By Kelly Wachel, APR
Executive Director of Public Relations, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District

At their regularly scheduled meeting this evening, the Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education unanimously voted to approve boundary adjustments and move forward with Phase 2 recommendations in the Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan (CFMP) process. An additional recommendation amended the parameters to allow current 8th grade students, who have siblings in 10th or 11th grade, to submit a request to continue on to high school with their siblings.

The CFMP team presented the recommendations during Monday’s Board of Education work session, which were ultimately approved this evening. The recommendations were approved after five months of robust engagement series, public input, in person conversations and dedicated work from the CFMP team.

It has been important to the District to release recommendations around facilities and learning as well as potential boundary options to our staff, families and community so that our community could review them and engage with us throughout this semester. These recommendations have been refined based on our engagement efforts, staff and community input, data analysis and CFMP team discussions. We will continue to engage with our entire community as recommendations move forward and we embark on Phase 2 of the CFMP process during Spring 2019.

“We have understood the personal nature of these conversations this fall and we have heard many personal scenarios connecting to our schools. We have a community that cares deeply for our schools and I want to thank our staff and community for their engagement in this process. We’ve listened and used this community feedback to guide our decisions moving forward. We get to now begin the exciting work of continuing to reimagine the future of education in Lee’s Summit R-7 schools through Phase 2 of the Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan,” said Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Superintendent.

“Thank you to the committed and dedicated CFMP team that helped form recommendations in this process. We are grateful to the students, teachers, coaches, administrators, parents, business leaders, city officials and community members who served on the team, guiding the recommendations that the Board of Education approved tonight. Our team listened and used that feedback to help us in our decision-making process. There was much goodwill involved and we hope our community feels the good faith effort to move forward in a collaborative manner,” said Board of Education President Phyllis Balagna.

The final elementary and secondary boundary recommendations can be found on our CFMP website, along with recommendations for Phase 2 work around research for future facilities and programming.

Mallory Herrmann

FOOTNOTE: The board did not specifically address many of the public comments shared at the meeting, including parents and one student who advocated for taking a step back. Daniel Schmidt, a seventh-grader at Bernard Campbell Middle School, said students hadn’t been given enough opportunities to share their own input. Michael Brown, a parent of one middle-school student and one high-school student, said the whole process felt “rushed and disjointed.” But the board is moving forward with enthusiasm and seemed eager to start phase two of the process. “It’s an exciting day,” Balagna said.