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KCPS solves remote-learning challenges with team approach

Enrollment also nearly 500 lower than expected
Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 19:33:51-04

KANSAS CITY, MO. — More than one month into the fall semester, hundreds of Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools students who were expected to enroll, are not enrolled, and technology issues continue.

Marla Sheppard, KCPS deputy superintendent, said the district is about 450 to 470 students below projected enrollment.

"That doesn't mean we won't find those kids, it just means we have to continue the search and our pursuit of finding them," Sheppard said.

Calls are being made to those students and their parents, and there are attempted home visits, according to Sheppard.

"What we're finding is that some of them have gone on to charter schools, some of them have relocated in the midst of the pandemic, and they're in another district," she said.

Technology is another challenge, prompting a technology jump team at Northeast Middle School.

"If somebody doesn't show up in the morning in first period, we actually have a team here that starts calling, 'Hey what's going on here? Are you having tech issues? Are you having connectivity with the internet issues? Did you oversleep? What's going on here to make sure that you're doing OK?;" said Brett Schriewer, Northeast Middle School principal.

Some members of the district's IT team also made home visits to show parents how to use hot spots, according to Sheppard.

KCPS leaders said they have plenty of devices for students and training centers; but it appears school administrators on the frontlines are the primary technology troubleshooters.

"Trouble shooting for kids, helping them get on," Schriewer said. "'OK, have you tried this? Have you tried this? And they're rocking and rolling."

Sheppard said KCPS will continue working to solve enrollment and technology challenges.

"We've got a generation of kids, so we're doing everything we can to get this right," Sheppard said.

Parents living in the KCPS District who need to enroll their child or receive technology help, can call district headquarters at 816-418-7000, or the technology help-desk at 816-418-HELP (4357).