Central High and Middle students welcomed back to school by KC Wolf, cheerleaders and more

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 12:19 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - As the kids roll in, so will some of the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders and KC Wolf at Central Middle School and Central High School.

The Chiefs joined City Year Kansas City AmeriCorps with their championship spirit to cheer on students coming back to school. The Rumble Drum Line and Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier will be there as well.

“The high school kids are more like, ‘I’m just here so I don’t get fined,’ and then these guys are excited to be here,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said. “It’s always fun to interact with them and you get a little smile and our cheerleaders and rumble and wolf do a great job with them.”

City Year Kansas City is a nonprofit offering mentorship and tutoring to KCPS students at six schools working with 4,500 students.

“You either have anxiety or nervousness, hopefully, it’s excitement and eagerness,” City Year Kansas City executive director Jeff Shafer said. “But whatever it is -- we are going to greet you as you are and have that good start.”

Central High School was almost closed after the district announced its Blueprint 2030 plan last year.

A 4-2 vote by the KCPS Board of Directors approved a plan to close two elementary schools as part of the plan, and the high school was left off the list. Central High was a part of that discussion until the district revised the proposal after several listening sessions with the community about their stances.

“We heard a lot from our children during that process and so we know that they’re excited that they are still standing and they’re still here today. I think it’s really appropriate that we have the chiefs and kc wolf here to help us celebrate,” said Dr. Collier.

Dr. Collier said they have five areas of focus this year to meet their goals and the most important is making sure students are literate emphasizing that students should be effective communicators. Mathematics, culture and responsive teaching, social-emotional wellness, and family-parent engagement round out the other four.

“We know we can’t do this work without the involvement of our parents and our families. Those are our areas of focus and we have goals that are centered around each of those five big rocks.”

Here is when the major school districts in the Kansas City area return to class.

The district – like many across the state and country – has had to battle with staffing shortages. She spoke on that topic last week with one of our KCTV5 crews.

“Like many other districts, we are seeing the staffing challenges historically it has really been focused on teachers, but I think since the pandemic we’re noticing there are other positions as well,” said Dr. Collier. “Our HR and recruitment teams have done an excellent job of going out and finding the best talent for many of the roles here at KCPS, however, we are still dealing with a few vacancies across our system and so we’re actively working to get those filled.”

With the fun environment, comes the safety part of this as well.

“We’ve done some work in our buildings to make sure there’s an extra layer of security between the barrier and the front door where people enter into the main area of the building,” she said. “We’re also looking at adding several security officers for elementary schools to be present there as well. We added x-ray machines to secondary school as another layer of support.”