Once a week, Waynesville High School in south-central Missouri resounds with the celebratory air of a football game. The marching band has just completed a lap of the hallways, blaring the school’s theme song, “Eye of the Tiger.” This school rocks with spirit, even though most of its 1,500 students didn’t grow up in Waynesville, and most of them won’t be staying long.
For students who speak a language other than English at home, it can take years to learn English well enough to pass tests at school. For refugee students – many of whom never went to school – it can take even longer.
Take a look at the Kansas budget and one item looms large, eating up more state spending than anything else. Schools swallow about $4.5 billion . That spending rose after an infusion of cash by lawmakers earlier this year in response to a court ruling in a long-running fight over whether state government does enough to support public education.
Angie Schreiber sees it time and again: dyslexic students failing to learn to read through traditional teaching techniques. But she says she knows how they can flourish. Schreiber’s private teaching service in Emporia uses an approach known as structured literacy. The method drills students on myriad rules of English sound and spelling that most of us never learned consciously.
New routines as school starts can overwhelm kindergarteners, especially if they didn’t go to preschool. That’s why many Kansas City area school districts try to ease the transition for young students with summer programs.
Long lines, loud music ... and backpacks? All month long, community organizations have been passing out school supplies to kids at events that feel less like back-to-school fairs and more like outdoor concerts.
Brandi Thorpe says her 10-year-old son D’Juan Franklin is a loving, intelligent child, who loves playing football and baseball. He's also autistic. When Thorpe transferred him to the New Beginnings School in the Lansing, Kansas, district — a school dedicated to special education — she was hopeful that her son would get the support he needed. And, he did, up until the morning of January 17, 2017.
( This story has been updated. ) Kansas continues to underfund its schools, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Monday — a decision that could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars more over the next four years. But because the Legislature agreed to significant hikes in funding this spring, the justices gave it another year to add to the amount it sends to local school districts. The high court could have forced lawmakers back to Topeka in coming weeks to fix the problem or face school...
There were 307 students enrolled at Pitcher Elementary on the last day of school, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Pitcher is about as far east as a school can be and still be in the Kansas City Public Schools – out by the stadiums, mere blocks from the Independence and Raytown districts. Kids come and go constantly as their families’ circumstances change.
Students with disabilities often miss out on opportunities their peers take for granted, like learning a foreign language. That's why Shawnee Mission West French teacher Katie Bogart works hard to accommodate all different kinds of learners in her classroom. “They struggle more with some of the grammar that we do, a lot of the written work,” Bogart says. “That can be a little bit more challenging.” But she takes seriously her duty to provide a free and appropriate public education. And...
It’s a common refrain in career and technical education: school must prepare students for jobs that haven’t been invented yet. To do that, vocational training centers are undergoing high-tech transformations, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Lee’s Summit. The gleaming, $64 million Missouri Innovation Campus that opened last fall has been hailed as a game changer for accelerating the time it takes for a four-year degree after high school. The idea is that students will save big on...
Kansas City’s most vulnerable students often fall behind when their families move often. And when the kids don’t meet the state’s expectations on standardized tests, their school district gets dinged. That makes it hard for districts with a lot of student turnover to improve their standing.
Kansas City-area students joined their peers from across the country on Friday, rallying to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre and pay tribute to other victims of mass shootings. Students left their schools and made their way to a rally in Midtown's Hyde Park, where students from 10 high schools organized the rally to coincide with the walkouts. It attracted about 150 people. Although that fell short of their goal of 500, the teen organizers said they were glad they...
Carmen Xavier, a candidate for the Board of Education in Smithville, Missouri, has been very deliberate about letting voters know she is transgender. But she’s also been very clear that she believes her decades of public service qualify her for the job.
At school, Kansas students learn what to do in case a shooter attacks. Lock classroom doors. Turn out the lights. Huddle out of view from the window in the door. In the Statehouse, lawmakers are searching for consensus on better ways to prevent, or cut short, school shootings. Arm teachers? Fortify schools? Train kids about guns? On Tuesday, the feelings clashed in a committee hearing and on the floor of the Kansas House just days after gun control activists drew crowds to March for Our...
Jeff Sloan knew something was wrong as soon as his 10-year-old son got off the school bus. Jayden, a fourth grader at Mason Elementary in Lee’s Summit, was limping slightly – and there was something wrong with his speech. “He’s talking like his tongue’s tied, and he’s telling me, ‘I’ve had the worst day, Dad. It’s just been terrible,’” Jeff says. “I said, ‘So what happened? Why are you talking like that?’ And he goes, ‘I bit my tongue.’”
The young survivors of a Florida school shooting last month don’t want thoughts and prayers. They want gun control. They’ve organized protests, staged walkouts and demanded policymakers do more to protect them. On Twitter, they’ve called out politicians who oppose restrictions on the assault-style rifle a gunman used to kill 17 of their classmates and teachers. And their activism has resonated with teens across the country.
Imagine, teacher Shauna Hammett tells first-graders gathered around a small table, a train whistle. “What sound is the long ‘A’ sound?” Hammett asks. Hands shoot into the air, then tug downward as if pulling on a rope. Their sing-song answer mimics the sound of a passing train: “Aaaaaaaa. Aaaaaa.”
Newly installed Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer described his state Wednesday as vibrant but with trouble spots, telling lawmakers he plans to charge ahead at its problems. Colyer promised to reform the state’s struggling foster care system, improve its privatized Medicaid program, open government activities into clearer public view and help more Kansans find jobs. The speech was effectively a State of the State speech by a former two-term lieutenant governor now one week into higher office and...
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ stop at a tiny private school in Kansas City’s Waldo neighborhood earlier this year became a flashpoint in a national conversation about transgender rights. The education department’s rollback of Obama-era protections for transgender students quickly overshadowed DeVos’ purported reasons for visiting Kansas City Academy – an innovative fine arts curriculum and farm-to-table culinary program.