The Cougar Connection
Weekly Update for Families - November 16, 2023
From Dr. Gruman
Dear Northwest Community,
I will open with the admission that I tend to be reflective this time of year, so you will see more words in this edition. So much to be grateful for in our community.
We have had a busy week of learning and as Friday draws near, everyone seems ready for the upcoming break. This time of year provides opportunities for us to reflect and share treasured time with family and friends. As I reflect, I rediscover why I am so very grateful to be a part of our Shawnee Mission Northwest community. Our students are amazing. They inspire me daily as I see them work hard to share their time and talents across a myriad of courses, activities, and interests. Last week, we saw our students come together with our Student Council Leadership to raise cans and money to make an impact in our community. Northwest raised approximately 5,600 can/boxed goods and approximately $4,700 in donations for the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. We were energized by Buff Puff volleyball game and Powder Puff flag football that raised money for this cause and created fun memories for our students. Our students came together to make a difference for others in our larger community.
We are so thankful for the support of our parents and families. Partnerships with our families is central to our success as a school and we value our collaboration. And I want to highlight our community’s compassion in how we take care of each other. I am often humbled by the generosity of our community. PTSA coordinating teacher appreciation to provide a pie for each of our staff - a wonderful treat, and a reminder to our staff that they are appreciated for everything they do for our students. Your donations make that happen. Our families help each other. Throughout the journeys of our lives, we encounter challenges and may find difficult times. I have seen our community reach out to provide care and support for families in those times. One opportunity is the gift card drive.
Our PTSA and SMNW Student Services department are teaming up again this year for our gift card drive. This drive is for SMNW families. Each year 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 to SMNW front office by Friday, December 1st. Donations can also be given through this link provided by PTSA https://smnwptsa.memberhub.com/store/items/961336 Thanks in advance for supporting our NW families. If your family is in need of this assistance this holiday season, please email your students social worker. Tina Clark email@example.com if your student’s last name is A-M and Melissa Osborn at firstname.lastname@example.org if your student’s last name is L-Z.
We want to celebrate our student journalists and their honors earned at the recent National Convention in Boston!
Our journalism students attended the JEA/NSPA National Convention in Boston. There, all five schools in SMSD had students up for national awards for story, design, and photo of the year. Students in SMSD ended up winning first place in the following categories:
National Story of the Year, Opinion
National Story of the Year, Feature
National Digital Story of the Year, Multimedia News Story
National Digital Story of the Year, Interactive Graphic
National Photo of the Year, Sports Feature
National Design of the Year, Yearbook Theme
National Writer of the Year
In the Best of Show competition –Shawnee Mission Northwest placed 3rdin the Yearbook category.
Below are all of the awards from the convention, along with links that lead to the work of the story, design, and photo of the year.
NSPA Boston awards
National Scholastic Press Association National Individual Awards
Story of the Year: https://studentpress.org/nspa/2023-story-of-the-year/
Grace Logan – 1st Place National Story of the Year, Feature, Shawnee Mission Northwest
Sofia Ball – 4th place National Story of the Year, Opinion, Shawnee Mission Northwest
Alex Young – 5th place National Story of the Year, Diversity, Equity and Inclusing Reporting, Shawnee Mission Northwest
Design of the Year: https://studentpress.org/nspa/2023-design-of-the-year/
Danie Eaves, Marissa Buffon – 1st Place National Design of the Year, Yearbook Theme, Shawnee Mission Northwest
Northwest Passage – National Pacemaker
Best of Show:
The Lair – 3rd place Best of Show yearbook
National Student Media Contests
Grace Rau – Superior – Editorial Cartooning
Ashley Broils – Superior – Feature Photography
Emelia Fothergill – Superior – Videography
Sarah Wellman – Excellent – Yearbook Copy/Caption: Sports
Bella Alvarado – Excellent – Newspaper Layout Design
Danie Eaves – Excellent – Yearbook Layout: Theme
Jose Duran – Excellent – Photo Illustration
Annamarie Torres – Excellent – photography portfolio
Kara Simpson – Excellent – Portrait Photo
Finn Bedell – Excellent – First-Year Photo
Aliyah Carter – Excellent – Yearbook Cover/Endsheets
Graeme Hobbs & Nathan Jamie – Honorable Mention – Broadcast Commercial/PSA
Mek Malinowski & Ivan Brunsky – Honorable Mention – Broadcast Feature Story
Jesus Lara Rivera – Honorable Mention – Newswriting
Greta Grist – Honorable Mention – Newsmagazine Layout
Brooklynn Bridwell-Keaton – Honorable Mention – Graphic Design: Advertising
Cooper Evans – Honorable Mention – Sports Feature: photography
Sofia Ball – Honorable Mention – Editorial Writing
We hope you have a wonderful break full of treasured moments.
All the best,
From our Northwest Counselors
Sign-up is NOW OPEN to take the FREE ACT EXAM on February 27, 2024. All Juniors (11th Grade) are able to participate.
How to Sign-up:
Juniors will be able to sign-up using a Google Form linked HERE. The link was also sent to students and families on Nov. 7th via email and Skyward.
Registration will close on December 1st, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.
FREE ACT EXAM DATE
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at SMNW | 7:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Boys State of Kansas
The American Legion Boys State of Kansas program is a premier leadership opportunity for Junior and Sophomores (23-24 school year). It is held from Sunday June 2-Saturday June 8th at Kansas State University in Manhattan. If you apply by December 1st the $50 dollar family responsibility fee is waived. Go to www.ksbstate.org and click apply to complete the online application.
Sunflower Girls State
The American Legion Auxiliary Sunflower Girls State program in Kansas, is an opportunity for young women to develop leadership skills and an understanding of good citizenship. It is held from June 2-7th and is open to Juniors during the 23-24 school year. More information can be found at www.ksgirlsstate.org
Zach Cash A-D email@example.com
Barb Legate E-J firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Cole K-Pe email@example.com
Jessica Andrade Pf-R (ELL) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan Landis S-U email@example.com
Erica Jablonski V-Z (RWL) firstname.lastname@example.org
From Your NW Social Workers
Season’s Greetings Northwest Families!
If you, or anyone you know, would like help this holiday season, the Johnson County Christmas Bureau is assists families with gift giving.
Please find the below application and information for your use.
Holiday Gift Card Drive
Our PTSA and SMNW Student Services department are teaming up again this year for our gift card drive. This drive is for SMNW families. Each year 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 to SMNW front office by Friday, December 1st. Donations can also be given through this link provided by PTSA https://smnwptsa.memberhub.com/store/items/961336
Thanks in advance for supporting our NW families. If your family is in need of this assistance this holiday season, please email your students social worker
Tina Clark email@example.com if your student’s last name is A-M
Melissa Osborn at firstname.lastname@example.org if your student’s last name is L-Z
Interested in Helping out the Community but don't know where to start? SMAC PTA Clothing Exchange wants your Clothing!!
ECKMEA District Orchestra
East Central Kansas Music Educators Association (ECKMEA) held auditions for District Orchestra placement this past weekend. ECKMA hosts this competitive process for orchestra students in Johnson, Miami, Franklin, and Osage Counties. SMNW Orchestra is pleased to announce the following students selected for placements. They will participate in the ECKMEA district convention on December 2, 2023 and are eligible to audition for State Orchestra.
HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA ROSTER (GOLD)
Violin I - Andrew Mitchell
Viola - Wolfgang Sell
Cello - Julian Jones
Bass -- Clare O'Malley
HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA ROSTER (BLUE)
Violin I - Kayla Carpenter
NW Athletic Links
Please remember that winter sports start the week of November 13th. For your student to compete in practices/tryouts they must have a completed physical packet on file in the athletic office. If questions, please contact Mrs. Vicki Alvey at 913-993-7400 or by email at email@example.com
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 - https://www.schoolcafe.com/SHAWNEEMISSION.
- 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 https://www.smsd.org/families/transportation or call DS Bus Lines at 913-384-1190.