SMSD News: New Year, New Beginnings, New Westwood View Elementary

Students are back to school in the Shawnee Mission School District!

It was an exciting week as students in grades 1 through 12 returned to Shawnee Mission classrooms on August 11 and 12. 

Click here to see a video celebrating the start of the 2022-2023 school year.  

The first hours of the school year are full of activity. At the elementary level, time is spent giving students and teachers a chance to get to know one another and build relationships. Students help out with organizing their classroom and school supplies and take school tours. There are reviews of classroom and school norms such as how to travel in school hallways and how to go through the lunch line. 

On the first day for seventh and ninth graders, middle and high schools had teams of student mentors in place to help new students get to know their new school. Students have an opportunity to tour their new building, meet new peers and teachers, learn school traditions, and begin learning.

“Our students and staff got us all off to an incredible start for this school year,” Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard shared. “There are so many people working together to help each student succeed and find a place they belong in our schools. Together We are One Shawnee Mission!”

Westwood View opens new school

This week also marked the very first day in a new school building for Westwood View Elementary School. Before school started, students, staff, and families gathered for a Meet-the-Teacher Night. This was one of the first events for the school community in the newly rebuilt Westwood View Elementary School.

When second-grader Maria-Sofia Alghabra arrived, she was nervous at first. But, then she toured the new building.

“I love it,” she expressed. “I mean, it’s beautiful! Now looking at this new building and meeting the teacher – it makes me happy. It makes me excited. It leaves my worries all away.”

The new Westwood View was built using funds from the $264 million bond approved by Shawnee Mission voters in 2021. It features:

  • Flexible learning spaces for student collaboration
  • Technology integrated throughout the building
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification
  • Outdoor classrooms and dining area
  • Safety and security installed to district standards
  • A soccer field, walking trails, and universally inclusive playground equipment 

The building provides much more space for student collaboration and gives the community opportunity to expand and grow, according to principal Kathy Keith. She noted that the building was designed as a result of a lot of community collaboration over the course of multiple meetings. Through it all, she knew seeing student faces as they experienced the new building would be the best part.

“We thank everyone for giving us this awesome opportunity,” Keith shared. “It’s so amazing and the students are going to really enjoy the new building!”

Click here for information about elementary school rebuilds and other bond projects in the Shawnee Mission School District.

 Shawnee Mission School District is the third largest school district in Kansas. The district serves students in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade in 34 elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools, and several educational centers. It has been consistently ranked among the finest school districts nationwide for its high student performance. The district’s objective is that each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers, with the interpersonal skills they need for life success. The district serves a diverse student population from 14 cities within northeast Johnson County, Kansas, which is 10 miles from downtown Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, visit

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