Kansas Transitions to Teaching Fellowships Available

Want to become a teacher in Kansas City, Kansas? Check out information about the Kansas Transitions to Teaching (KTTT) Fellowships offered as part of Kansas State University’s online Master of Arts in Teaching. Thirty $6,000 Fellowships are available to fund the transition to become an elementary teacher. Recruitment is underway for Cohort 3 of the program.  Visit www.global.k-state.edu/education/mateaching for more information.


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KCKCC and KCKPS Enters Into Partnership; Creating Opportunities for Wyandotte County Students

February 1, 2018



Kelly Rogge, KCKCC Public Relations Officer, 913-288-7173

Melissa Fears, KCKPS Director of Communications & Marketing, 913-279-2225

Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) and Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) are working together to create more higher education opportunities to students in Wyandotte County.

KCKCC and KCKPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a special joint meeting Dec. 18, paving the way for a Concurrent/Dual Enrollment Partnership. The MOU outlines the guidelines and requirements for the program, which will be available to all high school students in the school district who wish to take college-level courses. These courses, unless specified, are at no cost to students of the school district.  

“In Kansas, by 2020, 72 percent of all careers will require more than a high school diploma,” said Dr.  Cynthia Lane, superintendent of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. “That’s why Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools has transformed learning from what many of us know as ‘traditional’ schools to Diploma+ learning. That is why in order for us to continue the successful work of this initiative, we need partnerships like the one we have with Kansas City Kansas Community College. This new agreement will give our students the proper tools they need to continue to thrive academically and become successful adults in the workplace.”

Concurrent Enrollment Courses are those taught at the high schools during the normal school day by approved instructors. These courses will be for college credit. Dual Enrollment Courses are classes offered at the high school or college campus and may be taught by a qualified high school teacher or college professor. 

“Kansas City Kansas Community College is excited about the partnership agreement with KCKPS that creates tremendous opportunities for its students to earn college credit and technical certificates while still in high school,” said KCKCC President Dr. Jacqueline Vietti. “KCKPS’s Diploma+ goal is a shared one for the College, because when its students succeed, so does KCKCC. We are honored to be part of this milestone and look forward to future partnership initiatives that ultimately benefit the communities we collectively serve.”

Diploma+ begins in preschool building a strong foundation in academic and social emotional skills. Continuing through elementary and middle school, the program relies on project-based, hands-on learning as well as career exploration and visits to various industries and college campuses. In high school, students choose from a variety of different Diploma+ Academies that focus on specific career interests, providing students with a number of real-world experiences. The goal is for every student in KCKPS to graduate with a high school diploma and at least one of the following Diploma+ endorsements:

  • Completion of at least one full year of college (18-30 hours)
  • Completion of an Industry-Recognized Certificate or Credential
  • At least a 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT
  • Completion of the IB Diploma Programme or Career-Related Programme
  • Acceptance into the Military
  • Completion of a Qualified Internship or Industry-Approved Project
  • An Approved Plan for Post-Secondary Transition

KCKPS students can complete one or more of the endorsements at no cost to them or their families. Learn more at kckps.org/diplomaplus.

About Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools: The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) is a nationally recognized urban school district that serves approximately 22,000 students. With a Head Start program, three preschools, 30 elementary schools, 8 middle schools and 5 high schools, the district serves a wonderfully diverse mixture of students. A remarkable 75 different languages are spoken in the homes of our students. To serve those students, the district employs more than 3,800 staff, including more than 1,600 teachers. The vision of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools is to be one of the “Top 10 School Districts in the Nation.” Our goal is 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 help our students achieve this goal, the district is implementing a district-wide initiative called Diploma+. Learn more at kcksps.org.

About Kansas City Kansas Community College: Kansas City Kansas Community College is a public, urban, open-door and comprehensive community college committed to excellence in education, while serving approximately 9,800 students annually. Through an accessible and supportive learning environment, the college mission is to provide higher education and lifelong learning to those in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties as well as the surrounding communities. KCKCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs at our three campuses and online, through flexible course offerings to meet the need of our diverse student population. During the 2016-17 academic year, KCKCC awarded 1,010 degrees and certificates.  

Notice - Time and Place of Special Meeting - February 5, 2018

January 31, 2018


Contact: Susan E. Westfahl, Clerk of the Board (913) 279-2235

A special meeting of the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education is hereby called for Monday, February 3, 2018, at 5:00 p.m., in the third floor Board room of the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th Street, Kansas City, Kansas.

In addition to regular business itemized in the published agenda, the Board shall meet in retreat fashion to review the quarterly report of the District Continuous Improvement Plan (DCIP) and receive an update on the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA).

Dated this 31st day of January 2018.

Susan E. Westfahl
Clerk of the Board

West Middle School Receives STEM Grant From Toshiba America Foundation For $7,090

February 1, 2018


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

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools is pleased to announce West Middle School, 2600 N. 44th Street, has been awarded a $7,090 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation (TAF). These funds will support the purchase of two MakerBot Replicator 3D printers for use with an innovative classroom project to explore the Mars environment and what is needed for survival on the planet. Representatives from Toshiba American Foundation will present the check to West Middle School’s Academic Enrichment Teacher Rachael McIlvain, students and staff on Friday, Friday, February 2 at 8:30 a.m. in the school’s library.

“Thank you to Toshiba for the grant to purchase the 3D printers, which will enhance the way we teach and enrich learning opportunities for our students today and well into the future,” said McIlvain. She is one of only 11 teachers in the United States to receive the award.

The classroom project involves students reading through passages of the book, “The Martian” for inspiration. Next, students will explore what is needed to survive on Mars as well as the environment surrounding the planet and challenges one would face there. Students will work in teams to design different portions of a living habitat. After testing models of their habitat, students will be asked to create a mini model of their habitat portion in order to complete a single habitat for final evaluation.  The 3D printer will be used to create the mini models of the living habitats.

Toshiba America Foundation’s grants fund projects designed by individual classroom teachers. This “direct-to-teacher” approach brings immediate results. Teachers are able to change the way they teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects because the grant supports equipment for hands-on experiments and inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum. TAF believes that STEM is a lot more fun than just reading a textbook. TAF grants provide teachers with the tools they need to be more effective educators. The grants make the classroom a more exciting place for both teachers and students.

District’s Inclement Weather Policy Outlined

Winter is here, which means inclement weather may be in the near future. So, here is a reminder of the district’s procedures for closing schools when weather is a factor in getting students to and from their buildings safely.   

When the superintendent makes the decision to cancel schools, the Communications Department starts putting its inclement weather plan into motion to relay information to parents, students, staff and the community. Over the past several years, the inclement weather plan has evolved and grown to encompass more modern communication methods (including social media) while also maintaining the traditional methods. The idea is to provide school closing information in a number of outlets to reach anyone who may have questions. Staff, students and parents are encouraged to check a number of sources to ensure that they have the most accurate and up-to-date information anytime a snow day may be likely. Checking more than one source will ensure that errors that might be made by the media, or rumors that may be floating around on social media, are dispelled.

Here is an outline of the processes followed by the Communications Department to communicate a snow day:

  • Notification is made to the MEDIA (This step happens FIRST because of the large number of people who are reached through the media. This list includes the major television and radio stations, and local newspapers. This notification involves several e-mail and phone calls.)
  • A posting is made on the district FACEBOOK and Twitter pages.
  • A posting is made on the district WEBSITEwww.kckps.org
  • A Bright Arrow PHONE NOTIFICATIONis recorded and sent to all families in the district.
  • A Bright Arrow SPANISH PHONE NOTIFICATIONis recorded and sent to all Spanish-speaking families in the district.
  • TEXT MESSAGEnotification is sent (to all individuals who signed up to receive text notifications. See how to sign up below).
  • A notice of the closing is posted on KCKPS-TV, the district’s television network (available on channel 18 to Time Warner Cable customers in Wyandotte County or Channel 145 on Google Fiber.)

The above processes take place as soon as notification of the closing is received by the Communications Department. If the decision to close schools is made in the morning, the Communications Department works to ensure that the information is posted and communicated before 6 a.m. If the decision to close schools for the day is made the evening before, the notifications are completed by Communications staff in the evening from home, and the timeline is dependent upon schedules.

Once notifications are posted, the Communications staff works to address incoming questions and comments (via phone, Twitter, Facebook and e-mail) and checks social media sources to screen out inappropriate postings.

Staff who have questions or comments about any of the above processes, or want to report inaccurate reporting of information, should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., director of communications and marketing at (913) 279-2225, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., communications specialist at (913) 279-2242.

Unless covered by a special announcement, a general school closing also includes all special education classes and adult education classes.

If classes are canceled, the following personnel will be on duty unless otherwise stated: all administrators and supervisors, all 12-month employees, building staff who work more than 186 days, all custodial and maintenance staff, all campus officers, all secretaries who work more than 186 days, and all Central Office staff who work more than 186 days.

Should early dismissal be necessary during the school day, radio and TV announcements will be made and each school will be notified. Principals and teachers will be certain that no child is released until arrangements for proper supervision have been made.

Text Alert System

Would you like to receive text alerts about snow days? Sign up for the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools’ Text Alert Messaging System for parents, staff and students.

Signing up is easy. Access the link through the homepage of the district’s website, www.kckps.org (click on “Text Alert Sign-Up”). Register as a new user and provide your cell phone number. Be sure to complete all the information.