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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.

Auschwitz Exhibit Helps Southeast High School Students Build Reading Skills, Understand Past

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For Southeast High School freshman Quazell Pickens, visiting “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away” at Union Station stirred up many emotions.

“They had a lot of stuff from back then,” Quazell said. “There was blood on the clothes. It was scary.”

Quazell said he knew that Auschwitz was a death camp where Jews were killed during the Holocaust. But seeing the exhibit with his class drove home the brutality of the Nazi guards.

Karyl Michel, the reading interventionist at SEHS, organized the field trip for her ninth grade reading intervention students. Students in her class have gaps in reading skills, often in background vocabulary.

Students shared their Holocaust research with their classmates before their field trip to Union Station.

Students shared their Holocaust research with their classmates before their field trip to Union Station.

“If we’re able to draw connections from what we’re reading in class to what happens outside of class, students are more engaged in their learning,” Michel said.

Michel helps her students make those connections with field trips into the community.

“They’re freshman, so they’re still learning the ropes of being a high school student,” Michel said. “They set goals for themselves in academics, attendance and behavior.”

In November, Michel took 21 students who met their goals to see the Holocaust exhibit. They read texts about World War II, Nazis and the concentration camps to prepare for their field trip.

Freshman Jada Franklin felt sad after seeing the exhibit.

“We learned about the Holocaust and how us learning about it can better our future so that it won’t happen,” Jada said.

Lunch with German food

After seeing the Auschwitz exhibit at Union Station, students got to eat in the private dining room at Grünauer, a restaurant in the Crossroads that serves Austrian-German food.

After visiting Union Station, the students walked over to Grünauer to try goulash and schnitzel. Jada, who hadn't had Austrian-German before, said it was “OK.”

“I feel like we get a lot of new opportunities. Trying new foods, field trips, even staying after school,” Jada said.

Michel said that’s why these field trips are so important.

“In life, it’s important for people to have a framework of our current culture and the racist issues we are experiencing in Kansas City today as well as what is going on in the nation and the world,” she said.

“I’m so proud of them.”

Susan Martinez with mentee Brooke

Susan Martinez, the band director at Foreign Language Academy, is a new mentor this year. She's enjoying getting to know her mentee, Brooke.

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