Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, March 2021

Hornet Families,

It is hard to believe that the end of third quarter will be Friday, March 26th. We were thrilled to meet some of our future kindergarten families at our first transition event in February. Kindergarten Kick-Off is quickly approaching and offered to help new students and families transitioning into kindergarten. Kick-Off is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, from 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm. This will be a face-to-face event for all incoming kindergarten students and two parents or family members. 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 2021. Students need to be 5 by July 31 in order to enroll for the 2021-22 school year. *** YOU will find more information below about our upcoming transition events.

Our annual Read-a-Thon will begin Monday, March 8th and run through Friday, March 12th. We so appreciate your support of the annual PTA fundraiser. Revenue from this fundraiser goes directly back to the students and staff. Envelopes will be sent home on on March 1st. A special thanks to Mrs. Jessica Freels, who is spearheading this campaign.

Annually, schools across the Northland nominate employees to be recognized in two categories: Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Service to Education. This year, Graden will recognize two deserving individuals for these nominations. Ms. Jennifer Koyn, 2nd grade teacher, has be nominated for her Excellence in Teaching and Ms. Angy Bullin, lunchroom/playground supervisor, has been nominated for Excellence in Service to Education. We look forward to celebrating with them at the Chamber Banquet in April.

As a reminder, Spring Break begins for all students on Friday, March 26th and runs through Sunday, April 4th. I hope you have a safe and fun break!

Thank you for all that you do to support Graden!

It's a great day to be a Hornet!

Mrs. Vanna Easley, Graden Principal

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Though Interest Group Days look a bit different this year, I have loved seeing students and teachers finding their voices and engaging in so many fun activities. As a reminder, please wear your Graden leadership shirt to school on all interest group days!

Interest Group Schedule:

Thursday, March 4 - Violin Rocks

Thursday, April 8

Thursday, May 6



Our annual PTA Read-A-Thon will run from Monday, March 8th - Friday, March 12th.

Students will bring collection envelopes home today!

2020 has presented us with unique challenges in which teachers and students need more than ever. The Read-A-Thon's focus is to raise money to assist in paying for building needs as well as any unanticipated expenses that arise each year. This is PTA's only 2020-21 fundraiser and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!!

Examples of some of the unanticipated expenses for the 2020 school year are

  • Room party Snacks and Materials for all face-to-face and online students: In non-COVID years, parents would join us for room parties and help provide snacks and materials.

  • Graden Habit Winner Yard Signs: We typically have assemblies, family lunches and face-to-face student celebrations.

  • End of Semester Celebrations: Since student class placement changed in the spring, Graden will had end of semester celebration in January.

  • Purchase of over 1000 Hornet face masks and lanyards for all face-to-face and online students.

PLEASE put the PTA Read-A-Thon on your March calendar and look for more information to be sent home by your classroom teacher!

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Spring picture day for all Graden online and in person students will be Thursday, March 18th 2021.

***Online families, please use the sign-up below to designate a time for your child(ren) to get their spring picture taken. Pictures will be in the gym. Please park on the West side of the building and walk around to the gym door.

You will also find the link to the Inter-State Photography website to order your spring pictures. As a reminder online ordering shuts off at midnight on Thursday, March 18th and there will be no picture retakes.


All Graden families will need to update their registration and residency in the Parent Portal beginning Monday, April 5th. 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 Meghan Wheeler, Graden Registrar at 359-4340


I am hopeful that March will bring warm Spring weather and fewer below zero days (fingers crossed!). Please visit the Graden Counseling Website for monthly counseling newsletters, community resources, parent referral forms, and social/emotional learning “hubs” where students can access their counseling lessons, as well as several other fun resources to cultivate social and emotional development. I have also attached a direct link to the March Counseling Newsletter below. As always, I am available to chat via email, phone, or Zoom. You can reach me by email at or via phone at 816-359-5647. Wishing everyone a bright, warm, and healthy March!



Miles of Smiles is a full service dental program that provides FREE comprehensive dental care to children in the Northland. This free service is made available through private donations and Missouri Medicaid funding. If your child participates in the program, their dental care will be provided on site, in the school, by a Missouri licensed dentist. Whether you have insurance or not, Miles of Smiles provides a full service dental program including cleanings, x-rays, fillings, crowns, pulpotomies and extractions, for free. Follow up appointments are available in our office Monday through Friday, all year long.

At Miles of Smiles we strive to follow the proper guidelines stated by OSHA, CDC, and the ADA. In accordance with new recommendations we have added some additional equipment to help with the safety and protection of our patients and staff. For further details or if you have any questions please contact our office.

You might be surprised at how flexible the income guidelines are. If your annual family income is below $51,500 for a family of four, you will qualify for Miles of Smiles. No co-pays and no deductibles to meet!

Patient registration forms can be completed online from a smart phone, a computer, or you can contact the school and ask to be provided with a paper copy. Please include all of the the necessary information on your childs’ form, including but not limited to: Health History, Allergies, and any concerns you have. Please remember in order for your child to be seen we will need all three parent signatures signed on the form. Please have the form completed by March 9th.

Please visit our website for more information and to sign your child up online!

Once the dentist has left the school, we are still your dentist. You can call our office and schedule an appointment any time. We hope you will consider us your dental home and visit us on a regular basis. We will return to the school around the same time next year. Thank you for participating in the Miles of Smiles dental program.

•Miles of Smiles •

Program of LevelUp Kids Inc.

5416 NE Antioch Road Kansas City MO 64119


If you have any questions about the program, please reach out to:

Amy Powell


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Thursday, May 6, 2021: 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 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 2021-2022 school year.

More Information to come on Kindergarten Enrollment date/process. In the meantime, please begin to gather the following documents for enrollment (call for more details): state issued birth certificate, 2 proofs of residency, and updated immunization records.

Call Graden Elementary for any questions: 359-4340


Summer School will be in-person ONLY. Mrs. Bishop (our current Assistant Principal) will be the Principal for summer school!

She wanted to share some important information (below) with you to ensure that everyone can start planning ahead for summer school and is aware of enrollment dates!

Summer School Specifics:

Graden and English Landing Students


  • June 7-July 2 (Monday-Friday)

  • School start time-8:40am

  • End of the day-3:40pm


  • Via Infinite Campus, April 5-May 7

  • This year, you will have the option to select summer school when you enroll your child in the 2021-2022 school year. PLEASE complete residency at the time of enrollment.

We are looking forward to an amazing summer filled with learning and lots of FUN!

Mrs. Courtney Bishop, Assistant Principal

(816) 359-6506


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From left to right: Elijah Goodfriend, Liam Gorman, Mariana Nieto, Harlo Nesheim-Ferguson

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If your child is feeling ill and the symptoms are consistent with Covid-19, you may have them tested for free at the Park Hill School District Antigen Testing Site. Please call me at 816-359-4344 to be referred for testing. Here are the guidelines for testing:

  • Student/Employee must have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Must have one of the following symptoms
  • New cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste &/or smell Or have two of the following symptoms:
  • Fever/chills
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headache
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Student/Employee must be tested within 7 days of symptoms starting, when viral load is higher
  • Student/Employee should not be retested if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months.

In Good Health,

Nurse Kris


Helping Youth With Grief

Join us for a webinar on Mar 09, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST.

Helping Youth with Grief
Grief. Loss. Death. It's heavy stuff. We all experience it, yet many of us shy away from talking about it. "What do I do now? What does my life look like without my loved one? Am I supposed to be over it by now? Should I still feel this sad? Why can't I focus on anything anymore?" Our brains and bodies are on overdrive during grief. Now imagine you are 7 years old, 12 years old, 17 years old, and trying to process all of the same questions.

What supports can be offered to grieving youth? Join Gen Nelson, Missouri School Counselor Association Board of Directors, school counselor, and group coordinator at Lost & Found Grief Center, for resources, tools, and a better understanding of how to walk alongside our youth throughout their grief journeys.

Gen Nelson, MS, NCC, LPC has been a school counselor for 8 years. Gen currently provides ongoing grief groups for teens at Lost & Found Grief Center in Springfield. Gen currently serves on the Missouri School Counselor Association Board of Directors, and has presented information on grief work at both the state and national levels.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Spirit wear will be available online this year! If you are interested in ordering Graden spirit wear please access the link below.


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To comply with health and safety guidelines, we cannot offer outside food to our students at this time. This means we will not have birthday treats from outside the school. If you would like to purchase birthday treats through our Nutrition Services department, please click on the flyer below, fill it out completely and email to Ms. Elayne O'Connell @ If you have any questions please call the Park Hill Nutrition Services department at (816) 359-5726

*** Friendly Reminder: Please give a week's notice if at all possible


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.

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2020-2021 PTA Meeting Dates

March 8th

April 12th


Watch your email for a link to participate in meetings!


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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