Weekly Wildcat

Week of 8/10

Chisholm Trail Middle School

Office Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm

16700 W. 159th Street, Olathe, KS, 66062



Principal: Rick Sola (6th Grade)


Asst. Principal: Krista Dueringer (7th Grade)


Asst. Principal: Rebecca Reyes (8th Grade)



Stacey Silkett: 6th grade and Green Team-7th


Ashley Rodden: 8th grade and Silver Team-7th


Message from the principal: Week of 8/10/20

Dear CST Family,

I hope this communication finds you well. Registration has closed and we move forward with preparing for the school year. As shared last week, I will have more details regarding some of the finer details of the school day at CST as we get closer to September. In the meantime, a great source of information is on the district website in the "Re-Open 2020" section below. I've also included Mr. Allison's email sent after Thursday's board meeting. In it is a link to the JCDHE with the gating criteria for operation procedures in schools. Our board adopted this criteria for the 20-21 school (see more below).

We are certainly in "interesting times", "uncharted waters", "an evolving situation", "unprecedented circumstances"--are we tired of these sayings yet? I'll be a broken record here, but please know we are going to provide the best possible experience this year for our kids--and that goal is no different than in any other year, regardless of circumstances. I was able to meet with a couple staff members this week who'll be helping with a "sneak-a-peak" opportunity (and yes, in person!) for our 6th graders who missed all transition opportunities last spring and so far this summer (more below). First, we were all thrilled to learn we could provide an in-person event for 6th graders and parents. Second, as the brainstorming began, the excitement and anticipation built. This is what we've been missing. The working with students, the interacting with students, the connections with students. We are so excited for our students' return and, a month away, we cannot wait to create a wonderful experience here at CST and for your child. Let's get the school year started!

Have a wonderful week and continue to reach out if we can be of any support.


Week at a glance...

(CST Summer Appointment Hours--9am-3pm--phones 7am-5pm)

The building will be closed on Fridays through the month of August.

Monday, 8/10

Tuesday, 8/11

Wednesday, 8/12

Thursday, 8/13

Friday, 8/14

  • Building Closed

Thursday, 8/20

  • Teachers report back to school

6th Grade Students: SAVE THE DATE!!!!!

We are so excited for an IN-PERSON experience at CST for our 6th grade students--please save the date for Tuesday, September 1st --OR-- Wednesday, September 2nd with a 5-6:30pm window. A sign-up genius will be provided for a time to walk through CST. Watch this space for more details--don't miss it; it's going to be great!

8/6 Email from Mr. Allison

Olathe staff and families,

Tonight during the August Board of Education meeting, the board discussed important items related to the 2020-21 school year that I wanted to share.

First, the board discussed and adopted the recently released gating criteria provided by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. Following an analytical approach based in science and data, the gating criteria provides operating procedure for if/when schools would operate in-person, under hybrid procedures or all remote learning. The Olathe Public Schools will follow this criteria for the 2020-21 school year.

More information regarding the gating criteria can be found here: https://www.jocogov.org/school-reopening-criteria. We have received many questions and as it stands, if school were to begin next week as originally scheduled, we would fall under the yellow category. We have a month to reverse current trends.

The second piece of information I’d like to bring to your attention is the adoption of the 2020-21 school calendar. The approved calendar will be posted next week. It is important to note that the approved calendar keeps the last day of school, spring break and winter break intact.

I’m proud of the work that the professional council and Olathe NEA has done to ensure some familiarity during uncertain times.

Lastly, I want to express my sincere appreciation to each and every one of you for your resiliency and resolve. Together we find ourselves in new territory. I want to assure you that as such, the safety of our staff and students will always be our top priority. Ensuring that together we follow local and national health guidelines is vital.


John Allison, Superintendent

Athletics and Activities


Dear CST Parents,

Please see a brief update below regarding sports at the middle school. The info has also been added to the 8/10 Weekly Wildcat and additional CST specific info will be included in the upcoming 8/17 WW. Feel free to reach out to the office or specific coach with questions. You can also find athletic information on our website HERE. We will continue to share any updates or changes we receive.

Thank you,

Rick Sola, principal

Middle School Fall Sports Start Up

With the first day of school delayed until Tuesday, September 8, middle school cross country, volleyball, and football practices will begin on this date as well. Between now and then, athletes need to turn in their required paperwork to the office, including physical and concussion form.

We wanted to provide you with additional information related to football and this upcoming season. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) identified football as high-risk sport, due to its high probability spread of respiratory particles. At their August meeting, the Olathe Board of Education adopted the Johnson County Gating plan, which restricts high-risk sports to no competition, no group travel, and allows practicing/conditioning with modifications – all if in the yellow phase. (https://www.jocogov.org/sites/default/files/documents/CMO/Reopening%20Schools%20Criteria%202020.pdf).

We will continue to move forward with modified conditioning and practices for football which is allowed by the JCDHE. At this time, due to the current numbers in the county, we will not be playing games. However, we will continue to explore, as numbers allow, football competition opportunities during the fall season.

Finally, the volleyball and cross country competition schedule will be altered due to the delayed start of practice. More information will be forthcoming regarding the final sports schedule.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this situation.



Below is a link to the gating criteria adopted at Thursday's board meeting. Specifically drawing attention to the 2nd page with the chart, information regarding what is determined to be "high risk activities" can be found in footnote #4 (with a hyperlink to even more information). The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) approved a few weeks ago for fall practices to begin as early as 8/17, but given our current yellow status and definition of "high risk activities", we as a district need to determine full ramifications on various school activities. This info is expected by early next week and we hope to then be able to provide tangible info for athletics and activities planning to our communities. As soon as I have this info this section will be updated.

Click below...

Gating Criteria

Receiving our emails?

You should receive an email and a text alerting you of the updated weekly. If you do not have an email we do not have an accurate address. Please contact Melynda Marquardt to be added or verified.

CST Data Operator: Melynda Marquardt (mrmarquardt@olatheschools.org)

Follow Us on Twitter! @CSTWildcatsMS

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Returning iPads!

Olathe Middle School students will be issued a Microsoft Surface Go (pictured below) device this school year. Our returning 7th and 8th graders who still have their iPads will need to locate the issued cord, block, and iPad itself to swap out for the new Microsoft Surface Go device. More details to come but now is a good time to locate all that needs to be returned to avoid fees. The return of these iPads are important as they will be repurposed for the elementary schools and help us complete our 1 to 1 initiative at all grade levels.
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CST Office

  • Our office will operate Monday through Thursday, 9am-3pm with calls from 7am-5pm.
  • We will be implementing a "drop off station" in the front foyer to allow for contact-less drop off/pick up.
  • Please call the CST front office with questions--913-780-7240.

Office Staff

Receptionist: Chrissy Walters

Assistant Principal's Secretary: Angie Peterson

Attendance Secretary: Connie Bray

Bookkeeper/Principal's Secretary: Andrea Wescott

Data Operator: Melynda Marquardt

School Nurse: Jennifer Ross

Please keep info updated (email, phone number, medical, etc.). Contact the office at 913-780-7240 if you are concerned you may be missing communication or need to update your family's information.

CST Admin and Counselors

FAQ: What is a "stable group"?

A stable group is a group of students who are together regularly for the same purpose. At elementary the stable group/cohort would be their class. A secondary stable group would be the hourly classes or routine activities in which they participate. Middle school will have as many as 8 stable groups--each of their 7 class periods and CAT. Students will also eat lunch with their class in the lunchroom at assigned tables. This is also considered a stable group.

Info from the 7/27 Weekly Wildcat

Many details can be found in the links above specifically regarding the middle school day (i.e. lunch, lockers, distancing, masks, etc.). Any items unique for CST will be shared in this newsletter as all details and plans are finalized.

This is the first Weekly Wildcat newsletter for the 20-21 school year. While we have a mix of new and returning families, the format of this newsletter will be new for everyone. Here is what you can expect from the Weekly Wildcat parent newsletter...

  • I will update this weekly (except during extended breaks) and send out each weekend
  • You will receive an email (and text) letting you know WW was updated along with a list of new topics
  • I try to limit parent communications to this weekly so as not to inundate you with school communication
  • The newsletter is divided into new info and "repeated but still relevant" info
  • This newsletter is a great way to stay "in the know" on what is occurring at CST
  • In addition, you can also check out our home page (https://www.olatheschools.org/chisholmtrail/ ) where there will be a link to the Weekly Wildcat on the CST home page
  • Also, follow us on Twitter @CSTWildcatsMS to see updates, learning, and activities occurring at CST!
  • If at any time you feel like you may not be receiving information or mailings from the school please contact us at 913-780-7240 or email data operator, Melynda Marquardt (mrmarquardt@olatheschools.org). She will be able to verify contact info on file and update existing information.

Email from the Superintendent (Thursday, 7/23)

Olathe Families,

The Olathe Public Schools is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for students and staff. We cannot move forward without first thanking our parents, students, staff and community members for providing honest feedback and for granting us the patience and support to work through these plans.

The first day of school will be on Tuesday, September 8. On Monday, July 27, online registration will open. You will be asked to decide if your child will attend in-person or remote learning when school resumes. We will be providing you an overview of what the year will look like in this message. For a robust look at the district’s plan in its entirety, please visit www.olatheschools.org/return2020.

Following the guidance and collaboration of numerous health experts from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, and various others, the Olathe Public Schools remains committed to doing everything we can as a district to protect the health of students and staff for a safe return to in-person instruction and learning.

Before selecting in-person or remote learning, you need to be aware that this decision will be made for an entire semester. You can change your selection at the semester break.

We encourage you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions page at www.olatheschools.org/return2020. You can also access a more detailed version of the district’s plan for the 2020-21 school year.

In-Person Learning

  • Masks will be required for students and staff per the Governor’s executive order https://governor.kansas.gov/executive-order-no-20-59/. Masks are found to help prevent the spread of disease. Students will be required to bring masks to school and wear them throughout the instructional day. Please use this time to find a mask that your child is comfortable wearing. If you have trouble getting a mask, please talk with your principal.
  • We will supply hand sanitizer and will have a small number of disposable masks available.
  • In the classroom, social distancing measures will occur as best as possible.
  • Until further notice, there will be no field trips, no out of metro travel for students and staff and there will be restrictions on time outside of classrooms.
  • Transitions for students during the day will be reduced. Elementary and middle school students will have reduced time in the hallway.
  • We will have an increased cleaning schedule using a CDC-recommended solution.
  • We will be limiting sharing of supplies and items as much as possible.
  • There will be additional guidance provided regarding band, orchestra, physical education and other classes where masks and social distancing prove difficult.
  • Parent and visitor access to the building will be limited to the office area only.
  • Restrictions are subject to change as the year progresses and are subject to guidance from local and state health departments. Should conditions worsen and full in-person learning not be an option, students who opt for in-person may be transitioned to a hybrid model where they may come into school a few days a week and be home doing remote learning for the other days. Additionally, if a greater school shut down were to be ordered by state or local officials, all in-person learning students would be transitioned to remote learning.


  • Elementary and middle school students will stay with stable groups and have assigned seats. Building specific plans will be utilized and communicated at the high school level.
  • Each building will determine appropriate procedures to reflect their unique layout.
  • No lunch guests will be allowed.


  • All students, bus drivers and bus monitors will be required to wear a mask.
  • The bus will fill from the back and unload from the front to limit students walking past one another.
  • Students from the same household will sit together.

COVID-19 Notification

  • If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, a general notification will go to the parents of a school. This notification will not include identifying information about the individual who tests positive.
  • If your child has been exposed, you will be contacted individually with further instructions.
  • Contact tracing will occur by the JCDHE in partnership with the district.
  • The district will work closely with JCDHE should cases arise in school and to determine next steps. JCDHE will work closely with the district Health Services on a case by case basis to advise on course of action related to school closure.

Remote Learning

Parents may elect to have their child participate in remote learning. This selection will take place during the online registration process.

  • Students will receive daily direct instruction plus assignments.
  • Daily attendance will be taken.
  • Daily assignments will be given, turned in and graded.
  • Students must attend and engage in regular contact with teachers while completing tasks.
  • As stated before, you can change your selection at the semester break.
  • Students will be given a technology device and families in need of internet access will be able to check out a mobile “hot spot” for at-home internet access free of charge.

Again, we thank you for your patience and flexibility. These decisions are not easy. Whether in-person or remote, the Olathe Public Schools family is strong and resilient. This pandemic has been a real-life lesson in grit. We hope that those lessons in moving forward with a positive mind have been echoed at home. Make no mistake, we will get through this together.

Please look for additional information at www.olatheschools.org/return2020. On Monday, July 27, you will receive information about the online registration process.


John Allison, Superintendent