October 23, 2019

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Kansas City Education News

Attendance team tackles absenteeism in KC schools

By Cody Holyoke, KMBC 9 News
Interviewing different districts regarding attendance.  The link shows the most recent. Hickman School District  https://www.kmbc.com/article/attendance-team-tackles-absenteeism-in-kc-schools/29555890

Superintendent: KCKPS no longer the lowest performing district in Kansas

By Gabriella Pagan, KSHB 41 News
The Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools district is no longer the lowest-performing district in the state, according to the latest data released Tuesday during a Board of Education meeting that shows growth in all areas.  Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust credited a realigned focus and reallocated resources with turning the district’s numbers around.  “We made sure that our schools who were at the lowest, they were sometimes triple-teamed to get them where they needed,” Foust said. “So, we are still in that development stage, but we are again making that move, so putting the resources where the kids are.”

United Way working to stem chronic absenteeism in metro schools

By Cody Holyoke,  KMBC 9 News
The United Way of Greater Kansas City is working with Metro-area schools to stem chronic absenteeism. There’s a reason why. The numbers are staggering.  43 percent of metro area schools fall short of nationally recognized attendance goals– 90 percent of students in attendance, 90 percent of the time.  Why? Administrators are finding out there are many reasons – and no one solution.  Take Gordon Parks Elementary, for instance. 186 young students come to the public charter school to learn.  The goal is to have them all there every day, but it’s an uphill battle.  Gordon Parks has its own ‘war room,’ where administrators like Kirsten Lipari-Braman track attendance down to the minute.  “When you’re only in school so many hours, it makes it hard to catch up, so we really focus our individual attention on these kids here,” Lipari-Braman explained, pointing to a list of kids with major attendance issues.  The biggest question for administrators is this: why aren’t kids coming to class?  The answer is complicated, and it changes with every student.

Lee’s Summit School District’s Assistant Superintendent of Equity resigns

By Karra Small,  Fox 4 News
The Lee’s Summit School District is going through another change.

Dawn Smith, the Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Student Services has resigned to take a job with the North Kansas City School District.

“Lee’s Summit’s Board of Education expresses its appreciation for Ms. Smith’s service to Lee’s Summit, and wishes her the best in her future endeavors,” the school board said in a statement.

Missouri/Kansas Education News

State Ed Board Wants More Counselors In Missouri Public Schools

By Ryan Delaney,  St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri State Board of Education took steps Tuesday toward putting more counselors and support staff in the state’s public schools.  Counselors in Missouri currently serve an average of 347 students, according to the American School Counselor Association. That’s under the state requirement of a ratio of one counselor per 400 students but significantly higher than its recommendation of a counselor serving 250 students each. The state school board is considering moving up the required ratio to one counselor for every 250 students and then a recommended ratio to one per 160 students. The board advanced the rule-change process at its monthly meeting.

Feds give Missouri $2 million to bolster school security measures

By Alisa Nelson,  Missourinet

The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded more than $85 million in grants nationwide, including in Missouri, to help schools improve security methods. The Show-Me State’s slice is $1 million to six Missouri schools to prepare students, teachers, and first responders in cases of school threats. The Missouri Department of Public Safety is also getting nearly $1 million to create or boost state school safety centers.

Missouri middle school website screenshot edited to add racist slur

By Associated Press

Several students face discipline for editing a screenshot of a Missouri middle school website to include a racist slur against black people.  Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said Monday that the students posted the altered screenshot online so the image would pop up during Google searches for Gentry Middle School’s official website.

National Education News

Starting High School at 8:30? California’s Doing It. Should Everyone?

By Arianna Prothero, Education Week
California’s bold move to mandate later start times for middle and high schools could produce ripple effects far beyond the state, even as it’s yet to be seen whether pushing back start times on such a large scale will deliver major benefits for teenagers and for schools. While health experts generally agree that getting adequate amounts of sleep is crucial to teens’ still-developing brains, the research on whether starting school later actually translates into more sleep—and better academic performance—is far from settled. But there may be further-reaching benefits beyond higher test scores. While school administrators have generally balked at the costs associated with starting school later, one recent study estimates that doing so across the country could add billions of dollars to the economy.

Putting the ‘Professional’ Back in Teacher Professional Development

By Madeline Will, Education Week – blog

Teachers are the experts of the classroom, educators agreed at a recent forum. So why aren’t they leading most professional development? Empowering educators so they can take charge of their own learning was the focus of two panel discussions on Monday, which were sponsored by the Learning Policy Institute, the two national teachers’ unions, and Learning Forward, a professional-learning membership organization.  The traditional narrative of professional development is “an expert from out of state who comes in and tells us how to do our job,” said Cecilia Pattee, a teacher-consultant with the Boise State University Writing Project, on the panel. “We have to change that narrative. … PD is not a bad word, it can be good.”

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