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Brian Wieher is the district’s new Director of Child Nutrition Services. He comes to KCPS with more than 20 years of experience in team leadership, project management, public relations and customer service.

In case of inclement weather over a snow-covered Union Station

With colder weather arriving, we have been planning for the potential of snow/inclement weather days and Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) days for the upcoming winter season in KCPS. With this, we wanted to communicate how we will conduct any upcoming snow day plans.

A group dressed in coats cuts a blue ribbon in front of a memorial for Thacher School.

Kansas City Public Schools honored a commitment to the Northeast community, dedicating a memorial at the site of the former Thacher School, 5008 Independence Ave.

An Annual Tradition Returns: KCPS Culinary Arts Students Build Gingerbread Village

A panel of photographs featuring intricate gingerbread houses built by KCPS students.

Students in the Culinary Arts class at Manual Career & Technical Center put the finishing touches on their gingerbread houses on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Typically, their projects are displayed at Union Station, but due to the pandemic, this year they will be moved to the Board of Education, 2901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, later this week.

 

Northeast High School senior Samuel Cuong has spent hours decorating the roof of his gingerbread house with sugared candies, Skittles and Tootsie Roll Pops.

“I got this idea from a picture online, but it’s not exactly the same. I’ve created some of my ideas on it, like these doors,” Samuel said, pointing out graham cracker French doors on a gingerbread balcony.

The project is a favorite of Chef Dan Hogan, who teaches the Culinary Arts classes at Manual Career & Technical Center.

“Every year we do this. We love it. The kids love it. It’s a great way to end the semester. The students have an opportunity to truly express themselves and their talent,” Hogan said. “They have free rein to be as creative as they want to be.”

The students do it all, he said. They bake, measure and cut the gingerbread. They whip the icing. They build trees out of popcorn — or gumdrops. This year, there’s even a gingerbread Eiffel Tower.

Senior Jabari Walker stood at the stove, melting isomalt for his team’s gingerbread log cabin.

“So if you were to boil down sugar and get the liquid, this is like that, but it’s better for decorating,” Jabari explained, carefully checking the temperature with a candy thermometer. “We’re going to use ours to make a lake, an ice skating rink.”

Jabari is a senior at Allen Village, a charter school sponsored by KCPS. Students at charter schools that partner with KCPS can take Career and Technical Education classes at Manual.

Hogan said he tries to teach students real world lessons as they’re learning to cook. He emphasizes attendance and punctuality, skills students will need regardless of whether they end up in the restaurant industry.

“You don’t have to want to be a chef one day. What we teach is something you can use for the rest of your life. At some point, we’re all going to be independent. We’re all going to have to be able to cook to feed ourselves and our families.”