and parent referral forms, as well as several other fun resources to cultivate social and emotional development. I have also attached a direct link to the October Counseling Newsletter below. 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. Happy Fall and GO CHIEFS!

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Meet our Board Members:

Jamie Fender, President

Hayley Cooper, Vice President

Lindsay Ramon, Secretary

Maggie Wright, Treasurer

Jessica Freels, Parliamentarian

2021-22 PTA Meeting Dates

October 11th

November 8th

December 13th

January 10th

February 21st

March 21st

May 9th


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.


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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