Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, March 2023

Happy March, Hornets!

It is hard to believe that the end of third quarter will be Friday, March 17th. I am so impressed with the teaching and learning that happens each and every day at Graden-- our students are learning amazing things.

We will celebrate our learning at our Spring Showcase on Wednesday, March 15th, from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. This is an open house event where families can join classrooms to hear their students share about their learning from the year, look at the amazing art work designed by our Hornets, and purchase books at the book fair. More information below about this event.

This is always the time of year that we begin planning for Kindergarten Kick-Off. This year our kick-off event is scheduled for Thursday, May 4th, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. This will be a face-to-face event for all incoming kindergarten students and their families. Families will be able to sign-up for a scheduled block of time to visit Graden, meet our kindergarten teachers and take a tour. Please spread the word to neighbors and friends who have children who will attend Graden in the fall of 2023. Students need to be 5 years old by July 31 in order to enroll for the 2023-24 school year. More information will be sent home prior to the event.

We will also begin planning for our fifth-grade celebrations at the end of the year. Our fifth grade teachers, with the help of our students, are working on grade-level celebrations to end the year strong! Please look for communication from your student's teacher prior to May.

Our annual Read-a-Thon has started! We so appreciate your support of this annual PTA fundraiser. Revenue from this fundraiser goes directly back to the students and staff. Our goal is to purchase a Gaga Ball Pit for recess and continue to fund early release special interest group days. A special thanks to Mrs. Jessica Freels, who is spearheading this campaign.

Annually, schools across the Northland nominate employees to be recognized in two categories: Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Service to Education. This year, Graden will recognize two deserving individuals for these nominations. Miss Hannah Huffaker, Graden first grade teacher, has be nominated for her Excellence in Teaching, and Mrs. Nikki Suchanick, Graden school administrative assistant, has been nominated for Excellence in Service to Education. We look forward to celebrating with them at the Chamber Banquet in April.

As a reminder, Spring Break begins for all students on Friday, March 17th @ 12:48 pm and runs through Sunday, March 26th. I hope you have a safe and fun break!

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, March 1st - Early Release @ 2:00 pm

Wednesday, March 1st - Spin Pizza PTA Fundraiser Night - 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Thursday, March 2nd - Mathletics Competition @ 4:45 pm

Wednesday, March 8th - Spring Picture Day

Thursday, March 9th - Graden Skate Party - River Roll @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Monday, March 13th - Greg Tang - Virtual Parent Night

Wednesday, March 15th - Graden Spring Showcase, Art Fair & Book Fair - 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Thursday, March 16th - District Mathletics Competition @ 4:45 pm - Lakeview Middle School

Friday, March 17th - 1/2 Day Dismissal @ 12:48 pm

Monday, March 20th - Sunday, March 26th - Spring Break

Friday, March 31st - 5th Grade Promotion Photos

Thanks for always supporting Graden!

-Dr. Easley


Graden is in their first year of implementing AVID building wide. Through the implementation process we have focused on organizational structures. This includes teaching our students how to organize their desks, materials, learning resources, and AVID binders. Also, students and staff have worked on utilizing planners to organize learning and share what they have learned at home each night.

We would love to gain feedback from our families about our AVID implementation. Please access the link below to complete the AVID survey. Do not forget to select Graden as the school.

Big picture
Big picture

Early release days will be on Wednesdays for the 2022-23 school year. Dismissal on early release days begins at 2:00 pm.

Every early release day will be Interest Group Day at Graden. All students will engage in a cultural arts assembly and students will join interest groups to participate in an activity of high interest to them. I am thrilled to share that ALL assemblies and interest groups will be in-person this year. Please have your student wear their "GRIT" school shirt.

Below you will find the early release schedule and the assembly themes:

2022-23 Early Release Days:

Wednesday, March 1st - Mad Science

Wednesday, April 5th - World of Jump Rope

Wednesday, May 3rd

2nd Semester Lunch Schedule for Early Release Days:

Kindergarten: 12:20 pm-12:40 pm

First Grade: 12:40 pm -1:00 pm

Second Grade: 1:00 pm - 1:20 pm

Third Grade: 11:20 am - 11:40 am

Fourth Grade: 11:40 am - 12:00 pm

Fifth Grade: 12:00 pm - 12:20 pm

Please communicate with your classroom teacher and the office if you have alternate transportation on early release days.

Big picture

At Graden, our core values are continuous growth, equity & inclusion, collaboration, leadership, authentic relationships, and learning that is student driven. We are always looking for opportunities to implement these into our students’ day. One way we do that is through Interest Groups.

On Early Release Days, students will participate in a cultural arts assembly and will also have the opportunity to join a group of K-2 or 3-5 students (depending on their age range) in a self-selected activity. Students will be surveyed at the beginning of the year, and will be placed in a group based on their top 3 choices. A staff member will lead these groups, giving students an opportunity to meet new teachers as well as other students! Some of the activities include, but are not limited to: Art, Breakout Room, Bugs, Crafts, Cooking, Fitness/Yoga/Aerobics, Games, Legos, Martial Arts, Music, Sign Language, STEM, Team Sports, and Technology. These days are always exciting for our Hornets.

Interest Group Schedule:

Wednesday, March 1st

Wednesday, April 5th


Join us Wednesday, March 15th, for our annual Graden Spring Showcase from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. This event is an open house where students will be able to showcase their learning with their families. After joining your classroom, take time to view the amazing Art Fair around the building and in the gym and go shopping at the Book Fair in the library.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture


Big picture

March 17th is a half day of school for all elementary students. Our hours will be 9:10 am - 12:48 pm. We will serve breakfast and lunch. We will begin dismissal at 12:35 pm.


All fifth grade students will take 5th grade promotion photos on Friday, March 31st. Students may dress up for these photos. There will be time in the schedule for students to change into more comfortable attire after pictures. Look for more information about the photos from your classroom teacher.


Big picture


Hello, Hornet families! Over the past month I really enjoyed exploring how to foster confidence and self-esteem through positive self-talk, thought reframing, and creating vision boards—to name a few things—with your students! As we transition into Spring, we will dive a little deeper into the realm of confidence by discussing growth mindset and grit. Be sure to check out the March newsletter below for specifics! Visit the Graden Counseling Website for previous counseling newsletters, community resources, and parent referral forms, as well as several other fun resources to cultivate social and emotional development. As always, I am available to chat via email, phone, or in person! You can reach me by email at or via phone at 816-359-5647. Here’s to a great March filled with sunshine and happiness! ❤

Big picture


Big picture


Graden staff consider placement of students in their next year's classes very carefully. Many factors must be considered, including learning styles, gender ratios, academic achievement, behavior, peer relations, and student/teacher characteristics.

Extenuating circumstances or valid parent concerns sometimes exist that the school is not aware of; therefore, we are providing this opportunity for you to have input regarding the placement for your child. This form may not be used to request a particular teacher or to be placed with particular students. Please do not use the form below to request a teacher by name.

If you would like to provide input for the 2023-24 school year, please complete the form below and bring it to the Graden office or email it to Ms. Angy Bullin at, by Thursday, April 20th.


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture


Big picture
Big picture


The Graden Read-A-Thon is well underway and we are SO proud to support our students and their reading goals! Thank you for your donations that directly help the students and staff at Graden and support your child reading!!! Keep it going!


1. Graden Serves!

Graden is passionate about serving our local community! We are hosting our FIRST "Graden Serves" project for families to sign up for! Click HERE to sign up to help serve for one hour at the Park Hill School District Clothing Center! It is a great way to connect with your family while serving a greater need for the community.

2. Teacher Treats- Donate snacks for our "Pop-Up" snack cart HERE! (needing Chips and drinks!)

3. Interested in being on the PTA board? YES! We need you! Open positions:

· Secretary—takes meeting minutes and manages our records

· Treasurer—manages our budget and keeps records of all of our funds, disbursements and financial reporting

· Parliamentarian—ensures we follow all bylaws and advises the board on appropriate procedures

· Fundraising Chair—leads and organizes our fundraising efforts, in collaboration with members and committees

· Teacher Representative—acts as a liaison with school staff, doesn't necessarily have to be a current Graden teacher

E-mail Angie Liberty by March 5 to let her know of your position of interest!

Important Dates:

· March 1-SPIN Pizza Fundraiser Night!

· Mach 7 – PTA Meeting at 6 p.m. in the Graden library, childcare provided

· March 9- River Run Skating 6-8pm

· March 15- Student Showcase/PTA Staff Dinner

· March 20- Spring Break!

· March 28-"Pop-Up" Treat Bar for Teachers/Staff

· April 1- Park Hill Clothing Closet Service Project- Sign-Up

Connect with us on Facebook to see our upcoming events and learn how you can get involved with PTA.

Graden PTA Board Members:

Hayley Cooper, President

Emily Miller, Vice President

Lindsay Ramon, Secretary

Maggie Wright, Treasurer

Jessica Freels, Parliamentarian


Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023


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.


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

Big picture