Students address concerns, suggestions at KCPS town hall forum

Posted at 1:16 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 18:24:38-04

Kansas City Public Schools hosted a Town Hall forum at Northeast High School Wednesday morning.

Students from various KCPS high schools and middle schools spoke with Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell on concerns and suggestions about their schools.

“I think it's very important that we hear from our clients,” Bedell said. “The students are our clients, that's the primary reason why we are here and ultimately it gives me an opportunity to hear the raw truth and I think today we heard that.”

Questions ranged from sporting equipment, ACT test preparation, attendance and ways students can become ready for the real world before graduation.

“It made us closer to our Kansas City district and facing our challenges is a really big importance for us as students and teachers and principals and our system,” Lincoln College Preparatory Academy student Josue Acosta said.

For Lincoln College Preparatory Academy student Emani Henderson, she discussed unity between the schools.

“I feel as if we should have unity because we're one school district,” Henderson said. “It's kind of agitating when you go to another school district or an extracurricular activity and the first thing people say when you go they find out what school you go to is ‘oh you're a smart kid.’ And it doesn't matter what school you go to, if you apply yourself, you can be as smart as any other kid no matter what school you go to.”

Bedell said these forums help bring certain issues to light and are helping find ways to address them and make changes.

“There were some tough things that the kids raised in terms of issues that we're going to have to really get in and respond to,” he said.

There will be another town hall forum for teachers, staff and other KCPS employees Wednesday afternoon from 2:45 p.m. to 4:45p.m.

Bedell said he will take the feedback from the forums and discuss them with his executive team and cabinet.

“We will say these are the things we're hearing and what kids are sharing with us, let's figure out how to fix some of these things, because some of this stuff is immediate, some of these things may be long term,” Bedell said. “And I think that it gives us an opportunity to let the kids know that we are listening to them and something is being done regarding their concern.”