Grain Valley Schools Update

A Grain Valley School District Publication

We Are Committed to Keeping You Informed

District priorities for 2016 are highlighted in this first issue of Grain Valley Schools Update. We are using this email newsletter approach for the first time and are targeting all families of students who attend Grain Valley Schools. This is the latest effort to keep our families informed of progress towards our priorities. Be sure to let us know if you have story ideas, questions, or other feedback.


We also utilize social media to communicate with our stakeholders. Follow up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Top news stories are posted on our blog, Grain Valley Schools Today, at Grainvalleyschools.blogspot.com.

Guided by Our Mission Statement

Through our Mission Statement, we intend to inform, unify, challenge and motivate our key stakeholders by setting a common understanding of our school district.


Mission - When all key stakeholders have a common understanding of the mission, we can better work together as a team in pursuit of the vision.

Vision - The desired future state of our district.

Values - We reinforce the basic family values that children first learn at home, in order to impact the future.


Our Mission: We operate a public school district dedicated to educating every student, every day.


Our Vision: To be the best model of student success whose graduates are prepared to excel in a complex world.


Our Values: Integrity – Self-discipline – Respect – Responsibility – Citizenship – Leadership

Engaging Our Stakeholders in Planning for the Future

Who: Parents, Students in grades 4-12, Community Members, and Employees.

What: You are invited to serve as a member of our Key Stakeholder Strategic Planning Committee, or "Planning Committee," to inform goals and strategies to guide our district into the future in areas of teaching, learning, and achieving overall excellence as a district.

When: 3-night commitment needed. January 12, 14, & 19 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 .p.m. We will serve dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Grain Valley North Middle School Media Center - 31608 N.E. Pink Hill Rd. Grain Valley, MO

Why: Please help us generate our next 5-year plan for district improvement.

How: RSVP to Brad Welle at bwelle@gvr5.net.

Bond Issue on the Ballot for February 2

The School Board has approved the placement of a $9.5 Million bond issue on the ballot for February 2, 2016 to allow for the next phase of work to our high school. Passage of this bond issue does not require raising the district tax levy rate.


Our district continues to grow. We currently have 4200 students in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grades, including nearly 1200 students in our high school. This is twice as many students in our district as we had just 11 years ago.


The next phase of the high school phase features seven new classrooms, plus restrooms, collaboration spaces and the renovation of approximately one-half of the existing classrooms between the new 2016 phase and the 2013 phase.


Also included in this phase are eight new tennis courts (located at the former bus lot) and a plaza/concessions/restroom/storage between the new tennis courts and the baseball and softball fields. Two hundred additional parking spaces are included in the base bid for the south side of the school, as is a greenhouse attached to science classrooms on the south side of the school.


Prior to 2012, our high school building had a capacity of 850 students. In 2012 the school district hosted public forums to address the needs of a much-overcrowded Grain Valley High School. Based on the input from stakeholders in these sessions, the School Board approved a long-range plan to double the square footage of the high school building and renovate the existing structure to provide the infrastructure, instructional space, and activity space needed to accommodate as many as 1600 high school students. This long-range plan has led to the passage of school bond issues in 2013 and 2014, resulting in additions and renovations to the southeast corner of the school. Improvements have also been made to the entrance and north plaza of the stadium. The next phase of the long range plan shifts attention to the northeast corner of the school.


Check out our blog for more information on the scope of the project and how it fits into the long-range plan to expand and renovate the high school:http://grainvalleyschools.blogspot.com/


The next phase of the high school, pictured below, facing west from the current tennis courts features seven new classrooms, plus restrooms, collaboration spaces and the renovation of existing classrooms. This new entrance will serve students who ride buses to and from school.

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All High School Students Issued Chromebooks Next Fall

The district first issued Chromebooks to 75 students for the spring 2014 semester. Using what was learned from this limited first trial, the pilot program was expanded to 475 students in the fall of 2015. Systems for training and support are being put into place to now support a full 1:1 initiative in the fall of 2016.


Chromebook devices for the 1200+ high school students will be secured through a lease agreement. Leasing the hardware spreads the cost of the devices over multiple years and allow for the eventual upgrade of devices. Families are responsible for an insurance fee, which is reduced for families who qualify.

New Courses Offered Next Fall

Aviation

Computer Programming at middle school and high school


Students should check with their school counselor for more information on these new course opportunities.

New Preschool Program Serves 4-Year Olds

The Grain Valley School District is offering a preschool program for the first time this year. The purpose of the preschool program is to provide a partial day school learning experience to children prior to entering Kindergarten. Children who turn four prior to August 1 are admitted to the program based on results from a standard screening process. Classes are taught by a certified early childhood teacher with assistance from a classroom paraprofessional. The curriculum is geared towards the developmental needs of children this age intended to strengthen the school readiness of each child.Screenings will be scheduled for later this spring.

This is a half-day program that runs Monday through Thursday. The morning session runs 8:00-11:00 AM and the afternoon session runs 12:15-3:15 PM. The preschool program follows the school district calendar for holidays.


The cost for the program is $60 per child, per week. Discounted rates are available for families who qualify.


Transportation is the responsibility of the parents/guardians.


Children showing the greatest need based on a standard screening process are given first consideration for the program.

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Time and Talent Partnerships Needed to Help Students Succeed

We are looking for churches and businesses to partner with our schools to provide volunteers to serve as elementary lunch buddies or to serve as guest speakers to middle school students who may struggle to see the value in an education.


We are also in need of donors to our Sni Valley Incentive Scholarship, established this year to encourage students who have faced challenges getting through high school to continue their education beyond high school.


Can you help with any of these priorities? Email us at brightfutures@gvr5.net for more information or ask at your child's school.

Family Response to School Crises

A recent bomb threat to our high school was quickly determined to not be credible.

Our staff and students at the high school remained calm and followed their protocols. Concerned parents honored our request not to converge at the school. Instead parents waited as school and district personnel and law enforcement did their jobs and worked to keep high school parents updated via automated phone calls. We sent high school parents three automated calls over the two hours of the incident.


Should we ever be in a situation when we need parents to get their children from school or from a relocation site, we would use our automated phone call system, email, Schoolway App, and social media tools to get the word to parents right away. The first instinct of any parent is to reunite with their child right away. We assure you that student safety is our top priority and we have plans in place to reunite students with their families under various scenarios.