Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, July 3


The meeting began with Dr. Julie Ford, interim superintendent for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS), thanking everyone for the opportunity to serve in her temporary new role at the school district. She also talked about her responsibility of being “the caretaker” of the school district until Dr. Foust starts his new position as the district’s superintendent. Dr. Ford’s contract is for 30 – 60 days. Her personal philosophy, she says, is to “expect the best, see the good, believe and help in any way I can.”

She went on to say, “You have great staff members who are willing to go the extra mile and many folks said I am here to help Dr. Foust so that he can be successful.”  “I worked for the Kansas State Department of Education and a lot of the districts are looking at KCKPS and what you have done; an example is Diploma+, which fits in with transitioning students to work,” said Dr. Ford.

The board took the following action on July 3:

  • Approved Human Resources Report, which hired a range of employees, including teachers, substitute teachers, counselors, etc., for the 2018-19 school year. The board also accepted retirements and resignations.  
  • Approved the Salary Schedule for employees, which included some positions moving to new classes. Among some of the changes: 
    • Plumbers were moved to a new class with pipefitters, and electricians, which expanded the pay range to include all of the new positions.
    • Payroll/accountants were moved to a new category that best represent the responsibilities of the positions. 
    • Student services specialists were moved to a new class. These are individuals who work in areas, such as truancy, transcripts, and alternative prevention.
  • Budget decisions
    • As a result of budget needs and new funding provided by Senate Bill 423 ($5,816,111), available funds that the board needed to approve for allocation totaled $15,493,111. This amount does not account for the courts request to have the Kansas State Legislature calculate inflation dollars into the school finance formula. 
    • Following the initial board allocations, expenditures exceeded the availabledollars by $687,382.  Dr. Kelli Mather, the school district’s chief operating officer, made further recommendations to the board to come closer to balancing the budget, still exceeding available funds by $161,387. 
    • Going forward, the board will need to:
      • Determine how to fund social workers in future years. The $1,890,000 used this year is a one-time transfer from the Contingency and Special Reserve funds. 
      • Prepare for the possibility that the Mental Health Pilot, which is part of SB423, may not be continued in future years. This would mean that the district will need to find a permanent way of funding these 11 social worker positions at approximately $840,000. 
      • Continue discussion on security and law enforcement positions in the school district. (There was a detailed discussion of this topic with the board by Chief Horn, police chief for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.)
    • Board members are meeting one-on-one with Dr. Ford to list potential cuts to the budget to help close the gap and balance the budget. Those meeting began the day following the board meeting.
    • Important budget dates (These dates could change.):
      • July 19 – Release of Budget Forms
      • July 31 – Special Meeting – possibly to Approve the Notice of Hearing – Code 99 to publish the budget for 10 days
      • August 2 – Publish Notice of Hearing (10 days)
      • August 14 – Public Hearing of the Budget – Approve the Budget
      • August 25 – Submit Approved Budget to the County Clerk and KSDE

To view the meeting in its entirety, click July 3.

Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, June 26

The 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. Read more ….

To view the meeting in its entirety, click June 26.


Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, June 16

The Board of Education met for a Listening Tour Session in the Central Office & Training Center. It was an opportunity for the community to speak with the board about opportunities for the future of KCKPS.

To view the meeting in its entirety, click Listening Tour.


Board of Education Highlights for Tuesday, June 12 

The Board of Education met for a regular board meeting where the following actions were taken:

  • Approved the lease agreement with Youthfront Inc., for an afterschool gathering place for youth to meet and have snacks. Youthfront, Inc. is a non-profit organization that supports youth. The program actually operates as the Snack Shack KC Program located at 3104, 3108, 3110, 3114 and 3118 Strong Ave. in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • The board approved a contractual agreement for the construction manager at-risk, McCown Gordon. As you may be aware on May 24, the board approved McCown Gordon as the construction manager at-risk for the new centralized kitchen located at 5640 State Ave. The construction will start in the fall.
  • The board approved a contract with Labor Max Staffing to provide temporary workers to assist in positions within school site kitchens as needed throughout the year.
  • The board also heard about a new partnership with the KU Edwards Campus for the Degree In 3 program, an outstanding new opportunity for students to complete a bachelor’s degree in three years.
  • The board also received questions about the process for the superintendent search and who makes the final decision. One of the suggestions was Meet-and-Greets with the finalists, which were held on June 20 and 21.
  • During the meeting, the board heard a report on the substitute recruiting and the hiring process, which is being led by Stephanie Pepper, who will manage the substitute program for the district.
  • There was also information about the summer reading program at the library and other fantastic ways in which the Library Rocks. Learn more at

To view the meeting in its entirety, click June 12.

There is also a “Listening Tour” from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, in the board room of the Central Office & Training Center for KCKPS staff, students, parents and the community to share what is important to them regarding the future of the school district. Click Listening Tour flier.

Board of Education Highlights - Tuesday, May 29 

The Board of Education renewed several Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and/or contracts with the following organizations for the upcoming school year:

  • A MOU was approved with the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Kansas Family Medicine Foundation and Communities Creating Opportunities for the BullDoc Clinic located at Wyandotte High School. The BullDoc clinic was established to provide all Wyandotte students, including those without health insurance, school-based primary care services and mental healthcare. Among the services provided by the school-based health center are physicals, mental health care, acute illness visits, and wellness checks.
  • A MOU was approved with PACES Inc. to provide behavior consultation services the schools districtwide. The program also provides services to Wyandot Academy students through the placement of a school-based therapist creating opportunity for student who otherwise would not be able to engage in mental health services due to various barriers. As you may recall, the state legislature appropriated funds for the Mental Health Intervention Program for six participating pilot districts. Our school district is entering into the agreement with PACES as the local community mental health center and will act as the fiscal agent for the program.
  • A MOU was approved for ThrYve (Together Helping Reduce Youth Violence), an initiative of the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Center for Community and Health Development to provide school and community-based violence prevention services.
  • A contract was approved between Parents as Teachers and Children’s Mercy West Clinic to provide early childhood well-check and screening services to students. This collaboration allows the school district to reach more children before the age of three years who are termed at-risk entering kindergarten unprepared.

The board also voted to name the new building for Northwest Middle School as Carl B. Bruce Middle School. The board made the decision after hearing the survey results regarding the renaming of Northwest Middle School and information about the significance of each name being considered for the school. Two names, out of about 10 iterations of names, were placed on the survey for consideration. Those names: Northwest Middle School and Carl B. Bruce Middle School. The committee working on this project consisted of school district staff, leadership and staff from Northwest, parents and community members. 

The board approved the selection of McCown Gordon as the construction manager at-risk for the New Central Kitchen Facility.  The new kitchen will be located at 5640 State Ave. The facility will be used for cooking, distributing food districtwide and a learning environment for students involved in the culinary arts program.  

The board approved the insurance renewal package, which is a 3% increase or $37,313, for all insurances, including property, crime, general liability, professional liability, automobile, excess workers’ compensation, errors and omissions, fine arts, boiler and machinery and underground storage tanks.  The board also agreed to obtain more information about an Active Shooter Policy.

The following are a few of the updates provided about the bond projects (Visit

  • Arrowhead Middle School – remodeling is underway for new teacher spaces
  • Welborn Elementary School - students participated in a beam signing event.
  • Wyandotte High School – more than half way completed with all of the plumbing work
  • Stony Point North – reworking the nurse’s office as well as pouring concrete for the roof
  • JC Harmon –working on the Academy spaces
  • Washington High School – completing Academy Spaces in the next weeks
  • Coronado Middle School – students participated in a beam signing event for the new Gloria Willis Middle School
  • Grant – a groundbreaking ceremony was recently held to usher in the beginning of work at the school

The board heard a report on recruitment efforts in the school district, including where those efforts were focused and outcomes. A report on the district’s partnership with Prep-KC was also a part of the board meeting.

District staff should look for a Listening Tour to be held in June for employees to share opportunities with the board.

To view the meeting in its entirety, click May 29. 

To view information pertaining to the budgetary development decisions impacting the 2018-19 Budget: view the May 24 Special Meeting and the May 14 Special Meeting.

Board of Education Highlights for Saturday, June 2

The Board of Education met in a special meeting to discuss the Superintendent Search, view videotaped interviews of superintendent candidates and to discuss the selection of a possible interim superintendent. The last two items were conducted during the board’s executive session.

The superintendent search consultant, Ray & Associates, Inc., reached out to about 1,000 individuals about the job with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. By the May 24 application deadline, about 65 individuals had completed the application. That number was narrowed to 10 candidates by the consultant. The board viewed videotaped interviews of those candidates on June 2 during an executive session at the Central Office.

The following are some important dates regarding the Superintendent Search:

  • Monday, June 11: 5 to 9 p.m. candidate interviews
  • Thursday, June 14: 5 to 9 p.m. candidate interviews
  • Thursday, June 21: final interviews and decision to name candidate

(These meeting will be held at an offsite location.)

The board also voted in favor of hiring Corporate Integrity Systems, LLC (CIS) to conduct an audit related to the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools’ compliance and implementation of board adopted policies related to the recruitment, hiring and assignment of compensation for administrative positions at Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. Click CIS to read details.

To view the meeting in its entirety, click June 2. 

The next meeting of the board is June 12, 2018

There is also a “Listening Tour” from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, in the board room of the Central Office & Training Center for KCKPS staff, students, parents and the community to share what is important to them regarding the future of the school district. Click Listening Tour flyer.

Board of Education Highlights - May 10, 2018

The Board of Education heard about JE Dunn Construction’s inclusion program, community engagement, the dynamic work the company is doing with our students in classrooms and the progress of the school district’s bond projects. The presentation was held during a special meeting of the Board at the JE Dunn Construction Logistics Center, 240 W. 65th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

Inclusion Philosophy and Practices:

The company emphasized their commitment to providing opportunities for all firms interested in subcontracting with them, especially on our bond projects. The Economic Inclusion Committee, formed to help with this effort, is comprised of minority and women business organizations that support the positive utilization and development of minority, local and women business enterprises. Additionally, the company offers the following programs to champion diversity and inclusion:

  • Small business support
  • Subcontractor Management System (SMS) workshops
  • Quarterly meetings
  • MCD (Minority Contractor Development) program
  • Support to minority business enterprise and women business enterprise programs

Community Engagement:

JE Dunn staff’s work to increase community engagement is concentrated on three areas:

  • Marketplace – forging relationships that support, education, healthcare and other industries beyond just the brick and mortar of building and construction projects
  • Workforce – partnering with a variety of groups to obtain access to talent from a wide array of individuals
  • Workplace – hiring and retaining the best and brightest

Industry Connections to Students and Staff:

The company’s staff has been involved in a number of endeavors to connect students to the construction industry through site visits, presentations and internships as part of the school district’s Diploma+ initiative. JE Dunn staff is serving on advisory boards for several of the pathways, participating in career days at schools, and Junior Achievement activities – all in an effort to familiarize KCKPS students with the work of the construction industry. The company is also making connections between their partners and the school district to forge new opportunities for our students.

Bond Project Update

As you are aware, the citizens of Wyandotte County approved a $235 million zero-tax increase bond initiative in 2016. This paved the way for more than 80 much-needed projects for the school district. These improvements will benefit our students and contribute to them being one step closer to graduating Diploma+. To help us spread the news of these projects, JE Dunn has created “The KCKPS School Bond Report.”  The first issue of the quarterly newsletter highlights minority, women and local business enterprise project participation numbers to date, a spotlight on KCKPS student Rickie Bowie who is receiving hands-on experience by interning at the company, and much more.  View the May 2018 edition of The KCKPS School Bond Report.

To view the meeting in its entirety, click May 10.