Chiefs running back donates to playground upgrades at Morse Early Childhood Center

Chiefs running back Ronald Jones II posed with students at Morse Early Childhood Center on Monday. Jones presented a check for playground upgrades at the center. (Photo from Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools)
A check was presented by Ronald Jones II, Chiefs running back, for the upgrade of the playground and equipment. (Photo from Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools)
Students at the Morse Early Childhood Center gathered for a picture with Chiefs running back Ronald Jones II, who provided funding for a playground upgrade. (Photo from Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools)

Kansas City Chiefs running back Ronald Jones II visited the Morse Early Childhood Center, 912 S. Baltimore St., Kansas City, Kansas, on Dec. 19 and presented a check to provide funding for playground upgrades.

The center will receive new tricycles as well as a protective cover to shield the playground from harsh weather conditions, according to a Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools spokesman.

The goal was to provide a safe outdoor environment within the school that stimulates children to use their energy in healthy, creative interactions with one another, the spokesman stated.

KCK schools to hold forums Saturday on cameras in the classroom

Should cameras be placed in Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools classrooms?

That will be the topic of forums to be held on Saturday, Dec. 17.

The public is invited to weigh in on the topic during the forums.

Superintendent Anna Stubblefield said during the Dec. 13 school board meeting that two public forums are planned.

Those interested in participating in the forums must register for a forum at a link at

The time of the in-person forum Saturday, Dec. 17, is 10 a.m. to noon at the school district office, 2010 N. 59th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

Then there will be a virtual forum from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Registration also is necessary for this forum.

The district has already held a forum for staff members on Dec. 7.

The school board is not expected to make a decision on cameras in the classroom on Saturday.

The topic has generated interest among faculty, parents and students in the school district.

At the Dec. 13 school board meeting, a community comment was received from Craig Krueger on the topic.

An educator and parent, Krueger said $8 million would be required to fund classroom cameras, and he thought it might be better spent on other approaches. As an alternate approach he suggested still designs for classroom cameras, from $200 to $300 each, that faculty could use in partnership with the instructional coaching staff. There would still be an opportunity to be reflective practitioners by using a video of themselves in the classroom.

He suggested using a portion of the funds for student safety needs, after using grant funds and instructional materials for 1,600 classrooms. He felt an alarm system or mobile panic button might better meet the needs of staff members for safety.

According to information posted on the school district’s website, the focus of the discussion on cameras in the classroom shifted from surveillance to leveraging the use of cameras for instruction to address the teacher shortage. In 2021, the district bought 388 cameras for $69,452 for distance learning.

Already, the school district has 2,777 cameras in the schools and district offices, according to the district’s website. They are in various places, including gymnasiums, auditoriums and multipurpose areas.

Cameras are being used for unfilled teaching positions, and long-term substitutions.

The district stated on its website that the cost of the camera project is $6.7 million to buy and install them. Federal ESSER funds are available for the project.

According to the district’s website, the district reviews camera footage when an incident is reported. However, there is no plan for a command center to monitor cameras, according to information on the website.

KCK school board approves cadet corrections program

by Mary Rupert

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education on Tuesday night approved a cadet corrections program that would allow high school seniors to work in the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department.

The program needs joint approval of the school board and the Unified Government.

The program’s goal is to prepare students for a career in the corrections field.
In the program, cadets will be in training to eventually become a correctional specialist. It is a one semester program.

There are a number of tests and screenings that students must take to qualify for the program, as outlined in the agreement.

Students will be in the program two days a week.

Up to 10 part-time positions will be available for a term not to exceed six months, according to the agreement. Up to 300 hours of education and
training will be provided.

At graduation, the student will be eligible for full-time employment with the Sheriff’s Office.

At a Monday night UG standing committee meeting, it was stated that there are currently two students in the program.

The UG also heard about another program to involve high school students at its Monday meeting.

A similar program for 911 call takers was discussed.

In a partnership with the KCK Public Schools, the 911 call takers would be high school seniors in training for a career, according to police officials who spoke at the UG meeting.

A 320-hour curriculum that is structured would include a number of certifications the students could receive, eventually leading to a job at the
communications center.

This program would begin in the spring of 2024, and eventually it would branch out to engage with other high schools in Wyandotte County, according to the plan.

The students would be paid around $15 an hour.

Students also would be graded, with grades counting toward their graduation.

UG Commissioner Christian Ramirez supported the program, saying it was important to get students involved early while in high school.

Currently this program could accommodate up to four students, according to the police department. It’s starting as a pilot project.

Commissioner Harold Johnson said eventually it could be expanded to all schools.

Commissioner Mike Kane said they’ve been working on the project a long time, and he hoped to open the program to other districts in Wyandotte County.

Assistant County Administrator Bridgette Cobbins said the program originally was the idea of KCK Police Chief Karl Oakman, who met with the commission and described his ideas, including working closely with the Kansas City, Kansas, School District for implementing student career programs.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor of Wyandotte Daily, email