Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, February 2021

Hornet Families,

Sometimes the long cold months of winter bring on the blahs! Not at Graden Elementary! The students and staff continue to be eager and ready to learn each day. We find that the third quarter (January – March) provides us with some of the best learning time of the school year. Students are comfortable with their teachers and the routines and expectations in the classroom.

The school day is filled with new learning and challenging curriculum. With that said, we miss our hornets when they are gone. Please make prompt arrival and attendance a priority. If possible. We have a busy and important 2nd semester ahead of us, and we need your children at school each and every day.

It’s that time of the year……..Enroll Your Park Hill Kindergartner and Mark Your Calendar, Children who turn five on or before July 31 are eligible for kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents will need to bring their children’s certified, state-issued birth certificate, immunization records and two proofs of residency to enroll. One proof of residency must be a lease or mortgage agreement. The other should be an original and current gas, electric or water bill that shows the name and address.

Speaking of kindergarten, we have a series of activities planned to help students and families transition to Graden Elementary. Please spread the word to neighbors and friends who have “Future Hornets” who will be attending Graden in the fall. Our first transition activity is scheduled for Monday, February 22 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm and from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm. More information below about these events.

Thank you for supporting Graden each and every day!

It's a great day to be a Hornet!

Mrs. Vanna Easley, Graden Principal



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Join us for a Graden family math night with Greg Tang on February 3 and 4, for families to learn how we are making students more effective learners.

Kindergarten through second grade families can attend the math night at 6 p.m. on February 3.

Third through fifth grade families can attend the math night at 6 p.m. on February 4.

Greg Tang is a New York Times best-selling author of eight math picture books, leader of thousands of teacher workshops, and Harvard University scholar who will help us understand how our classrooms are teaching math strategies to students. Learning these strategies can add flexibility for those who struggle with math and make all students more fluent in math concepts.

You can sign up here: Family Math Night


Graden's Valentine's Day celebrations will be on Friday, February 12th. All classrooms will celebrate with games and activities as well as have a snack provided by our food service department.

*** To comply with health and safety regulations we will not pass our Valentine's Day cards or treats from home. Thank you for your understanding.

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Graden Elementary will be holding Kindergarten Transition events for students entering Kindergarten in August 2021. Each session will be different.

Please plan to attend all the following events:

Monday, February 22, 2021: Graden Kindergarten Informational Meeting:

Two meeting times offered via Zoom: New families only need to attend 1 time below.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Zoom Link

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm: Zoom Link

Monday, March 22, 2021: More Information to Come

Monday, May 4, 202: More Information to Come

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

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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, February 4 - Virtual Game Show

Thursday, March 4

Thursday, April 8

Thursday, May 6


The Park Hill Board of Education approved the below calendar changes/updates.

Monday, February 15th: No School for Students and Staff

Friday, March 26th: No School for Students

Friday, May 28th: 1/2 Day of School for Students


It feels like the first month of school all over again! I am excited to welcome our new in-person and online hornets to our Graden family! 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 February 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. Looking forward to a wonderful new semester!



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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As new data and information emerge, Park Hill is adopting and amending policies for the districts COVID response.

Based on the CDC's December 2, 2020 update in regards to quarantine, The Platte County gave their guidance for our area. (Their preferred length of quarantine remains 14 days after exposure.)

As of exposures occurring on 12/23/2020, quarantine will follow these rules in our schools:

  • 10-day option: Student and staff may return on day 11 if they have had NO SYMPTOMS for the entire 10 days. Masks will need to be worn 100% of the time for the remainder of the 14 days and symptoms would need to continue to be monitored. Students need to check in with a teacher or nurse when arriving back to school following quarantine (preferably the nurse.)
  • 14-day option: Families still have the option to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Participation in sports, where masks are not worn: Student will need to complete the 14-day quarantine for that activity but could return to school with mask on day 11 if symptom free.
  • If a student is unable to isolate from parent, their 10 day or 14-day quarantine would start after the parents 10 isolation period ends.
  • If at any time during the quarantine period student develops symptoms, they would immediately self-isolate and contact their PCP or schedule an antigen test through Park Hill.

After stopping quarantine, students and staff should continue:

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Health department does not support the test out option for release from quarantine in 7 days at this time, due to high community prevalence and the additional strain on community testing.

As always, please contact me if your student has an exposure, tests positive for Covid-19, or you have any health questions or concerns.

In Good Health,

Nurse Kris

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

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 can change in the spring, Graden will have an end of semester celebration in January.

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

Put the PTA Read-A-Thon on your March calendar and look for more information regarding the PTA Read-A-Thon second semester.


Graden's PTA will be selecting new board members for 2021-2022 School Year. The following positions will be up for election:

President: (To qualify to serve as president, the nominee must have served as an officer for at least one (1) year)

  • preside at all meetings of this local PTA;

  • serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee; and

  • coordinate the work of the officers and committees of this local PTA in order that the Purposes may be promoted.

Vice President:

  • serve as aide to the president; and

  • perform the duties of the president in the president’s absence or inability to serve.


  • record and preserve the minutes of all meetings of the Graden Elementary School PTA;

  • be prepared to read the records of any previous meetings;

  • preserve all records;

  • have a current copy of the bylaws;

  • maintain a current membership list; and

  • forward names and addresses of newly elected officers to the state office no later than March 31.


  • submit the books for an annual financial review and upon the resignation or removal of the treasurer or any other authorized bank account signatory;
  • keep the record of the state and national portions of the membership dues separate from the record of the general funds of the local unit and remit all state and national portions of the membership dues to the state office. All state and national portions are payable to the state office the first of each month;
  • submit a copy of the unit’s fiscal year-end report to the state PTA by December 1st of each year;
  • submit a copy of the unit’s annual financial review to the state PTA by December 1st of each year;
  • submit a copy of the required IRS tax form to the state PTA by December 1st of each year;

Fundraising Chair:

  • lead, coordinate, and organize fundraising efforts as outlined in the annual budget;

  • follow district and school fundraising guidelines; and

  • ensure fundraising events are designed to meet the mission of the local PTA.


  • advise the president and other officers on matters of parliamentary procedures; and

  • ensure bylaws are followed, up-to-date, and approved.

Teacher Representative:

  • act as a liaison between the Graden Elementary staff and the Graden Elementary School PTA;

  • report at each PTA meeting information relevant to the local PTA initiatives; and

  • report to Graden Elementary staff requests, updates, initiatives and achievements of the Graden Elementary School PTA.

If you are interested in joining our PTA as a board member, please reach out to Mrs. Easley at 359-4340


2020-2021 PTA Meeting Dates

February 8th

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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