The Bird Call

News and Notes from Clever High School

It's a Learning Experience

Welcome to another edition of The Bird Call! I hope you find this monthly newsletter helpful and informative. The goal is to publish a new edition on or close to the 20th every month. And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us here at CHS.

I recently came across a short story called The Elephant Rope and it really stuck with me. So much so that I wanted to share it here. For those who are unfamiliar or need a refresher:

A man was walking past a group of adult elephants in captivity when he noticed something that made him stop in his tracks. The massive animals were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. There were no chains, cages, or fences. Clearly, the elephants had more than enough strength to break away from their bonds at any time.

The man asked a nearby trainer why the elephants just stood there, making no attempt to break free. The trainer responded, "Well, at a very young age when they are much smaller and weaker, we use the same ropes to keep them from escaping. At that age, they are not strong enough to break free and as they grow they stop trying. All they know is that the rope is too strong to break free from."

The man was shocked. These powerful animals could snap their bonds at any time with very little effort but because they believed they couldn't, they stopped trying and were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, we are all bound by ropes that we have come to accept as unbreakable. These types of pre-conceived notions are the source of some of the most frustrating moments I have had during my 15 years as an educator.

"I have never been a good test taker."

"I can't do that"

"I am terrible at math"

"Me and technology don't get along"

"That's not how we did it when I was in school"

"Nobody in my family has ever graduated"

Self-fulfilling prophecies can be devastating. Like the elephants in the story above, many of us walk through life believing that we are unable to succeed because we have had failures or struggles in the past and have stopped trying altogether. It is a natural instinct to avoid discomfort. We are wired to protect ourselves. The problem with this is that we are all made to grow and growth comes with discomfort and struggle. Hence the term "growing pains". It really is an internal dilemma!

The beauty of a new school year is that it is a chance to reset, celebrate our successes, and grow from our missteps. This opportunity is especially important for our students but applies to anyone reading this. Now is the time to form new habits that will lead to success. Now is the time to change the behaviors that have caused stress in the past. Now is the time to make positive choices and surround yourself with positive influences.

We are conditioned to believe we have limits at an early age and throughout life. Failures teach us to believe that we are only capable of so much. The truth is, we all have ropes tied to our legs that lead us to lie to ourselves about what our true potential is. If you are willing to put in the effort and push through the struggle, you can break those ropes.

New Faces!

The 2020-2021 school year brings two new teachers, a new position, a new school resource officer (SRO), and 2 long-term substitutes. Please help us welcome these six outstanding individuals to their new roles!

Virtual Learning

COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for the staff, students, and families of Clever High School. We have adopted the theme of 'Grit, Grace, and Gratitude" this year to help remind us that we are all better together. While changes happen quickly, we want to ensure we are doing all we can to support our students who are learning virtually, whether by choice or not.

Click below for a link to our expectations for students learning remotely. While originally designed to help our Bluejays@home learners navigate virtual learning, this information applies to any student who finds him/herself learning from home.

Hickman's Happenings

Character Education in the HS

We are happy to continue our positive referral system this year in connection with our character education words. With everything going on around us, we still want to recognize and appreciate the positivity and kindness that our students are exhibiting. Our character word of the month for September is Responsibility. If your student receives a positive referral, they will receive a treat from the front office and a note will be sent home along with the positive referral for you to keep.


Beginning this week, Clever High School will be using the digital hall pass system SmartPass. SmartPass does not have a GPS tracking system, it is just a digital version of the sign-out sheet and paper passes.

Students and staff can access SmartPass from their school-provided device or from their personal mobile device through the App Store or at

For more information, please visit the vendor’s website at

Tutoring Referrals

We believe that if students are choosing not to complete their work, that choice is a behavior issue and there will be consequences. And our consequence for not doing the work is to do the work! We want to ensure that our students are not falling behind, therefore we are holding them accountable for their learning and their work. :)

Instead of writing a discipline referral, we have created a tutoring referral process. If your student has not made effort/progress in completing an assignment or has made progress, but not met the final deadline, their teacher will be communicating with you and/or your child. If nothing has changed as a result of this communication, then a tutoring referral will be completed by the teacher. Mandatory tutoring will be assigned before or after school for your child to complete their missing work.

A+ News

I have received several questions from parents regarding A+ eligibility and attendance issues due to the pandemic. We do have an attendance appeal process if a student has less than 95% cumulative attendance because of situations/circumstances beyond their control (like quarantine absences, etc). This appeal will take place during a student's senior year.


DESE did grant several waivers last year because of the pandemic, but they have not yet determined any waivers for the 2021 seniors. I will keep everyone updated when I know more.

As of now, one of the A+ requirements that still needs to be met is the math requirement. If you did not score Advanced or Proficient on the Algebra I EOC, you can still meet the math requirement by taking the ACT. To see when the test is being offered and to sign up for the ACT, visit Letters have been sent home this week if your child needs to complete this math requirement in order to be A+ eligible.

Keep checking Canvas for announcements and updates. Included on Canvas is a list of technical and community schools around Missouri that accept the A+ Scholarship. There is also a document called A+ Scholarship 2020. This is a list of 4-year universities offering scholarships for participating in the A+ program.

You may begin filling out the FAFSA starting October 1st!

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Counselor's Corner

A Senior Night for students and parents is on the calendar!

Date: September 29, 2020

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: CPAC


  • Scholarships
  • A+
  • The College Application Process
  • Post-Graduation Plans

Virtual College Fair

More than 180 sessions from which to choose: local, national, and international colleges and universities, skilled trades, military branches, 1st responder training, career exploration, financial aid & scholarship organizations, non-college training programs and more! Attend as many sessions as you want. This is YOUR opportunity--don’t miss out!

How does it work?

What: Attend FREE 45 minute virtual sessions on a variety of college and career topics via individual Zoom links. Session options include: individual college, military, & career information sessions as well as panel sessions composed of multiple organizations.

Who: All high school students, families, and counselors

Dates: Sept. 13-Oct. 8

Times: M-Th: 4:00-9:00 pm; Sunday 2-4:00 pm & 7-9:00 pm

All sessions secure--your information will only be shared with the college/organization for which you register.


Sessions cover topics such as how to apply to college, essay writing tips, high demand career fields, skilled trades, military options, non-college options, financial aid, scholarships, college student life, and more. Watch, learn, and get your questions answered about academics, athletics, diversity, study abroad, and other topics.

Register for EVERY session of interest and you will receive a ZOOM link to the session. Then log in to your session using your phone or computer.

Can’t make the live session? No problem--go ahead and register for the session and then view the session recording at your convenience.

Parents invited, too. Don't miss this opportunity to learn, connect, ask questions, and discover your best college and career fit and how to finance it!

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Officer Barney's 4-1-1

We are introducing and implementing the Courage2Reportmo (C2R) tip line here at CHS. C2R is a free 24/7 live tip line for students to make reports regarding physical or sexual abuse, bullying, threats of violence against a person or the school, suicide threats, thoughts or actions, drug, and alcohol use or possession.

Parents and friends can report too.

Tips can be anonymous. You don’t have to give your name.

Tips can be given three ways:

By downloading the free C2R phone app

Online: www.courage2reportmo

Phone: 866-748-7047

Whether by the app, online, or phone you will be speaking with a live person

and they will notify the school, SRO, and law enforcement to get help for the situation.

Feel free to contact me with any concerns, questions, and recommendations

District Events Calendar

Click here for a comprehensive list of all upcoming events!

Clubs and Activities at CHS

Clever High School offers a variety of extra/co-curricular activities for our students. Now is the time to get involved! Check out the list below for what is offered and who to contact:

Future Teachers of America - Mrs. Neely

Fellowship of Christian Athletes - Coach Jones

Science History Club - Ms. Romine

Clever Student Alliance - Mrs. Money

Art Club - Mr. Schmidt

Future Business Leaders of America - Mrs. Lumpkin

National Honor Society - Ms. Lathem

Future Farmers of America - Ms. Hultz

Student Council - Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Waisner

Yearbook - Mr. Boyles

Speech and Debate - Mr. Rea

Academic Team - Mr. Walker and Mr. McGarry

Spirit Squad - Mrs. Neely

Theatre - Mrs. Scheibe

Math Club - Mr. McGarry

High School Parent 101 - Tips and Tricks

Did you know you can observe your student on Canvas? This is a great way to stay up to speed on what is going on in your student's classes. Also, you can sign up for notifications sent straight to your smart phone. Just follow these steps and you are all set! If you have any questions, let us know. Keep in mind that the Canvas grade book is NOT the official record. You will need to use the STI parent portal for that. If you do not have an account, please call Hanna in the main office at 743-4830.
Drop off and Pick up Procedures at CHS

We want to keep our students safe and so do you! Click on the button to see how you can help during our morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up routines.

Alumni Spotlight


Regina Gohr (Fitzpatrick)


Family gatherings, vacations...especially at the beach, camping, the lake and pool, softball, concerts and sporting events, socializing with our friends!


Cody (husband and also a CHS Alumni), Leighton (2nd grade), Brody (4-year-old preschool)

Current Job:

Parent Educator with Parents As Teachers

Jr High Softball- Assistant Coach

Certified Child Life Specialist

College or Career Training after CHS:

Missouri State University, BS

St. Louis Children's Hospital- Child Life Internship

Degree Earned:

BS in Child and Family Development with an emphasis in Child Life

Certified Child Life Specialist

Extracurricular Activities at CHS:

Softball, Volleyball, Color Guard, Cheerleading, SHC (Science History Club), FCCLA, FTA, FBLA, Class Officer

Favorite Class:

FACS/ Child Development

Advice to current CHS:

Find your passion, set goals, and don't be afraid to step outside your comfort'll learn to never say never!

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