GradNation: Making Moves on Mobility

Thank you to all who attended the 2015 Kansas City Mobility Summit! We had a tremendous turnout of local community leaders from many different sectors in Kansas City. This issue is too big for one sector to tackle alone.

A big thanks to Dr. Russ Rumberger and Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight for their presentations about student mobility at both the national and local levels. Dr. Rumberger provided a national context on student mobility, highlighting the negative impacts it has on children and families. With the research and data provided by KC-AREC we are now able to quantify just how big of a problem this is across the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Through the collaboration of attendees, we have come away with new insights on the causes of mobility, ways we can harness technology to present data on mobility, and ways to mitigate the effects mobility has on chronic absenteeism. We invite you to sign-up to become part of these solutions, and encourage any feedback on these ideas, further solutions, the summit in general, and which programs you believe are most important.

Community Solution 1: Consistent Record Keeping through Technology

Programs: Student Locker, MAPS (Missouri Academic Portal Solution), Education Information Exchange, Centralized Shared Information System

These solution groups focus on reducing the time it takes for enrollment in a new school by creating a streamlined database of individual student records. They come together with aspects that would allow instant access of necessary enrollment documents including birth certificates, social security cards, proof of residency forms, special learning needs, court orders, immunization records, etc. to administrators granted access.The benefit of these systems is that they would make enrollment instant in comparison to current practices that often take 10 days to play a child in a school.

Needs: Political will to use DESE systems in a new way, training, funding, Universal buy-in price and willingness of all districts to get on board, advisory board.

Community Solution 2: Creating Welcoming and Stable Environments

Programs: Families Accessing Resources (FAR), Welcome Champions, Healthy Educational Communities, Lines of Hope, Seniors for Students, Stay-Learn-Grow, You Belong Here, Parent2Parent Education Ambassador Mentoring Program

These programs all seek to assist in creating a welcoming environment and smooth transition into schools for new students. They suggest using a variety of tools and resources including partnerships with outside organizations (churches, families, social service workers, Girl Scouts, etc.) as well as in school resources (senior citizens, adult/peer mentors, PTA members, etc.).

The general idea of the outside organizations is to use community collaboration to create successful transitions into schools. Internal resources would be used to create programs that meet one on one with students, meet with families, and utilize a variety of mentoring resources to create a welcoming environment. They also aim to use mentoring to monitor student performance, behavior, and overall achievement.

They also stress the importance of finding out the history of individual students so that a smooth transitional plan can be tailored based on learning needs, behavioral issues, home life, etc.

Click here to view all the Community Solution Group pitches from the Summit.

Media Coverage of the Summit:

Radio (KCUR):

Television (KSHB):

Print (Kansas City Star):
Mara Rose Williams:
Joe Robertson:
Barbara Shelly:

Blog (America’s Promise Alliance):