Starside's Comet

Newsletter Communication for January 29, 2021

Starside Elementary

Our Starside Mission:

Through a collaborative learning community we will build a foundation upon which all students can develop essential academic and life skills.

Click HERE to visit our school website!

Parents: Do you ever wonder what your child searches for on their school device?

Do you ever wonder what websites your child most often visits?

Do you ever wonder how much time your child spends on their device while at school?

If you answered 'YES' to any of these questions, you are strongly encouraged to check out the Securly Home App! Securly is a free web-monitoring platform available to all USD 232 families.

See your child’s online activity in real-time and catch up with weekly email snapshots!

For more information and to learn how to install the app, click HERE.

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USD 232 Parents and Guardians,

You are invited to join us for a special online presentation as part of the school district’s Student Well-Being Series. On Thursday, February 4, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom Webinar, we will host a presentation and discussion on the increasing need to have open and honest discussions with children about race.

While conversations about race will look different for each family, research tells us that the earlier parents start these conversations with their children the better. Children of all ages are listening, and parents should talk with them in clear ways they can understand.

Dr. Ayanda Chakawa, a clinical psychologist at Children’s Mercy Kansas City and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine, will be presenting on healthy ways to talk with our children on the subject of race. Her presentation will expand upon the recent article she co-authored: Healthy ways to talk to children about race.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to register online for this virtual event:

>How to Talk to Your Child About Race

A link to the webinar for February 4 at 7:00 p.m. will be emailed to each registrant prior to the online event.

More about the presenter:

Dr. Chakawa currently provides outpatient behavioral health services at one of Children’s Mercy’s community-based primary care clinics that offers medical and psychological care for traditionally disenfranchised and underserved populations. She spearheads the research for this integrated behavioral health program. She has authored numerous publications and presentations pertaining to cultural diversity. This year she received the Children’s Mercy inaugural “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Achievement Early Career Award” in recognition of her years of commitment to and engagement in culturally inclusive clinical, research, and advocacy initiatives.


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Save the Date

  • Friday, January 29 - Happy Birthday, Kansas!
  • Sunday, January 31 - Last day to order a yearbook!

  • Friday, February 12 - Valentine's Parties
  • Monday, February 15 - President's Day - No School!
  • Wednesday, February 24 - Half-Day, Dismissal @ 12:10; Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, February 25 - No School for Students - Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, February 25 - PTA's Papa Murphy's Pizza Fundraiser
  • Friday, February 26 - No School, District Buildings Closed


  • Tuesday, March 23 - End of 3rd Quarter
  • Wed-Friday, March 24-26 - Spring Break
  • Monday, March 29 - No School for Students - Teacher PD/Work Day
  • Tuesday, March 30 - 4th Quarter begins


  • Tuesday, April 13 - Last PTA Meeting
  • Tuesday, April 23 - Walk-A-Thon is ON!
  • Friday, April 30 - No School for Students - Teacher PD Day

Please call the Starside Office at 913-667-6270 to RSVP!

Do you have a child who will attend kindergarten during the 2021-22 school year?

Starside will host a meeting for all parents with incoming kindergarteners via Zoom at 6:00 PM on Thursday, March 18.

Mark your calendars and share this information with friends and neighbors who will have kindergarteners at Starside next year! More information in the button, below!

Kindergarten Round-up: Click HERE!

If you have a child who will attend kindergarten during the 2021-22 school year, please check out this USD 232 link for more information on a Kindergarten Round-up near you!

Early Childhood/Preschool Enrollment: Click HERE!

For more information regarding Preschool, or to request an Early Childhood screening, please contact Janet Hopkins, Special Services Administrative Assistant, at 913.667.6200 or

Nominate a Deserving Starside Staff Member for February!

USD 232 and the USD 232 Education Foundation present the Making a Difference Award!

Nominations are due February 28, 2021! The recipient will be recognized in March.

This award is designed to honor and recognize those staff members who go above and beyond, exceeding expectations, to make a difference for the students, families, and other employees in our district.

Award Criteria

• Anyone (staff, parents, students, etc.) can nominate any USD 232 employee (Previous Making A Difference Winners ineligible)

• Nominations are due by the last Wednesday of each month

• Recognitions will be given monthly throughout the school year

• Each recipient of this award will be presented a check for $250 along with a special trophy designed and manufactured by our high school students

Making a Difference Nomination Form

Nurse Tara's Health Notes

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Counselor's Corner

Spark Information

Spark begins after school on Tuesday and Thursday, ending at 4:45.

No Spark: Feb 23 and 25, March 23 and 25

Please contact Mrs. McKenzi Mispagel ( or Mrs. Chris Wilhelm ( with any questions

PTA Information

Please help support Starside in February and March by eating at Papa Murphy's and Chipotle on the dates that Starside PTA has coordinated as the Starside Fundraiser dates. See Flyers below!

Thursday, Feb. 25 (all day) Papa Murphy’s @ 10086 Woodland Rd (K-10 and Woodland). We earn 25% of sales for that day! Flyer below!

Tuesday, March 2, 4-8 pm, Chipotle @ 22235 W 66th St in Shawnee - we earn 33% of sales between 4 and 8 PM! (Flyer coming soon!)

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Families @ Starside

Through a unique school partnership, I was fortunate to receive training and become a 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families certified family trainer. This year, I am excited to offer two family informational meetings where Starside families will learn more about the program, including how to cultivate strong, effective family routines, how and why to have family meetings, the importance of keeping promises, how to balance individual and family needs, and more. We also have free books and parenting resources to raffle at the meeting!

Information about COVID-19 related District Communications

Defining a Case of COVID-19 Disease and the Infectious Period
A person is considered a case of COVID-19 disease if they have tested positive for the SARSCoV-2 virus by a diagnostic test. Based on what we currently know, a case is considered infectious three days prior to the onset of symptoms through at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms. For cases that do not have symptoms, the infectious period is considered as three days prior to the date the sample was collected through a minimum of 10 days from the date the sample was collected. Cases must remain in isolation until they have met the criteria for release from isolation set by state and/or county health departments.

Defining a Close Contact
A person is considered a close contact of a case if they were within six feet of the case for ten minutes or more without masks, or if they had exposure to secretions (for example, being coughed or sneezed on). People who are close contacts of a COVID-19 positive or presumed positive individual during that person’s infectious period are considered exposed and should quarantine. Close contacts are recommended to remain in quarantine until they have met the criteria for release from quarantine set by state/county health departments.

General Notification Letter
Schools will send a general notification letter to families and staff when an individual or individuals connected to the school test positive for the virus.

Low-Risk Notification Letter
A person may receive a low-risk notification letter indicating they may have had a low-risk exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Although the risk of developing COVID-19 based on this exposure is low, watch for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include, but not limited to, fever, cough, loss of smell and/or taste, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chest pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sore throat, and runny nose.

High-Risk Notification Letter
A person will receive a high-risk notification letter from Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) indicating they had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. JCDHE carefully considers all information when determining isolation and quarantine recommendations. If a person was identified in the case investigation, their proximity to or nature of the interaction with the positive individual was enough to put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Because the exposure is considered high risk and per public health recommendations, students will be excluded from school for 14 days from the date of last exposure, if no other exposures occur.

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Do your part to keep Starside open!

Starside Families,

We have collectively been in school for over two months and for students who attend school in-person, we've been full, in-person for over a month. Since the start of the 20-21 school year on September 8, USD 232 is not aware of any spreading of Covid-19 from students or staff while at school. Through the partnership of the Johnson County Health Department, we are closely monitoring people who are considered "close contacts" at school, and so far, none have been positive in the fourteen days of quarantine to follow.

Masks are working! We have the data to prove it! (Check out the link to the Covid-19 Dashboard, below!) Our students are doing a phenomenal job wearing their masks, socially distancing, and handwashing/sanitizing while at school. Our staff remains diligent when following safety protocol in their efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Students are learning, safely socializing, and demonstrating remarkable resilience during this pandemic!

I plead with you to remain vigilant when it comes to public health and our ability to remain open to in-person learning this winter. The community spread of COVID-19 is evident within USD 232 schools as the number of individuals recommended for quarantine and isolation jumped by 150 students and 24 employees in just one week. Another growing concern is the district’s continued ability to staff teacher absences with substitute teachers.

Remember the days where schools were shut down and everyone was required to learn remotely? We don't want to be back there, so please do your part in the evenings and on weekends!

Kris Meyer

USD 232 Covid-19 Data Dashboard: Click HERE.

Have you heard the one about treating your masks like your underwear?

Have you heard the one about treating your masks like your underwear? We know. A joke in poor taste. But seriously, it's one of the easiest comparisons to understand why our MASKS should be washed every day. There are dozens of memes circulating out there with this sentiment, but truly...masks need to be clean to be effective. PLEASE dig all of the used masks out of your child's backpack and wash them. They just might be hoarding their favorite one and changing into it when they're out of your sight in the morning. We all have favorites, but a clean mask every day is maybe even key! Thanks for helping to keep your child and their friends and teachers as safe as possible!

Check out the cool video from Principal Meyer as she talks to several Starside students about the importance of wearing masks!

USD 232 Lost/Damaged Technology Policy

The following cost structure will apply when iPads are sent home with elementary students. If damage or loss occurs due to intentional acts or as the result of negligence in handling the device:

-1st Incident: No Fee;

-2nd Incident: $25.00;

-3rd Incident: $50.00 and

-4th and Subsequent Incidents: Actual cost of repair/replacement

The repair cost structure will reset annually for elementary students. In the event a device is stolen, a police report must be filed with local law enforcement and a copy of the report submitted to the school administration to prevent being charged the replacement cost of the device.

Accessories and parts that do not carry a warranty are charged at actual replacement cost.

Replacement cost for lost crayon (digital pencil for iPad):

-1st Incident: $25.00

-2nd and Subsequent Incidents: $50.00 (full replacement cost)

Replacement cost for lost/damaged charger:

-1st Incident: $11:00

-2nd and Subsequent Incidents: $22.00 (full replacement cost)

Car Loop Reminders:

Morning Arrival:

Be ready…As you enter the car loop students need to have:

  • Backpack on!
  • Mask on!
  • Water bottle in hand!
  • Promptly exit car on the sidewalk side of car!

Afternoon Dismissal:

Car Loop Numbers:

  • Hanging from the rearview mirror of your vehicle
  • Should remain displayed until your child is in the vehicle
  • If you need another car loop number, please contact the office.

Colored Cones:
  • Pull forward to fill the 6 spots designated with colored cones
  • Do not leave the line or try to bypass the line.

  • Must enter the vehicle from the right side (sidewalk side)
  • Must remain behind the painted white line until all vehicles have come to a complete stop.
  • Please remind your child to memorize and listen for their number.

  • Remain in your vehicle.
  • If you need to assist with seatbelts or other items, you should pull up to the designated spots beyond the colored cones.

Sending Treats to School

Due to the need for extra safety precautions during the pandemic, students will not be permitted to bring homemade treats to share with their class for birthdays or any occasion. Families who wish to send birthday treats to share with the entire class may send in store-bought (sealed) baked goods or store-bought, individually-wrapped treats.

New! Parent/Guardian Procedures for 20-21


Starside will be taking regular attendance. The Attendance Secretary calls families to check on students who have not notified the school of an absence.

OPTIONAL REMOTE parents need to report absences for any Zooms students will miss.

ON-SITE parents need to report absences:

  • Any time your student is supposed to be at school.
  • If your student is ill, PLEASE include all symptoms & if diagnosed with Flu, Strep, or Covid.


You may not bring outside food into your child nor join him/her for lunch.

If your child forgets his/her lunch, he/she may get a free school lunch or you may bring a lunchbox with your students' name on it and drop it off at the school by ringing the doorbell to notify the office of the delivery and drop it off on the table in the foyer.

Visitors/Parent Volunteers

At this time, we will not be able to have visitors or parent volunteers. We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon. You may bring a forgotten item; however, you will not be allowed to enter past the foyer. Please ring the bell and we will let you in. Place the item, marked with your child's name on it, on the table in the foyer and we will get the item to your child.

Dropping off your child after the start of school:

  • Submit the absence online or call/email the office to notify the school that your child will be late. Please let us know the reason for the tardy (appointment, headache, or just running late).
  • You DO need to safely escort your elementary-aged child to the front door. Ring the bell and we will let only your child inside.
  • If we have not heard from a parent/guardian the tardy will be marked as unexcused, so please do not forget to notify the office of the reason for the tardy.

Checking your child out of school early:

  • Please call or email to notify the office and teacher ahead of time.
  • Have an ID ready to show when picking up your child.
  • Press the bell, show your ID, and let us know who you are checking out.
  • We will let you inside where you may wait for your child in the foyer.
  • We will locate your child and send him/her to you in the foyer.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and support during this time. If you have any questions, please call 913-667-6270 and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can!

Technology Help Desk

Please remember that the fastest way to start getting a solution to any technical issues is to contact our help desk. This is also available to all students.

Technology Help Desk

Get help with district technology

Students and Parents: You can reach our Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840.

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Need to reach the Starside Office?

Email: with your inquiries or attendance reporting and a member of our office team will direct your email to the appropriate person on our staff.

Be sure to add to your contacts list so we don't end up in your spam folder!

LIKE our new Facebook page!

"Like" our new Starside Facebook page: to receive updates on school news and events via Facebook!


Kris Meyer


Jan Hicks

School Improvement Specialist

Jackie Johnson

Lead Secretary (students records)

Starla Newberry

Building Secretary (attendance)

McKenzi Mispagel


Tara Brown


Virtual Tour of Starside Elementary

Clickable Links: