PSE Weekly Howl

August 15th Edition!

Thank YOU!

Thank you to Julie Pangborn and PTO for organizing our Movie Night. It was fantastic to see all of our families joining us for that fun evening. Thank you for being the best community there is.

Staffing Updates:

Some of you might have heard the news that we now have FOUR sections of kindergarten. We are thrilled to bring Lisa Vaughn right out of retirement and back to PSE in her favorite role as a Kindergarten teacher.

Mr. Jerry, insert tears, has accepted a critical shortage position in the state of Missouri. Due to the teacher shortage, they are allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom. While we will miss him terribly, he promised me he would return to PSE after this position. We are holding him to it.

Safety and security for the 2022-23 school year

As we look forward to another school year, we know that safety and security are top of mind for students, staff, and families. Making sure our school is as safe as possible during the school day is a responsibility we take seriously.

We want to remind families of the physical security measures and practices at PSE to protect what we value most - our students and staff.

  • Buzz-in entry system

  • Two Blue Valley campus officers dedicated to elementary schools

  • Secured school entrances/pinch-point entry

  • Security cameras

  • Classroom thumb-turn door locks

  • Intruder resistant glass

  • Emergency drills

Providing a safe and secure school is a conversation that has no end. Our safety and security team is constantly researching, exploring, and collaborating with local jurisdictions and national experts on how to keep everyone safe and secure during the school day.

At PSE, safety is a shared responsibility, and each member of our school community plays a vital role in being attentive and reporting concerning behaviors. If you see something, say something.

As always, thank you for partnering with us and supporting our commitment to safety and security, beginning with the first day of school. More information about safety and security in Blue Valley is available on the district’s website.

Fall Individual School Photos

Monday, Aug. 15th, 2:30-5:30pm

Prairie Star Elementary -Gym DOORS

  • NEW THIS YEAR-we will have school photos as an option from 2:30-5:30 in the gym before and during Sneak a Peek. You will not be allowed to visit classrooms until 4:30, but the gym will be open from 2:30-5:30 for come-and-go school pictures. We will have retakes on August 24th during the school day if you cannot make it.

Back to School Events: Building Visitors and Safety

We are so excited to see all of our school community back on campus soon. Back to School events are just around the corner, and we would like to share our plans for welcoming everyone back and keeping everyone safe.

  • Wednesday, August 10th: PSE Movie Night sponsored by our amazing PTO
    6:00 pm in the PSE gym.
  • Teacher Assignment Monday, August 15th - You can log onto ParentVue at 4 pm to view your teacher's classroom assignment.
  • Monday, August 15th: Fall Picture Day 2:30-5:50 in PSE gym; see details above.
  • Monday, August 15th: Sneak Peek - 4:30 pm -5:30 pm

    This is the event where you will have the opportunity to walk your child into the school, see their classroom, meet their teacher, take pictures, and see our wonderful new learning spaces. This is not a required event, but it will be a great opportunity for adults to enter the building with their child.

  • First Day of School (Grades 1-5) - Wednesday, August 17

    After thoughtful conversations around safety in response to National school violence, on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 17th, all elementary schools in Blue Valley will follow our normal safety procedures at arrival time and only let students into the building at arrival. Feel free to come to campus and plan a goodbye, hug, and/or first-day photo with your child on our front lawn before wishing them well on their first day. Thank you for understanding the importance of secure, controlled access during arrival.

  • Kindergarten Orientation - Wednesday, August 17
    Please sign up for a Kindergarten Orientation Day Session if you haven't already. Please note the 9:00 session is full, but we have spots remaining at 10:30. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  • Wednesday, August 24th: Fall picture day, during school hours -offered for students that missed Sneak Peak.
  • Thursday, August 25th: Back to School Night for Parents/Guardians 6:00-7:20 pm (students do not attend). Come and listen to a presentation by your student's classroom teacher and find out classroom information for the year. Teachers will present two sessions to accommodate families with multiple students: 6:00 - 6:30 pm and 6:40- 7:10 pm.

Welcome to the 2022-23 School YEAR!

Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year!

Fast Facts:

Doors will open this year at 8:25 am for students to begin arriving.

School starts at 8:40 am

Walkers dismiss at 3:45 pm

Car lane starts at 3:40 pm to relieve congestion on 143rd Street

School starts for Grades 1- 5: Wednesday, August 17th

Kindergarten Orientation sessions: Wednesday, August 17th 9:00 and 10:30

Dismissal Form-PLEASE FILL OUT!

Dismissal Form - please fill it out!!

We ask that you fill out this form with the method of dismissal for your child.

Please fill this out by next Wednesday, August 10th!

Reminder: If there need to be changed to the dismissal throughout the year,

please email Prairie Star Elementary-Office Staff; otherwise, the mode you list on this form is how we will dismiss them each day.

From your Prairie Star Elementary PTO

Membership News

New families, please join the Prairie Star PTO by registering your family at Previous families, remember to log in and update your family information and directory preferences! Your $10 membership fee allows access to our online student directory and helps support our website costs.

Please also consider an additional “Invest in Prairie Star” donation. 100% of your donations go directly back to our school. Funds are used to support our teachers and staff, as well as our Prairie Star community.

Yearbooks and spirit wear ordering is also available on our website!

Upcoming PTO sponsored events and activities

In August, we welcome back students and families with our first Annual Back to School Movie night on August 10th! We hope you also enjoy a tasty treat at Sneak Peak, Monday August 15th, on us. Also, thank you to those who volunteered to help with Fall Pictures! If you are interested in helping, sign up at

And of course, we could not forget our amazing PSE staff and will be spoiling them with “stock the break room” snacks and other various treats. Your PTO also provides teachers with a supply grant to help offset any out of pocket expenses they incur as they set up their classrooms.

September hosts an event students look forward to year after year, and our biggest fundraiser of the year! Wolf Walk will be held the week of September 12th. Keep an eye out for more information coming soon!

In October, your PTO will be busy planning the PSE Carnival to be held on Saturday October 8th, as well as Trunk or Treat October 28th. We will also provide lunch for our staff during parent/teacher conferences. Our Green Thumbs committee loves to decorate for fall, so look forward to our cute fall display!

The PTO will be once again organizing Late Night at the Star throughout the school year, where our teachers host optional classes after school. Previous Late Night’s included Arty Party, Cooking with the Crew, March Madness, Basket Weaving, and Minecraft just to name a few.

PSE PTO Facebook Group

We are on Facebook! Join our private group at

Please reach out to us at with any questions or concerns. We look forward to another amazing year at Prairie Star Elementary!

Christine Bowen & Lindsay Osterhaus

Incoming Kindergarten Families

Here is the link to information for our new Kindergarten families:

Heads up for Kindergarten Parents:

Keep an eye out for an email from me on or around the first day of school. The email will describe a couple of surveys we kindly request you complete. These surveys provide us with great information for helping your child.

Information for Kindergarten Orientation

We look forward to welcoming your family to Kindergarten Orientation Day on Aug. 17. Our kindergarten teachers are excited to meet with families and students in small groups throughout the day.

We ask that you remain outside until we safely get all our students in grades 1-5 into their classrooms. At that time, I will head to the front doors, where you will need to show me your government issue id, and we will give you a sticker to return to your child's classroom.

During the orientation, you and your child will:

  • Become familiar with classroom routines and expectations

  • Put away school supplies

  • Get to know new friends and families

  • Take pictures

  • Calm any kindergarten fears or anxieties (for students and parents)

If you have not signed up for a Kindergarten Orientation Day time slot, please use this link to sign up:

Important reminders

  • No bus service or lunch provided for kindergarten students on Aug. 17.

  • Aug. 18 will be a regular school day for all students.

  • Bring a government-issued ID for the buzz-in entry system. All visitors, including families, are asked to use the outside intercom and security camera to show their ID and share the purpose of their visit before being "buzzed in." Once inside, adults will continue to sign in at the office and wear a visitor badge while in the school.

See you at Kindergarten Orientation Day!

PSE School Supplies

If you need to purchase school supplies, you can find them on the PSE website or click the link below.

Arrival at PSE

Arrival at PSE

As you and your family are getting back into a school routine, please remember that doors will open at 8:25.

Arrival → Doors open at 8:25 AM. Students arrive naturally anytime between 8:25 and 8:40 when class starts. Walkers will continue to use the front entrance. Bus riders will continue using the exterior door on the side of the gym. Car riders will continue entering using the front doors. As students enter the building, they will go directly to their classroom.

Dismissal at PSE

Dismissal time will be staggered by a sequential order and in terms of which exit doors are used:

  • Car riders will remain in their classroom until they are called on the walkie, starting a little before 3:40 PM, when their car has arrived in the car loop. Car riders will leave out the front doors to the car loop. We will give you a car tag to place in your car.

  • If you pick up your children on PSE property, we will radio your child out when we see you on the school grounds.
  • Y-Club students will be dismissed at 3:45 PM to go to the cafeteria, where Y-Club is held.

  • Walkers will be dismissed at 3:45 PM. They will exit the main entrance.

  • Bus riders will remain in their classroom until it is announced over the intercom that their bus has arrived in the bus lane. Bus riders will leave out the exterior side door in the gym.

Traffic Patter at PSE

Traffic Pattern for PSE

  • Vehicles should follow the two-lane outer loop of the circle at the end of the outer loop both lanes will merge into one lane to turn back towards the school when approaching the curb for pickup.
  • Pulling up as far as possible in the loading zone reduces the number of cars stuck on 143rd. Similar to last year, we will have staff directing the traffic flow for the beginning of the year to help you familiarize yourself with our traffic patterns. If every vehicle stops right by the front door/crosswalk to let out student(s), we will have a very inefficient and congested process. Please pull forward as far as you can before stopping and letting out your student.
  • All students exiting vehicles need to do so on the curb/school side – do not open left-side vehicle doors, as there is exiting traffic in that area.

Thank you for helping us maintain a safe and efficient arrival and dismissal process.

YMCA Y Club enrollment

For parents who are not familiar with Y Club, we operate inside district elementary schools during the school year. We open at 7:00 AM daily for early drop-off and stay open until 6:00 PM. Our program is fully-licensed, and we offer children a great opportunity to extend daily learning and have fun with their friends.

Enrolling for Y Club is easy! Go to our website, and click on your school district’s button. From there, click on the school your child attends to enroll. We do have limited scholarships available for parents interested in financial assistance. The application can be found under the FAQS & FORMS button. If you need assistance, please email for a quick response.

We are looking forward to a great 2022-23 School Year!

Helpful Information

Bus Information

If you wish for your child to be a bus rider, please visit the bus website to sign them up:

Durham Bus Services

You can also sign up for text message alerts for your student's bus.

Lunch Information

Lunch menus can be found online here: Lunch menus

You can also download the Nutrislice app for easy access for daily/weekly menus.

We will start visits to the lunchroom after Labor Day, on Wednesday, September 7th. We will take the first weeks of school to learn and practice lunchroom routines and procedures. Thank you for understanding and waiting to enjoy lunch with your child until then!

Attendance Reporting and Notifications

Families can expect automated attendance messages by email, phone, and text if a child is absent and their absence has not already been reported by a parent/guardian. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to report an absence or reply to the automated email or phone message.

What is the purpose of attendance notifications?

We realize that students may occasionally need to miss school for planned absences, illnesses, and appointments. However, when a student does not arrive at school or unexpectedly misses a portion of the school day, we are concerned and want to make sure you are aware that your child is absent.

How can I get push notifications?

Families who would also like a push notification can download the ParentVUE app and manage their notifications. If a child has an unreported absence when a teacher submits attendance, then a push notification will immediately be sent to the parent/guardian's mobile device.

Interested in push notifications? Simply download the ParentVUE app (iTunes app store or Google Play), enable push notifications in device settings and select attendance notifications through in-app settings. Once the app is downloaded, these instructions will help you complete the set-up.

Free and Reduced Meals

The USDA ended the nationwide free meals that were available for all students at the conclusion of the 2021-22 school year. This means that meals will be charged at full price unless your family has been approved for the Free & Reduced Meal Program after July 1 of the current school year.

Blue Valley Food and Nutrition Services is again participating in the Child Nutrition Program which offers Free and Reduced meal benefits to qualifying families. This is an annual program, and a new application is required each school year to qualify for benefits.

  1. Verify your family meets the Free & Reduced Meal income guidelines.
  2. Apply online using the Chrome browser. If your default browser is not Chrome, please copy and paste this URL into a Chrome browser to begin the application process.
    • Remember to complete the Consent for Disclosure section if you wish to obtain additional discounts for school fees or bus transportation fees based on your application status.
    • If a member of your household receives Food Assistance (FA), or Temporary Assistance to Families (TAF) from the State of Kansas, or you have a Foster student you may not need to apply. Contact Bobbi Valverde at if you need to verify your status.
    • Need a paper application? Paper applications are available on the district website, at all Blue Valley schools or by contacting Bobbi Valverde at or (913) 239-4106.
  3. Submit the completed application before August 17 for full meal benefits upon qualifying. All families that apply will receive a letter notifying the determination. Please allow at least 10 days before inquiring about your submission.

Thank you for your support as we work together to meet the nutritional needs of all Blue Valley students. More information about the Free & Reduced meal program is available online. If you have questions please contact

We look forward to a happy, healthy, and successful 2022-23 school year.

PSE PTO Night at Fajita Pete's

Wednesday, Aug. 24th, 3pm

8909 West 135th Street

Overland Park, KS

Support your PSE PTO by eating at Fajita Pete's!