Archive for Friday, March 11, 2011

First Bell: School board candidate chats start today; Kindergarten Round-Up, open house set at Veritas; former governor talks early-childhood education, bullying and — yes — health insurance

March 11, 2011


A few education-oriented items from around the area, and beyond:

Let the chatting begin.

Today at 11:30 a.m. marks the first online chat at for one of this year’s candidates for Lawrence school board.

Shannon Kimball is the candidate, and she’ll be down here at The News Center to answer your questions online for an hour.

That’s right: You get to ask the questions. I’ll be moderating the forum, posting questions for her to answer. We’ll be taking questions live, and we’ll also be posting questions that have been sent in early.

Anytime up until and through the chat, you can send in questions you’d like to see answered. Just follow the link to Kimball’s chat here.

You may do the same for all the chats. We’re continuing to get them scheduled with all nine active candidates, who are vying for four available seats on the board.

The general election is April 5.


Preparations are under way for next year at schools throughout the area, and the folks at Veritas Christian School are ready to share information about their school’s offerings to interested families and others next month.

Veritas will conduct its “Kindergarten Round-up and Open House for 1st through 12th grades” April 29 at the campus, 256 N. Mich.

• Kindergarten Round-Up is set for 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• The Open House is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Veritas offers morning and full-day kindergarten programs, along with K-Quest — for 4- and 5-year-olds — on weekday afternoons.

To RSVP for the event, contact the school office at 749-0083.

Veritas, founded in 1978, is a nondenominational school representing 29 area churches and parishes in Douglas, Jefferson, Franklin and Johnson counties.


Here’s an update on some recent, education-related activities of a former Kansas governor who now serves in the nation’s capital.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

On Thursday, Kathleen Sebelius — President Obama’s secretary of health and human services — attended an event at the White House that picked up quite a bit of play: an anti-bullying summit, with a national anti-bullying initiative. You can read a fine story about that here.

A day earlier, Sebelius had spoken to a conference of the National PTA. Her topic: early education.

I’m posting a copy of her prepared remarks here with this item (you can download it), but here are a few excerpts:

• “[L]earning doesn’t start at age five. And a world-class education can’t start in Kindergarten. The best science tells us that the first five years of a child’s life are among the most important for healthy brain development. So it’s no surprise that early childhood education has been shown to be one of the best investments we can make.”

• “We live in an age where many of the fastest growing jobs can be done anywhere there's a laptop and an Internet connection. That means we can’t out-compete the world unless we also out-educate the world. And we can't out-educate the world if our children start school at a disadvantage.”

• “Giving all of our children the opportunity to develop the skills to be ready for school is a presidential priority. It’s been a priority of mine since I came into the [Kansas] legislature as a mother of a 2-year-old and 5-year-old. And we’re committed to working with groups like PTA to make sure all our children can start school ready to learn. But our work to help kids reach their full potential can’t stop when they leave the classroom. As parents know, kids need a lot more to reach their full potential, including access to affordable health care. ...”

Yes, Sebelius is interested in providing affordable health care. There’s plenty about that in her speech, too.


Clevercowgirl 7 years, 2 months ago

Kansas suffered an immeasurable loss when Kathleen Sebelius left for Washington, D.C. She is a true advocate for education, and gives a voice to the concerns of the underprivelidged. I believe that if we continue down the slippery slope of cutting educational funding, all Kansas public school children will be at an educational disadvantage in this global economy. With all of the hue and cry for cutting the state budget, no matter what, I think that we lose sight of who and what we really are cutting. I would gladly give up a trip to McDonalds, or a cup of Starbucks, and put that money towards state taxes for education. And yes, the uber rich should pay more state taxes. Effectively dealing with a money shortage involves both spending less money, and finding more money (taxes). What this state needs in times such as these is Kathleen Sebelius, but alas, circumstances (Obama and term liimits) have sent her to help more than just Kansas.

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