Big changes are heading to the Kansas City, MO, School District next fall and Thursday night district leaders began talking to parents about them.
More emphasis on middle schools is something parents have been pushing for for years in Kansas City. For the first time since closing schools, Kansas City Public Schools is planning on reopening a couple next fall.
Central Middle School and Northeast Middle School will reopen in August as middle schools, but with a whole new concept.
"This is part of a movement to ensure that we are in it to win it," said Dr. Cynthia Johnson, the Kansas City, MO, project leader.
Some of the biggest changes will be fewer grade levels in each of the middle schools and more focus on getting students prepared for higher education. That's something the parents said they really liked.
"Starting to have them think about and dream - something I think many of our students have lost the ability to do or not been encouraged to do," said Catina Taylor, a former teacher and parent. "They need to know that they can reach their goals."
"We are beginning, all the way back at the elementary level, to move children forward and give them opportunity to explore different career choices," Johnson said.
But there were some concerns raised Thursday night, like if the schools would house special needs students and how will the changes carry over to the high schools as the children advance.
"I'm thinking as our students progress through the grades to have this wonderful middle school experience, then be shifted into a high school experience that isn't quite as wonderful, it might be kind of bad," said parent Jamekia Kendrix.
The district will hold more meetings in the upcoming months.
The district was supposed to discuss certain boundary changes in the district at the same meeting, but those changes have been tabled until the fall.
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