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Schools and education

State board to see draft rule for fingerprinting all teachers
February 9, 2014
The Kansas State Department of Education is recommending that all educators submit fingerprints and undergo background checks in order to renew their licenses. Officials estimate there are 35,000 practicing teachers in Kansas who have not been fingerprinted by the state. By Peter Hancock
Southwest Middle School eighth-grader wins 2014 Douglas County Spelling Bee title
February 8, 2014
The word to clinch the 2014 Douglas County Spelling Bee on Saturday at Southwest Middle School properly summed up what the contestants may have thought of some of the words thrown their way: insidious.
South Middle School Honor Roll
February 7, 2014
South Middle School has announced its first semester honor rolls.
Liberty Memorial Central Middle School Honor Roll
February 7, 2014
Liberty Memorial Central Middle School has announced its first semester honor rolls for 2013-14.
Southwest Middle School Honor Roll
February 7, 2014
Southwest Middle school has announced its Honor Roll for fall semester of the 2013-2014 school year.
West Middle School Honor Roll
February 7, 2014
West Middle School has announced its fall 2013 Honor Roll.
St. John Catholic School Honor Roll
February 7, 2014
St. John Catholic School has announced its first semester middle school honor roll.
Eudora High School Honor Roll
February 7, 2014
Eudora High School has announced its honor rolls for the second quarter of the 2013-2014 school year.
Link between school funding, performance debated
February 6, 2014
Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker and Kansas Policy Institute president Dave Trabert gave opposing views about the link between school funding and student achievement to the Kansas House and Senate education committees. The debate came as lawmakers await a state Supreme Court ruling on whether current funding levels are adequate. By Peter Hancock
School leaders learning how to have ‘Courageous Conversations’ about race
February 2, 2014
The Lawrence school district brought in a consultant to conduct a two-day workshop on how to have open and frank discussions about racial issues in schools and the community. The workshops are one part of an overall strategy to address racial disparities in Lawrence schools. By Peter Hancock
Study links fitness with academic performance
January 30, 2014
Does physical exercise make kids smarter? Results of a recent Kansas-based study suggest the answer may be yes. Researchers from two state agencies say they cannot prove definitively that exercise and physical fitness make kids smarter. But results of a new study suggest a strong correlation between children’s physical fitness and their performance on reading and math tests.By Peter Hancock
Eudora interviews McLouth school chief
January 30, 2014
McLouth school district Superintendent Steve Splichal is the third and final candidate being interviewed for the superintendent’s job in Eudora. By Peter Hancock
Eudora schools interviewing superintendent finalists
January 28, 2014
The Eudora school district is interviewing three superintendent finalists this week. Current superintendent Don Grosdidier is retiring after this year. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence schools moving from desktop to mobile environments
January 27, 2014
Teachers in the Lawrence school district will soon say goodbye to their old desktop computers and will be issued new mobile devices. Before long, students will be making the same transition. By Peter Hancock
Local chef helps school cafeteria workers hone their skills
January 26, 2014
Rick Martin, a Lawrence-area chef and former culinary arts teacher in the Eudora school district, is now giving professional development for the Lawrence district’s food service workers. The district has set up a new test kitchen at the former Wakarusa Valley School to give them a place to learn and practice. By Peter Hancock
Some high school course fees may be eliminated
January 26, 2014
The Lawrence school board will consider eliminating fees charged for high school introductory elective courses. The board will decide that issue when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday. By Peter Hancock
Davis exaggerated impact of education cuts, critic’s point also partly inaccurate
January 24, 2014
Rep. Paul Davis made exaggerated claims about the impact of state budget cuts on Kansas public schools during his response to Gov. Sam Brownback’s State of the State address last week. But Republican counter-claims don’t tell the whole picture either. By Peter Hancock
Students teach administrators about racial issues in Lawrence schools
January 22, 2014
A diverse panel of high school students gave frank comments and observations Wednesday about race issues in the Lawrence school district during a meeting with about 50 district administrators and building principals. The discussion was part of the district’s Courageous Conversations program, which is meant to bring race issues out in the open so they can be discussed honestly. By Peter Hancock
Charge dropped for Baldwin City woman accused of hosting minors consuming alcohol
January 21, 2014
A judge has dismissed a charge against a Baldwin City woman accused of hosting minors consuming alcohol, citing wording of the statute in question. The charge stemmed from a bonfire where a teen reportedly was badly burned. By Sara Shepherd
Kansas working on new plan for accrediting schools
January 20, 2014
Kansas education officials are making plans for sweeping changes in the way public schools are graded and accredited. It would be the first comprehensive overhaul of school regulations since Quality Performance Accreditation, or QPA, was introduced in 1992. By Peter Hancock
Blue Valley career training center inspires Lawrence chamber, school district
January 20, 2014
Lawrence Chamber of Commerce representatives saw a typical afternoon at the Blue Valley school district’s state-of-the-art career training center during a tour envisioned to glean inspiration for their own program and facility in Lawrence. By Sara Shepherd
Lawrence debate teams place in state championships
January 18, 2014
Lawrence High School placed third in the four-speaker division of the Kansas 6A state debate tournament. Free State High School’s Alex Houston and Hannah Moran advanced to the final 16 before being eliminated. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence debate teams to vie for state championship
January 16, 2014
Debate squads from Lawrence and Free State High Schools are competing in the 6A state championship tournament this weekend in Olathe. By Peter Hancock
KU lands $25 million contract to write Common Core tests for Alaska
January 15, 2014
Alaska has joined Kansas in hiring KU’s Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation to develop reading and math assessments aligned to new “college and career ready” standards. The five-year, $25 million contract will be the largest in the university’s history. By Peter Hancock
Doll: Educators support Common Core standards
January 14, 2014
Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll urged the Kansas State Board of Education to hold firm on the Common Core standards for reading and math, saying they are “widely accepted by educators.” Doll was being recognized by the state board as the Kansas Superintendent of the Year. By Peter Hancock
Kansas education board urges, but won’t mandate, individual study plans
January 14, 2014
The Kansas State Board of Education will “strongly recommend” that schools develop “individual plans off study” for all students to guide them toward college or a career in their chosen fields. But the board stopped short of mandating them, due to lack of counseling staff in many school districts. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence district cancels K12 Inc. contract
January 13, 2014
After posting a 2013 graduation rate of just 26 percent, K12 Inc. was terminated last week as the contract manager of Lawrence Virtual High School. The company is the largest private, for-profit charter school companies in the United States. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence High takes second at State Novice Debate Championships
January 13, 2014
The Lawrence High School novice debate team of Sungho Hwang and Bridget Smith placed second in the ninth-grade division this weekend at the Sunflower Novice State Championships. Hwang and Smith were 7-2 at the tournament, losing a split decision in the final round to Olathe Northwest. By Peter Hancock
Kansas School Board to review 2013 progress, and lack thereof
January 13, 2014
Last year, the Kansas State Board of Education was shocked to see widening achievement gaps for poor children and ethnic minorities. Since then, efforts to study and address the problem have stalled. By Peter Hancock
No zero-tolerance disciplinary philosophy for Lawrence schools
January 13, 2014
Lawrence schools already appear to practice much of what the Obama administration recommended last week in avoiding zero-tolerance disciplinary policies.