The Bird Call

News and Notes from Clever High School

It's a Learning Experience

Happy Holidays and welcome to another edition of The Bird Call!

My family and I have, like so many others, spent weekend evenings in December watching some of our favorite Holiday movies. Most recently, we watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" starring Jim Carrey. I really do enjoy the movie, along with the other "made for TV" versions of this story. However, if you ask me, nothing will ever be equal to reading the original book written by Dr. Suess in 1957. As I watched with Lindsey and our two boys, Braeden and Beckett, I couldn't help but think about the lessons I hope my sons are taking away from this story. For me, there are two valuable lessons hidden beneath the powerful "maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store..." message that the story centers around.

First, is that when someone is unkind or hurtful in their actions/attitudes it doesn't necessarily mean that is what is in their heart. It almost always is a sign of something deeper that is causing the person to behave that way. Let's be honest, we all have a Grinch or two in our lives. People who only see the glass as half empty and have a poor attitude when it comes to just about everything. You see, the Grinch didn't hate the whole Christmas season without cause. In fact, there was a time when the Grinch embraced the season and his heart was full of Christmas spirit. But, he got hurt and had a handful of negative experiences that changed his outlook. He was lonely. He felt rejected. He shut out the world, blamed others, and held grudges for a long time to protect himself from feeling the pain again.

This leads to the second lesson...

One act of kindness can be the inspiration to change a person's life forever. Cindy Lou is the type of person we should all want to be like. In the movie, while every other Who accepted "the way things have always been", she wasn't afraid to ask questions and form her own opinion of the Grinch. While others made assumptions, Cindy Lou believed that the Grinch was misunderstood and worth including. As she put it: "I know he's mean and hairy and smelly. His hands might be cold and clammy, but I think he's actually kinda... sweet." She even felt this way AFTER he ruined Christmas!

The truth is, being kind doesn't take talent. It doesn't have to cost anything. It isn't reserved for certain people. It is one of those rare things in life that brings greater joy the more of it you give away. It is a universal language that really can change everything.

As we come to the end of what has been both an extremely rewarding and extremely difficult semester, I want to thank everyone for the unwavering support and patience you have shown us. We have focused on Grit, Grace, & Gratitude as our theme this year and it has proven to be a mantra frequently heard throughout the high school. I hope each of you enjoys this holiday season and that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe. We look forward to 2021 with optimism that better days are ahead. And, if hard times persist, I take solace in knowing that the staff and students at CHS will continue to show kindness and perseverance no matter what we face.

Go Jays!

Joe Casey

High School Principal


Remind: Text "@clever9-12" to 81010

Twitter: @CleverPrincipal

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Hickman's Happenings

Character Education in the HS

Our character word of the month for December is Perseverance. A Clever Bluejay that perseveres works hard and refuses to give up. They take responsibility for their own academic progress and think positively and believe they can achieve anything they set their mind to. They also show initiative in finding solutions for academic and learning problems.

A+ News:

Juniors: If you have not completed your A+ tutoring yet, there is still time to enroll in the A+ tutoring class for second semester. The A+ tutoring class is ½ unit elective credit that allows you to complete the 50 hours of unpaid tutoring that you need to be A+ eligible. Please see Mrs. Waisner to get that added to your schedule. If you cannot tutor in Spring 2020, you will need to take the A+ tutoring class in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.

All A+ Students: A+ Status Reports will be put together at the end of the semester and emailed out to students in January. If a student is out of compliance, a report will be mailed home in January.

FAFSA - Just a reminder to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is one of the requirements to be eligible for the A+ scholarship. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Hickman or Mrs. Waisner.

  • Students and parents should first set up a FSA ID:

  • File the FAFSA online at This is a free website - beware of other sites which may charge a fee!!

Congratulations to our November Jays of the Month winners for representing the character word Trustworthy and our CHS staff Trophy of Awesomeness winner!

Counselor's Corner

January 7th - Northwest Missouri State University will be here to visit with interested students.

January 13th - State Technical College will be here to visit with interested students.

The ASVAB test is being rescheduled.

Seniors please work on scholarships over Christmas break. There will be many scholarships that will continue to become available. See the google sheet for scholarship information.

Students that would like to make a schedule change for next semester need to submit a change request.

Sophomores and Juniors will soon be signing up for OTC tech programs. If you are interested in attending OTC next year for any tech programs, please let me know. The list of available programs is below.

  1. Auto Collision Repair
  2. Automotive Technology
  3. Computer Information Science (one year only) (morning only)
  4. Construction Technology
  5. Culinary Arts (one year only)
  6. Diesel Technology
  7. Drafting and Design
  8. Early Childhood Development
  9. Electrical Trades
  10. Electronic Media Production
  11. Fire Science (morning only)
  12. Graphic Design Technology
  13. Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning
  14. Health Sciences
  15. Industrial Systems Technology
  16. Machine Tool Technology
  17. Networking Technology
  18. Turf and Landscape Management
  19. Agriculture (morning only)
  20. Welding Technology

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Virtual Learning

COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for the staff, students, and families of Clever High School. We have adopted the theme of 'Grit, Grace, and Gratitude" this year to help remind us that we are all better together. While changes happen quickly, we want to ensure we are doing all we can to support our students who are learning virtually, whether by choice or not.

Click below for a link to our expectations for students learning remotely. While originally designed to help our Bluejays@home learners navigate virtual learning, this information applies to any student who finds him/herself learning from home.

Officer Barney's 4-1-1

It’s Christmas time and we all know what that means CHRISTMAS BREAK. It’s a time with family and friends. Decorating the Christmas tree, sharing gifts, and having time with each other. It’s a time of joy and peace. This brings to mind an old song Bing Crosby recorded and has been recorded by artists of the day, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, and it says “you can count on me.” Myself as your SRO and the faculty at Clever High School want you to have this time of joy and peace. But, I have observed some of our drivers who are not wearing their seat belts. Some are even on your phones. It is a proven fact that SEALT BELTS SAVES LIVES. There are impaired, distracted, and speeding drivers on the road that you could possibly encounter, and it could be tragic for your family to be decorating your tombstone instead of the Christmas tree. Please say “you can count on me” to BUCKLE UP & PUT THE PHONE DOWN.

Have Merry Christmas. Be safe. See you next year.

District Events Calendar

Click here for a comprehensive list of all upcoming events!

Clubs and Activities at CHS

Clever High School offers a variety of extra/co-curricular activities for our students. Now is the time to get involved! Check out the list below for what is offered and who to contact:

Future Teachers of America - Mrs. Neely

Fellowship of Christian Athletes - Coach Jones

Science History Club - Ms. Romine/Mr. Burry

Clever Student Alliance - Mrs. Money

Art Club - Mr. Schmidt

Future Business Leaders of America - Mrs. Lumpkin

National Honor Society - Ms. Lathem

Future Farmers of America - Ms. Hultz

Student Council - Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Waisner

Yearbook - Mr. Boyles

Speech and Debate - Mr. Rea

Academic Team - Mr. Walker and Mr. McGarry

Spirit Squad - Mrs. Neely

Theatre - Mrs. Scheibe

Math Club - Mr. McGarry

Alumni Spotlight

CHS Alumni we need more individuals to feature in our monthly spotlight!

Here is a list of questions you can copy/paste into an email and send your answers to Mr. Casey (


Class of:

Hobbies and interests:


Current Job:

College or Career Training after CHS:

Degree/Certificate Earned:

Extracurricular activities you participated in at CHS:

Favorite class at CHS:

Advice to current CHS students:

**A picture to include in the newsletter would be great!**

Thanks in advance!

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