Virtual Backpack

  • Welcome to your weekly Fort Osage newsletter.  Information is updated weekly on Wednesdays.  If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Smith, Director of Public Relations at        



    Around the District 

    Fort Osage has a COVID dashboard on our website that will be updated every Thursday.  As a reminder, if there is a positive case of COVID in your child's school, we will send home information via email to families.  You can access the dashboard at  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the dashboard was updated on November 25th.


    Between December 1 and December 3, Fort Osage parents will be receiving an email to the email address you have on file with the school. By following the quick and easy steps, you will be able to download the Securly Home app, sign in, and instantly see all internet activity of your student’s district-issued Chromebook.  Please watch for more information.


    The Fort Osage High School December Scholarship Bulletin can be found at


    The Fort Osage School District seven director board will have two openings on the April 6, 2021 election ballot.  Residents of the district who wish to serve a three-year term on the Board of Education may file their candidacy at the Gragg Administrative office during regular business hours, Monday through Friday on: Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 8:00 a.m. thru Tuesday, December 22, 2020, noon; and Monday, January 4, 2021, 8:00 a.m. thru Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 5:00 p.m. Except for the first day (December 15, 2020) and the last day (January 19, 2021), filing will not occur on: the national holiday on Monday, January 18, 2021,  days that the school district’s central offices are closed due to inclement weather or in the event of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Candidates may call (816)-650-7000 to inquire if offices are open.  Candidates must be resident taxpayers of the district, must have resided in Missouri for one year preceding the election, and must be at least twenty-four years of age.  Those candidates who file on opening day (December 15, 2020) will participate in a random drawing and be listed on the ballot in ascending order according to the number drawn and ahead of the names of candidates filing on a later date. 


    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Fort Osage, along with the other schools of the conference, have developed safety protocols for students, coaches, staff, and fans safe at our sporting and activity events.  We know that these protocols will make our sporting events look and feel different for the winter season, but we are confident we can work together with our families and fans to make this a positive season for our students.  Spectator capacity at the Fort Osage District Facilities will be limited per Jackson County guidelines.  No General admission will be allowed to any sport or activity.  All spectators will be required to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing at all games and contests.  Areas of the bleachers will be marked off to allow for social distancing.  Spectators in the bleachers will need to remain socially distant.  Families may sit together but should maintain at least 6 feet separation from other families.  We ask that all fans do a self screening for COVID symptoms prior to attending.  If you are showing any signs/symptoms or do not feel well, we ask that you stay home.  Gatherings on the court prior to or after the games are not permitted.  These guidelines may change based on updated CDC, Jackson County Health Department, MSHSAA, and/or KC Suburban Conference recommendations once seasons get underway and competitions begin.


    Elm Grove PTO is hosting an online book fair starting November 30th.  You can shop online at  


    KFOI Sports announces it's winter sports broadcast schedule:

    Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 - Boys & Girls Wrestling v Lee’s Summit North 6 p.m.

    Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 - Boys Basketball v Park Hill  7 p.m.

    Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 - Boys Basketball v North Kansas City 7 p.m.

    Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 - Girls Basketball v Lee’s Summit 7 p.m.

    Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 - Girls Basketball v Park Hill South 7 p.m.

    Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 - Boys & Girls Wrestling v Grain Valley 6 p.m.

    Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 - Boys & Girls Wrestling v Belton 6 p.m.

    Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 - Girls Basketball v Grain Valley 5:30 p.m.

    Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 - Boys Basketball v Grain Valley 7 p.m.

    Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 - Girls Basketball v Truman 7 p.m.

    Friday, Feb. 4, 2021 - Boys Basketball v Truman 7 p.m.

    Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 - Girls Basketball v William Chrisman 5:30 p.m.

    Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 - Boys Basketball v William Chrisman 7 p.m.

    Friday, Feb. 19, 2021 - Girls Basketball v Belton 5:30 p.m.

    Friday, Feb. 19, 2021 - Boys Basketball v Belton 7 p.m.


     The Fort Osage Virtual Museum has created a video to tell you a little more about what our website is, why it was created, and how you can help preserve the history of the Fort Osage R-1 School District.  Click on and watch this 12min video and share you comments with us at  


    Learn Chess.  LINC believes that chess is a great way for students to learn and think strategically.  We want to provide an opportunity to participate in online group classes with other students in the District.  Classes will be held on Google Meet.  For more information visit


    Around Town  

    Would you be interested in an opportunity for your child to go to Japan in the Summer of 2022? There will be a virtual meeting on Tuesday, November 17th with all the information. Please visit for more details. If you have any questions, please email


    Community Services League (CSL) has important financial resource available to those Fort Osage families that live in the city limits of Independence.  CSL is helping families pay past due utility bills with Federal CARES Act funding. You can check your email or go to for more information from CSL on how to access those funds. You can receive assistance for past due electric, water, or sewer bills going back to March 1, 2020.


     Fresh, local and raw honey available. Mr. T's Bees is locally owned by Mr. Terhune, who teaches at the high school. Please visit for a complete price list.  If you have a business that would like to stock honey, please contact Mr. Terhune at 816-261-4684.


    2020 has taken a lot of things away from us but it isn't going to stop us from continuing our "Free Furnace For The Holidays Giveaway."  The winner will be a school teacher to show our appreciation for all of the challenges that they have faced this year due to Covid-19 and for being there for all of our children each and every day.  Thank you all.  Working or not some lucky teacher is going to receive a brand new furnace with a 10 year warranty at absolutely no cost.  From now until December 10th we are asking for your help finding this lucky teacher We are choosing a teacher from our school district which is Fort Osage, furnace must be a gas furnace and the furnace must be at least 15 years old. All we need you to do is share our Facebook post and tag your favorite teacher in the comments.  The winner will come down to the 3 teachers that have the most tags. We will then contact those 3 teachers via messenger and 1 of those 3 will receive a free furnace that will be installed in the first couple weeks of 2021 (If any of the 3 don't meet the requirements we will choose the next one with the most tags) on the original post at Thank you for all your help and best of luck to all. Happy Holidays from our family to yours! 


    The Hy-Vee Arena is offering a New Year Basketball Skills Camp on December 29th and 30th.  This is open to all boys and girls grades 3-8.  For complete details and sign up information visit


    Hy-Vee Arena is hosting a Little/Big Elves Fundamental Basketball Camp on December 22 and 23 for boys and girls grades 3-8.  For complete details and sign up information visit


    COVID-19 Testing Options

    Jackson County Health Department Testing
    Testing is available Monday through Friday at locations throughout the community from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be held from 11:50 a.m. -12:40 p.m., and there will not be testing during this time. Call 816-404-6416 if you have any questions about your visit or need to reschedule. There will be NO cost for this testing. Testing will be done using either an NP swab (nasopharyngeal swab) or nasal swab and collected by a healthcare professional. This test only detects current infection with COVID-19. You do NOT need to be currently experiencing symptoms to get this test. However, this is NOT a test to detect if you’ve ever been exposed to COVID-19.  Visit to view upcoming dates and locations. 

    Kansas City Health Department 
    Walk-up testing (first come, first served) is available with the Kansas City Health Department from 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. and open to residents of any city within Jackson or Clay County. Appointments are available from 11:00 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. by calling 311 by 5:00 p.m. the day before the test (must live in KCMO proper).*  These tests are free of charge, and residents do not have to have symptoms to be tested. You must be seven years of age or older.  Visit for dates and locations.  Appointment recommended due to high demand for testing. Appointments fill up quickly, but there are approximately 50 walk-up tests available at each site.

    Independence Testing
    Free, saliva-based tests at various locations 5-7 days a week throughout Independence. Testing times will generally be from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Anyone that lives, works or visits the area for services is welcome to get tested. No symptoms are required for testing.  Register at (those without a computer can call (816) 325-7121).  Visit for dates and locations.

    National Guard Testing
    Thursdays and Fridays through the end of the year (please note there will be no testing November 26 or 27) from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at 616 NE Douglas St., Lee's Summit, MO. Follow instructions on the signs at the testing site, as well as any instructions given to you by onsite personnel.*Please note there are no public restrooms available at the test site.  If you receive an appointment, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you PRINT and bring your test voucher with you on the day of your test.  Register online at

    Truman Medical Center Testing
    Call (816) 404-CARE to set up an immediate appointment at Truman Medical Centers if you are experiencing symptoms. 

    Just for Staff


    Are you confident your insurance protects your future and assets?  Please contact Margie Andrist for a free, no obligation, insurance review. She can look at your current policy and determine if it has the coverage you need to protect you and your family.  Her goal is to help you protect your assets, future, and quality of life, by providing the best insurance coverage.  She offers home/renters, auto, life, business and more!  She also offers a discount for employees of the Fort Osage school district and many professions!  You can reach Margie at 816-759-8640, 816-721-2535, or online at or


    The next jeans day will be on December 9th in support of the Fort Osage High School National Art Honor Society.  NAHS invites staff to wear their most creative poncho, sweater, or hat that day as well.