The Cougar Connection

Weekly Update for Families - November 17, 2022

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Office Hours 7 AM - 3:30 PM



Attendance Hotline 913.993.7245 (All Day)

Attendance Office 913.993.7242 (Partial Day)

Office is closed Nov. 22 - 25 Thanksgiving Break!

From Dr. Gruman

Dear Northwest Families,

I want to take a moment as we approach the upcoming break to express our gratitude for our staff, students, families, and each individual member of our Northwest Community. We have a wonderful community that supports our students, staff, and each other. Our students amaze and inspire me everyday, each one is unique and brings something special to our space. The high school journey includes celebrations and challenges, moments of growth and setbacks. We are in an amazing place to support our students along this journey and I am very thankful to be a part of our school.

The generosity of our Northwest community was evident during our Canned Food Drive benefitting the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. Under the leadership of our Student Council and sponsor Sarah Dent, our school donated 5,381 cans and $3,355.15 in coins (including MSFD $447). So proud of the positive impact our students make in the lives of others.

Here is a link to the final exam schedule for your reference as you plan for the close of our first semester: 2022 Semester 1 Finals.

Also, as we approach the winter break, we recognize these are challenging times for several of our families. If your family is interested in helping another family, please see below:

Holiday Gift Card Drive

Our PTSA and SMNW Student Services department are teaming up this year for our gift card drive. This drive is for SMNW families. The last two years we have been able to help around 40 families receive gift cards. All gift cards are welcome, however those from Target, Walmart, and Amazon are particularly helpful for parents to complete their holiday shopping. Please deliver gift cards by Monday, December 5th. Donations can also be given through this link provided by PTSA Here is the link. Thanks in advance for supporting our NW families.

We hope our students find time to rest and be present with family and friends over this break. We wish you all a wonderful break!

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Gruman

Mark Your Calendar

November 21 - 25 No School

November 29 - Group Photos

November 30 - NW Orchestra Festival

December 1 - Not So Late Night Assembly

December 5 - Winter Choir Concert

FREE ACT for Juniors

All Juniors (11th Grade) ONLY:

The ACT assessment is available to all SMNW High School Juniors

Students may participate in this ACT assessment for FREE.

How to sign up:
Juniors will be able to sign up through the “Online forms” in the Skyward student portal

- select ACT.

Registration will close on Sunday, November 27, 2022.

Date of free test:

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 | 7:40 AM – 11:45 AM | ACT Testing at SMNW

Don’t let your student miss this opportunity!

From Student Services

Graduation link:

Josten's Contact: Carla @ 785.843.2967

Juniors and Seniors interested in networking, job shadowing, a spring internship or simply exploring local career opportunities are invited to attend SMSD’s December Career Expo.

Date: December 2, 2022

Where: Center for Academic Achievement

Times: Session 1: 9-10am

Session 2: 10:45-11:45am

Busses provided. Students may drive themselves with parent permission.

Students must SIGN-UP from a district device. No permission slip necessary.

“Any senior student planning to attend K-State next fall should check out the Wabash Cannonball Scholarship. It is due December 1st and can be found in their Senior Seminar Canvas page.”

Academic Enrichment

Academic Enrichment is open to ALL students grades 9 - 12 on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Library. Teachers are available to support students in Math, English, Science and Social Studies from 2:50 - 3:50 pm. The late bus will depart at 4:00pm. Encourage your student to take advantage of this great academic support opportunity! Check the link below for dates.

Academic Enrichment Dates 22-23

Yearbook Senior Tribute

Hey Senior Parents - This is your last chance!

The FINAL deadline for senior tributes is December 20.

The tributes are available in the following sizes at these prices.

1/6 page: $130 1/4 page: $200

1/3 page: $275 1/2 page: $375

Full page: $525

Bring your check (made out to NW Yearbook) with your pictures, contract and message to SMNW and leave them with the receptionist or order your senior tribute online at If you haven't purchased a 2023 yearbook, you can do that while you are there.

Information about the tributes can be found here: or scan this QR code:

From PTSA:

PTSA Spiritwear Sale and Rock Star Parking Opportunity!

PTSA is offering Winter Spiritwear now through December 2! Many new items are available including hoodies, long-sleeved tees, sweats, women's apparel items, and winter hats! Cougars gear makes great holiday gifts! See the attached flyer and visit the PTSA website to order:

Also on the PTSA website you will find details on how juniors, seniors, and staff can enter to win a Rock Star Parking spot for the spring semester!

Lastly, THANK YOU to everyone who helped provide pies for November Staff Appreciation and/or purchased pies for Thanksgiving! We will be providing pies to all 160 staff members and $1200 was raised for After Prom. We are grateful for your support!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break! -PTSA

From the Nurse

Keeping our Students Healthy

    • You may have recently heard news reports about increases of illness this fall, as is typical with this time of year. In SMSD, we have begun to see increases in absence due to illness; with a few physician diagnosed illnesses and many generalized symptoms.
    • Your child may also be ill, but without these symptoms. They may have a sore throat, headache, cough, or generally not feel well. If you suspect illness, please keep your child at home. If in doubt about sending your child to school, contact the school nurse or your child’s doctor.

  • Exclusion Guidelines for Common Illnesses per Johnson County Health Department
    • Fever (>100 F) – May return once fever-free for 24 hours without the use of temperature lowering medications
    • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea – Vomiting-free and/or Diarrhea-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication
    • Influenza (physician diagnosed) – exclude for 5 days following onset of illness. If fever persists for more than 5 days, continue exclusion until 24 hours fever free (without use of temperature lowering medications)
    • COVID-19 – Exclude for 5 days following onset of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic, take precautions through day 10 (SMSD COVID guidance here)

Vaccinations Still NEEDED! Next Exclusion Date is 11/28/22

    • A does of the meningitis ACWY is required at 16 years of age regardless of receiving this same vaccine in middle school (this is a 2-dose vaccination)
      • Be aware that the required vaccination is the meningitis ACWY not meningitis B
    • If you have received notice of other missing vaccinations, then these will also need to be completed prior to the exclusion date so
    • Once vaccinations have been received, please email an updated copy of your student’s records to

Nurse Woods

School Fees

Check fees in Skyward and contact the bookkeeper with questions.

2022 - 2023 Online Fee Payment:


Angelo Giacalone - Athletic Director, Victoria Alvey - Athletic Secretary, Dan Fletcher - Athletic Trainer

Physicals for Winter Sports: Physicals packets for winter sports need to be completed prior to the opening practice/tryout date. For questions contact Mrs. Alvey, Athletic Administrative Assistant at 913-993- 7400.

Ask your Fall Student Athletes: Have you picked up your athletic award yet? Remember, the deadline is December 2022. Bring your sheet to room 127 before the deadline if you would like to pick up your hardware. Before and after school only. Don’t wait until the last minute!!!

Sunflower League

DS Bus Lines


**All bus riders must register to ride the bus:

To register or pay for busing visit DS Bus Lines website.

Sign up for Textcaster Alerts here to receive text messages.

Contact DS Bus Lines at 913-384-1190 with any questions.