Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, April 2021

Hornet Families,

As we move into fourth quarter, I want to take another moment to thank each and every one of you for all of your support during this challenging year. We have experienced many unexpected challenges, but we continue to focus on what is important... our Hornet Students! Our students have shown more flexibility, resiliency and grit than I could ever dream of at their age. Thank you for allowing us to learn with them and from them. Our Hornets continue to give us our why and our hope each and every day!

Our Read-A-Thon was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!! Thank your for your generosity and donations. We are so excited that we reached our goal and absolutely couldn't have done it without each of you.

With COVID-19 decreasing in our community, and the warmer weather approaching, the district has made a decision to allow students to play outside at recess without their masks on. If you would like your child to continue wearing their mask at recess, please reach out to your classroom teacher. We appreciate your continued partnership in keeping our students and staff safe.

We will also have our annual MAP test for students online and face-to-face in third-fifth grade. Continue reading this newsletter to find more specific information about testing dates and expectations.

We are very excited to share that we will continue our yearly tradition of hosting a Graden Field Day this year. To comply with CDC guidelines we will host third through fifth grade in-person field day on Thursday, May 20th and kindergarten through second grade, in-person field day on Friday, May 21st. Online students will have an opportunity to participate in a virtual field day.

Field day preparations are in full swing as we plan with staff and student safety in mind. Thank you, in advance, to Coach Munsterman and all of our classroom teachers for their hard work to help us continue this beloved day and to our entire staff for their willingness to pitch in and help in all ways since we aren't able to have our wonderful parent volunteers this year.

As a reminder, we will not have school on Friday, April 9th as our staff receive their second vaccination. April 9th will be a distance learning day. Look for communication from your teacher by 9:00 am.

Grade cards will also be available in Infinite Campus for parents to view on Friday, April 9th

Thank you for all that you do to support Graden!

It's a great day to be a Hornet!

Mrs. Vanna Easley, Graden Principal



All Graden families will need to update their registration and residency in the Parent Portal beginning Monday, April 5th. Please login to the Parent Portal and verify residency by following the prompts. All families will need to provide two proofs of residency prior to submitting your information.

We know that all of our Hornets have specific learning styles and needs. If you are interested in providing parent input on your child's specific learning needs, please request a parent input form from the Graden office. All request forms are due back to Graden on Friday, May 7th.

***If you have questions, please contact Meghan Wheeler, Graden Registrar at 359-4340


The enrollment window for the Park Hill Online Academy for the 2021-2022 school year is approaching:

•High school: March 15-26

•Middle school: April 5-16

•Elementary: April 5-16

For more information, please visit the district office webpage here.

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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, April 8 - Paper Airplanes

Thursday, May 6


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The MAP testing window will be open Monday, May 3rd - Friday, May 28th for all Graden third, fourth and fifth grade students. We have worked so hard this year despite the many challenges, and this is just one more way to help us identify our strengths and areas to grow. In the meantime, daily attendance (when healthy) is so very important as we work together to finish the year strong.

Below you will find Graden's MAP testing schedule. Your classroom teacher will send a schedule home as well. We ask that you try to avoid making appointments during the testing window. We appreciate your efforts to encourage the importance of attending school each day!

As our third, fourth and fifth grade students prepare to show what they know, please look for more information to come in the weeks ahead regarding testing preparations and details from your classroom teacher.

**** Online Third and Fifth Grade Students

Online third and fifth grade students will be asked to test in-person at Graden Elementary School. We have worked with the district to combine assessments so to limit the number of days that online students are required to come to the building. On testing days, online students will be at Graden from 9:30 am - 1:15 pm. We are asking families to drop students off at 9:30 am in the west car rider loop and pick up at 1:15 pm in the west car rider loop. This will ensure our online students are able to socially distance from our face-to-face students. Each testing day.

**** Online Fourth Grade Students

Graden online fourth grade students will take the MAP test at Renner Elementary School. Look for information from your classroom teacher regarding dates and times.

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Each year during standardized testing it is our goal to provide all of the students with a snack on each of their testing days. This year the district has granted permission for our families to donate snacks for all classes that are participating in MAP testing as long as we abide by the following requirements:

1. All snacks must be delivered to Graden no later than Monday, April 19. This provides a full week for the snacks to be stored in the building prior to dissemination.

2. Snacks should be dry, individually pre-packaged, and should NOT require refrigeration. Suggested snack items are crackers, individually packaged muffins, fruit snacks, granola bars, chips, popcorn, cereal, cookies, etc. Please avoid donating any items containing nuts.

3. All snacks must be in original package and clearly labeled with the grade level and teacher's name.

If you wish to contribute a snack for your child's class please find the teacher's name below. Click on the Sign Up box next to the teacher's name, then scroll down and click on Submit and Sign Up. Enter your name or your student's name and an email address and click Sign Up Now!

We ask that you provide enough snacks for 30 students. You may send snacks in with your student any time between now and April 19. Please have them drop off snacks in the office for storage until the testing days arrive.

Please be sure to follow the guidelines above to ensure your donation is put to good use. We appreciate your support!

Graden PTA


I am so excited to be focusing on College and Career Awareness this month! Please see below for our College and Career Spirit Week (!!!) calendar. You can also 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 April Counseling Newsletter below—be sure to check this out, as there are several fun resources to continue college and career exploration outside of school. 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. It’s going to be an awesome month!

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Thursday, May 6, 2021: Kindergarten Kick Off: 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm at Graden Elementary: Families will sign-up for a time to visit Graden, meet our kindergarten teachers, engage in fun kindergarten activities and take a tour of the building.

****Use the link below to sign up for your time.

Students must be 5 years old on or before July 31, 2021 to enroll in Kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year.

Enroll your kindergartener beginning April 5th in Infinite Campus. Please ensure you have the following documents for enrollment : state issued birth certificate, 2 proofs of residency, and updated immunization records.

Call Graden Elementary for any questions: 359-4340


We are beyond excited to recognize all of our fifth grade Hornets both online and face-to-face this year. While we would prefer a face-to-face promotion, we want all of our fifth grade students to know that we are honored and proud to celebrate this milestone with them.

We will celebrate by sharing a virtual promotion with all families the week of May 24th. This communication will come from myself and each of your teachers.

5th Grade Promotion Parade:

We will also have a 5th Grade Promotion Parade Thursday, May 27th from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. During the parade all 5th grade families will be able to drive through the Graden parking lot and be recognized by their current 5th grade teachers, specials teachers, administration and many other staff members. We are looking forward to celebrating this monumental time with all of our 5th graders.


Summer School will be in-person ONLY. Mrs. Bishop (our current Assistant Principal) will be the Principal for summer school!

She wanted to share some important information (below) with you to ensure that everyone can start planning ahead for summer school and is aware of enrollment dates!

Summer School Specifics:

Graden and English Landing Students


  • June 7-July 2 (Monday-Friday)

  • School start time-8:40am

  • End of the day-3:40pm


  • You can register for summer school at the same time you verify enrollment and residency, which begins April 5th.

  • Summer School enrollment ends May 7th.

Click HERE For more summer school information!

We are looking forward to an amazing summer filled with learning and lots of FUN!

Mrs. Courtney Bishop, Assistant Principal

(816) 359-6506

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Drinking enough water daily is so crucial for overall mental and physical health. Our hornets play hard and study hard at school. Getting plenty of water before, during and after school is just as important for student success as sleeping. Hydrated kids are healthy kids, and healthy kids are productive learners.

Why water?

  • Lubricates joints thus decreasing joint pain
  • Produces saliva thus reducing tooth decay
  • 90% of blood is water and blood carries oxygen to the body and brain
  • Promotes skin health
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Decreases constipation/stomachaches/heartburn
  • Helps alleviate issues with asthma and allergies
  • Helps maintain weight
  • Reduces Urinary Tract Infections

When children feel healthy, they can stay in the classroom and focus on learning. Often when a student comes to the health room, it is due to dehydration. Many issues such as stomachaches/constipation, sore throat, over-heating at recess, dry skin and chapped lips can be prevented with adequate water intake.

Offering a non-sugary drink in the morning, providing a water bottle to take to school and asking what they had to drink at lunch, are some examples of helping your child to stay hydrated.

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

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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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2020-2021 PTA Meeting Dates

April 12th- Dr. Cowherd will join to present district updates


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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