Stony Point South Classroom
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Stony Point South Classroom

Inaccurate Data Analysis Defames KCKPS Progress


Contact: David Smith, chief of staff (913) 279-2240

The public is being asked to think twice before believing any national and regional rankings of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) that appear on the internet. In the past few months, inaccurate analysis of data has been used to misrepresent the progress of KCKPS. The public is encouraged to review any such reports skeptically and to confirm the data for themselves.

Most ranking reports show successes and failures of public schools based on standardized state tests. The reports analyze the data from those tests, and compile lists to show best, worst and most improved. However, two years ago KCKPS sought a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) in order to replace the state test with the ACT exam. Because KCKPS is using a different test at the high school level, KCKPS data cannot be compared to other districts. The change was made in order to provide a more rigorous and meaningful measure of progress.

“We not only want our students to be successful in school, but also after they graduate, and we knew that the state assessments were not giving them a true measure of their preparedness for college and careers,” said Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lane.

KCKPS began administering the ACT as its state accountability exam in 2012. All 11th grade students take the ACT and all 8th grade students take the EXPLORE.

While students across the nation take the ACT for college entrance, it is not administered as a whole to the entire student population; therefore comparing KCKPS with other districts using ACT scores also is not accurate.

“Comparing our district’s data with another’s would be like comparing apples to oranges,” Lane said.

Language posted on KSDE’s state report card site states, “USD 500 Kansas City received a waiver from the US Department of Education which permitted the district to use the ACT and EXPLORE assessments instead of the Kansas reading, mathematics and science assessments in grades 8 and 11.”

KCKPS has made tremendous progress in the last 17 years, progress that has been recognized nationally and that has made KCKPS a leader in school reform.

“Our district has made tremendous gains in student achievement over the last 17 years,” Lane said. “These misleading reports damage our reputation and undermine the hard work and progress of our students and staff.”

For accurate data on the district’s progress, the public should review KSDE report cards online through their website at (click on Kansas K-12 Report Cards).

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

2014 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll Announced


August 28, 2014

Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Their achievements and life-stories will be used to inspire today’s students as they plan for their futures. The 2014 Class of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools’ Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll has been selected.

The 12 alumni will be recognized this fall at the 2014 Reasons to Believe Celebration. The event is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, November 20 at the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center. The event is open to the public.

Members of the 2014 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll are:

  • Nedra Bonds, artist/social activist, Wyandotte High School Class of 1966
  • Norman Brown, jazz guitarist, Wyandotte High School Class of 1982
  • Wesley Guy Burt, artist/illustrator, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science Class of 1999
  • Phil Dixon, author/historian/speaker, Wyandotte High School Class of 1974
  • Dr. Simone Ariana Ellis, dentist, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science Class of 2001
  • Lloyd Freeman, attorney, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science Class of 2000
  • A. Drue Jennings, retired CEO of KCP&L, Argentine Junior/Senior High Class of 1964
  • Marcus Newsom, assistant athletic director/coach at Wartburg College, F.L. Schlagle High School Class of 1988
  • Dr. LeeRoy Pitts, retired educator, Sumner High School Class of 1951
  • Harold Simmons, retired police detective, Wyandotte High School Class of 1965
  • Dr. R. Jayson Strickland, KCKPS administrator, Washington High School Class of 1989
  • Dr. Christi Walter, health systems scientist, J.C. Harmon High School Class of 1976

Reasons to Believe was established in 2002 to generate pride and celebrate the progress being made throughout the district. As part of the program, nominations are sought for the Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll, which spotlights successful alumni to encourage and inspire today’s students. The nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes representation from the Board of Education, the Reasons to Believe Steering Committee, students, business leaders, and a former Alumni Honor Roll recipient.

The 2014 Reasons to Believe Celebration annually showcases the high caliber of graduates that the district produces and brings a select group of them together with staff, students, community members, colleagues and key leaders for a night of honors.

To review past Honor Roll classes or to learn more about the program, go to

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

Hundreds of Students to Compete in 'Battle of the Books'


Contact:  Tammy Dodderidge, Communications Manager, (913) 279-2225

It will be one massive book club gathering! On Saturday, November 9, approximately 400 students will gather to spend the morning taking part in friendly competitions about books!

The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools will host its 2nd annual Battle of the Books competition beginning at 9 a.m. at F.L. Schlagle High School and the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center. Battle of the Books is a voluntary incentive reading program for students in grades 4-12. Students read books from a selected list and come together to demonstrate their abilities and test their knowledge of the books they have completed through a series of competitions.

Groups of 8 to 10 students from all of the district's elementary, middle and high schools will take part. The groups have been working with a "coach" at their schools, preparing for the competition by reading as many of the books from their provided lists as possible. At the competition, they will participate in four different events to answer questions about the books they have read. The events will include: a Family Feud style event with two teams; a Super Challenge with three to four teams competing to answer questions; and a Relay where students race to a question area, and must answer the question correctly to complete their leg of the race. There will also be a Book Discussion segment at this year's event.

First through third place winners will be named. First place winners will receive medals and second and third place teams will receive ribbons.

Let the battle begin!

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

Seven KCKPS Schools Named Challenge Award Recipients

January 25, 2016


Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Seven schools within the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools are being recognized by the state of Kansas as 2015 Challenge Award recipients.

Each year, the Kansas State Department of Education’s Confidence in Education Task Force presents Challenge Awards to schools across the state to recognize the notable difference they are making in student achievement, despite challenges in their school population.

KCKPS schools being recognized are:

  • Emerson Elementary
  • John Fiske Elementary
  • Mark Twain Elementary
  • White Church Elementary
  • W.A. White Elementary
  • Argentine Middle
  • Sumner Academy of Arts and Science  

Members of the Task Force will present the awards to these schools at the January 26 KCK Board of Education meeting. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St.

“Congratulations to the students and staff at these schools for their commendable achievements,” said Dr. Cynthia Lane, superintendent. “They exemplify our ‘inspiring excellence’ mission, and they make our district and our community extremely proud.”

Scores from the Kansas Assessment and the socio-economic status of those taking the test were used as a measurement for determining the Challenge Award recipients.

The Confidence Task Force is a non-profit corporation whose primary purpose is to strengthen confidence in Kansas public education, and to increase awareness of the positive aspects of public education in the state.

For more information on the awards, visit .

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

Dedication Ceremony Set  for Wyandotte’s New Turf Field


August 27, 2014

Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Wyandotte High School will hold a dedication ceremony for the new turf football/soccer field at its Roy Edwards Stadium at 5 p.m., Friday August 29.

The new Astroturf synthetic field was a summer project that took approximately six weeks to complete. Turf fields are much more durable than grass, require lower maintenance costs and offer increased playability for teams.

Following the ceremony, guests are welcome to stay to watch the annual Wyandotte Fall Sports Showcase, which will include a short scrimmage and introduction of the athletes and cheerleading squad.

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