NEHS principal rebuilding school’s culture

By JOE JAROSZ
Northeast News
March 5, 2014

Early in the month of February, several fights broke out at Northeast High School in one day. Security was increased in the days following and things eventually went back to normal.

But that day’s events caught people off guard, especially first year Northeast High School principal Doug Bolden.

“That was uncommon,” Bolden said.

Bolden, who said he’s been blessed to have a successful 20 year career with Kansas City schools, compared the situation at Northeast High School to his time when he first started with F.L. Schlagle High School, in Kansas City, Kan. At NEHS, he’s trying to change the culture and establish a safer school for students and at times, he said, there will be some growing pains.

“The previous culture was apathy and very little accountability,” Bolden said. “The one thing I made clear when I took this job was that I’m gonna be transparent.”

If school administration catch a fight in the act, Bolden said they respond very seriously and the students are beginning to notice. Do they catch every fight, no, but he added when they do catch students fighting, they’re not going to be “rolled over.”

“Students call it horseplay but I call it assault,” Bolden said. “I think people, more or less, want that and the staff appreciates it.”

If a fight happens, the administration gathers all the information from both students before deciding on disciplinary action. Suspensions are possibilities, but Bolden said the school doesn’t just suspend students.

“We try to find social services in terms of mediation or anger management to help the students,” Bolden said. “The central offices have been nothing but supportive by giving me access to those agencies and giving alternatives to the students. But it’s a two-way street and they [the students] have to make it work as well.”

In the time since that hectic day, Bolden said things are back to normal now. If you asked him about the safety of the school, he’d tell you you he wouldn’t have a problem sending his own children there.

Students and parents also know about his open door policy. You just have to catch him. Bolden said he routinely walks the hallways of his school, trying to be as visible as possible.

“This helps change the culture,” Bolden said. “Being visible means they know who you are and that you’re there.”

From the relationships he’s built in his first year, he said he already feels like he’s been at the high school for years. A regular at basketball and football games, Bolden said being readily available is key to changing the culture of the school. He’s also used a recorded phone message to contact parents and keep them informed of the students’ test scores and any changes going on at NEHS.

“We don’t want there to be a disconnect,” Bolden said. “This is their [the parents] school and I want them to know we take safety and education very seriously here.”

Comments are closed.

  • AT&T lends a hand to help clean-up around high school

    July 14th, 2015
    by

    By Michaela Bishop Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — This August, students of Alta Vista High School will walk into a new school with many new changes.
    This past Saturday, roughly 50


    Public input sought on next KCPS Superintendent

    July 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Kansas City residents will soon have an opportunity to give their thoughts on the qualities they want to see in the next superintendent of Kansas


    School Board selects CFO as Interim Superintendent

    June 16th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors have selected Allan Tunis, Chief Financial Officer of the KCPS, to serve as Interim Superintendent.
    The board


    Memories thrown to dust

    June 2nd, 2015
    by

    By Michaela Bishop Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The demolition of Thacher Elementary has been pending for years.


    Motel Capri has been demolished

    May 27th, 2015
    by

    Capri done. The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences has completed the demolition of the


  • [Advertisement.]
  • Dr. Green announces departure from KCPS

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — As Dr. R. Stephen Green choked back the tears, it was easy to see this was no easy decision.


    Lincoln Prep named Missouri’s top high school

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Lincoln College Preparatory Academy has been named the best high school in Missouri.


    KCDC students unveil plans for abandoned reservoir

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Like the one-time working water reservoir in the Northeast, the Kansas City Design Center students have been overflowing with ideas on how


    Bike-to-School Day

    May 12th, 2015
    by

    Quite the hike. Dozens of Whittier Elementary students joined others across the country in biking and walking to school on Wednesday, May 6, to celebrate National Bike to School Day.


    KCPS Summer Experience means boost for urban youth

    May 5th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Studies have proven that children who don’t engage in activities over the summer lag behind when school resumes in the fall.
    That’s why the Kansas City


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Gayety Theater once took center stage

    Northeast News Built of reinforced concrete and ornamental brick at a cost of $115,000, the Gayety Theater stood on the former site of the A.W. Armour home, one of the

    Neighborhood celebration thanks to the Salvation Army

    Neighborhood Celebration. Last Saturday, the Salvation Army opened their doors to anyone in the community by holding a Neighborhood Celebration.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]