Board of Education Highlights - February 22, 2018

The Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education approved the purchase of property at 8833 Waverly in Kansas City, Kansas for the site of the new, state-of-the-art school that will house the students of the Bethel and White Church elementary schools’ merger. The new school is scheduled for completion for the 2020-2021 school year. The board meeting included information about the history of the 2016 zero-tax increase bond initiative as well as information about the selection of the 8833 Waverly property and all other sites that were under consideration for the new grade school.

Additionally, there was information provided about the challenges and recommendations of the properties needed for a new Warehouse/Hut and Central Kitchen for the school district. As you may know, the property where these buildings are currently located will eventually become the location of the new Northwest Middle School. Northwest Middle School is slated to be razed and replaced with a 21st century facility. These upgrades are scheduled for completion for the 2021-2022 school year.

To read the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools 2016-2021 Bond Referendum: Challenges and Recommendations report, click here.

Board of Education Highlights - February 5, 2018

The Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education received an update on the school district’s Priority Strategies during a special board meeting on Monday, Feb. 5 in the Central Office. The Priority Strategies are part of the first semester report of the District Continuous Improvement Plan (DCIP). The plan guides staff on fulfilling our goal that “"Each student will exit high school prepared for college and careers in a global society, and at every level, performance is on track and on time for success." To reach our goal, the district has set rigorous goals for instruction and achievement.

Here are a few highlights of the 2017-18 first semester report:

The “Leaders” within our schools are tasked with great responsibility to ensure staff will do their jobs effectively and provide the best learning environment for students. The school district saw improvement in each of the three areas focused on “Leaders” when comparing the results of first quarter to the second quarter.

  • There was a more than 11% increase in leaders making sure teachers have clear, ongoing evaluation of their teaching strengths and areas for growth. This level of engagement, known as developing, was 55.88% during the first quarter of the 2017-18 school year compared to 66.96% during the second quarter. The significance of this information is that teachers are receiving feedback on what is working and not working in their classrooms in an effort to take their teaching skills to the next level.
  • Leaders are also finding ways to make sure all students are learning critical content of the curriculum. During the first semester, 41.94% of school leaders ensured this was happening in their buildings compared to 55.36% during the second quarter – a 13.42% increase.

Progress is also being made in classrooms.

  • There were great strides made in communicating high expectations for all students by teachers. The correct use of the strategy, known as the developing stage, increased from 42.90% during the first quarter to 43.48% in the second quarter.
  • Teachers are also finding ways to establish and maintain effective relationships with students – an essential skill needed to help promote understanding and acceptance by everyone.

We are pleased with the work that has happened and are excited about the work that will continue to happen in the future.  The attendance rate is 94.3% for the first semester and is just shy of the goal 95% or better.  There are opportunities to educate about the effects of chronic absences, social and emotional relationships.  

Many of the “Academic” assessments will be administered in the spring. In the first semester, 72.8% of middle school students are passing all classes with a “C” or above. The goal is at least 95%. There are 87% of ninth grade students with an Individual Plan of Study - nearing the goal of 100%. We are more than half way to the goal of 85% of high school students passing all classes with a “C” or above. The first semester results revealed that 43.3% of students have a “C” or above for all classes.

We ask you to view the results of the DCIP on the district website and ask questions. School administrators, teachers and district staff are available to assist you in understanding this important information and how it richly impacts the success of your students.

Board of Education Highlights - January 23, 2018

In celebration of School Board Appreciation Month, the Tuesday, January 23, 2018 meeting kicked off with a reception in honor of the work of the board and to welcome those newly elected to the position. The event was an opportunity to meet staff throughout the district. Thank you to everyone for this special event.

The following are highlights of the Tuesday, Jan. 23 meeting:

  • Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson shared the State Board of Education’s vision for education across the state while highlighting the similarities of the state program Kansans CAN and the school district’s highly touted initiative, Diploma+.
    “I want to share with you where we are going as a state and the parallel work we are doing together. We appreciate the work of the veterans on the board and the new members,” said Dr. Watson. In talking about the similarities of our work, Dr. Watson said “the state adopted a system that recognizes the uniqueness of our students and elevates them.” “You (KCKPS) are working on changing the model of what the school district should look like in the state.” He spoke of moving away from test scores being the sole measurement of preparation for college and the workforce. According to SBOE, the five core skills for graduates are academic and cognitive preparation, technical skills, employability skills and civic engagement. “We call it Kansans CAN and you call it Diploma+ and together, we can lead the world,” said Watson.

Did You Know?

  • In Kansas, by the year 2020, 72% of all careers will require more than a high school diploma.
  • 53% of KCKPS students graduated with more than a high school diploma preparing them for work and careers in a global society.
  • The district’s many partners are key to the success of the Diploma+ initiative. The University of Kansas School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion through their K-12 enrichment Program have supported KCKPS students for more than 19 years. On Tuesday, there was a presentation about the role this partnership plays in areas of study in medicine, technology, media and the community. One of the unique projects is the KCK Organic Teaching Gardens, which gives 1,200 students an opportunity to grow and harvest gardens for themselves and the community.

  • Baptist Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation Executive Director Becky Schaid and Board Member and Committee Chair Sara Goodburn presented a $25,000 check to the school district for asthma treatment and supplies.  The foundation is committed to promoting wellness and good health in the Greater Kansas City area. Through Health Education Grants, the foundation supports community schools with innovative programs that nurture the physical and mental health needs of Kansas City’s children.

  • The Board of Education approved a Request for Information/Proposal from experienced executive search firms or individuals to provide consulting services for a search for the new Superintendent of Schools. The goal is for the new leader of the district to be in place by July 1, 2018. 

  • Valdenia Winn and Wanda Paige were appointed by the board to serve on the Negotiations Team for the 2018-19 school year.

There will be a special board meeting to discuss the $235 million no-tax increase bond projects on Monday, January 29 at 4 p.m. in the Central Office & Training Center, 2010 N. 59th Street. Visit Bond Referendum Information page on the website to learn more. The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 8:30 a.m. in Stony Point South Elementary. 

Board of Education Highlights - February 13, 2018

The Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education during a break in its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13, had an opportunity to tour Stony Point South Elementary School in order to see first-hand the district priorities at work. Those priorities focused on providing clear goals, establishing and maintaining effective relationships and communicating high expectations – all are key elements of the District Continuous Improvement Plan  and ensure KCKPS students are on time and on track for success. Ensuring our students meet these goals also ensures students are on the pathway to graduating Diploma+.  Stony Point South Principal Ms. Susan Hendricks, in speaking to the board about the school, spoke about Stony Point’s diverse student population of approximately 334 that is made up of a student body about half male and half female. The school enjoys engaged parents, grandparents and a highly active PTA membership she said. Below are photos depicting the learning taking place in two of the classrooms at the school. Something interesting is that Stony Point South has very few walls in the class setting and is known for its open classroom concept which incorporates a community feeling into the learning environment. With this concept, which dates back to the 1960s in the United States, bookshelves and other furniture are used primarily to divide classroom spaces.

boardmeetingwide

Here are highlights of the 2017-18 meeting:

Director of ESOL/Migrant Programs Kristen Scott provided an update regarding the tremendous growth of the program during the last 10 years.

  • The school district is now made up of 44% or 9,896 students considered English as a Second Language (ESL), 10% of these individuals are newcomers to the district.

To understand how much our district has gained in diversity over the years, check out the following comparison of the years 2007/2008 to 2017/2018.

 

2007/2008

2017/2018

Percent ESL

24% (4,985 students)

44% (9,896 students)

Percent Migrant

(Any student not older than 21 who is (or whose parent/child/spouse) is a migratory agricultural worker/fisher, and has moved within the proceeding 36 months in order to obtain qualifying work.)

.2% (38 students)

2.2% (492 students)

Ethnicity

Indian/Alaskan - .5%

Asian – 3.2%

Hispanic – 36.1%

Black – 42%

White – 18%

Hawaiian/Pacific - .1%

Indian/Alaskan - .2%

Asian – 6.9%

Hispanic -50.2%

Black – 27% (2%speak a language other than English)

White – 10.3%

Hawaiian/Pacific - .4%

Multi-Racial – 3.5%

Number of Languages

(The most spoken languages within the district are named.)

8 languages

English, Spanish, Hmong

77 languages

English    Chin          Swahili

Spanish   Burmese  Karen

Hmong    Nepali       Somali

In September, the school district received a five-year, $2.5 million Step-Up Grant, with four components:

  • early literacy language development; Imagine Learning for Earl Watson
  • professional learning for English as a Second Language (ESL) instructional aides; once a semester by Kansas State University (K-State) staff
  • coursework towards ESL endorsement; 3 cohorts of 20 teachers earning their ESL endorsement through K-State for free
  • Saturday Family Language Academy: seven Saturdays starting in March; classes for the entire family; transportation provided; meal/snack available; community resources

In March, after Spring Break, the school district will launch the Welcome Center for all new families to Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. The concept is a one stop shop featuring:

  • enrollment capabilities
  • Diploma+ program information
  • links to community resources
  • screenings and identification for ESL services, and possible placement in an Intensive Learning Center (ILC) from the moment they enroll into our system, as well as many other features.

    The Welcome Center will not replace online re-enrollment, Kindergarten Round-up or preschool enrollment procedures. All students admitted to Sumner Academy must enroll at Sumner Academy.

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library Update:

  • Eagle Days had the highest attendance ever with 1,369 people who came to see the wild life exhibits, watch Eagles on the lake and participate in arts and crafts. The annual event was held at the Mr. & Mrs. FL Schlagle Library on January 20 and 21.
  • New Little Free Libraries, made out of metal, are being installed at all five locations throughout the community. The metal structure, built by the district’s shop staff, will provide more durability to withstand the weather.
  • Digital exhibit of the art of Aaron Douglas and other important Harlem Renaissance artists will be on display in the Main Library care area through February. Aaron Douglas (May 26, 1899 – February 3, 1979) was an African-American painter, illustrator and visual arts educator. He was born in Topeka, KS, and lived there until graduating from high school.  He moved to Harlem in 1925 and began developing his art and style. He was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance and his works influenced others for years after.