Kansas City, November 21, 2016: Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell took an opportunity to outline his vision of the future of the school system during a luncheon address to Southtown Planning Center members and guests Wednesday, Nov. 16 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Mo.
More than 50 business leaders and community members from the Southtown, Brookside and Waldo neighborhoods packed into a basement meeting space to hear from Dr. Bedell, ask questions and talk about their concerns.
The invitation to speak was extended to Dr. Bedell as a way of helping people get a better sense of who he is and what he is planning, according to Southtown Planning Center Executive Director Sean Ackerson.
“We are always looking to bring community leaders in to share their challenges and opportunities,” Mr. Ackerson said. “It’s also a chance for them to share what we can do to help. That’s really what we’re about.”
Dr. Bedell outlined some of the significant gains made by KCPS over the last several years, including the recent announcement that the school system has earned the points necessary for full state accreditation on its 2016 Annual Progress Report. He also shared his vision of an equitable school system where every classroom has top-flight educators who know how to use technology in order to amplify the unique learning experience for each individual student.
“I have no magic potions or silver bullets, but I will work tirelessly to put the right people and systems in place in order to ensure the success of our students,” Dr. Bedell said. “When I walk into a classroom, I want to see students in the center. I want to see high-level teaching and learning, and I want to see school houses that are inviting resource hubs that showcase student work and welcome families.”
Many of the people at the luncheon were concerned about the future of the currently empty Southwest High School campus. Dr. Bedell emphasized that KCPS is seriously considering the site as a location for a third middle school south of Brush Creek.
“I will work with the community to develop plans that will provide an equitable opportunity for all of our students,” he said. “Those are conversations I’m willing to have.”
Dr. Bedell encouraged the luncheon attendees to share their thoughts on the proposed southside middle school by completing an online survey available through the KCPS homepage at www.kcpublicschools.org.