KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While some Kansas City-area students are back in the classroom already, other districts are still in preparation mode.

That includes Kansas City Public Schools, which also has new leadership getting ready for the new year.

“Your students are in great hands, and we’re continuing the great work that we started in KCPS,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier said.

Collier said the district is focusing on literacy this year.

“We know that if they are not literate, if they don’t have strong literacy skills, the trajectory of their lives is greatly limited,” Collier said.

KCPS will have a conversation about safety in schools, specifically focusing on the Northeast Middle School community where a student was stabbed during a fight with another student in the bathroom back in April.

“We’re going to be doing some things also to ease the anxiety for parents and students as they return to our school system around engagement, around safety concerns,” Collier said.

Enrollment is also a priority for the district.

KCPS has less than half the students it had in 2000, and it expects to lose another 1,400 students in the next five years.

“We’re really working to meet the needs of all of our families,” Collier said.

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