SMSD News: SMSD Strong – strong schools, strong communities

Shawnee Mission community members will soon be asked to consider a bond proposal, designed to provide lasting facilities improvements and to strengthen student achievement by providing a pathway to reduce secondary teacher workload.

The Board of Education, on October 26, 2020, unanimously approved a resolution to place a $264.2 million bond proposal on a mail ballot this January.

The bond is being put forth so that the Shawnee Mission School District can continue to be ranked among the finest school districts in the nation, employing exceptional educators who work in state-of-the-art facilities, where learners achieve their full potential.

A series of proposed projects have been identified in order to improve facilities, with the goal of benefitting every student.

The proposed bond addresses a series of the district’s most immediate facility needs, including:

  • Rebuilding five elementary schools
  • Renovating the early Childhood Education Center
  • Providing technology and security upgrades for all buildings
  • Remodeling the Career Technology Center
  • A variety of HVAC, lighting, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements, asphalt, and roofing improvements for specific schools and buildings
  • Middle and High school remodels and furniture replacements
  • Athletic area upgrades and replacements

Click here for a complete list of proposed projects.

The proposal also includes a plan to hire additional secondary certified staff. This will decrease the workload for secondary teachers, in order to support their work to serve students well, while ensuring the change can be funded sustainably for the long term.

The proposed bond maintains a lower mill levy rate than Johnson County school district peers, and should it pass, would result in approximately an $8 annual increase per $100,000 of home value.

The proposal was developed through a multi-year process as part of the community’s Strategic Plan for the District. In addition to the creation of the Strategic Plan, community members contributed to the development of this bond proposal by serving on a facilities Action Team, a Finance and Facilities Task Force, through forums held in each feeder pattern across the district, and through a research-based community-wide phone survey.

We thank everyone for their contributions so far and appreciate the input, time, and attention our community continues to provide, as we all strive toward our mission to serve as a bridge to unlimited possibilities for each Shawnee Mission student, now and in the future.