SMSD News: Scenes from the new school year

From pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, the school year has officially begun for Shawnee Mission School District students.

While the year and environment is unlike any other in our district’s history, we’re seeing so many examples of strength throughout our community. It’s clear our school communities remain committed to providing robust learning opportunities that challenge learners to achieve their full potential.

Students and staff started this year entirely in a remote setting. During the first days of school, there were opportunities for students to get to know their teachers and classmates. In our middle and high schools, students were engaged virtually this week in school tours, icebreaker activities, and discussions to help establish relationships. Student leaders served in mentorship roles, helping students who were new to their middle and high schools learn about their new environments. Teachers also dedicated time to helping students learn about the technology they will be using in class, no matter what learning model they are in this school year.

At the elementary level, from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, students got to know their teacher and classmates, helped create classroom expectations, and started learning.

Walking through an elementary school, where teachers were connected with remote learners, one could see and hear activities like:

  • Students sharing self-portraits with their teacher
  • Teachers reading stories to their students
  • Specials teachers engaging students in workouts, songs, and art creations
  • A teacher getting students started on a STEM project, building forts with materials from home
  • Kindergartners learning about raising their hands for questions, giving thumbs up signs to show they understand as well as singing songs and dancing along with their teachers.

Across the district at every level, we will continue to learn and improve as we hold school during this global pandemic.

We thank everyone – our staff, families, students, and community members for making meaningful connections and innovative learning experiences possible. You are what makes us all #SMSDStrong.