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Council Grove "Terrific Kid" Places in Veterans Essay Contest

From Emprise Bank

Emprise Bank "Terrific Kid" Evan Carr, a sixth-grader from Council Grove, placed third in The All Veterans Tribute Student Essay and Poster Contest held by the Emporia Area Chamber and Visitors Bureau. The contest was open . . . read more

Lights On Afterschool Open House

We would like to invite you to join us for our Lights On Afterschool Open House on Thursday, October 26th .  The Reading Ranch at Council Grove Elementary School (in the former middle school building) and the Reading Ranch at Prairie . . . read more

Finding Support through the Kansas Reading Roadmap’s Literacy Integrated Family Engagement Program

No matter our age, we all remember how it felt to hear those three little words: back to school. It popped up in late summer - on the radio, on TV, and in every shop window - and inevitably caused that complicated mix of excitement . . . read more

Books at Reading Ranch

We have received two pallets of books this week.  OVER SIX HUNDRED BOOKS!!  This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice because this is just what I could fit in this trophy case. This is about half of the books that we have . . . read more

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

  Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)   read more

Stop telling kids you’re bad at math. You are spreading math anxiety ‘like a virus.’

“How was skiing?” I asked my 14-year old daughter as she hauled her boot bag into the car. “Well, the ratio of snow to ground was definitely low,” she replied, adding that she had tried to figure the ratio of . . . read more


Dear Parent or Guardian, Your School District Web Store is getting a new look! Soon, you will be able to log on to the Web Store from any mobile device and make a payment. There is no need to download an app, just visit the Web Store . . . read more

Helping Your Child Develop a Growth Mindset

By Greg Hood

One of the most important attributes in children and adults is the ability to form hope. To live without hope is to live without joy, peace and happiness. Everyone should be familiar with the definition of hope. But the origins of hope . . . read more

Gift Lists: Cell Phones for Kids?

By Connect with Kids

Especially at this gift-giving time of year, many parents might be questioning, just . . . read more

Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse

Parents: Are your kids at risk for substance abuse?  Research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has shown the important role that parents play in preventing their children from starting to use . . . read more


In recent years, Kansas public schools have been thrust into political and legal battles and even been used in the so-called culture wars. What’s remarkable is that during this turmoil, Kansas teachers, parents and education . . . read more

What is Booster Club?

The Council Grove Braves Booster Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting positive parent and community involvement in the support of the Braves athletic and non-athletic programs. This involvement consists of both volunteer . . . read more

14 Tips for Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

By Reading Rockets, Understood Founding Partner   Whether your child is having a positive or negative experience in school, it’s important to make the most of your parent-teacher conference. Here are tips to help you . . . read more

In Search for USD 417 District Academic Council

Are you interested in being more involved in our school district?  Would you like to be part of the discussion about academic decisions affecting our students?  The USD 417 District Academic Council (DAC) has an opening for a . . . read more

Reading Ranch Roundup Newsletter

   What is happening at the Kansas Reading Ranch Roundup? See the newsletter below...... Kansas Reading Roadmap Evaluation Summary November 2016 Reading Ranch Roundup October 2016 Reading Ranch . . . read more

Duke Tip Program

"Seventh grade student at Council Grove Jr. High has qualified to attend Duke Talent Identification Program summer study programs. She earned qualifying scores on the ACT to attend the summer programs, according to Ruth Vilander, . . . read more

K.I.D.S Matching Grant Program

On behalf of the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office, I kindly request your assistance in raising awareness and utilization of a very unique matching grant program with the sole purpose of helping Kansas families with modest means fulfill . . . read more


Dear RevTrak Client, We are happy to inform you that your RevTrak ® Web Store and Portal will soon be updated to our latest version. Following is a description of the new features and functionality which we have developed to save . . . read more

Understanding Your Child's State Assessment Results

October 5, 2015

To learn more about how to interpret the various components of a score report, view our - 2015 Interpretive Guide for Score Report   read more

Big Step Forward for Kansas Students

By Mark Tallman

When the Kansas State Board of Education receives a report on new reading and math test scores today, the results will look lower than what the public, teachers, parents and students are used to. And that is actually very good . . . read more

Kansas Teacher of the Year 2016

Kansas Teacher of the Year 2016 - Region 1 Banquet to honor Kansas Educators and our own Kelcy Bremer!  Kelcy is with Dale Dennis, Deputy Commissioner of Education and Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education.  . . . read more

Early Childhood Screening

 Free for ALL children ages Birth-5 years old Friday, April 3rd Call the Council Grove Elementary School office at 767-6851 to schedule an appointment. Screenings start at 8:00 am. Please bring your child’s: ~ . . . read more

Council Grove Teacher Selected as State Recipient of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award

Ellen Wilson, from rural St. George and a fourth grade teacher at the Council Grove Elementary School, is shown being recognized as the state recipient of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award during a Kansas Day . . . read more

Meet Kolbie

COUNCIL GROVE, Kan. (WIBW) - Basketball  games  and other after-school activities with friends are part of the normal high school experience. As she smiled broadly, blue and gold pom poms clutched in her hands,  . . . read more

Scholars’ Bowl

January 16, 2015

Council Grove High School Scholars’ Bowl team was 1st place at the Sacred Heart Invitational Varsity tournament Thursday. Luke was high point scorer with 20 correct responses. Wichita East was 2nd, Ellsworth 3rd, and Abilene 4th. . . . read more

District Report on the Recommendation to Close Schools
and Reconfigure Attendance Center

By Conwell, Doug

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY             In August of 2013, the USD 417 Board of Education established three goals and directed the district leadership to develop plans to achieve these . . . read more

Math Myths and Urban Legends

By John Heim

One characteristic of a good friend is that they have the ability to challenge your thinking. Without people like this in your life, it is easy to start thinking that you pretty much know everything. I am fortunate to have a lot of people in . . . read more

2014 Parent Leadership Conference

The 2014 Parent Leadership Conference will be November 7 -8 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka, KS. Workshop topics will include fatherhood, advocacy, education, behavior management, and more. Free child care for children up . . . read more

Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominee

On Saturday, September 6 Krista Wilson, kindergarten teacher at our Prairie Heights Elementary School, was honored along with over 30 other Region 1 elementary and secondary teachers as part of the Kansas Teacher of the Year (KTOY) . . . read more

USD 417 BOE Goal 1 2013-14

USD 417 BOE Goal 1 2013-14 read more

Board of Education Goals and Information

To learn more about the Board of Educations Goals please click on the link below. USD 417 BOE Goals read more

Drivers Education

Council Grove High School offers drivers education during the summer. The “classroom instruction” for driver education will be held in the CGHS auditorium beginning on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, and ending on Monday, June 9, 2014 (10 . . . read more

Free Books for Little Ones!

October 15, 2013

The United Way has partnered with the Capital Federal Foundation, The Hopkins Foundation, The Jones Foundation, and the Trusler Foundation to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the children of Osage, Coffey, Chase, Greenwood, . . . read more


We are excited to announce that parents can now add money to their child’s lunch account online through our new Morris County USD 417 Web Store! Parents can make payments online from their home or work computer, any time of the day. If . . . read more

Olweus--Bullying Prevention

Dear Mr. Conwell and School . . . read more

Summer Sports Camps

By Superintendent Doug Conwell

Summer is well underway and this means summer camps for students who actively participate in our district’s extra-curricular programs.  This is a great way for students to stay active and to help develop their respective skills.  . . . read more

Do Summer Reading Programs Help?

Do summer reading programs help? Many parents, especially those whose children are struggling in school, see summertime as a school vacation and take it literally. “Everyone needs a vacation!” they exclaim. “My kid needs to get . . . read more

Drivers' Education

Classroom instruction for drivers education will begin on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 and end on Monday, June 10, 2013 (10 class days). The classroom portion of the program will be held in the CGHS auditorium from 8:00 – 11:30 a.m. read more

Students return from State Leadership Conference

Wichita, KS - Members, alumni, advisers and guests of the Kansas association of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, or FCCLA, recently attended the 67th annual State Leadership Conference on April 7-9 in Wichita, KS. With the . . . read more

USD 417 Seeks Assistance from Local Farmers

Superintendent | March 25, 2013

Monsanto provides for a national program which helps farmers to positively impact their communities by supporting rural school districts. This program gives eligible farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their . . . read more

National Merit Finalist

To become a Finalist, Mary and CGHS had to submit a detailed scholarship application providing information about her academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, and honors and awards received. . . . read more

Is Your Child Ready for Life After High School: College and Career Readiness?

I want to share some startling statistics that I believe every responsible parent should know when it comes to educating their child.  These figures come from the National Center for Education Statistics, the national database for . . . read more

Board Approves Doug Conwell as 2013-2014 Superintendent

By the Council Grove Republican

After interviewing three finalists last week for the superintendent of school position, the USD 417 Board of Education decided the best person to provide leadership and experience in facing the challenges of public education already was on . . . read more

What Will the Change to Common Core Curriculum Look Like?

In part 1 of this short series of articles, I wrote about the College and Career Readiness and the Common Core standards initiatives that are taking place across the United States.  I hope people took the time to access the website that . . . read more

The Common Core Standards and USD 417

It has come to my attention that parents are seeing a different kind of homework coming home with their children and different classroom work as well.  The comments I have heard express surprise at the content of the work (what used to . . . read more

2013 Kansas Cable Telecommunications Horizon Award Program Recognizes 32 Kansas Educators

TOPEKA - Thirty-two beginning educators from around the state were named 2013 Kansas Cable Telecommunications Horizon Award recipients recently. The Kansas Cable Telecommunications Horizon Awards are sponsored by the Kansas State Department . . . read more

Morris County Spelling Bee

The Morris County Spelling Bee will be held on January 23, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Council Grove High School auditorium. The Council Grove, Prairie Heights and White City building winners will compete for the county. The top two winners of . . . read more

How are Benchmark Assessments different than State Assessments?

Benchmark Assessments occur three times each school year: fall, winter, and spring.  The dates this school year for benchmark testing “windows” are Sept. 4-14, Jan. 9-17, and May 1-10.  All students in grades K-8 are given the . . . read more

The Lexile Framework for Reading

What are Lexiles? Both Benchmark assessments and State Assessments give students, parents, and educators Lexile measures for each individual student. Lexile measures describe the reading level of a student and the complexity of a . . . read more

USD 417 Morris County Schools Awarded “Standard of Excellence”

USD 417 Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Kelly Gentry, reports that all five campuses of USD 417 received awards for Standard Of Excellence from the Kansas State Department of Education.  Mrs. Gentry states, “These results of . . . read more

Parents' Guide to Student Success

The Parents' Guide to Student Success (listed below in English and Spanish) was developed in response to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics that more than 40 states, including Kansas, have adopted. . . . read more

Celebrate Family Day September 24th

There’s nothing more relaxing at the end of the day than sitting down with your family for dinner. It’s not just about the food. The communication, the togetherness and the bonding are all important parts of the dinner table . . . read more

USD 417 Morris County Schools No Longer on AYP Improvement

Curriculum and Instruction Director Kelly Gentry, announces amazing results across each campus of USD 417 Morris County Schools. First and foremost we are proud of Prairie Heights Elementary School attaining the “Reward School” award . . . read more

RunShunga Donation

The USD 417 Board of Education wants to express great appreciation to the Flinthill’s Family organization for their $4,300 donation to the USD 417 afterschool programs (Council Grove and Dwight). Dr. Ford indicates that the afterschool . . . read more

Kansas receives NCLB waiver

Kansas received approval today for flexibility in meeting certain provisions in the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The waiver, granted by the U.S. Department of Education, will substantially change how Kansas schools, educators and . . . read more

99 Reasons Teachers Rock

The education community has been all gloom and doom recently, with  Waiting for Superman , protests with bad press, and more standards on top of foolish mandates coming down from every which way.   At TeachHUB, we want . . . read more

Kids Fail Less When They Know Failure Is Part of Learning, Study Finds

Kids perform better in school if they know failure, and trying again, is part of the learning process, according to a new study published by the  American Psychological Association . The research included several experiments . . . read more

Students to see healthier school lunches under new USDA rules

More fruit, fewer fries. Lots of legumes. Romaine amid the salad greens. And the bread on that peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Whole grain instead of white.   School lunches in Morris County and elsewhere will start to . . . read more

Kristina Laizure County Spelling Bee Champion

Kristina Laizure (center), a Council Grove Middle School 8th grader, won the Morris County Speeling Bee on February 9th. Paul Lamberson (left), Prairie Heights 8th grader, placed 2nd, and Madison Miller, White City 6th grader, was 3rd. . . . read more

Governor’s Award Recognizes Top Performing Schools

TOPEKA – Forty-three Kansas elementary schools, 11 middle/junior high schools and 18 high schools were recently recognized as part of the fifth annual Governor’s Achievement Awards, honoring top performing schools in the state.   . . . read more

Top TEN Things You Need to Know About Common Core State Standards

Beginning in the spring of 2009, Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia committed to developing a common core of state standards for K-12 English-language arts (ELA) and . . . read more

Improving the Grounds

Kim Bomberger has been working with district staff, mostly Dr. Ford and Rick Evans, to place trees on the high school grounds. Mrs. Bomberger is a north central and northeast district community forester for the Kansas Forest Service, and she . . . read more


Braves Robotics has been hard at work and have gone from big boxes of bolts to a moving vehicle in less than a month. “Tuesday evening we mounted the wheels and motors to the chassis. Timothy had programmed our remote so we decided to stay . . . read more


Standard of Excellence awards for 2011 were released last week.     The following buildings in our district made Standard of Excellence in the following subjects:   D0417 5998 Morris . . . read more

Kansas should strive to be number one

In 1970, Avis Car Rental launched an ad campaign that featured the slogan, “we may be number 2, but we try harder.” The slogan has endured, even as Avis has made inroads into being the number one car rental business in America. What does . . . read more

New District Academic Council Member

Welcome to Amber Jones who will be the new Alta Vista community representative on the District Academic Council when it begins in October.  Rachel Tompkins will be representing the Wilsey area on DAC, in addition to her duties as DAC . . . read more

Greenbush Leadership Institute

Morris County USD 417 is proud to announce Dave Watkins, Cynthia Schraeder and new Special Education Director Dathan Fischer have been selected to join current and aspiring leaders from 36 Kansas School districts to participate in Greenbush . . . read more

Teenagers and the GOOD things they do!

This summer, Lane Evans and crew installed the letters on Prairie Heights Elementary School for his Eagle Scout project.  The letters were purchased with the Florence Stahl Memorial.  Lane is from Dwight and is a sophomore at . . . read more

USD 417 Team Building

USD 417 teachers and staff participated in team building activities during teacher in-service.  Nick and Dan from Pittsburg, KS were the facilitators of these events and they took staff members through several tasks that are designed to . . . read more


Dear Brave Supporter,       It doesn’t seem possible but summer is coming to an end and it is time to gear up for another Braves Activity season. With the start of a new year we are looking forward to a year . . . read more

USD 417 Middle School Sports questionnaire

If your child is a middle school student in USD 417 and is planning on participating in athletics please complete the following questionnaire. MS Sports Questionnaire read more

Lock Up Your Liquor

Morris County Anti-Drug Task Force is advising against loosening the rules about underage alcohol use with a “Lock Up Your Liquor” request for all parents.   In addition to the recent education on the social hosting laws . . . read more

Business Department Moving to the Future...

The high school business department is moving in the direction of two Career Pathways.  In 2011-2012, courses will be offered in the areas of Business Entrepreneurship and Management, and Business Finance/Accounting.  Students can . . . read more

USD 417 School Staff Member Receives Healthy Habits for Life Grant from the BCBS of Kansas Foundation

March 16, 2011

Council Grove Middle School and Council Grove High School, USD 417, is the recipient of a $1,000 Healthy Habits for Life grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation for each school.   Dana Reddick, RN, . . . read more

Kansas Master Teacher Award

USD #417 Teachers’ Association is very proud to announce the selection of Miss Teresa Disberger as a winner of the Emporia State University Kansas Master Teacher Award.  She was one of seven winners from across the state of . . . read more

Thank You!

We would like to thank community members who attended one or both Town Meetings last week in Council Grove or Alta Vista.  Your participation, input, and questions were very much appreciated.  We would also like to thank those . . . read more

CISL Efficiency Study Executive Summary

Executive Summary The function of the Center for Innovative School Leadership (CISL) is to conduct school efficiency reviews for school districts on a voluntary basis to help them realize greater efficiency and effectiveness. CISL . . . read more

Automated Messaging Information – Why can’t I hear the announcement?

Our school district uses a telephone broadcast system that enables us to notify households by phone within minutes of an unplanned event that causes early dismissal or cancellation.  Recently we have received feedback that ‘no-one is . . . read more

Budget cuts for USD 417 Morris County Schools

Our new governor’s budget has verified many of our fears about fiscal cuts to the state.  Even though his budget proposal must pass through our state legislature, history has shown that past budgets presented by the governor generally . . . read more

CGMS Sports Location

With the opening of the new facility at CGHS there have been some questions regarding the decision to play CGMS basketball games at CGMS and CGHS (old gym). In efforts to provide the best opportunity for competition and practice for all USD . . . read more

USD #417 Celebrates 44th Annual School Bus Safety Week This Year’s Theme: Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm

National School Bus Safety Week (October 17- 23) is an annual event in which USD 417 supports School Bus Safety Week to help highlight the importance of school bus safety awareness and education. This year’s theme, Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop . . . read more

Standard of Excellence

The Standard of Excellence awards for 2010 have just been released.   CONGRATULATIONS!  Every building in our district made Standard of Excellence in both Reading and Math Building-Wide .   The following buildings made . . . read more

“Kansas Passes Massive Tax Increase,”

“Kansas Passes Massive Tax Increase,” “Largest Tax Increase in Kansas History,” “Highest Taxes in History,” “Huge Increases in School Spending”    We have all seen the headlines and heard the hyperbole, and . . . read more

City Lake Court Decision Effect on Morris County School District

The Kansas Court of Appeals denial of the county’s taxation practice for City Lake property could cause a financial shortfall for Morris County School district.  Please understand that it may be difficult to explain the shortfall as it . . . read more

Bats in CGHS (a.k.a) Belfry

It would appear that besides the many activities that take place at CGHS, the facility is also home to a colony of bats.  Ample amounts of “forensic evidence” have been left behind that indicates the initial few suspected bats are . . . read more

Fictional $10,000 Pipe Replaced

It was discovered on August 9th that the water main feeding into Council Grove Elementary School (CGES) had developed a severe leak (averaging 15,000 gallons a day).  The water had filled the basement and tunnels in the east part of . . . read more

Saving the Mighty Oak Tree and the Prodigious Sycamore Tree

School board president Marty White, Dr. Ford and Rick Evans met with Kim Bomberger, a forester from The Kansas Forest Service, to develop a course of action to protect the historical oak tree that stands next to the tennis courts and to save . . . read more

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