high school

St. Teresa's Academy is still going strong, 150 years after the school's founding on Quality Hill. Though a lot has changed since then, the staff's belief in the benefits of single-gender learning has not. 


Courtesy of Netflix

A Netflix documentary that debuted on Sept. 25 has reopened attention to a 2013 alleged rape case in Maryville that left one young woman's life changed and a community divided.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Yesterday, Southwest Early Campus in Brookside closed its doors for the last time. We explore the legacy of the 100-year-old Southwest High School.

We also hear the story of Daizsa Laye Bausby, whose death in a hotel room was ruled a homicide. She was supposed to graduate from Southwest this year. Was the life of this young black woman ignored by local media?


Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Tuesday night, around 70 students from Southwest Early College Campus (SWECC) attended the school’s final graduation ceremony at Unity Temple. They entered the room to "Pomp and Circumstance," dressed in traditional black gowns.

As they took their seats, one seat remained empty in the front row.

“Towards the end of the year, we lost one of our special students,” principal Earl Williams said in the welcome address.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your future self?

When she was in high school, KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez wrote a letter to herself. She just received that letter in the mail, in time for her 10-year reunion. She opens the letter for the first time and reads part of it on-air.


  • Lisa Rodriguez, KCUR
Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It’s graduation season for many area high schools. And for one Kansas City public high school, this year’s graduation was the last.

The Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) announced in late February that Southwest Early College Campus (SWECC) would be shutting down after the last day of classes on May 17. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

The wall outside the college counseling classroom at Kansas City's University Academy is adorned with dozens of college acceptance letters. Several of them are addressed to Jazmyne Smith. 

"Well, I’ve been accepted at KU, K-State, Missouri S&T, Coe College," Smith says, a smile playing across her face. "And I’m still waiting to hear back from some other places: Duke, Penn, Stanford. You know, shooting for the stars."

J. Robert Schraeder Photography / The Coterie Theatre

Long-form improvisation is a grueling strain of comedy. But some of Kansas City’s funniest high school students are embracing it. Undaunted, they've spent the last few months trying, sometimes successfully, to master it.

Comedy audiences know about short-form improv, where a random word thrown out from the crowd provokes a three-minute sketch.

Shawnee Mission School District

Being in high-school can feel like a full-time job — eight hours a day in the classroom, plus schoolwork to do at home.

Throw in an after school job and a few extra curricular activities and you’ve got a very busy teen.

Kansas City-area high-schoolers Dawson Borcherding and Daniel Serres have taken that already busy schedule one step further.

Both started their own companies before they turned 17.

Young Leaf Landscaping

Last week, students from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Johnson County, Kansas and University Academy in Kansas City, Missouri boarded a bus for a Civil Rights Tour of the South. What they found were new relationships and a surprising shared history. 


  • Jazmyne Smith is a junior at University Academy.
  • Amanda Sokol is a sophomore at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy.

As the presidential primary continues and voters in both Kansas and Missouri await the general election, we visit with one demographic that doesn't always get a say: the teen demographic. 


  • Suan Sonna, sophomore, Sumner Academy
  • Olivia Crabtree, senior, Archibishop O'Hara High School
  • Claire Gibbs, senior, Shawnee Mission East

Students from MINDDRIVE, a project-based learning organization, will unveil an experimental 3D-printed vehicle at the Kansas City International Auto Show. The electric car, designed by high schoolers, is 12 feet in length and looks like a formula race car. 


Remember the water cycle? 

It's typically first learned in elementary school, around third grade. You know, precipitation, evaporation, condensation? Many readers may remember filling out a graphic organizer to help them memorize the steps. Others may recall having to answer a question about the water cycle on a standardized test. 

COD Newsroom / Flickr

First-generation college students head to campus saddled with hopes and dreams, but not necessarily the same resources as their peers. With rigorous academic demands, responsibilities to their families, rising college tuition and increased focus on experiences like study abroad, students breaking through the higher-ed barrier face a unique set of challenges. 


Courtesy photo / Kauffman School

Education insiders in Kansas City have been closely watching the Ewing Marion Kauffman School  ever since it started in 2011.

Now, the rest of Missouri may perk up. 

This week, the Missouri Charter Public School Association named Kauffman its Missouri Charter School of the Year, citing its "strong academic performance," "innovative professional development" and "daily efforts to build community and engage parents." 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

After 18 months of study Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) released its master plan Wednesday night in a long and contentious board meeting.

The plan covers which buildings will be closed, an overhaul of the transportation system, a plan for year-round class for low-performing elementary schools and the rejuvenation of high school extracurricular activities with an emphasis on sports.

The district says about 2,000 children, 15 percent of the district, would feel the change of school closing and the resulting boundary changes.

Two standout high-school debaters share their stories and assess last night's third Republican presidential debate.


  • Monica Medeiros, senior, Lincoln Prep
  • Michael Franklin, junior, Sumner Academy


Aug 21, 2015

Blaine Stephens knew he was up against the odds when he applied for a U.S. Senate intern position. As the Plattsburg, Missouri, high-schooler packs his bags for Washington,  D.C. Up To Date caught up with him to learn how he made the cut. 


  • Jason Rae served as a Senate page 10 years ago. He is currently a senior associate at Nation Consulting in Milwaukee. 

You hear a lot about students being career or college ready — it’s really a rather new way to judge high school success. So new, that there hasn’t been much research about it.

The Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium Tuesday will release its first report on career or college readiness. The report, which will be made available to educators in both Kansas and Missouri, shows data that is not particularly surprising.

Image Courtesy of Starlight Theatre / Copyright Bob Compton Photography

At the end of May, more than 2,000 kids and their friends and parents headed to Starlight Theatre for the Blue Star Awards, Kansas City’s high school version of the Tony Awards. They got decked out in dramatic formal wear, walked down a red carpet and had their pictures taken, then performed bits of their shows and made acceptance speeches.

Monumenteer2014/Google Images -- CC

Multiple choice time. Was high school:

(a) The time of your life (kind of like Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days")

(b) A soul-scarring period of angst (as depicted in any John Hughes movie)

(c) None of the above

We catch up with our Class of 2015 students. We also talk to a local podcast host about why he was ready to put high school behind him and a Kansas City Public Schools staffer about what comes after graduation for the most vulnerable kids.



Lincoln Preparatory High School started the year with a big honor and now it's ending the school year with another.

The premier magnet school in the Kansas City Public Schools was named the best high school in Missouri by U.S. News & World Report.

In order to become a naturalized citizen, immigrants must pass a basic U.S. civics test. Some Missouri lawmakers are pushing for the state to adopt education policies that would require high schoolers to pass the same test to graduate. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with two lawmakers supporting this requirement, and quizzes listeners with questions from the U.S. Citizenship Civics Test.


Visha Angelova / CC Flickr

High school seniors have a lot on their minds: graduation, applying to colleges, a whole year of "lasts." Meet two members of the class of 2015; we'll check in with them throughout the year, exploring the tricky issues that come up in that final stretch to the finish line.


Noticias UFM / Flickr-CC

High school debate competitions are about more than just arguing over one issue. Fierce rivalries on the floor become close friendships when the dust settles, and the skills kids are learning can propel them far beyond the local classroom.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the relevance and benefits of participating in high school debate and speech and why it’s so popular with students.


Graduation Anxiety

May 5, 2014
Dave Herholz / Flickr/CC


Spring is the season of change. Many high school seniors are preparing to leave the familiar to experience the independence that comes with university life. College seniors are expected to go out into the "real world" and take on new responsibilities. On today's Central Standard, psychologist Bruce Liese guides both students and parents through the uncertainties of this transitional period.


North Charleston / Flickr-CC

It seems like we depend on machines for nearly everything we do, and a whole new breed of mechanical wonders is invading Kansas City this weekend for the 2014 KC Regional First Robotics Competition. 

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the competition that's attracting more than a thousand high school students who have designed their own robots.


Jeff Weston/Flickr-CC

It’s almost back to school time, and that means worrying about getting the right school supplies, remembering a locker combination and, if you’re a teenager, figuring out how you fit in the dating scene.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with psychologist Wes Crenshaw and teen experts Kendra Schwartz and Josie Myers about how teens might find real love in high school, while swimming in a sea of hormones, hook-ups and angst.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

It’s graduation season, and across the metro, high school valedictorians and senior speakers are putting the finishing touches on their commencement addresses. At DeLaSalle Education Center, Sandra Perez is excited, and a little nervous, to give the speech she wrote, which was selected out of the graduating class of 52 to be part of the commencement celebration.

“It’s a speech that’s going to be remembered at least by someone. I want it to be a speech that could impact at least one person,” says Sandra.

Watching the teenage experience

In 2008, High School Confidentiala documentary-type show that followed 12 high school girls at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park through their four years of high school, aired on WE tv. Sharon Liese is the filmmaker who created this show, and conceived the idea to create a documentary about the high school experience when her own daughter was going through high school.