En­thu­si­as­tic wel­come greets many stu­dents

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - LOCAL -


The other was Faxon Ele­men­tary. Five schools are pi­o­neer­ing stan­dards-based ed­u­ca­tion, and Cov­ing­ton has said they should bear lit­tle re­sem­blance to what peo­ple re­mem­ber of their ele­men­tary school ex­pe­ri­ence.

So far, so good at Faxon, he said. He was hear­ing the new ter­mi­nol­ogy, watch­ing stu­dents find out about learn­ing tar­gets.

One lit­tle glitch: He tapped a class ros­ter taped to the win­dow in one class­room en­try­way. Over the chil­dren’s names was the head­ing “Sec­ond grade.”

The prin­ci­pal winced an “oops” and took it down.

At Cen­tral High School, Prin­ci­pal Linda Collins shouted over cheer­ing stu­dents a mes­sage that could ap­ply to the whole district on its open­ing day.

“Put the past be­hind you, be­cause that’s a good place for it,” she said.

Stu­dents had stepped off of buses to back-thump­ing hugs, high-fives and smiles.

Some, like ju­nior Key­lynn Dixon, won­dered how well the year would go with Cen­tral stu­dents now mixed with stu­dents who had gone to other high schools.

Some, like 16-year-old Tren­ton Lap­s­ley, were ex­cited to join friends in a school with new lead­ers and new teach­ers.

“I’ve been wait­ing for this day,” he said.

The stu­dents cheered as Collins ral­lied them in Cen­tral’s field house.

“You are young and you are gifted and you are tal­ented and you are bright,” she shouted.

Collins said she would not tol­er­ate bad be­hav­ior, and to prove it she called out two boys who talked through her pre­sen­ta­tion.

“We need to have a come-toJe­sus meet­ing,” Collins told the boys, who were sent to her of­fice. There, Collins scolded the boys and said their be­hav­ior was rude. The two apol­o­gized, promised to do bet­ter and asked for “a fresh start.”

“This is go­ing to be a good year,” Collins said af­ter send­ing them off to their first class. “But we have to press bound­aries on them here. We have to let them know, this ain’t the old Cen­tral.”


On the open­ing day of school at Ban­neker Ele­men­tary, ar­riv­ing pupils, in­clud­ing 5-year-old Danaja Rig­gins, re­ceived bus tags for their wrists, in this case from li­brar­ian Diedre Strat­ton. The tags would help later in the day for the re­turn home.

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