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SVMS 2016 Profile

South Valley Middle School is located in a suburb north of Kansas City just off of I-35, in the city of Liberty. Liberty is a considered a residential community that continues to grow in population, which currently is close to 30,000.  The demographics of the city of Liberty are: 91% White, 4% Hispanic, and 3% Black.  The population of SVMS for the 2016-2017 school year is 762 students and SVMS serves 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The demographics of the student population during the 2015-2016 school year was 81.3% White, 6.3% Hispanic, and 5.6% Black.  The Free and Reduced lunch population as of 2015-2016 was 13.5% and this number per DESE has declined from 2014 when it was 17.9%.  The SVMS staff has an average of 14.9 years of experience, 83.1% of the staff have advanced degrees, and the ratio is 19-1 for teachers. We have several notable achievements that our SVMS staff members have accomplished and these are noted below.


During the 2013-2014 school year, SVMS changed from being a school that served 6th and 7th grade students to a school that serves 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  This reconfiguration adjusted many things including the number of staff at SVMS (went from 75-50), number of students (went from 959 to 612), and added on 8th grade curriculum that was new for the teaching staff.  The population that SVMS used to serve was that of Liberty and Kansas City residence where as now, SVMS pulls all of their students from Kansas City and 100% of our students receive bussing to school.  Also, during this same time, a second high school was added to LPS, SVMS became a feeder to this second high school, Liberty North High School, and 8th athletics were added to our school.


The vision of SVMS is, “Student Centered for Student Success”.  When making decisions as a staff, we ultimately go back to deciding what is best for our students.  The mission of SVMS is, “South Valley Middle School is committed to encouraging and guiding individuals to grow

intellectually, emotionally, socially in a student centered environment where all people are treated with dignity and respect”. The beliefs and values are:  

  • We believe that educators should strive to provide a variety of tools and experiences to expand students' minds and increase their social development.
  • We believe that students should take ownership of their learning in order to be contributing members of the school environment.
  • We believe that parents should join in a collaborative partnership with the school through support and encouragement.

The Mission, Vision, and Beliefs guide SVMS to provide a place where students can find a sense of belonging.  We as educators believe that if a student has a connection to their school, they will be more likely to feel a part of the school community.  This may be through their academics, after school clubs/activities, and through the partnership they form with their teachers.  SVMS offers course that help to challenge (Gifted, Advanced Math/ELA, GTT) and courses to remediate (learning strategies, fast forward advisory, a variety of special education offerings), learning for the sake of the students.  From the 2015-2016 school year to the 2016-2017 school year, the advanced math and advanced ELA numbers have increased by between 15-20 students/grade level in order to continue to challenge our students.  We ensure that the needs of all students are being met through the course offerings we have. Also, students have a variety of choices when it comes to being involved in the school community.  They can participate in after school clubs and athletics in order to increase their sense of purpose/ownership and assist in them learning the soft skills needed to be successful in society.


As a school community, SVMS staff members have received some outstanding recognitions over the past five-years.  During the 2015-2016 school year, Staci Lester (SVMS Science teacher), was named the Liberty Public School Teacher of the Year.  Her impact on her science team as the team leader has pushed them to have outstanding MAP science test scores over the past 3-years.


During the 2015-2016 school year, Travis Ferguson and Sara Graham were awarded with the “LPS Carol Brown Professional Development Award”, providing them an opportunity to receive national training at UCLA and enhance their work with special education students in their social skills classes and the importance of friendships for students with special needs.  Their work was published in “Odyssey” a publication for teachers.  


SVMS teacher, Ms. Linda Klein was recognized by the Liberty Public Schools Board of Education for her work with our local veterans.  She has and continues to partner with the Veteran’s Honor Flight and Voices of a Generation in order to close the generational gap between students and aging veterans. Students write to veterans that go on their Honor Flight to Washington DC and also meet with local veterans to ask questions and hear about their service.


The LPS Fine Arts Department was recognized by the NAMM Foundation for “Best in Community” for Music Education in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  Ms. Svehla, SVMS Band teacher has received numerous recognitions over the past five-years.  She was State Clinician at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention in 2014 and a State Clinician at the Missouri Bandmaster’s Association Convention.  Ms. Svehla was a performer at the State Convention-Missouri Music Educators Association Convention in 2016.  Ms. Svehla will be representing the state of Missouri in the 19th Annual “50 Band Directors Who Make a Difference” Issue of School Band and Orchestra Magazine, 2016-17.  She has served as a woodwind judge at MSHSAA State Music Festival at University of Missouri – Columbia May 2017, and has been a historian for the State of Missouri-Missouri Bandmaster’s Association since 2013


LPS presents SOAR awards to staff members in each building for going above and beyond.  Parents, patrons, students, or coworkers can nominate these individuals.  Brittany Paddock, 6th grade science teacher, and Darla Fuller, Speech/Theatre class teacher both received an award during the 15-16 school year.


SVMS has three teachers that received their National Board Certification, Marie Goeglein, Carrie Gabriel, and Eric Forsman.  Principal, Jill Mullen, was given the GKCMPA Middle School Principal of the Year award during the 2011-2012 school year.  


Ms. Butler, SVMS special education teacher has been selected to serve on the Standards and Benchmark Committee this summer to align the benchmarks by grade level and to determine the rubric of content standards that will be met at each level of student achievement (below basic, basic, proficient and advanced). She also served on the Content and Bias Testing Committee in October as an ELA representative for the 6th grade and special education to read test questions for alignment to the new state standards.   Ms. Bulter is also a DESE representative for ELA and serve on the ESSA committee that assures that we meet the requirements of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  


As the SVMS school community continues to grow, we as a school community continue to look for ways to meet the needs of our students.  This may be through enrichment and innovation practices or remediation and intervention.  We have added support teams that comb through the data and look for ways to provide what the student needs.  The SVMS building leadership team continues to look for ways to think outside the box in order to help our students.  As we have become a 100% bussed school, we have also felt the strong need to provide options for transporting our students to/from school activities in order to increase student involvement.  We will continue to look for ways to increase opportunities for our students.