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Old 08-13-2016, 11:36 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,069 times
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Hi locals,
My family is looking to move to Kansas City, MO. I am completing a B.A. in Special education and dad is finishing up in behavioral science. We want to work with inner city kids therefore we need to have a short commute but still remain in a neighborhood atmosphere. I also need a good school for my son to attend that has a good amount of diversity. I've read that the northern side might be what I'm looking for, does anyone have any suggestions?
Thank you!��
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Old 08-13-2016, 03:37 PM
 
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depending on how much you want to spend, Waldo and Brookside are great neighborhoods. I personally grew up in Waldo.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Originally Posted by twan2001 View Post
depending on how much you want to spend, Waldo and Brookside are great neighborhoods. I personally grew up in Waldo.
I would second Waldo or Brookside. You might look at 49/63 too.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:01 PM
 
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"inner" city being what? Sorry, I'm not really good with the term. Do you mean kids who aren't good at school? Or just schools located near the city core? There's some private or magnet schools that are really good in the "inner" city because the public ones just suck.

and if you want to work with "special" education needs kids (going by degree), wouldn't a "richer" school do better because they actually fund those programs better?

NKC school district is pretty good, lots of diversity (or as much as any in the area), good programs for kids (IB/AP), that new innovation center to train kids if they choose a noncollege career
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
705 posts, read 825,054 times
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It sounds like you will mainly want to stay in the areas mentioned like Waldo and Brookside if you want a short commute to work with inner city children, but there are some neighborhoods in Wyandotte County, KS that are starting to gather interest due to their proximity to both downtown KCMO and an easy drive to the Airport and Legends and WyCo schools are only about 1% better than the inner city KCMO school district if only because they're still accredited. The only other positive I could throw about about Wyandotte County over choosing the far better inner city neighborhoods in KCMO is that there is a great arts charter high school in Kansas City, Kansas that would give one the option to work with students who are less fortunate, but actually want to go to school. Overall neighborhood atmosphere would definitely be better in Waldo, Brookside, The Plaza, etc. on the Missouri side as there just aren't any established and stable older inner city areas in the Kansas suburbs.

If you want to work in a district with decent schools that is less dense you could always look at older parts of Shawnee, Kansas that are zoned to Shawnee Mission, Northwest. The schools that feed Northwest aren't stellar, but they aren't bad and the area is fairly diverse with children coming from a wide variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Most of the businesses in the strip malls off of 75th and Quivira are minority owned and rents and homes are cheaper in that area without the area being dangerous. That would have you working with more the children of immigrants than true inner city children, though, and there are plenty of places in Missouri that would be a great fit as well. You'll just have a harder time finding a district of the type you're looking for in either state that is near an area where your kids can go to better quality schools unless you're willing to send them to a private school.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:54 AM
 
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Thanks for your advise! This raised another question for me; which are the dominant ethnicies and languages in KC? Where I'm living now, we have a high percent of Somali and Arab speaking neighbors, many French speaking African countries like Burundi Rwanda and Congo, Cambodian, and some are Hispanic. I'm asking because I will also be earning an esl certification and would like to learn another language to help my future students.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:06 PM
 
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Mlsfan, I mean students living in poverty within the city, I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that they aren't "good at school" that seems like a prejudiced notion. And I'm not sure if this differs in each state but in Maine schools who have students with ieps are allocated funding and resources. Therefore the poverty stricken districts actually receive more than the wealthy.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
705 posts, read 825,054 times
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Originally Posted by Scholarboat View Post
Thanks for your advise! This raised another question for me; which are the dominant ethnicies and languages in KC? Where I'm living now, we have a high percent of Somali and Arab speaking neighbors, many French speaking African countries like Burundi Rwanda and Congo, Cambodian, and some are Hispanic. I'm asking because I will also be earning an esl certification and would like to learn another language to help my future students.
I don't know about the missouri side, but the hispanic-central american population is really taking off in Wyandotte County, Kansas and in Older Parts of Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe, etc. For Wyandotte County I know it has actually provided the community with some stability and gentrification for the first time in years. I know there's a decent Indian population in Johnson County as well, but from what I can tell a lot of them are/were tied to Sprint, which isn't a very healthy company at the moment. When I was down at the Plaza two weeks ago there was a large population of Asian middle school aged youths hanging out down there. I'm from a community that has a lot of Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Southeast Asian, and African immigrants (mostly from Somalia) so I guess I don't pay attention too much. It is the reason I feel comfortable and at home in the older parts of Shawnee with the lower middle class and immigrant populations. Some of the only decent and authentic Mexican restaurants in eastern Kansas are there, and I dare to say that they may be some of the only authentic ones in the metro where I feel safe being at night :tape, but I refuse to go to enclosed malls after dark too regardless of the size of town they're in or how "safe" they are, so I'm just overly cautious.

I completely forgot to throw out Leavenworth and Lansing as options!! Lansing is a great district with a lot of modern buildings that I would feel confident placing my children in, and while Leavenworth Schools aren't stellar, Leavenworth and Lansing would provide the students you're looking to work with. You're not too far from Zona Rosa or Village West up there for expanded shopping options, and Leavenworth itself has some charm that stems from how old the town is. Both are one high school districts, but the high schools have a fairly large student body as the military population keeps the demographics fairly young, and Lansing has seen continued growth as the more desirable option for the better salaried soldiers and because of its proximity to amenities like Village West that didn't exist 20 years ago. It's not like the locals even have to drive to Village West for the basics. They're redeveloping the old Leavenworth Mall, they have grocery options in Krogers Dillons banner and a smaller Walmart, and they have a surprisingly nice and clean Kmart that subleases a chunk of the store to a Sears Appliance and Electronics store. I think the minimal renovations the store received (new paint, new store logo, new displays, new carpet) were based off Sears moving into the garden center.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
and if you want to work with "special" education needs kids (going by degree), wouldn't a "richer" school do better because they actually fund those programs better?
Special education is federally funded regardless of what socioeconomic demographics are served by a given school or district.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:41 PM
 
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I think the issue you may have is finding a good school district for your son and wanting to work in an inner city school. Waldo and Brookside would be where I would recommend if you didn't need good schools for your son. Although there are a couple magnet schools in the KCMO district that are good. One of my friends sends her daughter to Academie Lafayette which is a French immersion school, and she's very happy with her education, although right now that school only goes through 8th grade. Alternately you may want to consider one of KCs suburbs, many of them have great schools and schools within the district that have a high level of poverty. For example, one of the schools with one of the highest number of kids on the free lunch program is in the Olathe school district, another is in the Shawnee Mission school district. And I am sure there are similar situations on the Missouri side (although I'm less familiar with the schools on the other side of the state line).
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