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Public Safety Academy At New Olathe West High School Aims To Prepare Students For Careers

Is high school too early to figure out what career path to follow? The Olathe School District doesn’t think so. When the new Olathe West High School opens for all students on Thursday, the district will have a total of 17 specialty academies in its five high schools. For as long as most people can remember, the main mission of Johnson County schools has been preparing kids for college. “I think we’ve done, for years, a really good job of helping kids be college-ready, but the career piece...

Duration: 00:03:24

For Northland Schools, Total Solar Eclipse A Teachable Moment

As scientists and observers stake out their spots for next week's eclipse, Northland schools are already in a prime location to share science with their students. Monday is the fourth day of school for North Kansas City, which lies in the path of totality. The district is using the day to celebrate the eclipse and make it a day to experience science, says NKC science instructional coordinator Jessica Nolin. “We really make it be an experience that students didn’t want to miss,” Nolin says....

Duration: 00:04:04

Why This Year's Shawnee Mission School Board Primary Is So Unusual

You don't often see a school board election as contested as the one percolating in the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) but that's exactly what's happening this year. There is a primary election on Tuesday, August 1 for two of the three seats up this year.

Duration: 00:04:50

In Kansas City, Education Choices Still Divide Schools By Race

There are fewer high school age students enrolled in public schools in Kansas City than there are in the elementary grades. But while charter operators say there aren’t enough high school options, Kansas City Public Schools officials argue there are too many.

Duration: 00:04:12

5 Themes At The Heart Of Kansas’ School Finance Lawsuit

The Gannon v. Kansas lawsuit is in its seventh year. In that time, the case has led to repeated rulings against the state for underfunding schools and responses by lawmakers in the form of appropriations bills.

Duration: 00:04:16

Why Kansas City Public Schools Are Taking A Trauma-Sensitive Approach To Discipline

A few years ago, Missouri’s suspension rate was the highest in the nation for young black students – an unfortunate distinction that forced Kansas City Public Schools to rethink discipline. The district did away with automatic suspensions for a lot of less serious violations. This year, KCPS issued 31 percent fewer out of school suspensions to kids in kindergarten through third grade. The district is also trying to treat the underlying trauma in students’ lives. Calm down kits Behavior...

Duration: 00:05:19

Here's How Hickman Mills Became A Forgotten Community In Kansas City

Starting in the 1990s, Hickman Mills became a forgotten community. Middle-income families moved out. Blight moved in. Drive through the neighborhoods today and the symbols of disinvestment are everywhere – gutters falling off houses, trash in yards, payday loan shops where stores used to be. “It’s just strictly rental there now and nobody takes care of the yards. Nobody trims the trees. Nobody looks out for the other person,” says Jerry Porterfield, a longtime landlord in the area.

Duration: 00:05:25

At Year's End, Hickman Mills Teachers Lament Missed Students And Missed Opportunities

The tipping point may have come in late January, when yet another quick-tempered boy moved into Aubrey Paine’s second grade classroom at Ingels Elementary School. Or maybe it was the departure in early February of the bright, motivated little girl who had been the leader of a reading circle. As winter gave way to spring, the change in in the student roster came so fast I barely recognized the happy classroom I’d first walked into in September.

Duration: 00:05:31

Meet The New Principals Trying To Transform Kansas City Public Schools

Principal Anthony Madry stands in a noisy hallway at Central Academy of Excellence, greeting students. “Good morning, good morning, good morning,” Madry says, fist bumping students as they pass. “Hey are we good?” The student nods. “Yeah.” Madry points to a young woman. “That’s Emily. Emily’s one of the best kids I have in this school. She’s one of my favorites. Don’t blush, please don’t blush. “You try to learn most of the kids’ names, the reason being that’s the most honorable thing you...

Duration: 00:05:13

Kansas Lawmakers Look To The Past To Find A Way Forward With School Funding Formula

The Kansas Legislature isn’t close to coming up with a school funding formula. However, lawmakers are working on a bill that looks a lot like the formula they scrapped in 2015 for block grants. That bill, and the struggle this session to write it, is not just back from the past, but back 25 years from the past. That’s when another school funding suit bogged down the session. When the history of Kansas school finance lawsuits is written — whenever that may be — two names will loom large....

Duration: 00:04:30

School Tours Help Kansas City Parents Navigate Choice

In a city with so many school options, it isn’t always easy for parents to choose where to send their children. Amanda Recob’s daughter, Marliemae, will start kindergarten in the fall. But Recob isn’t just choosing a school for her 5-year-old. “I have two girls following her, so it is a lot of pressure,” Recob says. “I don’t want them going to three separate schools.” So Recob is trying to keep the needs of her 2-year-old and 4-year-old in mind as she visits schools. “Luciana’s teacher...

Duration: 00:05:28

How Johnson County Community College Plans To Graduate More Students

The Kansas Regents have given every state run university and community college in Kansas a tall order: vastly increase the number of degrees and certificates they award. Every Regents school has to graduate 20 percent more students in the next three years and then maintain that level. That’s 13,000 more associate degrees, four year degrees and certificates a year across the system. The state's community colleges figure prominently in the mission and at the state's largest, Johnson County,...

Duration: 00:03:49

Kansas Supreme Court Rules School Funding Formula ‘Inadequate’ Under State Constitution

As expected, the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday morning ruled that the state’s school funding formula is inadequate under the Kansas Constitution. In a unanimous 83-page decision , the court gave the Legislature until June 30 to address the state’s public education financing system. The decision comes after the court ruled earlier that the school funding formula had failed to meet the equity prong of the Kansas Constitution. The long-running case was brought by four school districts in...

Duration: 00:04:46

Small Kansas School Districts Anxious About State Funding

There’s been an awful lot of discussion on what Kansas’s new school funding formula will look like and whether the Legislature will still make cuts to public schools mid-year. Nothing has been decided, which has educators in the state both a little optimistic and a little scared. On a recent morning Allison Theno was combining math and penguins to teach her 18 kindergartners at Basehor Elementary to subtract. This is Theno’s first year teaching. She is one of seven new teachers...

Duration: 00:04:05

To Get Kids To Class, Missouri School Districts Incentivize Attendance

It’s crunch time for Missouri school districts trying to reach state-mandated attendance goals. The phone rings constantly in the attendance office at King Elementary, one of the Kansas City Public Schools where attendance is below the district average. An out-of-breath Donetta Stuart describes the morning she’s had – and it’s only 9 o’clock. “Normally when we miss the bus stop, I take her to the next bus stop, but her daddy didn’t do that. It was crazy. We had a crazy day,” she says....

Duration: 00:05:15

FAQ: School Finance Options For Kansas Lawmakers

In the basket of thorny issues facing Kansas lawmakers how to fund public education is certainly among the thorniest. Led by Gov. Sam Brownback and conservative Republicans, the old funding formula was scrapped two years ago in favor of a block grant scheme that expires July 1. Starting Monday morning the House K-12 Budget Committee starts discussions on a new formula. And with that comes some questions: What is this K-12 Budget Committee? The committee was created by new Speaker of the...

Duration: 00:03:56

As Donald Trump Is Sworn In, Latino Students In Kansas City Worry For Their Futures

Friday morning at 11 a.m., Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. But from the moment he won the election, there has been trepidation among immigrants, both those in the country legally and illegally. That fear is a big problem in the Kansas City Public Schools. It can be hard enough teaching in the Kansas City school district. Many students live in poverty, lots of the schools are crumbling, and there are a lack of extracurricular activities. But for...

Duration: 00:03:58

Lee's Summit School District Hires Hickman Mills Superintendent For Top Job

Hickman Mills Supt. Dennis Carpenter will soon have a new job at the Lee's Summit R-7 School District. “How do you live in a metropolitan area and believe yourself to be a school leader and not jump at the opportunity to serve as superintendent in one of the top places to live in this country?” Carpenter said Monday at a news conference. The Lee's Summit Board of Education is finalizing Carpenter’s contract for the 2017-18 school year. It’s likely to be approved at the Jan. 19 board...

Duration: 00:05:26

Kansas And Missouri Teachers Brace For The 'Trump Effect'

Electing a new president is usually not a cause for great alarm in schools. But teachers say Donald Trump’s election is causing students to turn on one another and pitting teacher against teacher. On Wednesday, Olathe North High School Principal Jason Herman sent a letter to parents saying, "We have had several incidents in which students were harassed based on their race and/or ethnicity." Herman called the behavior "intolerable" and promised swift action by the administration. He...

Duration: 00:04:31

Kansas City Public Schools One Step Closer To Accreditation

The results are in, and for the first time in years, Kansas City Public received an accountability score from the state that qualifies it for full accreditation. But it won’t be enough to convince the State Board the urban school district is back on track. “We have been very clear that you need to show at least two years,” says Margie Vandeven, Missouri Commissioner of Education. Still, KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell sees cause for celebration. “We think if we’re doing these things well,...

Duration: 00:05:22

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