Submite school notes to

Library extends hours for summer reading

The Lee’s Summit School District’s elementary library extended-hours summer program continues to be a success among students and families.

Seven elementary school library media centers offered extended summer hours this June and July to encourage reading among local children. Students from all elementary schools were welcome to check out books at any of the seven locations.

This is the third consecutive year that elementary schools have offered this program.

Blue Springs student attends space camp

Mickel Colley, Blue Springs, graduated from level 1 of the Future Astronaut Training Program (FATP) June 13 at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kan. He will be a freshman at the Blue Springs Freshman Center this fall.

The week-long introductory astronaut camp is for students entering grades seventh to 10th grade and emphasizes teamwork, leadership and problem solving. Throughout the week, campers train in space simulators – the centrifuge, multi-axis trainer, space shuttle simulator (“Falcon III”) and stress simulator as well as launch homemade rockets, direct a robotic mission and learn night sky observation techniques. In addition, they tour the Cosmosphere’s Hall of Space Museum, visit the Justice Planetarium and watch a live presentation of Dr. Goddard’s Lab.

Truman sophomore attends space camp

Caleb Stockham, Independence, graduated from level 4 of the Future Astronaut Training Program June 27 at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. He will be a 10th grader at Truman High School this fall.

Before attending Level 4, campers must have completed FATP levels 1-3, also held at the Cosmosphere.  The knowledge gained from the prior camps helps prepare campers for the challenges faced during level 4.

FATP level 4 campers spend five days at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. While there, they visit Space Florida, where they work in teams to build a payload for a weather balloon as well as launch and track the balloon, which can reach altitudes of more than 80,000 feet.

In addition, campers tour Kennedy Space Center and visit the Rocket Garden, Early Spaceflight Exploration Center and Florida Space Authority. In a private tour, campers see the launch pads at Cape Canaveral used for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spaceflights.

Lee’s Summit schools honored for programs

The Lee’s Summit School District recently received the top designation for its successful implementation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The district was notified by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that Lee’s Summit had met the requirements for implementation and the purpose of this federal law.

The categories that states must use for annual determination of local agencies are established through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Lee’s Summit earned the highest determination category offered in this evaluation process. In all 11 categories related to the determination category, the school district scored a “4,” the highest ranking available.

Categories evaluated include special-education audit findings, timely/accurate data, graduation and drop-out rates, assessment participation and performance and transition planning.


City Credit Union awards scholarships

Kelsey Quirarte and Benny Wilton, both of Blue Springs, were recently awarded $1,000 scholarships for the 2009-10 academic year.

Quirarte will attend Graceland University, where she plans to pursue a degree in elementary education. Wilton is still deciding whether he will attend the University of Missouri-Columbia or Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.

This is the third year for the City Credit Union scholarship program, and the second year two scholarships have been awarded. The winners were chosen based on academic achievement, work ethic, school and community activities and a short essay.

Colleges work toward veteran financial aid

Forty-four colleges, universities and schools throughout Missouri have entered into Yellow Ribbon Program agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve financial aid for veterans participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program. More than 3,400 agreements were received from the 1,100 schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Area schools involved in the program include National American University in Independence; the Baker University School of Professional Graduate Studies and Baker University School of Education in Lee’s Summit; William Jewell College in Liberty and University of Missouri-Kansas City, Avila University, Park University, University of Phoenix, Vaterott College, Pinnacle Career Institute, Rockhurst University, Colorado Technical University in North Kansas City; Columbia College, Concorde Career Colleges, Grantham University, Heritage University, High-Tech Institute, DeVry University, ITT Technical Institute, Webster University and Keller Graduate School of Management, all in Kansas City.

A complete list of Missouri schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program can be found at the Web site

The Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, funds tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.  Institutions can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses, and VA will match this additional funding for eligible students. The program is reserved for those Veterans eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100 percent benefit level. This includes those who served at least 36 months on active duty or served at least 30 continuous days and were discharged due to a service-related injury.

The maximum benefit allows every eligible Veteran, service member, reservist and National Guard member an opportunity to receive an in-state, undergraduate education at a public institution at no cost.

For more information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program, as well as VA’s other educational benefit programs, visit the Veteran Affair’s Web site at or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).