Key News

Harrisonville Schools E-newsletter - December 19, 2018

News & Notes

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From Superintendent Mensching - Listening posts, surveys, conversations feedback shared

Over the last five months, we have collected feedback and input from staff, parents, community members, and students through Listening Posts, a Town Hall, a Community Conversation event, a survey, booster and civic group meetings, and just simple chats. It’s a lot of information, but we’ve tried to consolidate it, find themes, and put it in a format that easy to understand. The document below is that summary. The conversations will not stop with this summary….we have staff listening posts scheduled at each school for Jan/Feb; we have another Community Conversation event in the spring; and we are working to ensure that listening and engaging staff, parents, students, and the community in the conversation is the way we work moving forward. We also know that this summary includes broad themes and we heard many suggestions and questions about very specific issues. Although those may not have made it on this summary, we have them on our radar and will continue to work to improve things that can be improved and answer questions as we are able. We are truly appreciative of everyone who took time to share and hope that you continue to offer ideas, provide feedback, and participate in conversations moving forward.

-Paul Mensching, Superintendent

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Eighth graders learn about opportunities at Cass Career Center

Harrisonville Middle School eighth graders spent a half day visiting the Cass Career Center on December 6. Next year, the students will be able to take a variety of classes offered at the district’s career and technical school. The students had the opportunity to visit each program at the school and current students talked to the eighth graders about the classes.

Coffey, Johnson move on to middle school spelling bee

McEowen Elementary School fifth grader Abbey Coffey has won the school’s spelling bee and will now represent her classmates in the district spelling bee.

During a school-wide assembly on December 14, Coffey beat out 32 other finalists for the championship. The winning word was volition and the bee went 35 rounds.

Earning second place was fifth grader Brayden Johnson. He will also move on to the district spelling bee.

The finalists were selected based on a written spelling test given in each class at the school. The top two scorers from each class made it to the school-wide bee.

Finalists qualifying for the bee included Brayden Johnson, Emily Mercer, Quinn Julian, Austin Knight, Ethan Hiser, Corbin Rybert, Cole Purtle, Chloe Willet, Chasity Black, Xavier Cunningham, Jocelyn Courter, Gabby Hankins, Kierstin Wilson, Jackson Alvarez, Abbey Coffey, Ryder Schenker, Anna Tews, Bethany Sharp, Brecken Sullivan, Skylar Pelsor, Presley Feeback, Nickolas Kirkemo, Lyra Johnson, Molly Melzer, Ethan Stone, Joseph Miller, Hunter Jones, Wyatt Flannery, Ben Wooten, Annie Rhoney, Tori Baker, and Elizabeth Gillespie.

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Highlights delivered to mailboxes

The district's newsletter, Harrisonville Highlights, was delivered to mailboxes last week. If you live out of district or did not receive one, you can read the entire newsletter by clicking here. Read about...

*Superintendent Mensching's thoughts from first semester

*HHS's online course offerings through Longview

*Life Careers students' coffee shop & Farmer's Market booth

*Bright Futures Station 42

*Middle school students' solar charger at Memorial Stadium

*CCC marketing students real-world projects supporting local business

*Community Calendar of Events, Jan.-Mar.

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Holiday Store brings smiles to participants, volunteers

Bright Futures Harrisonville hosted the fifth annual Holiday Store on Saturday, Dec. 8. The Holiday Store is an event at which any school-age child can shop for presents for family and friends.

The store is made possible through donations from the community of “inventory” for the store, high school and middle school student volunteers who act as personal shopping assistants, and a local 4H group who provides the gift wrapping services.

“This is a perfect example of what Bright Futures is all about,” said event co-chair Deb Welhoff. “The community comes together to support our children with donations for the store and students ‘work’ the event as shoppers and gift wrappers to give back to their community.”

Children purchased tickets to the store for 25 cents per ticket and each item in the store was one ticket. The children shopped with their assistant, chose if they wanted their presents wrapped or if they wanted to take wrapping paper home, and then had the chance to visit with Santa.

Event co-chair Tina Graef said, “This event is definitely one of my favorite things we do. The smiles on the children’s faces - both shoppers and volunteers - is what the holiday season is all about.”

The Holiday Store took place at the Harrisonville Middle School gym. Parents enjoyed refreshments and waited in the cafeteria for their shoppers so as not to see their gifts.

For more information on Bright Futures Harrisonville, visit the Facebook page at

Bright Futures Shout Outs

  • to DECA, friends of Christie Mangan, and friends of Michelle Wilson for packing backpacks in December.
  • to Mrs. Neal's class who did a coin collection and then shopped for their Classroom Partner - Hope Haven's Holiday Store.
  • to Troby's Maytag who donated a brand new washer & dryer to McEowen Elementary School (see photo below).
  • to the generous donor who gave a French horn and clarinet to the Katie Rios Instrument Closet at HMS.
  • to all the groups, organizations, families, and individuals who adopted families for the holidays.
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District Points of Pride

  • HHS Students of the Month for December were Bailey Kliewer and Zach Chaney. Read more about them here. You can also watch their video here -

  • Congrats to Harrisonville High School senior Sam East for earning 1st place in the HHS Holiday Wrestling Tournament for the second year in a row! He also earned his 100th win on Friday night at the tournament!

  • Congratulations to Harrisonville High School senior Bailey Kliewer on signing a letter of intent to play basketball at Rogers State University in Tulsa, OK during a signing ceremony on December 11 at HHS.

  • Cass Career Center inducted 72 students into their chapter of the National Technical Honor Society on December 7. The four criteria for membership into NTHS at Cass Career Center are scholarship, character, attendance, and leadership. Students must excel in all four areas in order to qualify for membership. Each member of the 2018-19 NTHS Induction class met these standards and has the honor of representing Cass Career Center in this national organization. During the morning and afternoon ceremonies, 18 second-year members were also honored.

  • Congratulations to senior Connor Blentlinger and junior Evan Filer for being named to the soccer All-State team. Blentlinger earned First Team honors and Filer was an Honorable Mention.

  • Ten Harrisonville High School and Harrisonville Middle School students traveled to Municipal Auditorium on Friday, December 7 to participate in Tuba Christmas. Tuba and euphonium players from across the metro to be a part of the event where they set a world record of 835 tubas. The students spent the morning practicing and then performed a concert.

  • Three Harrisonville High School band student have earned statewide recognition for their musical talent. Sophomore Selah Norman was named All-State Honorable Mention Band, flute; junior Michael Dahn earned All-State Honorable Mention Jazz Band, bass trombone; and senior Zach Austin was named All-State Honorable Mention Band, trombone during auditions in Columbia on December 1.

  • Harrisonville High School sophomore Lillian Capen has been selected as a scholarship recipient for the 2019 Washington Journalism and Media Conference. She will attend the conference in Washington DC this summer at George Mason University.

  • Harrisonville Elementary School honored students during the monthly awards assembly in early December. Read more here.

  • Harrisonville is once again part of the Sonic Locker Room Radio Show. Each week, a district activity is spotlighted on the show which airs at 4:45 p.m. on Monday on 1030 AM. All shows are also archived online at for the year.
  • Our students' artwork is displayed each month through the Art in the Community program. The artwork can be viewed at Country Club Bank (S. Commercial location), the Cass County Public Library, Community Bank of Harrisonville (291 Hwy), Commerce Bank, Brick House Coffee Bar & Eatery, Schroeder Chiropractic, the Chamber of Commerce, and the District’s Administrative Office Lobby and Board of Education Room (503 S. Lexington).

Photos from Around the District

Board of Education

Board candidate filing open through Jan. 15

Filing for Harrisonville School Board of Education candidates began Tuesday, December 11 at 8 a.m. at the Administrative Offices, 503 S. Lexington. Some of the requirements for candidates for the Board of Education are as follows: must be a citizen of the US, a resident taxpayer in the Harrisonville Cass R-IX School District, and at least 24 years of age. Candidates must have lived in Missouri for at least one year preceding the election. For a full list of candidate requirements, go to

Filing closes on January 15 at 5 p.m. Offices to be filled are two (3) three-year positions. Board members whose terms expire are Tina Graef and Gina Smith.

The Board election is April 2, 2019.

December Board Meeting Summary

The Harrisonville Schools Board of Education is considering the addition of a computer science program for students in grades 7-12. Assistant Superintendent Dan Erholtz presented information to the Board at their regular December meeting on Dec. 18 about a plan to add courses at Harrisonville Middle School, Harrisonville High School, and Cass Career Center.

“After hearing the need for computer skills throughout all industries, looking at our current computer science offerings, and complying with new computer science requirements from DESE, the district wanted to develop a computer science continuum that would reach from 7th grade through the Cass Career Center,” said Mr. Erholtz.

For the 2019-20 school year, the proposal would add Computer Science Fundamentals, a quarter-long course, for eighth graders and Computer Science Discoveries, a semester-long course, for ninth grade. Seventh graders currently take Apps Maker, a quarter-long course.

The Cass Career Center would also add a Networking and Cyber Security block program for juniors and seniors this next school year as well.

“The feedback we have received from students, sending school counselors and administrators, and our industry partners all spotlight our need to add an IT program to our offerings. After visiting some of the top career centers in our state, it was evident we needed to focus our efforts in networking and cybersecurity. We are excited to be offering students the opportunity to achieve three nationally recognized certifications within the two-year program here at the CCC,” said CCC Director Jeanette Flanner.

During the 2020-21 school year, HHS would add a year-long Computer Science Principles course.

The new HMS and HHS courses would use a free, online curriculum and teacher training would be done through Science City. No new teachers would need to be added at HMS or HHS and the courses can be taught using Chromebooks which the students already use. There would be an additional staff member needed for the CCC program which would be funded through sending school student tuition.

The board will consider approval of the proposal at the January meeting.

In other action, the board…

  • Recognized the HHS December Students of the Month, Bailey Kliewer and Zach Chaney.

  • Recognized a donation of equipment and supplies from the Belton Fire Department to the Cass Career Center.

  • Waived the teacher contract day that was missed due to weather on Nov. 26. The day was originally a professional development day and some of the training scheduled for that day will be made up on the Jan. 2 work day.

  • Approved the purchase of a universal screener for the district to help identify students who may experience lower than expected academic outcomes. The program was recommended to the board by a team of 12 teachers, principals, and district administrators.

The Board of Education will meet for its January meeting on Tuesday, January 15 at 7 p.m. at the Admin Office, 503 S. Lexington. The agenda for the meeting will be posted the Friday before at this link -

Dec. 20 - McEowen Winter Concert

Dec. 21 - End of Semester, 1/2 day for students

Dec. 24 - Jan. 2 - No School - Winter Break

Jan. 3 - Classes Resume

Jan. 3 - Parents As Teachers Playgroup, 9:15 a.m., ECC

Jan. 10 - Major Saver Sales Kick-Off, ECC, McEowen

Jan. 11 - HES Awards Assembly & Major Saver Sales Kick-Off

Jan. 12 - Breakfast with Books, 8:30 a.m., ECC

Jan. 15 - Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m., Admin Office

Supporting Our Own

Do you need to replace a bed in your home? Now is the time! The Harrisonville Band Program is hosting a one day Mattress Sale at Harrisonville High School on Sunday, February 24th from 10AM-5PM. There will be 28 floor models on display for you to try from name brand companies like Simmons Beautyrest. All beds are brand new, available in all sizes, and come with factory warranties! There will also be pillows, mattress protectors, frames and even adjustable bases available as well! Best of all, prices are less than retail stores! Mention this announcement and receive free delivery with any mattress purchase!
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Club/Organization Fundraisers & Events

Additional district-approved fundraisers are listed on the district website -