1. Would I be a good candidate for the Fellows program?
We accept candidates from many different backgrounds with many different prior experiences. Strong candidates have several qualities in common:
- Excellence in their previous schooling and/or career experience.
- Commitment to having a positive effect on student achievement.
- Dedication to influencing students who most need effective teachers.
2. What are the minimum requirements for the program?
Applicants must have:
- An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75. If you have a GPA between 2.5 – 2.74, we will review your application holistically. If you are interested in the Masters in Teaching program through Pittsburg State University, or other accredited universities, it will be necessary to meet their requirements.
- Applicants must complete the online application, which includes a statement of purpose/cover letter, a resume, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
Applicants CANNOT have:
- Ever been certified to teach (in any state).
- Completed a teacher preparation program, including any bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program that provides a pathway to teacher certification.
3. Are there other requirements for each pathway?
- Candidates must pass the Praxis practice test for middle-level content to be accepted into either program.
- For the Master’s program, candidates must also apply to Pittsburg State University’s Graduate School and pass all required tests. This will include; but may not be limited to, Praxis, Basic Skills, etc.
4. I have a bachelor’s degree from a non-U.S. university. Can I still apply?
- Yes, you are welcome to apply. If you are invited to participate in an interview, you will need to have your transcripts evaluated by www.naces.org, a foreign education translation service. Before you can participate in an interview, you will need to submit a NACES evaluation to KCKPS.
5. What is the selection process like?
- Candidates are invited to Selection Day based on the acceptability of their application.
- Candidates should be prepared to spend an entire day in a KCK school for the duration of the Selection process.
- The selection process includes four parts: 1.) a sample lesson taught to actual KCK middle school or high school students; 2.) the professional discussion of an educational article with your fellow-applicants; 3.) a writing sample performed on-site; and 4.) an individual interview.
- Invited applicants will receive a packet of information that will guide your preparation for Selection Day.
6. What teachers are needed?
For the 2017-2018 school year, we need middle and high school teachers in Science, Math, Engineering, Technology and/or Information Systems, English and Spanish. However, we will consider other content areas on a limited basis upon further evaluation by the school district.
7. How will I learn how to teach?
Candidates participate in an intensive summer boot camp experience called Summer Institute. Summer Institute hours are all day, Monday through Friday, for six weeks. The Institute includes supervised interaction with students in morning summer school sessions, followed each day by afternoon classes. The classes provide an initiation to the district; prepare candidates to plan and deliver instruction as well as manage and lead their classrooms, beginning in the Fall. All teachers in the district participate in weekly professional learning sessions throughout the school year. Teaching Fellows also take courses in the evening during their first two years on the job. KCK schools are staffed with teacher leaders who support the instructional staff, and every school has a mentoring program for new teachers. In most schools, teachers of common content areas work in Professional Learning Communities that allows new teachers to have access to the expertise of their teaching peers.
8. Will Fellows receive a cost-of-living stipend during Summer Institute and then a teacher's Contract?
During the Summer Institute, Fellows who are selected for this year’s cohort will receive a stipend of $2,000 to help offset cost-of-living expenses during the six-week period. If you are successful in completing the Summer Institute program and evaluations then you will be awarded a teaching contract that will become effective August 2017 and end June 2018.
9. What is the length of a workday, or an example of a routine day?
High School teachers’ work day is from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Middle School teachers’ work day is from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Teachers are typically involved in after-school activities such as tutoring, clubs, athletics, and meetings.
10. What if I have no experience teaching?
The KCK Teaching Fellows program is designed for individuals without an education background. It is a highly selective program that is looking for accomplished individuals with content expertise who can demonstrate leadership and achievement in KCKPS classrooms.
11. Will I be the only Fellow at my school?
We try to place at least two Fellows in the same school. Specific placement occurs after the Summer Institute and is based on the current vacancies in our middle schools and high schools. With over 150 Teaching Fellows already teaching in the district, you will find Teaching Fellows in every school.
12. What kind of benefits will I receive as a teacher in the Kansas City, Kansas School District?
Teaching Fellows receive the same benefits as all other teachers. All full time teachers receive single medical insurance coverage paid by the district. All teachers including Teaching Fellows will become a part of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS). In addition, Teaching Fellows may purchase group dental and vision plans though payroll deduction. Health benefits are not covered during Summer Institute. All benefits begin at the start of the contract year.
13. What is the difference in course work between the two pathways?
There is essentially no difference in the course work for a KCK Certification and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching. New teachers need all of the training required by the Master’s Program to become an effective teacher in their classroom. We also want to be sure that candidates in the KCK Certification classes can transition to the Master’s Program if they choose to do so. The Master’s Program from Pittsburg State University enables the teacher to complete a master’s degree, achieve placement at the Master’s level on the teacher salary schedule, and ensures a Kansas teaching license through the Kansas State Department of Education.
The KCK Teacher Certification is available through the Coalition of Innovative Schools. This certificate allows a teacher to teach only in the Kansas City Kansas School District and is renewable each year. Because all Teaching Fellows will take the same course work, Pittsburg State University will accept the course work taken during the Teaching Fellows Program. If a Teaching Fellow chooses to transition into the Master’s Program, he/she must do so within the first year of the program, be accepted into the Pittsburg State Graduate Program, and pay for all course work taken during the first year and in all other required courses to complete the Master’s program.
14. Who is financially responsible for the cost of the university course work?
Teaching Fellows are responsible for the cost of the university tuition, books, and instructional materials and fees. The Master’s program through Pittsburg State University requires the completion of 36 credit hours.
15. How long is my commitment to teach in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools?
The KCK Certificate is renewable each year if the teacher continues to be a teacher in the KCK school district. Technically, the program requires a two-year commitment to complete the course work. This commitment includes a regular teaching salary as well as intensive and on-going support.
16. I have additional questions about the program. Who do I contact?
Director of Professional Workforce Development, KCKPS
Program Advisor, KCKPS Teaching Fellows