Briefly Noted: SM North students take Kansas City redlining virtual field trip

SM North studentts

Shawnee Mission North students learned about Kansas City's history with redlining during a three-week, virtual field trip right before spring break 2021. Photo courtesy Elena Stephenson-Campbell.

SM North juniors learn about Kansas City’s history with redlining through virtual field trip

Shawnee Mission North juniors attended the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center’s first-ever virtual field trip to learn about the county’s history with — and long lasting impacts of —  redlining.

About 250 students participated in the three-week long field trip in conjunction with their English class before spring break. Although it was originally intended to be an onsite field trip, and was delayed in 2020, Johnson County staff and SM North teachers quickly realized the format needed to change due to the pandemic.

Elena Stephenson-Campbell, Johnson County Parks and Recreation District’s performing arts coordinator, said the team wasn’t sure what challenges they’d face with a virtual field trip. Despite this, Stephenson-Campbell said the team was happy with how it went, and it was fairly easy to measure the field trip’s impact on students with writing prompts and other reflections.

“[Students] got some space to really meditate and percolate on these themes, which, I think, they wouldn’t have had as much time if they were at a field trip on site,” Stephenson-Campbell said. “It’s a lot of information all at once in front of them, but by doing it [virtually] and having some space in between, I think there were some benefits for sure.”

First Ozone Alert of season issued for Wednesday, June 16

The Mid-America Regional Council’s air quality program has issued an orange Ozone Alert for Wednesday, June 16. This alert means that an unhealthy amount of ground-level ozone is expected in the Kansas City area.

MARC recommends residents take the following actions to protect their health today:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible, especially if you’re sensitive to air pollution, and limit outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Regardless of your sensitivity to air pollution, schedule outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
  • Reduce emissions by taking the following steps:
    • Consider carpooling or taking the bus
    • Postpone mowing
    • Wait until evening to refuel vehicles

Click here to learn more about actions to reduce pollution.  Follow AirQKC on Twitter for updates.

Shawnee approves this year’s bridge repair program

The Shawnee City Council on Monday voted 5-0 to approve final plans for this year’s bridge repair program. Councilmembers Jill Chalfie, Lindsey Constance and Kurt Knappen were absent.

The total project budget for all bridge repairs planned in 2021 is $850,000, according to city documents. A total of 19 bridges are slated for minor repairs. These include:

  • 71st Street over Little Mill Creek Tributary
  • Wilder Road over Mill Creek
  • Clare Road over Clear Creek
  • Westbound Shawnee Mission Parkway over BNSF Railroad
  • Eastbound Shawnee Mission Parkway over BNSF Railroad
  • Westbound Shawnee Mission Parkway over Mill Creek
  • Eastbound Shawnee Mission Parkway over Mill Creek
  • Lind Road over Shawnee Mission Parkway
  • Westbound Shawnee mission Parkway over Renner Road
  • Eastbound Shawnee Mission Parkway over Renner Road
  • Lackman Road over Shawnee Mission Parkway
  • Shawnee Mission Parkway over Turkey Creek Tributary
  • Pioneer Crossing Park Entrance over Turkey Creek Tributary
  • Johnson Drive over BNSF Railroad and Mill Creek
  • Monticello Road over Clear Creek
  • Switzer Road over Turkey Creek
  • 44th Terrace over Kansas River Tributary
  • Pedestrian Bridge on Stump Park Trail over Mill Creek Tributary
  • Johnson Drive over Turkey Creek Tributary

City staff said maintaining bridges is not only critical for public safety, but it also keeps the city eligible for federal funding when major repairs are necessary.