NORTH NEWS January 31st

Where Tradition began, Excellence continues.

Additional Information for the North Community

SMSD Polar Plunge

When: The morning of Feb. 18, 2023

Where: Lake Olathe Swim Beach, 445 S. Ward Cliff Dr. Olathe, KS 66061

Participants in the Polar Plunge take a brief jump in icy, cold water in support of Special Olympics Kansas. Across Shawnee Mission, students, families, and staff benefit from opportunities created through Special Olympics and we are excited to support them as One Shawnee Mission Team!

If you are not interested in joining the team, there is also a 5K opportunity as well as other festivities and ways to support. Click here to find out more about the event.


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R&D Forum and Next Great Idea Pitch

Spring 2023 is the 61st year of the Shawnee Mission School District’s Research and Development (R&D) Forum. This year's forum will feature a Student Showcase and a live-streamed Pitch Finals competition at the Center for Academic Achievement.

Pitch Finals Competition- Info Session on Feb. 2

A pitch competition for student innovators will be offered as part of the district’s annual R&D Forum. Not only can students win cash prizes for their Next Great Idea, but they can also receive additional funding to advance their idea.

An informational session will be held virtually:

Time, Date, Place: Webex, at 6 p.m. on February 2

Who can enter: Any interested student, grades K-12

What: Learn more about the process.

How to join: A link to the informational session can be found here.

How to apply: Application information can be found on the R&D webpage. The deadline to apply for the pitch competition is Friday, March 3, 2023. Practice sessions with industry mentors will be scheduled for students who apply to compete.

Final Competition and Prizes:

Applicants chosen as finalists will pitch their Next Great Idea to a panel of judges during the morning of April 29, 2023, at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St. The pitch competition will be live-streamed so friends and family can participate as well. Top awards are $2,500, of which $1,000 is a cash award to be used by the winner to pursue their passion and education and up to $1,500 will be awarded as "build it" grants to support making the winner's pitch a reality. A People's Choice category, determined by public voters, will be awarded a $500 prize. There will also be an Idea of Promise award with a prize of $500.

Student Showcase:

The R&D Forum student showcase, with display-only and competitive exhibits will be held in Spring 2023. Students, families, and staff members are encouraged to enter student-created projects, experiments, or art projects to share in this districtwide event. All submissions must be registered and information on how to register can be found online. The deadline to register for the showcase is Friday, March 24, 2023.

The SMSD community is invited to take part in this year’s 61st R&D Forum by attending the following events at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St.


• April 25, 26, and 27, 2023 - 4:00 - 7:00pm – Entries on display at CAA with a reception for all entrants and families


April 29, 2023:

• Morning - Finalists will present their Next Great Idea to a panel of judges; Public Voting to follow presentations

• Afternoon - Awards ceremony for Showcase Entries, Regnier Award winners, and the Next Great Idea Pitch Competition award winners

About the R&D Forum

The Shawnee Mission Research and Development Forum celebrates its 61st year in 2023. It is one of the SMSD’s biggest showcases of the year!

This annual event has always served as a celebration of student achievement and highlights innovative student projects and talent from across the district.

Sincere appreciation is extended to the Regnier Family for 61 years of generous support for the SMSD R&D Forum.

Click here for more information and contacts if you have further questions.


Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year will begin in January 2023. Academic Counselors will meet with students by grade level in seminar starting January 10th. Each student will receive an Enrollment Card and a Course Listing Sheet and will be encouraged to take them home and talk with their parent/guardian about classes for next year. Counselors will then collect Students’ enrollment cards the following week during their English class. Please make sure your student’s enrollment card is in their backpack.