Independence Police Law Enforcement School-Based Initiative

Purpose Statement

The STEP (Students Transitioning Exceptionally Preparped) program is specifically designed to address the ongoing need to properly prepare those students transitioning from elementary school to middle school, then middle school to high school. It provides the training and information needed to allow the students to transition smoothly, without causing additional stress and/or trauma to being introduced to a new environment where goals and expectations are increased. It is directly targeted to all current 5th grade and 8th grade students within the Independence School District.

Needs Addressed

What problem or opportunity does the program addresses?

The Step Program directly addresses the idea that the traditional DARE program was no longer effective. A nationwide trend was being observed that saw school districts decreasing the DARE course or abandoning it altogether. The target audience was not developing those skills to deal and cope with everyday issues experienced by youth. 

Who experiences it? Through extensive research, it was learned that the age groups most effected were those students who had transitioned from elementary school to middle school and then middle school to high school. 

The risk factors STEP addresses are 1) Smoking-Vaping; 2) Drugs; 3) Alcohol; 4) Conflict Resolution; 5) Bullying-Cyberbullying; 6) Sexting-Social Media.


• Students will be educated on issues they may not have encountered and how to handle those new experiences.

• Students will be instructed on the negative affects of bullying and cyber-bullying. Not only how it could have adverse affects on the victims of the behavior, but the repercussions to those who display the behavior.

• Students will be given instruction on the various ways to effectively manage conflict resolution.

• Drug, Alcohol, Youth Smoking-Vaping prevention education will be provided to students.

• Students will be exposed to the defintion of Cyber crimes, including sexting and sending nude photos, and the legal ramifications that can result if they are sending or possessing such material.

• Students will be instructed on the policy and procedure changes that will directly affect them in transitioning from elementary and middle school.


Click on the window icon (upper right corner) of the map below to expand. List of all program locations is included with expanded view of map. Locations are also listed on this page below the map.

Mike Onka • 816-564-7957

2023 COMBAT Funding:

2023 Service Projection:
8,650 Students

Areas Of Focus

Abraham Mallinson Elementary, 709 N Forest St, Sugar Creek, MO 64054

Bingham Middle School, 1716 Speck Rd, Independence, MO 64057

Blackburn Elementary School, 17302 E R D Mize Rd, Independence, MO 64057

Bryant Elementary School, 827 W College St, Independence, MO 64050

Cassell Park Elementary, 10401 E 31st St S, Independence, MO 64052

Center Place Restoration School, 819 W Waldo Ave #2624, Independence, MO 64050

Christian Ott Elementary School, 1525 N Noland Rd, Independence, MO 64050

Clifford H. Nowlin Middle School, 2800 S Hardy Ave, Independence, MO 64052

Fairmount Elementary School, 120 N Cedar Ave, Independence, MO 64053

Glendale Elementary School, 2611 S Lee's Summit Rd, Independence, MO 64055

Korte Elementary School, 2437 S Hardy Ave, Independence, MO 64052

Little Blue Elementary, 2020 Quail Dr, Independence, MO 64057

John W Luff Elementary School, 3700 S Delaware Ave, Independence, MO 64055

Mill Creek Elementary School, 2601 N Liberty St, Independence, MO 64050

Nativity of Mary School, 10021 E 36th Terrace S, Independence, MO 64052

Pioneer Ridge Middle School, 1656 S Speck Rd, Independence, MO 64057

Procter Elementary School, 1403 W Linden Ave, Independence, MO 64052

Randall Elementary School, 509 N Jennings Rd, Independence, MO 64056

Santa Fe Trail Elementary School, 1301 Windsor St, Independence, MO 64055

Spring Branch Elementary School, 20404 E Truman Rd, Independence, MO 64056

Sycamore Hills Elementary School, 15208 East 39th St S, Independence, MO 64055

Thomas Hart Benton Elementary School, 429 S Leslie Ave, Independence, MO 64050

Three Trails Elementary School, 11801 E 32nd St S, Independence, MO 64052

William Southern Elementary School, 4300 S Phelps Rd, Independence, MO 64055