Friday, December 16, 2016

Anjanette Walker named "Outstanding Assistant Principal"

Grain Valley, Missouri

Anjanette Walker, assistant principal at Prairie Branch and Matthews Elementary Schools in the Grain Valley School District, has been named Outstanding Assistant Principal by the Kansas City Suburban Elementary Principals Association (KCSEPA).

Walker was one of several administrators nominated by fellow elementary and middle level principals and assistant principals from Kansas City area school districts. She was selected by the organization based on meeting rigorous criteria for this award and her outstanding performance as an assistant principal at her schools, in her district, within her community, and beyond.

In the words of her colleagues: “Anjanette is one of the best assistant principals I have ever worked with. She is a true leader.” “She has developed her ability to coach 'in the moment' and has worked with individuals on daily lessons, assessments, behavior management and parent communication.”

Prairie Branch and Matthews Elementary Schools serve kindergarten through fifth grade students in the Grain Valley School District. Walker provides a variety of key support to the principals and their staff. Walker is an active member of KCSEPA and the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP).

The Missouri Outstanding Assistant Principal program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level assistant principals who demonstrate outstanding performance and skills that reflect the best in educational leadership. Each year, MAESP honors twelve Outstanding Assistant Principals from around the state. Walker and 11 other assistant principals will be recognized at the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) Spring Leadership Conference on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Middle School and High School Students Learn to Prevent Suicide

Grain Valley, Missouri
Learning to recognize signs of depression and suicide was the focus of discussion this fall for sixth grade and ninth grade students in the Grain Valley School District. New students in grades 6-12 this fall also received training, preparing nearly all 2262 students in grades 6-12 to recognize that suicide is not a normal response to stress, but rather is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression.
The SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program is a national program that teaches students how to recognize symptoms of depression and suicide in themselves or friends that indicate a need for further evaluation. Students view videos about the signs of suicide and the steps to take if they, a friend, or loved one is at risk.
Students learn to ACT:
A – Acknowledge: Admit that you are seeing signs of depression or suicide in a friend and that it is serious.
C – Care: Let your friend know that you care about him or her, and that you are concerned that he or she needs help you cannot provide.
T – Tell: Inform a trusted adult, either with your friend or on his or her behalf. Never promise to keep the secret!
High school seniors received instruction on a revised ACT this year that called on these young adults to seek treatment beyond high school: T – Treatment.
The Grain Valley School District is committed to helping our students navigate the challenges of the teen years, while helping to develop coping skills that serve them as adults as well. 
Administering the SOS program is a collaborative effort with district counselors and regional mental health professionals to the meet the mental health needs of Grain Valley students.  For this year’s program at the high school, 14 mental health professionals from inside and outside our school district were on hand to directly assist high school students.
This is the sixth year for the SOS Signs of Suicide® High School Prevention Program at Grain Valley High School. In that time, trained staff have followed up on dozens of students who have made self-referrals because they were concerned for themselves. Still others have referred a peer out of concern. When these referrals are for students not attending our high school, staff still follow up to ensure those children’s needs are being addressed no matter where they live.
Referrals in the high school program were down overall this year compared with previous years. Grain Valley High School Counselor Corey Vuagniaux attributes this measure, and the overall comfortable reaction of the students to the program, as an indication that increased awareness in middle school is getting students the right support at the right time. “This school district is doing a better job of identifying struggling students earlier for a variety of reasons.  We also believe this is a direct result of implementing the middle school version of the SOS program at both middle schools last year.”
Parents are notified immediately if a concern is raised by or about their child. The schools offer parent orientations to preview the videos and learn more about the program.  Parents are offered the opportunity to have their child opt out of the program ahead of time, and a few elect to do so each year.

HB 1583 was signed into law in June, 2016, requiring Missouri school districts to adopt policy on youth suicide awareness and calling for annual training on suicide prevention.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Veterans' Day celebrations in our schools on November 11

Grain Valley, MO

Students throughout Grain Valley School District will observe Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, 2016 honoring those who have served in the U.S. Military.  Each school in the district has made plans to commemorate Veteran’s Day in their own way.

Any veterans in the community are invited to attend events at Sni-A-Bar Elementary, Stony Point Elementary, Matthews Elementary and Grain Valley North Middle School.  All other schools have special events planned for veterans with connections to students or staff at those schools.

Matthews Elementary - Veteran’s Day Assembly
10:00 am
The Veterans Day Assembly will feature Matthews Elementary 3rd graders performing patriotic songs. Matthews' families were able to submit photos of military men and women from their families which will be presented in a slideshow during the assembly.
*All Community Veterans and Matthews Elementary parents are invited to attend.

Sni-A-Bar Elementary - Veteran’s Day Assembly
2:30 pm
School-wide assembly including songs, lessons, and presentation of colors by the Boy Scouts. There will also be a billboard display honoring Veterans.
* All Community Veterans are invited in attend the assembly.

Stony Point Elementary - Veteran’s Day Assembly
2:30 pm
Stony Point Elementary will host an assembly featuring the Honor Choir and student speakers from all grade levels.  The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be a part of the assembly as well.
* All Community Veterans and Stony Point families are invited to attend.

Grain Valley North Middle School - Veteran’s Day Assembly
9:30 am
* All Community Veterans and North Middle School parents are invited to attend our assembly.

Other schools in the district are encouraging students and staff to invite veterans who have a connection to the school.
Grain Valley High School - Veteran’s Wall
7:40 am to 2:30 pm
The High School will be hosting a Veteran’s Wall honoring the contribution by America’s veterans.

Grain Valley South Middle School - Veteran’s Day Breakfast
7:15 am
Students who have an adult in their life who is a veteran or who is currently serving in the military are encouraged to invite them to the Veteran’s Day Breakfast.
*Invited Veterans are encouraged to attend.

Prairie Branch Elementary - Veteran’s Day Assembly
9:15 am
The Prairie Branch Elementary Mustang Choir will perform. The Boy Scouts will post the colors at the beginning and retire them at the end. Girl Scouts will be in uniform and will participate as well, leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Student Council officers will present a poem explaining why we have Veterans' Day.
*Prairie Branch families and veterans with a connection to the school are invited to attend.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Dr. Marc Snow Named Superintendent of Schools Starting July 2017

Grain Valley, Missouri

The Grain valley Board of Education has named Dr. Marc Snow as Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2017.

Dr. Snow will take the reins of the fast-growing Grain Valley School District next summer. He has served as a school or district leader in Grain Valley for 15 years, having first served as the principal of Grain Valley Middle School for the 2001-2002 school year when the school was on Main Street. He was then the principal of Matthews Elementary School from 2002-2005 and served as the principal of Prairie Branch Elementary School 2005-2009 before being named assistant superintendent for finance and support services in 2009, a role he has now served in for eight years.

Dr. Snow is in his 25th year in public school education overall. Prior to his coming to the Grain Valley School District in 2001, Dr. Snow first served as interim vocal music instructor at Chinn Elementary School in the Park Hill School District from 1992-1993 before serving the Smithville School District for eight years. While in Smithville, he first served as a vocal music teacher at Smithville Elementary School, then as assistant principal at the same school, and finally as principal of Smithville Upper Elementary School.

According to Board President Mr. Chris Bamman, it was Dr. Snow's long-standing demonstration of leadership that made him the right person for the role. "We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Snow has accepted the new role of Superintendent of Schools for Grain Valley.  We believe his proven leadership and the success he has enjoyed in previous roles in the District will continue to build on the successes we've enjoyed in our school district."

Dr. Snow is humbled by the opportunity to serve the Grain Valley School District community as superintendent of schools, “I am grateful for the privilege to serve the Grain Valley School District for the past 15+ years, and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as superintendent. My time in Grain Valley has shown me that our students and community have unlimited potential and the capacity for greatness. My goal is to ensure we have the resources, staff, and direction to achieve that potential.”

Grain Valley School District personnel were notified in an email last May that the School Board had designated Dr. Snow as second in command of the school district behind Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roy Moss, and that the School Board had indicated their intention to promote him to superintendent following the expected retirement of Dr. Moss after the 2016-2017 school year.

The process to fill the assistant superintendent position Snow vacates will begin in the next few weeks.

Superintendent Dr. Roy Moss Announces Retirement

Grain Valley, Missouri

After 32 years of service in education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roy Moss officially announces he will retire at the end of this school year.

In his career, Dr. Moss has served as a teacher, coach, transportation director, activities director, high school principal, and superintendent. Prior to coming to Grain Valley in 2009, Dr. Moss served as Superintendent of Schools for the North Callaway School District, 20 miles east of Columbia, Missouri, from 2004-2009, and prior to that as high school principal at South Callaway School District from 1994-2004.

Dr. Moss will retire July 2017, after having served as superintendent in Grain Valley for eight years. During Dr. Moss’ tenure in Grain Valley, student enrollment has grown by more than 1000 students, the district has built North Middle School, the Early Childhood Education Center, a new transportation facility, and began a long-range plan to update and double the size of the Grain Valley High School building and student activity spaces.
Grain Valley High School has received national recognition in recent years for preparing students for college. Newsweek, US News & World Report, and the Washington Post have each listed Grain Valley High School among the top high schools in the nation.
In his first year with the school district, Dr. Moss established the Grain Valley Education Foundation. To date, the Foundation endowment has grown to $203,956.00; and has provided scholarships to our graduating seniors totaling $122,000.00, teacher grants totaling $53,000.00, and $108,000.00 in contributions to schools and student activities.
Dr. Moss was named the 2015 Missouri Superintendent of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Administrators. In May 2016, Dr. Moss was inducted into the Wellsville High School Wall of Fame, in Wellsville, Kansas where he graduated in 1971.
Dr. Moss and wife, Patricia, have five sons. All graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He and his wife have five grandchildren.

School Board President Mr. Chris Bamman expresses the appreciation of the community for Dr. Moss' service, "Our school district and community have been blessed to have Dr. Moss as our Superintendent for the past eight years.  His vision and leadership for our district has been truly appreciated and we wish him and his family the very best in the years ahead."

As he reflects on his time in Grain Valley, Dr. Moss focuses on the opportunity he has been given to serve. “It has been a true blessing and honor to serve the past eight years as a servant to the Grain Valley Schools community and I would like to thank this great community for an amazing tenure. I have cherished my time in the Grain Valley School District.” Dr. Moss also acknowledges his successor, Dr. Marc Snow, whom the school board has selected to be the district’s next Superintendent of Schools beginning July 1, 2017. “I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Marc Snow and the executive team currently in place.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Grain Valley High School Makes National List of Most Challenging High Schools... Again

Grain Valley is named to the Washington Post's list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” for the 3rd year in a row. 
Grain Valley High School is ranked in the top five percent of public high schools in the United States, 12th in the state of Missouri, and 2nd among Missouri schools in the Kansas City Metro Area behind Park Hill High School.
Rankings are based on the total number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduate in May. The list also looks at ACT scores, Advanced Placement scores (the percentage of seniors who score a “3” or higher on at least one exam), and free and reduced lunch numbers.
Jay Mathews compiles the list for the Washington Post. He states the significance of Advanced Placement courses, “AP, IB and AICE are important because they give average students a chance to experience… heavy college reading list and long, analytical college examinations. Research has found that even low-performing students who got a “2” on an AP test did significantly better in college than similar students who did not take AP.”
This honor is the third national recognition for Grain Valley Schools in the past 2 years. Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report have also recognized Grain Valley High School as a top U.S. high school for preparing students for college.
Please check out for the full list of rankings and additional articles.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Grain Valley to Join Suburban Conference in 2018

The Grain Valley School District was notified earlier today of being accepted into the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference by the Suburban Conference Executive Committee, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. This change affects middle school and high school activities.

The District wrote to the Suburban Conference Executive Committee in February requesting consideration to be admitted. The Suburban Conference currently has 25 member high schools that are organized into four color-coded divisions. Grain Valley can expect to be placed with similar-sized schools in the Blue Division, which currently includes Belton, Grandview, Kearney, Platte County, Raytown South, and Winnetonka.

Grain Valley High School has experienced rapid growth in recent years, which led to the decision to request admission into the Suburban Conference. Grain Valley High School has 1150 students at this time, up from 636 students in 2005 and 450 in 2000. 

Grain Valley has become the largest high school in the Missouri River Valley Conference (MRVC) since joining in 2004. Prior to the MRVC, Grain Valley was in the Show-Me West Conference.

Grain Valley Activities Director Mike Tarrants says transitioning to the Suburban Conference is the next natural step for the growing school district. "As we grow, we become more like the suburban conference schools. We already play many of these schools as non-conference scheduling opponents now.” Tarrants adds, “the ability to change conferences at this time reflects the support of our community in making necessary facility upgrades in recent years."

Suburban Conference Executive Director Bob Glasgow says there is much enthusiasm around the inclusion of Grain Valley into the Suburban Conference. "Grain Valley is a natural fit for us in bringing their competitive and progressive programs into the conference. This move is a win-win."

Admitting Grain Valley contributes to the goal of the Suburban Conference to expand. 

Superintendent of Schools for Grain Valley, Dr. Roy Moss, affirms that this is a win for all schools involved. "We appreciate the MRVC for the many years of working so closely and for understanding our need to seek a change. We look forward to the new opportunities this change holds."

Planning for a change that is two years away will allow all districts impacted by the change to plan accordingly.