School district named to annual AP Honor Roll

Olathe Public Schools has been named to the 4th Annual Advanced Placement (AP) District Honor Roll by the College Board. The district is one of 477 school districts in the United States and Canada to be placed on the list.

The AP District Honor Roll recognizes efforts to open AP classroom doors to a significantly broader pool of students, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of three or higher.  The College Board reviewed data from AP testing from 2011 to 2013.

“Advanced Placement coursework brings college-level studies to the high school classroom,” Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski said.  “AP students taking the College Board AP exams may earn college credit by doing well on the exam. Often AP classes are reserved only for the academic elite, but the Olathe district has focused on including more students in these classes while maintaining high level results.

“We are pleased to receive this recognition from the College Board. It is a testament to the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, and student who chose to enroll in these rigorous AP classes.”

Memos from MNU

Recycling Ministry Operational

Our student recycling ministry is up and running again. Simply place your recycling outside your building by 10 a.m. Fridays (unless classes are out). Students will collect and take your bags to the dumpster.  Continue reading

Voters approve Olathe bond election

Olathe School District patrons have approved a $244.8 million mail-in bond election by 77 percent of the vote, according to Johnson County Election Office officials.

To view the election results, click here.

The bond proposal will touch every school in the district. Major projects of this bond election include: Continue reading

MNU prof starts Math Circles for middle school teachers

Remember your middle school math classes? Whether you excelled in them or not, you probably thought your teacher lived and breathed the subject.

But Dr. Mark Brown, associate professor of mathematics at MidAmerica Nazarene University, says even math teachers sometimes need to be reinvigorated about the subject they teach. That’s why he’s starting Heartland Math Teachers’ Circle and kicking off the project with a five-day workshop for middle school math teachers and mathematicians, June 24-28.

Area math teachers from as far away as Topeka will join Brown and other mathematicians in solving math problems and developing effective mathematical practices for the classroom. Tied to the standards for mathematical practice of the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (similar to the Common Core State Standards), the conference will cover skills students need today. Continue reading

MNU Summer Science enrichment Camps give high schoolers hands-on learning

Caption for MNU Science Camp photo: Jeff Witters (right), a biology teacher from Olathe South High School, shows Caleb Tady, Olathe North senior and Sebastian Menez, Olathe South sophomore, the wealth of data contained in the rings on a tree trunk sample during MNU’s The Science of Field Ecology Camp.

Jeff Witters (right), a biology teacher from Olathe South High School, shows Caleb Tady, Olathe North senior and Sebastian Menez, Olathe South sophomore, the wealth of data contained in the rings on a tree trunk sample during MNU’s The Science of Field Ecology Camp. MNU photo

For the fourth year in a row MNU is hosting area high school science teachers and their students in six day-long science enrichment camps this June. The Science of Beauty, CSI-II, and The Science of Field Ecology are free due to a five-year Teacher Quality Preparation grant MNU received from the U.S. Department of Education.

According to Gary Andersen, EdD, MNU associate professor of education, 120 students and teachers from Olathe, Gardner-Edgerton, Kansas City, Kan., DeSoto, Shawnee Mission and Mission Valley school districts are registered to attend.

Sherry Hansen, a biology teacher at Olathe North High School says the students enjoy performing hands on experiments. This is Hansen’s second year to attend the camps. This year she brought two Olathe North seniors, Ashley Gasiorowski and Caleb Tady, from the Animal Health Program to The Science of Field Ecology camp. Continue reading

Technology for Teachers offers low cost resources

John Kuglin

John Kuglin

Area educators have a unique opportunity to learn how to maximize free technology resources to supplement their classrooms at MNU’s Technology Conference for educators June 11 and 12 on the MNU Olathe campus. Consultant and 35-year veteran educator John Kuglin will present iEducator Teaching Today at the two-day event. Kuglin’s goal is to help professionals understand and navigate the road to successful teaching today.

Kuglin says in today’s educational environment of shrinking budgets “Cloud or web-based assets are ‘game changers’ and are available to all educators regardless of position, location or district, many times for no cost!  It is important for all educators to learn how to maximize their potential for using cloud resources in their districts and/or teaching practices.”

Participants will also learn strategies to help them use technology for instruction and assessment. Continue reading

Fire safety rolls in Olathe

In an effort to help make families safer, the “Fire and Life Safety Experience” brings safety information to third grade elementary students in more than 30 Olathe schools each year. The Fire and Life Safety Experience is a “hands on” safety house on wheels.

Inside the house, children hunt for home hazards in a kitchen and living room and practice a fire escape from the bedroom. Firefighters use theater smoke, in the bedroom, to simulate a real fire while children get low and crawl to their best exit. In this case, the door is warm and children must use their second exit which is a window with short ladder at the back of the safety house.

At 9 a.m., Thursday, May 16, Olathe’s Fire and Life Safety Experience will be at Ridgeview Elementary, 1201 E. Elm.

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