Special Education Coop to Host 14th Annual Job Olympics


Contact: Cheryl McDonald, SPED Coop, (913) 627-7831

Approximately 150 students in the Wyandotte Comprehensive Special Education Cooperative will gather to learn and practice job skills in a friendly competitive environment.

The students will be a part of the 14th Annual Job Olympics, set for Friday, April 4 at the Bonner Springs PE Center. The event will take place from 9:45 to 11:30 a.m. Job Olympics is a competition developed to promote transition and employability skills for a broad continuum of secondary students with disabilities.

Students have the opportunity to practice skills such as sacking groceries, basic carpentry, sorting mail and folding laundry. New events this year will include: food preparation, making change with a cash register, the value of money, sending an e-mail, completing a job application online, typing a Word document, manning a condiment station and first aid. Medals will be awarded to first through third place winners in each category. All teachers also will pick a winner from their class who will receive a "Hardest Worker" medal.

For more information on the event or to sign up to be a volunteer, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (913) 627-7831; or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (816) 838-6920.

- 30 -

Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

Dr. Julie Ford to Serve as Interim Superintendent of KCKPS Beginning July 1

June 28, 2018


Contact: Melissa Fears, Director of Communications and Marketing (913) 279-2225

drford webKansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) is pleased to introduce Dr. Julie Ford as the interim superintendent for the school district, beginning on July 1. She will serve in this role for the school district until Dr. Charles Foust begins his role as superintendent of KCKPS. (Click here to read the announcements about Dr. Ford and Dr. Foust at the KCK Board of Education meeting on June 26.)

Dr. Ford has spent more than 37 years in education.  She has served as a paraprofessional, teacher, principal, staff development coordinator, director of instruction, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent in Garden City, Kansas, her hometown.  She had various positions in Tulsa, OK., Norman, OK., Canyon, TX., and Trinidad, CO. 

Dr. Ford was director of the Title Program and Services at the Kansas State Department of Education and spent her last five years in education as Topeka Public Schools superintendent, retiring in 2016.  

She has been married to her husband John for 42 years and has three children and five grandchildren. 

Her positive outlook is reflected in her personal mission to “expect the best, see the good, believe and help in any way I can.”

If you have questions, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 913.279.2235

KCK Board of Education Names Dr. Charles Foust Superintendent of Schools

June 26, 2018


Contact: Melissa Fears, Director of Communications and Marketing (913) 279-2225

Dr. FoustThe Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education is pleased to announce that Dr. Charles Foust has been named superintendent of schools for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS).

Dr. Charles Foust, Chief School Performance Officer from Union County Public Schools (UCPS), is described as a leader in transformational education, guiding leaders to improve education so students receive a quality education daily. Before he takes the position at KCKPS, Dr. Julia (Julie) Ford, the former superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, will serve as the interim superintendent, beginning July 1. The announcements were made at the Tuesday, June 26, board meeting at the Central Office and Training Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

Dr. Foust is a certified practicing leader with hands-on experience developing staff, teachers and school leaders, guided by the conviction that leading is about simultaneously improving individual lives, transforming systems and in turn, achieving lasting social and academic change.

Before coming to UCPS, Dr. Foust was a school support officer for Houston Independent School District. In his role, he supervised, coached and mentored principals as well as managed programs that improved math and reading, reduced retentions and dropouts while increasing graduates, and increased the number of effective teachers.

Dr. Foust also served as a principal (middle and elementary), assistant principal (middle and elementary) and curriculum facilitator (high school). He has several years of experience in the classroom, having taught at the elementary and university and community college level.

Dr. Foust received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a master’s degree in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a doctoral degree in Professional Leadership from the University of Houston.

Prior to joining UCPS, he coached and supervised principals at the elementary and secondary levels.  He led Brooks Global Studies to become one of the top performing elementary schools within Guilford County Schools in North Carolina.  Brooks Global Studies is a school that focuses on diverse cultures and prepares students to be knowledgeable citizens of a global society.  He has been an assistant principal (elementary and middle), magnet school coordinator (elementary), curriculum facilitator (high school), elementary teacher (5th and 4th grades), and tutor (reading, algebra and geometry).

Under Foust’s leadership, schools have become top performing, moving from low-performing while closing the achievement gaps.  He has restructured strategic plans to target a set of high-impacted priorities, among them: design a more effective, performance-driven, student-centered educational system in his schools.  He meets with assistant principals within his schools quarterly to develop the next generation of school leaders. 

Foust was a highly effective principal in high-performing and turnaround schools. He led Fondren Middle School to become one of the top performing Apollo Middle schools in Houston Independent School District. Under his leadership, the school received several state distinctions in the first year.  He led the school through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme process, receiving authorization and becoming a fully accredited program within the three years as a turnaround principal. Additionally, the school became a Steven Covey- Leader In Me School.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Foust on his new position with the school district.

Shawnee District Court Rules in Favor of Kansas Kids


June 26, 2015

Contact: David A. Smith, chief of staff, (913) 279-2242

A three-judge panel of the Shawnee District Court has once again ruled in favor of Kansas school children in the Gannon vs. State of Kansas school funding case. In an 87-page document released today, the court found House Substitute for Senate Bill 7, known as the block grant bill, unconstitutional in providing equitable and adequate funding for Kansas school children.

Here are some of the key points in the decision:

  • The court found the block grant bill entirely unconstitutional as to adequacy noting that it “stands, unquestionably and unequivocally, as constitutionally inadequate in its funding.”
  • The court found the block grant portions relating to the funding of the equity mechanisms unconstitutional.
  • The court avoided striking the entirety of the block grant bill in order to have some funding mechanism in place for the upcoming school year.

“This ruling has profound significance for the future of our students and students throughout the state,” said Dr. Cynthia Lane, superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS). “This decision again reinforces the truth that the legislature has a constitutional obligation to provide adequate and equitable funding for all Kansas children. We are confident that the Kansas legislature will take the necessary steps to fulfill their constitutional obligation.”

The block grant bill was passed by the legislature in March of this year, cutting an additional $50 million in funding for schools across Kansas, and freezing funding levels for schools for the next two budget years. These reductions were on top of the cuts that school districts across the state have seen for the past seven years. The court, in its decision, noted that the changes put in place by the block grant bill could cost the district more than $3 million in funding for new students.

District officials are still evaluating the impact of the decision, and will need to wait to see how the state will implement the court’s order. Nevertheless, the decision is good news for the 22,000 children in KCKPS.

- 30 -

Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242

South Branch Library Closing Early Today

December 13, 2014


Contact: David Smith, chief of staff (913) 279-2242

South Branch Library located at 3104 Strong Avenue, KCK, is closing early today, effective now, 2:00 p.m., December 13, due to a water main break in the area.

- 30 -

Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242