September 4, 2019


Kansas City area Education News

Filling Teacher Vacancies | Seg. 2: School Bus Drivers

By Brian Ellison & Luke Martin, KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: School across Kansas and Missouri struggle each year to fill teaching positions.

Having enough teachers to fill classrooms is a perennial problem for schools in all parts of the Kansas City metro. Raytown Schools has created a novel way to address the shortage in their district, but several factors, including pay, are working against Missouri and Kansas districts’ efforts to attract and retain qualified talent.

Segment 2, beginning at 24:38: Stories from behind the school bus steering wheel.

They play a critical role in getting kids to school (and back home) every day, but their influence and impact on the day-to-day lives of school children is often overlooked. Two experienced drivers described their favorite parts of the job, and how they approach some of the challenges it can bring.

  • Brooke WinfieldStudent Transportation of America bus driver for Kansas City Public Schools
  • Tom Ott, Student Transportation of America terminal manager and bus driver for Center School District

KCPS Superintendent, Mark Bedell IN STUDIO


Jayme & Wickett welcomed the Superintendent of the KC Public Schools, Mark Bedell in studio to discuss mentoring, guns, grades, violence, budgets and MORE!

Bedell calls KCPS one of the safest school districts in America


KCPS superintendent Mark Bedell says the district takes measures to prevent violence, but he said the kind of mass shooting that has captured headlines in recent years is unlikely in Kansas City.  Some districts around the country are considering plans to arm teachers as a way of thwarting school shootings. That is not being considered in Kansas City, Bedell said in an in-studio interview on Midday with Jayme and Wickett.  “(A teacher’s) job is to come in and focus on teaching and learning, and not to do the job of security,” Bedell said. “I recognize that we are in a school system where we actually have the resources to have equipped, trained people. Not all school districts have that luxury.”

Missouri/Kansas Education News

With number of English-learning students rising, Missouri faces shortage of trained teachers

By Nikki Ogle, KY3

Data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show, in 1985, there were 3,156 English Learners in the state. In 2018, there were 38,952 of them. The classes keep growing, even in small districts, like Marion C. Early in Morrisville.  “Here at school, that’s where they hear English. That’s where they communicate English, that’s where it’s predominant. At home, it’s that first language that’s native to their parents,” said Brent Dunning, MCE’s Director of Student Services.

National Education News

Despite increasing gun violence, majority of students report feeling safe at school

By Shawna De La Rosa, EducationDive

A new study from ACT, “Creating Safe Schools: Examining High School Perceptions of Their Physical Safety at School,” surveyed approximately 16,000 students between grades 10 and 12 who took the exam in October 2018, finding that ​91% of high school students report feeling “at least somewhat” safe at school despite the growing number of school shooting incidents.  The idea of providing mental health support in schools is gaining traction at the secondary level, and some of the change is coming from students themselves.

More states requiring mental health education

By Lucy Hood, EducationDive

When three students in Virginia’s Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) noticed how stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues were affecting many of their peers — and having an impact on their own lives — they didn’t just push through and wait for graduation.  The trio took their concerns to state lawmakers, who were among the first in the country to pass legislation requiring state-mandated mental health education in K-12 schools.