Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Family Newsletter, April, 2022

Dear Hornet Families,

As we settle into fourth quarter, I want to take another moment to thank each and every one of you for all of your support this year.

Our Read-A-Thon was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!! Thank your for your generosity and donations. We are so excited that we reached our goal and absolutely couldn't have done it without each of you.

We are preparing for our annual MAP test for students online and face-to-face in third-fifth grade. The MAP testing window opens May 2nd and runs through the end of the year. Continue reading this newsletter to find out more information about the assessment.

We are also planning for Kindergarten Kick-Off. This year our kick-off event is scheduled for Thursday, May 5, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. This will be a face-to-face event for all incoming kindergarten students and their families. Families will be able to sign-up for a schedule block of time to visit Graden, meet our kindergarten teachers and take a tour. Please spread the word to neighbors and friends who have children who will attend Graden in the fall of 2022. Students need to be 5 by July 31 in order to enroll for the 2022-23 school year. More information will be sent home prior to the event.

As a reminder, we will not have school on Monday, April 18th.

Thank you for all that you do to support Graden!

-Dr. Easley


Wednesday, April 6th: Early Release Dismissal at 2:00 pm

Friday, April 8th: Graden Carnival - 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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

Thursday, April 14th: Kindergarten Musical - 6:30 pm

Monday, April 18th: No School

Wednesday, April 20th: Spring Showcase/Art Fair/Book Fair -5:30 pm

Monday, April 25th - Friday, April 29th: Staff Appreciation week


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The Park Hill Board of Education placed Proposition I and Proposition N on the April 5 ballot. Together, these questions mean no tax rate increase, and they would allow us to maintain the community's investment in our facilities and bring them up to date. They would also let us build a 12th elementary to help us move students out of classroom trailers and maintain class sizes. And they would help us maintain our high-quality school operations, including keeping our staff salaries competitive, so we can recruit and retain the best teachers and support staff.

You can find out more information on the district website, including specific ways the no-tax-increase ballot propositions will affect our school.


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As we prepare to allow volunteers back in our buildings, starting with the fourth quarter on Monday, March 21, we will have a few new rules in place to protect the safety of our students. This is partly a result of a state law about volunteer screenings.

  • Any volunteer who will be alone with students must have a full screening, which includes a criminal background check, a check of the child abuse and neglect registry, and a check of the sexual offender registry. We have more details about the screening on the district website at
  • All volunteers must read and agree to the rules in our policy.
  • Each volunteer will sign in and reaffirm the rules each time they arrive at a school to volunteer.
  • If you previously completed a background check with Park Hill, you must do it again, because the earlier screening process did not include the criminal background check.

Please note that to volunteer in our schools, you must coordinate with school administrators to see whether there is a volunteer position open for you.

Visitors who will never be alone with students will not need a full background screening, but they will use our sign-in process, which checks the sexual offender registry.

Thank you for your help as we work to keep our students safe!

Screened Volunteers:

  • Any volunteer who will be alone with students must have a full screening, which includes a criminal background check, a check of the child abuse and neglect registry, and a check of the sexual offender registry. Volunteers must complete the paperwork (attached below) and return to the Park Hill Communications department.
  • Visitors who will never be alone with students will not need a full background screening, but they will use our sign-in process, which checks the sexual offender registry.
  • If you completed a background check with Park Hill before March 2020, you must do it again, because the earlier screening process did not include the criminal background check.
  • All volunteers must read and agree to the rules in our policy and procedure, and each volunteer will sign in and reaffirm the rules each time they arrive at a school to volunteer.
  • The district will receive updates if a volunteer’s screening status changes. Someone’s volunteer status can change at any time.
  • The district must pay a fee of $42.75 for each background check, as required by the state. If you would like to donate to help defray this expense, please enclose a check made out to the Park Hill School District for this amount with your screening form. This donation is not required.

The screening process can take up to two weeks or longer, depending on the time of year. Please be aware of this when submitting your application in anticipation of volunteering for specific events.


We are very excited to welcome lunch visitors back to Graden this quarter! If you would like to join your Hornet for lunch, please bring your license upon check-in at the Graden office. If you plan to purchase a school lunch, please have funds in your student's account of bring payment with you.

Visitors may also join recess after lunch. Please head immediately to the Graden office after recess to check-out.

Graden Lunch Schedule:

Kindergarten: 11:00 am -11:20 am

1st Grade: 11:20 am - 11:40 am

2nd Grade: 11:40 am - 12:00 pm

3rd Grade: 12:20 pm - 12:40 pm

4th Grade: 12:00 pm - 12:20 pm

5th Grade: 12:45 pm - 1:05 pm


All Graden families will need to update their registration and residency in the Parent Portal beginning Monday, April 4th. 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.

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


Graden staff make placement of students very carefully. Many factors must be considered, including learning styles, boy/girl ratios, academic achievement, behavior, peer relations, and student/teacher characteristics.

Extenuating circumstances or valid reasons sometimes exist that the school is not aware of, therefore we are providing this opportunity for you to have input regarding the placement for your child. This form may not be used to request a particular teacher or to be placed with particular students. Please do not use the form below to request a teacher by name.

If you would like to provide input, please complete the form below and bring it to the Graden office.

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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.

Early Release Days:

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, April 6th

Wednesday, May 4th



To order you yearbook visit:

and enter code: 62854X



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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20TH - 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

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We are so pleased to be able to hold our annual Art Fair this year during the Spring Showcase event!

There is some important information to know ahead of time:

The Art Fair will be hosted by Artome, who will frame and display a piece of artwork for every student! These frames will be available for purchase online between April 12th and April 20th for $28 each. Parents who purchase the frames prior to OR at the event will be able to pick up the framed artwork to take home with them on April 20th. More information on how to complete this purchase will be sent out closer to the event date.

Proceeds from every purchase will go to the art department at Graden to be spent on art supplies and experiences for the following school year! *Please note, students who did not attend Graden during the completion of Artome projects may have an alternative piece of work displayed in or outside of the gym.

Additional artwork will be on display throughout the hallways, including work by students which was selected to be displayed at the Park Hill District Art Fair on April 23rd and 24th. These pieces will be designated by a sticker and information about this district event will be sent home with students in April.

All artwork will be sent home before the end of the school year! In the meantime, work can be viewed through

Questions about the Art Fairs, Artome, or Artsonia should be directed to (K-2) and (3-5)


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Graden Families!

Staff Appreciation Week is quickly approaching!! Let's show our MVP Staff that they are NUMBER 1! We are so grateful for our wonderful families that help PTA make this such a fun and memorable week for our Graden Team.

We couldn't do it without you. Below you will find a wide variety of items needed for the Dugout Snack and Bev Station that will be up ALL week and is a staff favorite!!!

We would also like to gift each of our 65 staff members with an Amazon Gift Card. Please have all items to the Graden office by Friday, April 22nd at 4:00 pm.

Also, encourage your students to participate by dressing in the spirit wear theme each day and writing notes to bring to their teachers, telling the staff "Thank You" for all they do each day, or anything that goes out of their way to make it a memorable week for our Graden Team!

Thanks for making this week a GRAND SLAM!

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The MAP testing window will be open Monday, May 2nd - Friday, May 13th 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 will send a schedule home as well. 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!

As our third, fourth and fifth grade students prepare to show what they know, please look for more information to come in the weeks ahead regarding testing preparations and details from your classroom teacher.

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Each year during standardized testing it is our goal to provide all of the students with a snack on each of their testing days. Please review the following snack guidelines before signing up:

1. Signups are list by teacher and testing dates. Snacks should be delivered to Graden AT LEAST one day prior to the testing date you choose below.

2. Snacks should be dry, individually pre-packaged, and should NOT require refrigeration. Suggested snack items are crackers, individually packaged muffins, fruit snacks, granola bars, chips, popcorn, cereal, cookies, etc. Please avoid donating any items containing nuts.

3. All snacks must be in original package and clearly labeled with the grade level and teacher's name.

If you wish to contribute a snack for your child's class please find the teacher's name below. Click on the Sign Up box next to the testing date, then scroll down and click on Submit and Sign Up. Enter your name or your student's name and an email address and click Sign Up Now!

We ask that you provide enough snacks for 30 students. You may send snacks in with your student up to one week in advance. Please have them drop off snacks in the office for storage until the testing days arrive.

Please be sure to follow the guidelines above to ensure your donation is put to good use. We appreciate your support!

Graden PTA



Thursday, May 5, 2022: 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 QR code or 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 2022-2023 school year.

Please note that all vaccines need to be completed prior to the first day of school as mandated by the state of Missouri. Unfortunately, if these are not complete, your child cannot come to school on August 22, 2022. The vaccine record should reflect vaccine dates with an administration date of either 2021 or 2022. If your child has not received the 4-5 year old recommended shots, please make an appointment as soon as possible with your health care provider or the health department. Please click the link for additional information. If you have specific questions or concerns contact the nurse, Kris Morris at 359-4344.

Enroll your kindergartener beginning April 4th 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 always look forward to celebrating our fifth grade Hornets at the end of each year. We are so excited that our fifth graders will enjoy the 5th grade track meet in May (more information to come) as well as the 5th grade choir concert and many other exciting events that have been postponed that past few years.

This year we will celebrate with a grade level pizza party on Wednesday, May 25th. The 5th grade team is working on a fun, engaging and awesome day filled with celebrations, awards, recognitions and delicious pizza.

5th Grade Parade:

We will continue our new tradition of having an end of the year 5th grade Promotion Parade on Wednesday, May 25th 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, special teachers, administration and many other staff members. We are looking forward to celebrating this monumental time with all of our 5th graders.

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I am so excited to be focusing on College and Career Awareness this month! Please see below for our College and Career Spirit Week (!!!) calendar. Visit the Graden Counseling Website for previous counseling newsletters, community resources, and parent referral forms, as well as several other fun resources to cultivate social and emotional development. As always, I am available to chat via email, phone, or in person (YAY!) if you would like to schedule a time to meet. You can reach me by email at or via phone at 816-359-5647. It’s going to be an awesome month!

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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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Meet our Board Members:

Jamie Fender, President

Hayley Cooper, Vice President

Lindsay Ramon, Secretary

Maggie Wright, Treasurer

Jessica Freels, Parliamentarian


April 11th

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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