Hello, KCPS families, friends, staff and visitors!

    Dr Mark Bedell

    October is National Principals Month. Please join me in recognizing the extraordinary effort, talent and passion our principals pour into our schools. In my decades as an education professional and leader, I've learned that principals are among the most pivotal individuals in a school system. They nurture school culture, promote professional development, engage every day with parents, and encourage and guide students. Principals bear the primary responsibility for translating policies and procedures crafted in the central office into action at the schools. In KCPS, we are blessed with an abundance of great principals in every one of our buildings. I want all of them to know how much we value their service on behalf of our students and neighborhoods.

    This is also National Bullying Prevention Month. We know that one of every five students across the U.S. will be bullied this school year; that means that you or someone you know likely has been or will be a target. This is not OK - not in KCPS and not anywhere. Every child has the right to go to school free from fear, intimidation and violence. In KCPS, we are very serious about facing this issue head on. We must end this negative behavior and instead nurture schools where students feel safe and supported. The stakes are too high to ignore the problem. Bullying can cause students to skip school, lose concentration, and struggle with their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth. Students who have been bullied can experience severe physical and emotional symptoms like headaches and depression. The negative effects can last a lifetime and can perpetuate more violence. Adults, students and educators can no longer look away when they see bullying. In KCPS, Chief Student Support and Intervention Officer Luis Cordoba and his team are working hard to develop ways to empower students, staff, parents and community members to respond to bullying. The most important thing we can all do is intervene when we see bullying. Don't just stand by and let it happen. I encourage you to talk with the principal and staff at your school to learn what they are doing to mark National Bullying Prevention Month and how you can get involved and make a difference.

    Yours in education,
    Dr. Mark Bedell
    Superintendent of Schools