The Kansas City Public School staff work­shop meet­ing on December 5 includ­ed pre­sen­ta­tions on aca­d­e­m­ic readi­ness and stu­dent engagement/motivation: com­po­nents of stu­dent engage­ment, safe­ty and secu­ri­ty, and the role of teach­ers.  Professional devel­op­ment on how to moti­vate stu­dents will be sched­uled.  DTRTFK observers hope that this will be more than lec­tures on moti­va­tion.  Motivating stu­dents and teach­ers is a much more com­plex and chal­leng­ing process than sim­ply talk­ing about moti­va­tion.  It has to do with the cul­ture, lead­er­ship, rewards and oth­er fac­tors.

Jerry Kitzie has been hired to coor­di­nate pre-school pro­grams, a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment.   Vickie Morello spoke to the board about learn­ing readi­ness.

The December 19 busi­ness meet­ing began with 40 min­utes devot­ed to rec­og­niz­ing Scholar Superstars and employ­ee team awards.  Andrea Flinders, pres­i­dent of the teach­ers union, spoke about the stu­dent safe­ty dis­cus­sion pre­sent­ed dur­ing the pre­vi­ous board meet­ing express­ing con­cern that the role of teach­ers and teacher safe­ty was not ade­quate­ly addressed.  Tom Love com­pli­ment­ed the board about the hir­ing of read­ing inter­ven­tion­ists.  It is still not clear about the spe­cial qual­i­fi­ca­tions of the indi­vid­u­als, their train­ing, and roles.   Michael Sherman dis­cussed new efforts to deal more effec­tive­ly with stu­dents with edu­ca­tion­al dis­abil­i­ties.  

Mr. Tunis pre­sent­ed the district’s cur­rent finan­cial pic­ture which will be sound when year-end tax mon­ey is dis­bursed.  Approval was giv­en for over $2 mil­lion in pur­chas­es and con­tracts.   It is as a good sign that the board has a trea­sur­er; hope­ful­ly he is able to ana­lyze expen­di­tures and com­mu­ni­cate issues and ques­tions to oth­er board mem­bers.   The board is appro­pri­ate­ly con­cerned about the 4-way stops replac­ing traf­fic lights at inter­sec­tions near schools; this is a sig­nif­i­cant safe­ty issue, espe­cial­ly when stu­dents must cross four lanes of traf­fic.  

We do not get a sense of urgency and dynam­ic lead­er­ship on the part of either the board or admin­is­tra­tion in mount­ing a strong turn­around effort.  What we do get is a feel­ing of “own­er­ship” of the dis­trict by board and con­stituents.

View the agenda/minutes of this meet­ing
(will open in a new win­dow).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *