KCK school board plans more listening tours

More community listening tours are planned for the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education in the coming weeks.

The school board held its first listening tour for parents, students and the community last Saturday at the South Branch Library at 3104 Strong Ave., and plans three more meetings in the community.

Upcoming listening tour dates include:
• Monday, March 19: 6 to 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall at Wyandotte High School, 2501 Minnesota Ave.
• Saturday, March 31: 1 to 3 p.m. at Washington High School, 7340 Leavenworth Road.
• Tuesday, April 3: 10 a.m. to noon at the Central Office & Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St.

The Listening Tours will give the KCK Board of Education a chance to hear first-hand about important opportunities which could help inform future board priorities, according to a school district spokesman. It will also give parents, students and the community a chance to meet the new KCK board.

At last Saturday’s listening tour, the board members answered several questions from the audience.

Among the topics brought up by parents and the community were the search for a new superintendent, keeping the goals of the five-year plan for school improvements, school spirit, student involvement, parent involvement, and several substitute teachers for one classroom.

The transition of the recently elected board, and the transition to a new superintendent were among the concerns at the meeting. The superintendent search is still in the early stages, according to board members, with the selection of a search firm currently underway.

The recently elected board has been taking a new approach to their work by asking a lot of questions about expenditures and perhaps being more active than former boards. That led to some concerns about project delays.

Wanda Paige, one of the board members, said at the listening tour meeting that the board members have been inquisitive, asking questions about the building projects.

She said the board supports the district’s school improvement projects, and the board wanted to make sure that everything was in order and that the money was spent wisely.

Dr. Valdenia Winn, board vice president, said during the listening tour meeting that the board needs to know the strengths and weaknesses of the district, and the board will hold the new superintendent accountable.

The board’s first listening tour meeting is online on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0_k1o-yffw.

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