The Cougar Connection

Weekly Update for Families - November 2, 2023

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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)

From Dr. Gruman

Dear Northwest Community,

We have had an exciting week of learning as we are adjusted to the cooler fall temperatures. We are also excited for our journalism and KUGR students as they headed to their National Conference this week. As well as hosting the NW Area Choir festival tonight at 7 pm and it was so fun to host our middle and elementary school students today for their rehearsal. We look forward to cheering on our Cougar football team as they advanced to the next level of post season play this Friday against Gardner Edgerton.

We are excited to celebrate our inductees for National Honor Society on Monday. Looking ahead, we have an upcoming theater production November 9 through 11. We hope you can join us for one of those nights.

We look forward to another great week of learning and we hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

All the best,

Lisa Gruman

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Mark Your Calendar

  • Tuesday 10/31 during Seminar will be a Travel day
  • Thursday 10/26 Late Start
Student Services Dept.

Lisa Jones 913.993.7230

From our Northwest Counselors

Check out these Real World Learning Opportunities:

  • If your student is interested in taking the optional AP (Advanced Placement) examination, College Board registration and payment are both due Tomorrow November 3, 2023. Please see the NW Counseling Website (under “Academics”) for ALL information!

    NOTE: Join Codes must come from the teacher!

  • Parochial School Visit/Tour coming soon!

    If you know of any friends/neighbors with 8th graders attending private schools that may be interested in attending their public high school next fall, please let them know about this opportunity!

    Students and parents of parochial school 8th graders are welcome to join us Nov. 7th at SMNW at 8:00AM to learn about SMNW and what we have to offer our students. The informational session will be followed by a tour of the building.

    *Trailridge 8th grade students and families will be invited later in the year, in January, for an evening event at NW.

Zach Cash A-D

Barb Legate E-J

Katie Cole K-Pe

Jessica Andrade Pf-R (ELL)

Jordan Landis S-U

Erica Jablonski V-Z (RWL)

From Your NW Social Workers

This school year (2023-2024) the Shawnee Mission School District is once again utilizing the Panorama Social-Emotional Learning survey to assess student’s perseverance, grit, determination, school culture and student-teacher relationships.

The Panorama Social-Emotional survey takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete and will be administered during the first semester. The first survey window is scheduled for October 16 through November 10, 2023. Parents/Guardians must consent for their student(s) to participate in the Panorama survey; this would have been done during the 23-24registration process.

Survey data will be reviewed at the district and classroom level to determine areas of strength, as well as areas where more instruction and/or support is needed. Once survey results are returned, parents/guardians are welcome to see and discuss the results with their students’ teachers, social workers, and counselors. Sample survey questions can be found here and here.

We encourage you to visit the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) website to learn more about how Social Emotional Learning benefits your child and their environment. All data is maintained by SMSD and will remain confidential. Please visit this site for more information about the Panorama SEL survey.

Información para padres/tutores - Español:

Este año escolar (2023-2024) el Distrito Escolar de Shawnee Mission está utilizando la Encuesta Panorama de Aprendizaje Social y Emocional para evaluar la perseverancia, la determinación, la cultura escolar y las relaciones entre estudiantes y maestros. La encuesta Panorama Social-Emocional tarda aproximadamente 30 a 45 minutos en completarse. La primera ventana de la encuesta está programada del 16 de octubre al 10 de noviembre de 2023. Los padres/tutores deben dar su consentimiento para que sus estudiantes participen en la encuesta Panorama; esto se habría hecho durante el proceso de registro 23-24.

Los datos de la encuesta se revisarán a nivel de distrito y salón de clases para determinar las áreas de fortaleza, así como las áreas donde se necesita más instrucción y / o apoyo. Una vez que se devuelven los resultados de la encuesta, los padres / tutores pueden ver y discutir los resultados con los maestros, trabajadores sociales y consejeros de sus estudiantes. Se pueden encontrar ejemplos de preguntas de la encuesta aquí: here y aquí: here.

Le recomendamos que visite el sitio web del Departamento de Educación del Estado de Kansas (KSDE) para obtener más información sobre cómo el Aprendizaje Social Emocional beneficia a su hijo/a y su entorno:


Follow this link to purchase items, support fundraisers, volunteer or become a PTSA Member! Please see the link below for JUNIOR families:

PTSA Updates

Visit the SMNW PTA website for details on all upcoming events and activities

The November edition of Northwest News is out! Click here to read:

PTSA's annual Pie Fundraiser is happening NOW! Buy local pies for your Thanksgiving holiday, November Staff Appreciation, or BOTH and all proceeds benefit After Prom '24! Orders are due November 10. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

SMNW PTSA's Annual Pies Fundraiser Is HERE!

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Drugs in the Age of Fentanyl

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Interested in Helping out the Community but don't know where to start? SMAC PTA Clothing Exchange wants your Clothing!!

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Senior Section

***Senior Parents:

THERE IS STILL TIME! Please watch the short video for important info and a schedule of events. GRAD ORDER DUE DATE: November 1st Congratulations, Seniors!

Grad Info and Schedule of Events

***Senior Ads are now up for grabs! Please use this link to purchase an ad for your senior in the 2023-2024 Northwest Yearbook!


Victoria Alvey - 913.993.7400

NW Athletic Links

Parents, athletes, and others throughout the community, here is the latest edition of “EVERYDAY CHAMPION” Newsletter We hope you enjoy.

EveryDay Champion Newsletter Week of Nov. 6

DS Bus Lines

Shawnee Mission School District 2023-24 Busing

  • Bus registration may be found at the following link: DS Bus Lines registration
  • 2023-24 bus fees will remain the same as the prior year.
    • $185/semester/student or $370/year/student
  • Any student attending their home school and living 2.5 miles or more from the school qualifies for free busing. Registration is required.
  • Students who qualify for the Child Nutrition Meal Benefits – free and reduced priced meals may also qualify for free transportation, and enroll to ride existing routes. When registering, please provide a copy of the Child Nutrition Meal Benefits Eligibility letter to DS Bus Lines to complete the enrollment process. SMSD families can apply for Child Nutrition Meal Benefits after July 1st on School Café -
  • Transportation changes put in effect during the 2022-23 school year will remain in effect for the 2023-24 school year. This includes limiting high school routes to students residing over 2.0 miles from their school.
  • Bus routes and stop locations will be determined based on those who register for busing. A minimum number of registrations (50 paid) is required in order to offer a route.
  • Annual transportation registration is required for students to receive bus service.

For more information on Shawnee Mission School District transportation, please visit or call DS Bus Lines at 913-384-1190.