October 28, 2019

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Kansas City Education News

Cyber threats and opportunities: Why did 50+ KC schoolgirls get a peek at Fishtech’s high-security campus?

By: Austin Barnes and Tommy Felts

You never know when an opportunity will find you, Alex Vendetti told a group of Kansas City high school girls touring the Fishtech Group cybersecurity campus.  “I was a hairstylist before this,” Vendetti, a project manager at Fishtech, told groups of students making their ways through the cybersecurity startup’s sprawling Martin City facilities Friday. The tours were part of the Kansas City Public Schools High School Girls Cybersecurity and Technology Summit and a citywide Girls in Tech initiative. “I was doing a haircut on a vice president’s husband and he thought I was pretty cool and he recommended me to her,” Vendetti recalled, using the story as an example of the ways opportunity can appear when and where you least expect it.  “One of the most important things you can do is build your network [now] and keep those connections because you never know when you might meet a CEO or a director of a department at a company who thinks you’re a great fit for a job they have,” she said.

Portion of proceeds from Nelly’s sold out show to go to KC Public Schools

By Stephanie Graflage, Fox 4 News

A portion of the proceeds of every ticket for Missouri rapper Nelly’s sold out show at Power and Light District Friday night will benefit the Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation.  Doors open at 6 p.m. The show starts at 8 p.m. You must be 21 to attend.

Missouri releases baffling school performance scores. Does anyone know what they mean?

KC Star Editorial – 10/17/19

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released results from its annual performance reviews of schools in the state…

For years, the state issued numerical results. In 2018, for example, Kansas City Public Schools achieved an APR score of 99.5 points out of a possible 120, or 83%. The results are a combination of test scores, attendance, graduation rates and student readiness for college or a career…This yeara new system for reporting summary results has been implemented. There are four broad categories: “floor,” “approaching,” “on track,” and “exceeding.” The state uses complicated formulas to determine which categories apply to which districts.  Easy-to-understand scores are out.

Missouri/Kansas Education News

Vaping numbers increase in Mid-Missouri school districts

By Danisha Hogue, News Tribune

Increased use of vaping devices among youth is not just a state and national phenomenon. Local school districts say they are battling the popularity of the devices, and it’s presenting some unique challenges…”We now know that 90 percent of in-school suspensions now are for vaping,” MDHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said. “So it is our school systems that are sounding the alarm because it is overwhelming them from a regulatory framework.”  The Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education conduct a statewide survey on substance use and related behaviors for sixth- through 12th-graders in even-numbered years. Districts participating in the Missouri Student Survey are required to provide the survey to one middle school and one high school classroom per grade.  In 2018, the survey found more than 15 percent of Missouri students reported they had smoked e-cigarettes within the last 30 days. In 2016, more than 10 percent had said they had smoked e-cigarettes.

National Education News

Giving Schools — And Students — The Tools They Need In The Fight To Save The Planet

By Anya Kamenetz,  NPR

If you want to get students fired up about climate change, poop is a good place to start. At a conference on climate and education at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y., participants got to see that principle in action. A highlight of the gathering was a tour of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, which features an ultra-modern, chemical-free wastewater treatment system. It’s a long room with stone walls and large windows that uses plants, bacteria, algae and snails to treat the wastewater from 25,000 visitors a year and return it to the local aquifer. It looks more like a botanical garden than a sewage plant.

What Principals Can Do When Parents and Teachers Clash

By Christiina A. Samuels, Education Week

A principal’s job tests skills that seldom show up in a training program.

Among them: balancing on the tightrope stretched between the needs of teachers and of parents, particularly when the two parties are at odds.  Lean too far to one side, and you win over parents at the risk of alienating teachers and endangering staff morale. Tip too far to the other, and parents are left unsatisfied—and perhaps ready to call the central office for relief.

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