by Jalana Robinson
When the calendar rolls over onto the eighth
month of the year, it's a reminder to students that it's
time to trade in the summer swimsuits and sprinklers for
a new set of school clothes and a desk.
Summer is winding down for many who reside within Platte
County and schools are ready to greet those individuals
once again, for some the very first time.
PLATTE COUNTY R-3
The academic year for Platte County R-3 begins on Wednesday,
Kindergarten through fifth grade students can get ready
to use a new integrated reading program with the help
of Accelerated Reader computer software.
The new reading series will combine spelling, grammar
and reading comprehension with technology components.
"We think it will increase their desire to read
because it ties in with computers," said Platte County
R-3 Assistant Superintendent Ron Harmon.
He also said that sixth through eighth grade will have
a new literature series that also includes technical components.
Changes in the curriculum will not be the only difference,
according to Harmon.
Beginning this month, the new regulation size softball
field should become visible to students as Dannie Stamper
and Dan Tylski develop the land north of Siegrist Elementary
School and west of the high school.
Harmon said the field may be able to hold events as early
as this fall while the press box, concession stand and
restrooms will be an ongoing project.
The field is a collaborative effort by the Platte City
Athletic Association, Platte City Parks and Recreation
Department, a county outreach grant, and the R-3 School
Starting in late September and early October, the district
will be growing in size.
Six additional classrooms will be added to Siegrist.
Meanwhile Paxton School will be enhanced with eight additional
classrooms, a new media center, computer lab, office suite
and other renovations.
During this time the middle school and high school will
be joined by a music room that should be ready for the
fall of 2002.
At Barry School, the new roof is in the final stages
of completion and the library will be relocated to its
permanent position. Some unfinished classroom space still
Back at Platte County High School, the 11 security cameras
should be installed by the start of the school year. "The
intent is to increase the safety and security," said
In the Wilson Center for Performing Arts, an LCD projector
has also been installed that will allow VCR, DVD and computer
programs to be projected onto an electronic screen.
Harmon explained that the projector could be used for
many things from large group presentations to closed circuit
TV for graduations.
Platte County R-3 Schools welcome the following teachers
into the district: at Rising Star- Cindi Louderback, first
grade; Janny Bricker, first grade; at Siegrist- Dawn Long,
second grade; Rachel Minter, special services; Tiara Brown,
second grade; at Paxton- Sharon Montgomery, fifth grade;
at Platte City Middle School- Pam Singer, sixth grade
math; Bruce Snodgrass seventh grade social studies; Jennifer
Stammers, fifth through eighth grade mucic; Wes James,
seventh grade science; at Barry/PCMS-Michael Reik, assistant
principal. Barry is still seeking a middle school English
teacher; at Platte County High School- Kenna Sampsell,
special services; Sarah Derks, biology, Whitney Reineke,
English; Dan Stevens, special services; Bev Wolf, art;
John Minnick, English and journalism; Sharron Breslow,
part-time art; at Northland Career Center- Richard Peterson,
vocational prep; and Pam Miller, part-time counselor.
WEST PLATTE R-2
The doors will open on Monday, Aug. 20 for the first day
of school at West Platte with an early dismissal at 1:15
New programs and a new elementary principal await the
For the first time interactive television (ITV) classes
will be conducted at R-2.
Building principal Stan Coulson said that students from
North Platte R-1, East Buchanan and Buchanan County R-4
will be able to take ITV classes in French taught from
Coulson also said that for the first time students will
be able to receive dual credit in chemistry and college
algebra. "I believe a student could get up to 24
college credit hours here," Coulson said, "We
have all four core areas covered now."
The gifted program is also being reintroduced to the
seventh and eighth grade this year and should eventually
make it to the high school level. According to Coulson,
the gifted program has not been active the past couple
of years and has just recently been used in the elementary.
Elementary building principal Dave Waddell will experience
his first year as a principal. "Coming in as a new
principal, there aren't going to be huge sweeping changes,"
According to Waddell, the focus this year will be on
character building skills.
"It's nothing we haven't done in the past, it will
just be a more focused effort," Waddell said.
He also said that the curriculum committee will be updating
the math program, and that the reading program will focus
more on writing.
The West Platte R-2 District welcomes the following individuals:
at West Platte Elementary- Deborah Campbell, fifth grade;
Kim (Drabczuk) Jaster, second grade; Shari Hart, special
services; Christine Myers, Before and After Day Care supervisor;
Jodi Snodgrass, sixth grade; Dave Waddell, elementary
principal; Shawna Wallace, Before and After Day Care director;
at West Platte High School- Heather Bass, vocational music;
Jack Biddle, industrial arts; Kevin Bryan, coach; Janel
Coulson, junior high science; Eric Klingensmith, English/speech/drama;
Kimberly Klingensmith, home economics; Barbara Martin,
co-cheerleader sponsor; Sherry McGhay, Spanish/English;
Carol Porter, pom pon sponsor; Lorie Russell, special
services; and Marjorie Williams, title I clerk.
NORTH PLATTE R-1
It will be back to the books for North Platte students
on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
The distance learning lab, a project that was first used
last spring for an ACT workshop, will be in full swing
Interactive television classes (ITV) will be offered at
R-1 for students wishing to take French from an ITV teacher
at West Platte R-2.
The opportunity for learning increases since students
can log on for courses offered online.
In the past students were released for one block to take
college courses, but now they'll be able to take different
classes from a variety of colleges through the internet.
North Platte recently purchased 38 new computers and the
majority of them will be used in the distance learning
College algebra will also be offered to juniors and seniors
for dual credit.
North Platte will also be updating the technology of
"We've had security cameras inside the building.
This is a new system," said Green.
The new system will put more security cameras inside
and outside the school grounds and will monitor the areas
24 hours a day.
North Platte will hold an orientation for any new high
school students or freshmen and their parents on Monday,
Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. at the high school.
North Platte R-1 welcomes the following new staff members:
Terry Siems, high school social sciences; Andrea Finney,
special services; Rene Bowen, junior high social studies;
and Pam Tarawinski, computer aide.