BACK TO SCHOOL: Sit-down conversation with North KC Schools superintendent Dr. Daniel Clemens

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:56 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - KCTV5 is your School Authority, and it’s why we’re making it our priority to make sure parents and students are prepared.

On Tuesday, students in North Kansas City are headed back to the classroom.

KCTV5′s Sharon Chen sat down with superintendent Dr. Daniel Clemens to find out what parents should know.

Sharon: “Dr. Clemens, here we are. Summer’s over — it’s hard to believe. Kids are about to start the new school year, what do parents need to know?”

Dr. Clemens: “We are so excited to welcome back our 21,500 learners in North Kansas City Schools. They’re going to get to see some refreshed buildings. We have a lot of construction going on currently thanks to our community for passing our bond issues. But you’ll see new schools, you’ll see schools that have been remodeled to support our additional growth.”

Sharon: “One of the things a lot of parents are concerned with right now just watching what’s happening around the nation is security. What are you guys doing differently to keep the kids safe?”

Dr. Clemens: “Yeah, that’s one of our board’s top priorities to ensure the safety of our staff and students, and certainly, we have worked towards that goal over the last few years. This year, we’ll have student protection officers in all of our school buildings, that will be the first time each site has a school protection officer or school resource officer.”

Sharon: “A big issue that’s facing a lot of classrooms across the nation, not just here is the shortage of staffing. You know it’s difficult now to get teachers in the classroom what are you guys doing to address that?”

Dr. Clemens: “We certainly want to come out and say to our community, we are ready for our kids. We have hired our teachers, and we have one or two left, but that’s typical this time of year, but I think our new hiring practices has really supported more teachers coming to the North Kansas City School District, the first one I’d like to mention is we are now paying student teachers $5,000 a semester so it kind of helps them not have that second job while they’re student teaching, it gives us a chance to preview their ability in the classroom, but it also gives them a chance to understand if North Kansas City’s a good fit for them. And then on the other end, we’re not able to hire up to 30 of our retirees. Some of those folks that were pretty tired and needed a year or two are now eager to come back and with their experience, it’s just a great fit in supporting our young learners.”

Sharon: “It’s kind of a two-fold there you’ve got the younger side that perhaps you’re helping to cement their career going to forward, but of course the return of the older teachers it has to be really exciting for them to get back to the kids.”

Dr. Clemens: “It is really exciting they are refreshed, excited and eager to support, but we’re trying to hit it at every different angle we can to ensure we have the top quality of folks working with our young students.”

Sharon: “And ready for the new school year.”

Dr. Clemens: “Absolutely, we’re so excited.”

ALSO READ: BACK TO SCHOOL: Catch up with KCPS superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier

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