Schools and education

Lawrence High ESL teacher wins teaching award, $5,000
December 17, 2014
The Lawrence Schools Foundation on Wednesday presented a $5,000 check and the Dedication to Education award to Lawrence High School English as a second language teacher Heather Lee.
Free State High School mourns loss of science teacher
December 15, 2014
The Free State High School and Lawrence school district communities are mourning the loss physics and chemistry teacher Brad Simon.
Kansas school efficiency panel reaches few agreements for new legislation
December 15, 2014
A task force set up by the Legislature to study ways schools can be more efficient agreed on only one bill to recommend to the Legislature next year. That would set up a process to define the new standards laid out by the Kansas Supreme Court to determine whether the state is adequately funding public schools. But the group was sharply divided on other proposals such as encouraging districts to consolidate administrative services, forcing them to spend down cash reserves, and limiting the scope of collective bargaining. By Peter Hancock
Weapons in Lawrence schools: mostly accidents, show-and-tell
December 13, 2014
After about four months of class, Lawrence schools staff has learned of 10 inappropriate objects and one weapon at school this year. The whole-year average over the past three years was 11 inappropriate objects and three weapons, according to data from the district and the Kansas State Department of Education. School officials are not worried about safety inside their buildings, they say, because it is rare that students carry these objects with bad intentions. By Elliot Hughes
City, Topeka district settle on school officers
08:14 a.m., December 12, 2014 Updated 11:00 a.m.
The school district and city of Topeka have agreed that 10 city police officers will work in district schools for the rest of the current school year, dropping to seven next year, after the city’s new police chief said not enough officers were patrolling the streets.
School district fund balances to be targeted, education group says
December 10, 2014
A group that lobbies on behalf of Kansas public school boards told its members Wednesday that legislation will likely be introduced in the Legislature next year aimed at limiting their ability to maintain cash carry-over balances in many of their funds. By Peter Hancock
District passes new attendance boundaries
December 8, 2014
Probably no one left Monday’s Lawrence school board meeting having achieved their ideal, but all parties involved seemed content.
Prairie Park art educator named Lawrence Master Teacher
December 8, 2014
When art teacher Darin Fischer quickly left the assembly space at Prairie Park Elementary School Monday afternoon just to grab something from the school’s office, he thought it was a bit odd that someone followed him and made sure he wouldn’t be long.
Wichita school aims to prove physics is for everyone
December 6, 2014
There’s a physics revolution in the works at North High School in Wichita, and science teacher Hannah Kelderman couldn’t be happier. In the past, physics — the branch of science that deals with properties of matter and energy — was for “those kids,” Kelderman says as she makes air quotes with her fingers. Next year, North High aims to have at least 80 percent of juniors enrolled in either regular, honors or Advanced Placement physics, which would more than double the number of students who will have at least some exposure to the principles of motion, energy, heat, light, electricity and sound.
Lawrence school officials make adjustments to proposed boundary changes
December 3, 2014
The 11-member team tasked with recommending new attendance boundaries to the Lawrence school board is going in several new directions, but also staying the course in other areas.
Liberty Memorial Central student disciplined for bringing pocket knife to school
December 2, 2014
Liberty Memorial Central Middle School filed a police report Tuesday after a student was found to have a pocket knife at school.
Lawrence school board’s Boundary Advisory Committee meeting rescheduled
December 1, 2014
The Lawrence school board’s Boundary Advisory Committee meeting originally scheduled for this evening has been moved to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the district office, 110 McDonald Drive.
Lawrence school program coordinator finalist for national award
November 30, 2014
You never know where you’re going to find Stacie Jackson at Kennedy Elementary School. She may be dining at her desk with a student who’s having trouble at school or home, listening as the grade schooler shares his challenges.
Kansas taps Alaska students to help spot test glitching
November 29, 2014
Kansas students will try again to overload the state’s online platform for mathematics and reading tests, this time with the help of schools in Alaska.
New Kansas education chief wants focus on ‘whole student’
November 27, 2014
Randy Watson has been an unconventional leader during his time as superintendent of the McPherson school district, shunning the state’s annual student assessments and becoming one of the first “innovative” school districts freed from a host of state laws and regulations governing public education. On July 1, he will take over as the next Kansas Education Commissioner, leading the state agency that supervises all other public schools in the state. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence school district schedules additional meetings on boundary changes
November 26, 2014
The Lawrence school district has scheduled three meetings during the first week of December to hash out school boundary changes.
Lawrence High senior aces ACT
November 25, 2014
Lawrence High School senior Brian Chang scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, according to the Lawrence school district.
Lawrence school district to consider alternative attendance zone changes
November 24, 2014
The Lawrence school district is going back to the drawing board on several proposed changes to school attendance boundaries. At the school board meeting Monday, the Boundary Advisory Committee, tasked with recommending new boundaries to the school board, agreed to evaluate several alternative options after parents raised various concerns.
School funding suit complicates Kansas budget fix
November 23, 2014
Even before state courts decide whether Kansas spends enough money on its public schools, a lawsuit over education funding is complicating efforts by legislators and Gov. Sam Brownback to close the state’s projected budget shortfalls.
Lawrence High student to march in Macy’s Thanksgiving parade
November 22, 2014
Thousands of people take part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and this year, at least one of them will have been plucked right out of Lawrence.
Lawrence school board to discuss attendance zone changes
November 22, 2014
The Lawrence school board will host a discussion on the proposed changes to attendance zones for elementary and middle schools at its meeting Monday.
Middle school student disciplined for bringing throwing star to school
November 21, 2014
Liberty Memorial Central Middle School called police Wednesday after it was discovered that a student brought a throwing star to school.
School district keeping various construction projects on schedule and on budget
November 18, 2014
Lawrence school district officials on Tuesday toured the newly refurbished Langston Hughes Elementary, the first of all 21 brick-and-mortar instructional buildings to complete its makeover as part of a $92.5 million bond issue. By Elliot Hughes
K-12 efficiency panel debates while school finance decision looms
November 15, 2014
A panel set up by the 2014 Legislature plans to finalize recommendations next month on how public schools in Kansas can make more efficient use of their money. Meanwhile, officials are anxiously awaiting a decision by a three-judge panel that could order the state to add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state education budget. By Peter Hancock
Dodge City, Fort Hays college merger collapses
November 14, 2014
A proposal to merge Dodge City Community College into Fort Hays State University has collapsed after leaders of the Dodge City institution split on whether to support the plan.
McPherson superintendent offered job as state education commissioner
11:56 a.m., November 13, 2014 Updated 04:03 p.m.
Randy Watson, who heads the McPherson school district, will be offered the job as the next Kansas education commissioner, pending negotiation of a final contract. But three members of the Kansas State Board of Education said they have reservations about his involvement in the “innovative schools” process. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence schools closing achievement gap
November 11, 2014
The Lawrence district is narrowing the gap between graduation rates among the highest and lowest achieving groups of students, and Superintendent Rick Doll said it’s a result of an emphasis on fine-tuning classes and curricula so the needs of disadvantaged students and students of color are better met.
Southwest Middle School student disciplined for knife in backpack
November 10, 2014
A Southwest Middle School student has been disciplined after bringing a knife to school last Friday.
Halloween no longer a staple in schools, in Lawrence and elsewhere
November 9, 2014
Examples of schools ditching Halloween, accompanied with public outcry, can be found all over, from California to New Jersey. Does it belong? There are good reasons to have it and good reasons not to.
Grant to help put Safe Routes to School program in action
November 9, 2014
Lawrence will get a $15,000 grant to establish a Safe Routes to Schools plan, with a goal of making paths to school more walkable and bikeable for kids.