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For Rural Schools In Missouri, Spotting Mental Health Problems Among Kids Often Falls To Teachers

It’s the middle of summer but Harrisburg Middle School is a hive of activity. Between summer school classes and renovations, it’s a little chaotic for counselor Brett Rawlings, who just wrapped up his first year at the school. Harrisburg is a town of fewer than 300 people, midway between St. Louis and Kansas City. But the school also serves the surrounding area, which is primarily farmland. As the K-8 counselor, Rawlings is responsible for some 400 students, and he deals with a range of...


Fifth-Graders At Kansas City's First All-Girls Charter Learn To Be Anti-Racist, Feminist Leaders

Kansas City’s first charter school for girls only opens next week with a staff that reflects the diversity of its students and the community. Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy is entering a crowded charter market, but school leaders are counting on a curriculum that highlights the contributions of women and people of color to attract and keep students. Parent Monique Cannon decided to move her daughter, Dieerin Jamison, from another charter school so she could have more teachers of color.


Kansas City Kids Don't Just Need Pre-K, Experts Say — They Need Education Starting At Birth

Between the time they’re born and age 3, babies’ brains are literally mapping, making the connections they’ll need to learn later on. In fact, 80 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first three years.


These KU Students Are Helping Revive Journalism In Eudora, Kansas

For more than 100 years, Eudora had a weekly newspaper. “We were able to have a sports reporter, somebody that would come out when we had a structure fire and report on it,” said Mayor Tim Reazin, who moved to Eudora in 1997. “We had somebody that sat through the city commission meetings with us.” But since 2004, more than 1,800 newspapers have folded, a third of them in rural communities . Eudora residents lost their paper in 2008. Reazin says the result is citizens are less informed –...


AP Classrooms Tend To Be White — North Kansas City Schools Are Changing That

Deniese Fahnbulleh was already taking honors classes at Winnetonka High School when she decided to challenge herself with three Advanced Placement courses. “It was the next step,” said Fahnbulleh, a junior who participates in cheer, golf and student council. “My friend and I enrolled together because we thought it would be a great opportunity to get the feeling of college classes.”


Despite Worries Of Too Many Schools, Charters Keep Opening In Kansas City

When Kansas City Neighborhood Academy opened in 2016 with the district as its sponsor, it was supposed to start a new era of cooperation between the Kansas City Public Schools and charter schools. Since 1999, they’d been in a fierce competition for students and resources. Now KCPS was sponsoring a charter. With support from the Chamber of Commerce , Kansas City Neighborhood Academy would be a model for what urban education could be. But the charter ended up a neighborhood school without a...


School At Any Cost: Former Refugees Seek Better Lives At Kansas City's Community Colleges

The Kansas City area is home to three agencies that work with the federal government to resettle people displaced from their home countries by war, conflict and persecution. Those agencies — Jewish Vocational Services, Della Lamb Community Services and Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas — welcome enough people to make refugee families a presence in the metro. While not all resettled refugees find their way to a college campus, educators say those who do are highly motivated. “They are...


Details Divide Mayor, Superintendents Over Proposed Kansas City Pre-K Sales Tax

Paying for pre-K is a huge burden for families with young children, even for parents with good jobs. Tiffany Price has one of those. She works with teen moms in the Hickman Mills School District, and she’s a mom herself. She has four boys, and the two youngest aren’t in school yet. So every week she writes a check for $270 to Ronnie’s Childcare.


Seven Of These Candidates For School Board Will Shape Kansas City Public's Future

The Kansas City Public Schools have made some big gains under the leadership of Superintendent Mark Bedell. Now it’ll be up to the school board voters elect next month to sustain that progress.


This Region Of Kansas Needs A Lot More College Grads. Here's How It Might Get Them

DODGE CITY — Check out Dodge City. A new $12 million waterpark. A shiny new craft brewery — not far from the new whiskey distillery. And, yes, that trendy new downtown cafe. A nearly $6 million addition to Boot Hill Museum just kicked off last fall. That’s about when Dodge City wrapped up $86 million in renovations and expansions to its schools.


Could Free College Classes In High School Put More Kansas Students On Track To Degrees?

LIBERAL — Hefty college debt won’t saddle Bryan Medina. He’s on a fast track to an energy career that he hopes will pave the road to family dreams: Buying his own cattle and going in on the purchase of 300 acres of land with his dad. “We could grow and eventually own our own feedyard,” said Medina, who finished high school last May in the small southwest Kansas town of Sublette. “If things go great, if we put all the work into it, we’ll definitely get there.”


Why Do Most Charter High Schools In Kansas City Focus On College Prep?

Career and technical education is having a moment, but not in all schools. Most charters still focus almost exclusively on college preparedness. “University Academy seeks to prepare students for higher education and to be leaders in society,” said superintendent Tony Kline. “The vision is to be the best college prep school in the country.”


How Olathe Is Integrating Career And Technical Education Into The School Day

Back when she was in eighth grade at California Trail in the Olathe Public Schools, Lilly Beckwith loved making amateur videos with Windows Movie Maker and posting them to her YouTube channel. So Beckwith was excited when it came time to enroll for high school and she learned she could hone her filmmaking skills in the e-Communication program, she was excited. But there was a catch. Beckwith, who was supposed to go to Olathe East, would have to transfer to Olathe Northwest. “It was...


Why Shawnee Mission Schools Are Helping Elementary Students Plan For Their Careers

There were some groans back in August when Laura Lavallee told sixth graders at Tomahawk Elementary they’d be talking about their career prospects this year. “Some of them were a little reluctant,” said Lavallee, the STEM teacher at the Shawnee Mission school. “‘This is silly! I’m in sixth grade! My career is so far away! Why do I need to think about it now?’” But when she started talking about all the cool jobs there were in science, technology, engineering and math right here in Kansas...


How Trade School Can Lead To Jobs Or College For These North Kansas City Students

Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Bailey is learning how to install electrical boxes and frame windows, but what she really wants to do is study sharks as a marine biologist. “I know, it sounds crazy, and it’s the total opposite way, but I’ve always wanted to become that,” said Bailey, a junior at Oak Park High School, “and sometimes you have to build your own equipment, your own shark tanks, your own tracking equipment. If you know how to wire it, it takes the middleman out of it.” Bailey is in...


Why Kansas City School Districts Pay For Homeless Students To Take Taxis To School

The streets near downtown Kansas City are still dark and quiet on this Thursday morning, but already a green taxi is idling outside of the City Union Mission’s family shelter. Cameon Valentine and her son, Nicoli, hustle out of their room shortly after 6 a.m. They’re running a bit behind. “Come on, son!” Valentine says.


It's All About The Clothes. How Universities In Kansas Dress Students For Success

Erin Wolfram, with the University of Kansas Career Center, enters a small room in Summerfield Hall on the KU campus, where she is suddenly surrounded by hundreds of suits, dresses, shirts and ties filling floor-to-ceiling racks. The Professional House of Garments is filled with clothes waiting to help students dress for success as they prepare for job and internship interviews.