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KCPS eNews

eNews

September 2, 2021
weekly kcps news

Superintendent's First Quarter Announcements

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Driver Shortage Causes Transportation Delays

We know that the transportation delays this week have been frustrating for KCPS families. We're frustrated, too. The national school bus driver shortage has made it hard for us to hire and retain drivers. Every school district in our area is facing similar problems.

 

That said, we know that it is unacceptable to have delays and/or routes not running for even one family. We continue to work on solutions to our transportation gaps. We have contracted with local cab companies and are working to deploy several more school vehicles to support our transportation team. If your student's school bus does not pick them up, call 816-418-8825 and select option 2 so that we can get them to school safely. For non-urgent transportation questions, please email schoolbus@kcpublicschools.org. If you have decided to provide transportation for your child/children, this is the best way to let our transportation team know.

 

We know this situation has been difficult for families who depend on KCPS for transportation to and from school. Thank you for continuing to provide grace and understanding during these first few weeks. We are still rerouting buses to accommodate late enrollments and consolidate routes that don't have drivers. If you or someone you know would be a great bus driver, please visit Student Transportation of America's website and select KCPS. 

 

We will navigate this together, and we will keep working to make this better for all of KCPS. 

Reminder: Please Keep Sick Students Home

082321_LG_ClassroomMasks.jpgCOVID-19 continues to spread in the Kansas City area. This means that we will have cases in our schools. The good news is that we have a safety plan to protect KCPS students and staff that includes maintaining safe distances, using hand sanitizers and thoroughly cleaning surfaces between uses. You can read more about our COVID-19 protocols on the Reopening KCPSwebsite.

 

We've had several questions this week about our plan for notifying families in the case of a COVID-19 event. As soon as we learn that a student is exhibiting symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, we begin contact tracing. This is the process of identifying students and staff who were close contacts and need to quarantine. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close contacts only need to quarantine if they were unmasked, such as during lunch. Principals and school nurses will notify close contacts first, then the rest of the school community.

 

We take communication about individual students seriously and in confidence. Please know that if you are not being communicated with around quarantines or positive COVID-19 cases in your school, your student has not been affected. This is normal and helps us protect our students' privacy.

 

As always, if your child exhibits any symptoms of sickness, please keep them home and also contact our school nurse. If your symptomatic child needs to get tested for COVID-19, KCPS may be able to help.

 

This month, you will receive more information about the COVID-19 testing program in your child's school. This is voluntary weekly testing for all students, regardless of symptoms or vaccine status. We encourage every KCPS family to participate in the COVID-19 testing program. This will help us quickly identify cases and, ultimately, slow the spread in our schools. This testing is free for students and staff and will be provided in every school.

 

Our goal is to keep schools open this year. According to the CDC, vaccination is the leading public health strategy to end the pandemic. The best way to keep our students healthy is to surround them with vaccinated adults. Millions of people have now received COVID-19 vaccines, which are safe and effective. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech full approval. If you have not been vaccinated already, please make an appointment with the Kansas City Health Department as soon as possible. 

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Want to get more involved in KCPS? Join DAC!

KCPS is gearing up for the first District Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting of the year from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, and everyone is invited to attend. The DAC addresses school issues and concerns, allows you to share ideas and solve problems cooperatively and helps advise the district’s Board of Directors. Our schools can’t do it alone; we need the involvement and support of parents and guardians to succeed.

 

During our first meeting, you will meet our new executive team and learn about ways to get involved, provide feedback on our ongoing strategic planning (Blueprint 2030), and hear important updates about the new Code of Student Conduct and the trauma-sensitive supports available to students to help them have a successful school year.

 

We hope that you are able to join us! There are several ways to participate:

KCPS Leaders Take On New Roles In District

JordanGordon.jpgJORDAN GORDON, Executive Director of Human Resources

 

Jordan Gordon joined KCPS in 2017 as an Area Supervisor and was soon promoted to Director of Child Nutrition. Under Jordan’s leadership, KCPS has launched several successful initiatives to expand child nutrition programming and partnerships garnering local, state and national recognition. Jordan has been featured as a key note speaker for No Kid Hungry-MO and facilitated several leadership development seminars at national conferences and for DESE. As a collaborative, people-oriented leader, Jordan has developed thriving partnerships in the KCPS community, focused on equitable access of resources for families and students of KCPS. In the role of Executive Director of Human Resources, Jordan is committed to leading the critical work of maintaining a high-capacity workforce dedicated to serving the students, families and stakeholders of KCPS.

 

Jordan is a product of KCPS, having graduated from Northeast High School. He comes from a family of former KCPS educators. Prior to joining KCPS, Jordan honorably served in the U.S. Army as a Combat Engineer and chartered a successful career, spanning over ten years leading workforce strategies, capacity building and system enhancements in the corporate sector. Jordan holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in business administration from UMKC and Western Governors University, respectively. Jordan is also pursuing a Professional in Human Resources Certification. He is a member of the National K-12 Advisory Council and Missouri Association of School Business Officials.

 

Jordan enjoys spending time with family and routinely engages in various volunteer work throughout the community.

 

David.pngDAVID ANSON, Interim Executive Director of Technology

 

David Anson, new Interim Executive Director of Technology, has over sixteen years of experience in technology and business, with a specific focus on educational institutions. David has worked with Kansas City Public Schools for three years, helping to fully transition the district into a virtual learning and one-to-one device environment, affecting over 15,000 end users. He enjoys finding creative solutions to solve complex problems to better serve and create a successful learning environment for all students. David truly believes that every student deserves the best support the Department of Technology can give them so that they may thrive in the 21st Century.

 

Outside of work, David enjoys spending time participating in recreational activities with family and friends.

 

Pjones_BioPic.jpgDr. PHILLIP JONES, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

 

Dr. Phillip E. Jones, the new Interim Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, comes to the position with over twenty years of experience in the field of education. Dr. Jones began his career in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. After spending five years working in industry, he returned to education in 2008. Prior to arriving at KCPS in 2016, Dr. Jones taught at three high schools and two community colleges. Dr. Jones has a passion for pedagogy and brings with him an analytical view of tackling difficult problems. He strives to always extend a helping hand to his colleagues.

 

Outside of work, Dr. Jones enjoys spending time with his family and supporting his children's interest in baseball, volleyball and track.

 

‚ÄčERIN DORSEY, Interim Director of Curriculum and Instruction

 

Erin is a veteran educator with more than 15 years in education, which includes classroom teaching, instructional coaching and district leadership experience in both public and charter school systems. Most recently, Erin was the KCPS Elementary Network Manager and a District Curriculum Coach. Her passion for educational equity and commitment to providing quality educational experiences and access for the communities she serves is a driving force for her work. Her proudest professional accomplishments include developing culturally-relevant curriculum and instructional practices and implementing proficiency scales and data-driven instruction.

 

Outside of work, Erin spends most of her time with her family. She can often be found supporting her children at the softball or baseball fields.

Property Tax Levy Public Hearing is Sept. 22

The KCPS Board of Directors will hold a Property Tax Levy Public Hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 before the Regular Business Meeting. This is an annual review of the district's tax rate, and the public is welcome to attend.

 

Individuals interested in providing public comment during should contact the Office of Board Services before 3 p.m. on Sept. 22 by calling 816-418-7621 or via email at board@kcpublicschools.org. Alternatively, individuals may sign up at the meeting before 5:45 p.m.

 

Speakers should limit their remarks to three (3) minutes and follow all rules for public comment.

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