Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, January 2021

Welcome Back Graden Hornets,

Happy 2021 to one and all! I do not know about each of you, but I have been looking forward to the new year for quite some time now. I hope that you have a wonderful beginning to the New Year. As 2020 came to a close, I found it time to look ahead with anticipation to the opportunities before us. I am beyond thankful for the support and understanding you have given us at Graden during this strange and unbelievable year. I appreciate all that you do to help Graden be the school it is and I am hopeful that 2021 will be a wonderful year to remember.

As most of us think about New Year resolutions, we find ourselves reflecting on the academic and leadership progress our students have made and anticipate the unlimited successes of 2021. We are almost to the half-way mark of our 2020-21 school year. As a reminder January 4th, does not mark the end of second quarter. All students will return to school in the learning mode that they were in first semester. This year, January 15 marks the end of first semester. This means that all students will return to their first semester learning mode whether online or face-to-face on Monday, January 4th, 2021. Students will move into their second semester mode on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021. There will be no school on Monday, January 18th.

All families will receive a 2nd semester class placement letter Monday, January 11th. As we communicated during 2nd quarter, it is important that families know that it is possible that students may not have the same teacher 2nd semester because of the change in numbers. Thank you, again, to those that contacted me via email or phone to share your placement concerns and needs. I took each one of these conversations very seriously as I worked on 2nd semester class placements.

While we work hard on the academics at Graden Elementary, we also work extremely hard in promoting positive character development in our students. Each day our students begin the school day by reciting our "Graden Pledge" along with the "Pledge of Allegiance" and their classroom mission statement. Additionally, through the 8 Habits we are teaching our children to take responsibility for their actions and to apply the principles/habits by taking on leadership roles. We truly feel that developing positive character within our students, along with solid academic skills, will give our students the skills they need for future success.

Over the next semester, we look forward to the academic growth of our hornets and will continue to embrace the social and emotional components of their development. I commend our dedicated teaching staff as they strive for continuous improvement to ensure the best learning experiences for your children. Thank you for your generosity and ongoing support of our many activities and fundraisers. You do make a difference.

In closing, remember to take care of yourself and if you need help or support, don’t be afraid to ask, we always have time for that. Thanks too, for the “gifts” of your children. We promise to handle them with great care during 2021.

Don’t forget that, January 7th is Interest Group Day! Wear your leadership shirts!!!

Also, there is no school on Monday, January 18, in observance of Martin Luther King.

It's a great day to be a Hornet!

Mrs. Vanna Easley, Graden Principal

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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, January 7: Scott Hagemann

Thursday, February 4

Thursday, March 4

Thursday, April 8

Thursday, May 6


It’s hard to believe we are weeks away from a new year! I am hopeful that 2021 will bring health and happiness to all our Graden families. 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 January 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, beautiful, and fulfilling holiday season!

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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


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.

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


20/21 Meeting Dates:

January 11th

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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