Briarwood Newsletter

November 16, 2021

Message from Mr. Lash

Thank You TEAM Briarwood!

I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and take time to reflect on what you are thankful for. Here at Briarwood, we all have much to be thankful for. The Briarwood staff and I are extremely thankful for the PTA and ongoing parent support. We have faced unprecedented and challenging times since March 2020, and the support you have given and continue to provide has been AMAZING!

I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as principal at Briarwood. I am thankful for each and every one of the Briarwood students. They have done an AMAZING job during the pandemic and come to school each day full of positive energy and excitement to learn. I am thankful for the Briarwood staff that goes above and beyond each and every day to meet the needs of every student. The Briarwood staff has done an AMAZING job as they work relentlessly to implement the mitigation measures and meet the academic and social needs of each student. I am thankful for the support of our award winning school district and our local community partnerships.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to TEAM Briarwood for helping to make each day a great day for every one of our students. TEAM Briarwood is like a family, and we “work together” to support our school. At Briarwood, our students continue to flourish academically and socially because our parents, students, staff, parent teacher association, school district, and community are committed to continuous improvement and doing what is best for kids to help them be successful in life.

Gracias EQUIPO Briarwood!

Espero que cada uno de ustedes tenga unas maravillosas vacaciones de Acción de Gracias y que se tomen un tiempo para reflexionar sobre aquello por lo que están agradecidos. Aquí en Briarwood, todos tenemos mucho que agradecer. El personal de Briarwood y yo estamos muy agradecidos por el PTA y el apoyo continuo de los padres. ¡Hemos enfrentado tiempos desafiantes y sin precedentes desde marzo del 2020, y el apoyo que nos han brindado y continúan brindando ha sido INCREÍBLE!

Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad de servir como Director en Briarwood. Estoy agradecido por todos y cada uno de los estudiantes de Briarwood. Han hecho un trabajo INCREÍBLE durante la pandemia y vienen a la escuela todos los días llenos de energía positiva y entusiasmo por aprender. Estoy agradecido por el personal de Briarwood que va más allá todos los días para satisfacer las necesidades de cada estudiante. El personal de Briarwood ha hecho un trabajo INCREÍBLE ya que trabaja sin descanso para implementar las medidas de mitigación y satisfacer las necesidades académicas y sociales de cada estudiante. Estoy agradecido por el apoyo de nuestro Distrito escolar y nuestras asociaciones comunitarias locales.

Quiero expresar mi más sincera gratitud al EQUIPO Briarwood por ayudar a hacer de cada día un gran día para cada uno de nuestros estudiantes. EQUIPO Briarwood es como una familia y “trabajamos juntos” para apoyar a nuestra escuela. En Briarwood, nuestros estudiantes continúan prosperando académica y socialmente porque nuestros padres, estudiantes, personal, asociación de padres y maestros, istrito escolar y comunidad están comprometidos con la mejora continua y haciendo lo mejor para los niños para ayudarlos a tener éxito en la vida.


Important Dates & Deadlines at Briarwood

No School:

Monday, November 22- Friday, November 26


Spirit Wear- orders due November 30th


Citizenship Essays- due Monday, December 6


Double Down on Briarwood

The Briarwood Auction is a fantastic time to catch up with old Briarwood friends and meet some new ones, but did you know that the auction is also our biggest and most important fundraiser?

Are you wondering when it is, what to wear, what are Teacher Treasures, Parent Parties and more? Check it out in our Auction FAQs here:

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Want to give back this holiday season? The SMAC Clothing Exchange needs your help!

The Shawnee Mission Area Council sponsors the Clothing Exchange, a resource for all families in the SMSD area to shop for gently used clothing. Our Briarwood PTA additionally supports this organization with volunteers and a monetary donation for the FREE new sock and underwear program.

Read more about volunteering here:

We need at least EIGHT Briarwood volunteers to sign up for a shift. Please choose the one that works best for you, but the need is greatest on Friday, December 10th and Thursday, December 16th before the Winter Break.

Sign up here:


Citizenship Essay- "I will make the world a better place by..."

This year's Kansas PTA Citizenship Writing Program theme is; "I will make the world a better place by..."

If you are a 5th or 6th grader and you are interested in participating, please see your teacher for an official entry form.

All entries are due by Monday, December 6.

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Briarwood Foundation Update

We are closing in on the end of the first semester and we are excited to share the grants the Briarwood Education Foundation has been able to provide our teachers, staff and students.

In the first semester we have granted a total of $4,500 to cover the following:

- Additional phonics and reading curriculum for grades Kindergarten through second grade - requested by reading specialist Mrs. Roberts

- Additional walkie-talkies for the staff to enhance communication and security with staff - requested by the school administration

- Premium membership for Kodable to be used by all classrooms to help our kids learn core programming concepts through engaging games developed with real teachers and kids - requested by librarian Mrs. Martens


Playground update, brought to you by the Briarwood PTA


A space for EVERY Bulldog- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Briarwood

This space is where we will identify opportunities that allow Briarwood families to engage with the broader community to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

If you are interested in taking an active role in diversity, equity and inclusion at Briarwood, please contact PTA Chair of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Jessica Brooks-Bryon @

November 16, 2021 International Day for Tolerance

Tolerance is acceptance, respect and appreciation of world cultures and ways of being Human. When you practice tolerance, you accept another’s ideas and beliefs. If you respect someone’s opinions – even if you disagree - you display tolerance.

Talk with your students about building tolerance through:

1. Taking ownership of your feelings. Recognize that no one can make you feel a certain way without your permission.

2. Developing Curiosity. Often, when we lack tolerance towards others it’s because we don’t understand them.

3. Changing your Perspective.

4. Practicing Respect.

Este espacio es donde identificaremos oportunidades que permitan a las familias de Briarwood interactuar con la comunidad en general para promover la diversidad, la equidad y la inclusión.

Si está interesado en asumir un papel activo en la diversidad, la equidad y la inclusión en Briarwood, comuníquese con Presidente de la PTA de Diversidad, Equidad e Inclusión

Jessica Brooks-Bryon @

16 de Noviembre de 2021 Día Internacional de la Tolerancia

La tolerancia es la aceptación, el respeto y la apreciación de las culturas y formas de ser humanos del mundo. Cuando practicas la tolerancia, aceptas las ideas y creencias de los demás. Si respetas las opiniones de alguien, incluso si no estás de acuerdo, muestras tolerancia.

Hable con sus alumnos sobre cómo desarrollar la tolerancia a través de:

1. Tomar posesión de sus sentimientos. Reconoce que nadie puede hacerte sentir de cierta manera sin tu permiso.

2. Desarrollar la curiosidad. A menudo, cuando carecemos de tolerancia hacia los demás es porque no los entendemos.

3. Cambio de perspectiva.

4. Practicar el respeto.


Thank you Hillcrest Covenant Church

Over the years Hillcrest has supported Briarwood in many ways. On an ongoing basis Hillcrest has provided financial support for needs vetted by the Briarwood social workers. This support can often bridge a gap between an emergency need and further support systems provided by the school district or other community programs.

Hillcrest has finished gathering backpacks filled with school supplies for each grade level. These are available to the Briarwood staff as needed when a new student arrives.

Hillcrest has also generously provided staff appreciation treats, with more planned in the future.

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Read Across SMSD- November

Each month of the school year features a new theme and book recommendations, provided by the National Education Association. Shawnee Mission School District librarians and educators have also compiled lists of similar titles that connect to each monthly theme.

November’s book is: All Around Us

Written by: Xelena Gonzalez


Read-a-Thon Recap

Our 5th annual Read-a-Thon was a big success! We raised $2,500, which will cover our library and Read Across SMSD book budget for this year. Please thank your friends and family members for their generous support of our Briarwood PTA

A special THANK YOU to Susan Smittkamp for her hard work in organizing this event, along with the fun activities during the school day that Mrs. Martens and Mrs. Roberts organized. Thank you to Mrs. Boetcher, Mrs. Martens and Mr. Lash for reading a book on Facebook Live.


Thank you to Jennifer Blattman and all the volunteers that have been tending the Briarwood gardens!

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Join the Briarwood PTA now!

Once you have registered in Membership Toolkit, you can find PTA memberships in the Store:

Individual memberships are $12 and Joint memberships are $24. The Briarwood PTA works to support every student and teacher in our building and our goal is to have 100% participation from our families and teachers. PTA memberships are also a fundraiser for Briarwood PTA.

With the cost of membership, you will receive a printed directory (one per household). PTA members receive exclusive access to the online directory through Membership Toolkit – take your digital directory anywhere you go! Questions? Contact


Crossing Guards needed - sign up today!

We need volunteers for crosswalk duty at 86th and Juniper.

  • Children must walk themselves and/or their bikes/scooter across the crosswalk
  • Cars are not permitted to turn left off of 86th Street before and after school times
  • Crosswalk times are 7:50-8:10am and 3:05-3:20pm (12:25pm-12:40pm on half days)
  • If you are unable to make your assigned time, please find a sub or trade with someone
  • Please try and sign up at least once a month and wear a mask!

Thank you very much for your willingness to help!

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Let's help Mrs. Martens by donating items to MakerSpace

Thank you for all of the recyclable donations! We have successfully stocked the recyclable cans! Listed are some items that Mrs. Martens will be collecting for future MakerSpace projects.

Please send donated items with your child on library day:

Pipe Cleaners


Dixie Cups

Ziplock baggies (all sizes)

Cleaning wipes


Earn Money for Briarwood while you shop on Amazon!

Go to and designate Briarwood as your charitable organization. Briarwood will earn .5% from most purchases.

Bookmark the website to use each time you shop! All of your account information will remain the same, but you’ll be raising money for Briarwood
Click below to learn more about the SMAC Clothing Exchange
Click below for information about COVID-19

Briarwood’s social worker, Cassie Horn is available to provide support to all families

Mrs. Horn can:
  • Help students/families with anxiety, depression, suicide prevention, peer relationships and other family/school dynamics
  • Help create behavior support plans with students/families/teachers
  • Assist teachers with social emotional teaching and trauma informed approaches in their classroom
  • Individual and group counseling within school setting
  • Provide resources to parents struggling with emotional/behavioral issues at home
  • Connect families to resources, such as our community partner Hillcrest Covenant Church. Resources include groceries, housing, clothing etc.

Please contact Mrs. Horn with any questions or concerns: 913-993-2262


La trabajadora social de Briarwood, Cassie Horn está aquí para brindar apoyo a todas nuestras familias de Bulldog

La Sra. Horn Puede:

  • Ayudar a los estudiantes / familias con ansiedad, depresión, prevención del suicidio, relaciones con los compañeros y otras dinámicas familiares / escolares.
  • Ayudar a crear planes de apoyo al comportamiento con estudiantes / familias / maestros.
  • Ayudar a los maestros con la enseñanza socioemocional y enfoques informados sobre el trauma en los salones.
  • Asesoramiento individual y grupal dentro del entorno escolar.
  • Proporcionar recursos a los padres que luchan con problemas emocionales o de comportamiento en el hogar.
  • Conectarlo con recursos junto con nuestro socio comunitario Hillcrest Covenant Church para nuestras familias. Los recursos incluyen comestibles, vivienda, ropa, etc

Comuniquese con ella con cualquier pregunta o inquietud 913-9932262


Social Media Info

Briarwood Elementary Bulldogs on Facebook- Grade-level private Facebook groups, search:

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2028 (6th grade)

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2029 (5th grade)

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2030 (4th grade)

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2031 (3rd grade)

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2032 (2nd grade)

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2033 (1st grade)

Briarwood Elementary Class of 2034 (K)

Instagram @briarwoodbulldogs

Twitter @BriarwoodElem


2021-2022 PTA Executive Committee


Molly Lund •

Mary Boomer •


Deana Curtin•

VP Administration:

Kim Shelton •

VP Communications:

Jennifer Freund •

VP Community Events:

Krissie Kiehne •

VP Student Services:

Kristin McClasky •

VP Funding:

Sadie Durbin •

VP Finance:

Laura Strongman


Michelle Wiens


Ashley Hunt •

Briarwood Foundation:

Wendy Hill •

Diversity & Inclusion Chair:

Jessica Bryon •