Thousands of KCPS students show up for Summerfest Celebration

Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 19:52:09-04

School is right around the corner and students in the Kansas City Public Schools District will be going back with new supplies.

The district kicked off its first Summerfest Celebration Saturday with thousands of students and parents in attendance.

"We're here to check it out, give my kids something good to do in the summer," said Kelsha Donnell, a mother of two.

Donnell's son and other students all received free backpacks, books, water bottles and uniforms. They also had the chance to speak with the district's new superintendent, Dr. Mark Bedell.

"I don't want our kids to skate through a school system because we are taking it easy on them. We got to hold our kids accountable for learning and we have to tell our kids we can," Bedell told 41 Action News as he walked around Summerfest.

One of Bedell's top priorities is changing the mindset of students, parents and the community when it comes to school and the district. Over the last few years, KCPS has struggled with low grades, poor enrollment, a revolving door of superintendents and a lack of accreditation.

"If we can get people together and see that this is a school system that is going to be a viable school system in the city, this bolds well for the entire city and community," he said.

KCPS starts school on Aug 15th.


Tax-free weekend in Missouri will go until Sunday August 7 at midnight. Back-to-school necessities like clothes, school supplies, computers and more are exempt from sales tax.

Both Missouri and Kansas require immunizations for students before they can enter the classroom. Links to the requirements are listed below:





Ariel Rothfield can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter:

Follow @arothfield

Connect on Facebook: