Board of Education

About the Board of Education

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools is governed by a seven-member body of citizens elected by the voters of the school district. These seven members are charged with making sure that the school district operates in the best interests of the students and the community. All members serve without pay.

The board of education is the school district’s governing body, as set forth in state and federal law. The board is responsible for setting district policy, adopting an annual budget, and approving of general district matters, including personnel, curriculum, facilities, and other district business matters. The board is responsible for hiring the superintendent of schools, and is responsible for overseeing the superintendent’s duties and performance.

Board of Education meetings are normally held the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 5:00 p.m. in the third floor Board Room at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th Street. The entire board meeting schedule can be found in the right submenu — “Meeting Calendar”. Except as otherwise provided by law, all meetings for the conduct of the affairs of and the transaction of business by the Board of Education of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools shall be open to the public.

How to Address the Board

Those wishing to speak about a policy-related issue at a Board of Education meeting must make their request to the Board Clerk no later than noon the day prior to the Board meeting.

During the Community Comment section near the beginning of the meeting, each speaker will have three minutes to address the Board about policy-related matters. Derogatory or critical remarks about specific district personnel or students are inappropriate and will not be permitted.

If a speaker wishes to discuss a topic which is on the meeting agenda, the speaker’s comments will be deferred until that item is considered.

Board Meeting Schedule

2021- 2022 Board Meetings

All regular meetings will begin at 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

More dates will be coming.

Date Place
August 10, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
August 24, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
September 14, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
September 28, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
October 12. 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
October 26, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
November 9, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
December 7, 2021 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
January 11, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
January 25, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
February 8, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
February 22, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
March 8, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
March 22, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
April 12, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
April 26, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
May 10, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
May 31, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
June 14, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
June 28, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street
July 19, 2022 Central Office, 2010 N. 59th Street

Pursuant to the provisions of KSA 72-1138, the Board of Education of Unified School District No. 500, Wyandotte County, State of Kansas, will meet at 4:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, effective August 1, 2019, with the following exceptions:

  • The second meeting in November be canceled.
  • The first meeting in December be held on the first Tuesday.
  • The second meeting in December be held on the third Tuesday.
  • The first meeting in July be canceled.
  • The second meeting in July will be held on the third Tuesday.

In the event that the regular meeting date shall fall on an election day, a legal holiday, or on any school holiday established by the Board of Education, the regular meeting shall be held on the following day commencing at the same hour.

Except as otherwise provided by law, all meetings for the conduct of the affairs of and the transaction of business by the Board of Education of Unified School District No.500 shall be open to the public.

Any regular meeting of the Board of Education may be adjusted to another time, date and place.

Your Board Members

If you have questions or comments regarding Board members or policy, you may email Leslie Smith, Clerk of the Board.

Randy Lopez

Board President

Randy Lopez portrait

Randy Lopez currently serves as Vice President of Community Programs for the Wyandotte Health Foundation in Kansas City, KS. He is responsible for program development and grants administration in the Foundation's funding priority areas of Primary Care, and Early Childhood Trauma, as well as for special initiatives. In addition to grant-making, Lopez plays an important role in increasing collaborative partnerships as well as community awareness and engagement.

Randy currently serves on the Boards of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund, The United Way of Wyandotte County, Central Avenue Betterment Association, the Children's Campus of Kansas City, and Vibrant Health Wyandotte Neighborhood Clinics Advisory Board. Lopez has also served on the board of the REACH Healthcare Foundation in Kansas City, serving on the executive committee and chair of the Program and Policy Committee.

Randy was named the 2018 NFL & Kansas City Chiefs Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and in April of 2019 was presented the Champion of Character certificate by the Office of the Governor's Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission. Lopez was selected to The Funders Network National 2018 PLACES Fellowship, a yearlong journey to incorporate the values of racial, social and economic equity into the workplace.

A son of Mexican immigrants, Lopez was born and raised in Kansas City, KS, graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, and earned his undergraduate degree from Rockhurst University. Later, Randy was selected into the National Urban Fellows Program where he received a Master of Public Administration from the Baruch College, including time as a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Contact Randy Lopez.
Term Began: 01/14/20
Term Ends: January 2024

Yolanda Clark

Board Vice-President

Yolanda ClarkMs. Clark is a lifelong resident of Wyandotte County, and has been in the financial industry over 20 years, specifically with Commerce Bank for the last 14 years. Ms. Clark manages staff of various levels, establishes and implements procedures to enhance quality assurance, spearheads and participates in various mentoring initiatives, specializes in career development, and directionally manages based upon proactive and reactive situations.

Ms. Clark is also the Chair of Inclusion and Diversity Council, a mentor to several, a life member of a Roswell Church of Christ, and works with our youth in a variety of capacities. She attended White Church Elementary, Eisenhower Middle and Washington High School (Class of 1995). She received her Associates from KCKCC, her Bachelors from Friends University, and graduated from the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative (2018).

Ms. Clark is married to Donnie Clark, Jr. and has 3 children; one child is currently serving in the Navy and two students in the district. She is the daughter of Randy and Linda George has one brother and both a niece and a nephew.

What does she love most about Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools? "Our students,  staff and families. Being a lifelong resident of Wyandotte County, I enjoy making the family connections."
Yolanda is a firm believer in the quote to "to whom much is given, much is required."

"I believe in the power of our community and want to see every student leverage and benefit from what is offered."

Contact Yolanda Clark.
Term Began: 01/14/20
Term Ends: January 2024

Maxine Drew

Maxine Drew portraitMaxine Drew prides herself on being a spiritual person who listens, learns and always tries to do her best.

She retired from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) after 35 years of service. Thirty-four of her years with KCKPS, she was employed as a social studies teacher, teaching one year at Eisenhower Middle School and 33 years at West Middle School. Her first year with the district, she served as a paraprofessional at Coronado Middle School.

While at the school district, she was heavily involved in the family advocacy program working with parents to set goals for the academic and emotional success of their children. She trained in the Behavior Intervention Support Team program to implement behavioral changes for middle school students and also trained as an instructional coach.

Since retiring from KCKPS, she devotes most of her time to serving as secretary and church clerk at New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Vernon DeBose, Jr. In this role, she keeps records of meetings, calendar dates and functions of the church, as well as creates, designs and maintains the church bulletin for Sunday morning services.

A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas, she loves the family connection exemplified by residents. My mother taught us family means everything. I see the family concept connection always wherever I go in Kansas City, Kansas.

A 1971 graduate of Sumner High School, she attended Northeast Junior High School, Douglass, Grant, Stowe, Kealing and Abbott Elementary schools. She has a master's degree in teaching curriculum & instruction, and a bachelor's degree in history from Park University, Parkville, Missouri. She also attended Kansas City Community Junior College.

She is the recipient of the Office Max Star Teacher Award in 2011 and the Friends of Yates Black Men & Women of Distinction honor in 2010.

What does she love most about Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools? "I have always loved seeing the look on the students faces when they make the connection between knowing and understanding what is being taught to them," she said.

She has passed her love of KCKPS and the teaching profession to her son, Jason L. Drew, who is currently teaching at Wyandotte High School.

Contact Maxine Drew.
Term Began: 01/9/2018
Term Ends: January 2026

Janey Humphries

Janey Humphries portraitJaney Marie Humphries, who has been active in the community for years, was re-elected to the Board of Education in November 2017. Prior to the election, she was appointed to the Board of Education to fill the vacant and unexpired term of board member Gloria A. Willis in April 2017.

Humphries and her husband Richard have lived in Kansas City, Kansas for over 40 years. They have four grown children who all graduated from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. Mrs. Humphries graduated from Fountain Valley High School in Fountain Valley, California and attended Kansas City, Kansas Community College and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri.

She has been active in many community organizations over the years including the KCK Public Library Foundation, Livable Neighborhoods, East Argentine Neighborhood Association, Neighborhood Crime Prevention Patrol, South Patrol Advisory Committee, the school district's Vision Committee and served a four-year term on the Wyandotte County Ethics Commission. She has been a PTA member and volunteer in our schools since 1981, serving as PTA President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and the Kansas State PTA Region 7 Vice-President.

What does she love most about Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools? "There are so many great things happening in our schools! I love visiting classrooms and watching the children as they learn as well as observing the teaching staff reaching out to our children in multiple ways ensuring each and every child has a chance to learn. This is so very different from when I was in school," she said. She also loves attending school events and seeing the excited and proud faces of parents and families supporting their children.  "Seeing all of the support staff working in transportation, the shop, custodial services, clerical, and food service, just to name a few, interacting with our kids and by their actions demonstrates Inspiring Excellence:  Every Grownup, Every Child, Every Day," said Humphries.
"This just touches the tip of the iceberg of what I love about our schools and community! Being able to experience all of this inspires me every day to strive for excellence," she said.

Contact Janey Humphries.

Term Began: 1/14/20
Term Ends: January 2024

Wanda Kay Paige

Wanda Paige portraitWanda Kay Paige attributes her personal and professional success to focusing on family and community.

She is a retired social studies teacher with 30 years of service to the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS). She was a teacher at Argentine Middle School for 24 years, Coronado Middle School for one year and at Central Middle School for five years. During the majority of her tenure with the school district, she taught the subjects of World History, Geography, Kansas History and American History.

Before retiring from KCKPS in May 2012, she was responsible for several tasks both inside and outside the classroom that included:

  • tutoring students before and after school,
  • serving as an advisor for the Peer Mentoring Program,
  • coaching basketball, track and volleyball teams,
  • sponsoring Cinco De Mayo, Black History Month, Women's History Month and Asian History Month activities,
  • participating on the Teacher's Social Committee, and
  • working with the Book Club.

A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas, she has lived in the community for more than 61 years, where she loves the people and the entertainment aspects of the city.

She is a 1974 graduate of Wyandotte High School and a former student at Hawthorne Elementary School and Northwest Middle School. Paige has a master's degree in teaching social studies and a bachelor's degree in history from Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa. She has also completed adult education courses at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and English as a Second Language courses at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Heart of America Sisterhood, Inc., and Tabernacle Baptist Church.

She is the recipient of several awards over the years including:

    • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Royal Leadership Award, 2017 & 2008; The Mentorship Award, 2010; and Kansas Educator Award, 2012
    • YWCA, Woman of Distinction Award, 2016
    • Oldies 95  Teacher of the Year, 1997 - 1998
    • University of Wisconsin, Minority Student of the Year, 1980
  • Simpson College, George Washington Carver Award, 1976; and Concerned Minority Student Award, 1977

Paige is the daughter of Eddie and Aser Lee Brownlee. She has four brothers, four sisters and a host of nieces and nephews.

What does she love most about the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools? "I love the children, teachers and parents," she said.

Contact Wanda Paige.
Term Began: 01/9/2018
Term Ends: January 2026

Rachel Russell

Rachel Russell portraitRachel Russell is a fierce and fun non-profit professional with a strong dedication to volunteerism and service in both her professional and personal life. Rachel currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement for Cross-Lines Community Outreach where she is responsible for community partnerships and collaborations that benefit the organization and Wyandotte County as a whole. As a strong advocate for parent and community engagement, she looks forward to identifying ways to create a stronger and better school-community-parent partnership as we achieve excellence for every child. 

Ms. Russell is the proud mother of 3 beautiful children, Kaiya, Halle, and Josiah. She and her children currently reside in the Rosedale Community. Rachel is the daughter of Kipchoge and Lisa VanHoose. Rachel is the oldest of her siblings, Raven, Kiah, and Kipchoge Jr.  

 Born in Little Rock Arkansas, relocating to Kansas City KS in 1999, and graduating from Piper High School in 2007. Rachel has been active member in many local and statewide community groups with most of her experience serving in many capacities for the local, district, and state PTA. She also serves in a leadership role for the following civic groups: Our Spot KC, STEM-Connect KC, COVID-19 Regional Response and Recovery Fund, and the KC Chamber of Commerce Steering Committee. Rachel is 2022 Kauffman Education Fellow and a graduate of the Inaugural Parent Leadership Training Institute-KC Class. 

What does Rachel love most about Kansas City KS Public Schools? “I appreciate the diversity that our district has and the opportunity to see that diversity and culture displayed in each of our buildings uniquely.”  

Term Began: 01/11/2022
Term Ends: January 2026

Dr. Valdenia Winn

Dr. Winn Portrait

Dr. Valdenia C. Winn (Persley) is a member of USD 500 Board of Education, the 34th District Kansas State House of Representative, a Kansas City Kansas Community College history professor and a community volunteer.

In April 2015, Dr. Winn was elected to the USD 500 Board of Education, Kansas City, Kansas for a four-year term.?? Dr. Winn works tirelessly to promote, support and strengthen K-12 education for all students.?? Furthermore, she is also committed to helping the Administration, faculty and staff navigate the Kansas School finance formula.

Since earning her PhD in History and International Relations from the University of Kansas in 1993, Dr. Winn has been involved in the Greater Kansas City community serving on numerous community neighborhood associations and until recently coordinated an after-school computer/tutorial lab for K-12 students residing in northeast Kansas City, Kansas. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus.

Dr. Winn has been a Professor of history at Kansas City Kansas Community College for over four decades. Her specialty is Twentieth-Century United States History and African American History.

In 1999, she received the prestigious Fulbright-Hayes Group Projects Study Abroad Award sponsored by the United States Department of Education. As director of 16 secondary education/university faculty, she led the curriculum development team as they conducted research for six weeks at the universities in Dakar, Senegal and St. Louis, Senegal (West Africa). Upon return to Kansas City, each member presented workshops throughout the Kansas City metro area and developed curriculum that infused concepts of West African history and culture into the core curriculum in their respective disciplines.

Currently, Representative Winn is completing her 10th term in the Kansas House of Representatives, serving the citizens of the 34th District, Kansas City, Kansas.?? Rep. Winn serves as Assistant Minority Leader of the House Democrats, the Ranking Democrat on K-12 Education Budget Committee, a member of the Capital Preservation Committee; and a member of the Children's Cabinet and Trust Fund. One of her legislative successes was securing the passage of SB 54. SB 54 (2011 session) commissioned a mural commemorating Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al. for the walls of the newly remodeled Kansas State Capital. The House leadership objected, and the bill was stalled. It was only because of Rep. Winn's tenacity and knowledge of House rules that SB 54 passed the House and was later signed into law. When appointed as chairperson of the Capital Preservation Committee by then Governor Mark Parkinson, Rep. Winn became the first African American female member of the Minority Party (Democrat) to serve as chairperson of a Legislative Committee. While no longer the chairperson, Rep. Winn still serves as a member of the Capital Preservation Committee. Since May 2018 the mural commemorating Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, et al is showcased on the 3rd floor of the Kansas State Capital.

In 2017, Rep. Winn, along with a fellow representative, designed curriculum for a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Summer Seminar, held at Washburn University. Focused on "teaching the trainer," 2019 marked the second year that the Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Seminar was offered to K-12 teachers of Kansas. The Seminar is sanctioned by the Kansas State Board of Education as well as the Kansas State Department of Education. Upon completion of the seminar the participants will be certified to facilitate training of other K-12 teachers in culturally relevant pedagogy.

In her spare time, Valdenia and her husband Keith Persley enjoy sporting events and traveling throughout the United States and internationally.

Contact Dr. Valdenia Winn.
Term Began: 1/14/2020
Term Ends: January 2024

Latest Board ReCap

Mask Policy Discussion

The Board discussed the District's current mask policy during a regular board meeting and asked for parents', guardians', and staff's input. Dr. Anna Stubblefield shared results from the ThoughtExchange platform survey, which asked if the Board should continue with the current policy requiring masks or not. Here is a breakdown of the survey results:

survey graph

The Board continued with the discussion following a presentation with the survey results. The Board voted to make masks optional for students and staff as long as the total COVID-related absences remain below five percent (5%). In the event that an individual building (school) exceeds this threshold, that building (only that building) will temporarily return to the mask requirement and will need to drop below five percent (5%) of COVID-related absences for one week before moving back to optional masking. This is effective April 27, 2022 and for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.

map of Kansas counties

Confidence in Kansas Public Taskforce Challenge Awards

Challenge Award winners

The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force has named 92 schools, including some in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, as recipients of the 2021 Challenge Awards.

The Certificates of Merit were presented to seven KCKPS schools by the Vice-President of the Kansas State Board of Education, Janet Waugh, during the regular board meeting held on Tuesday.

Our KCKPS recipients of the Challenge Award

Sumner Academy of Arts & Sciences
Emerson Elementary School
Bertram Caruthers Elementary School
John Fiske Elementary School
Mark Twain Elementary School
Thomas A. Edison Elementary School
Arrowhead Middle School

Students of the Month

The board recognized students for the month of April.

Employee of the Month

employee of the month Kurt Wagner

Kurt Wagner, the Assistant Director of Facilities, was recognized as one of April's Employees of the Month. Reggie Byers, Supervisor of Special Projects, was also recognized.

Capital Improvement Plan graphic

Brad Isnard delivered a presentation on the District’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP provides an overview of school facility maintenance and renovation needs. The plan covered the following considerations and areas:

  • Key considerations are safety and security, educational effectiveness, operational efficiency, equity, cost, and availability of resources.
  • The plan covers the current fiscal year plus 3 years.
  • The CIP is a living document. Changes will occur due to unforeseen needs.
  • Most construction and larger maintenance work will happen during the summer when students are not present.
  • All projects over $20,000 will be brought to the Board of Education individually for approval.

Board Approvals

Chase Resources

That Board of Education approved the purchase of chase resources for 7th Grade Kansas history, Psychology, Sociology, and World Geography. The current materials are outdated and need to better align with Kansas College and Career Ready Standards.

The 2021-22 exploration and selection process are as follows:

  • First Quarter: Initial Exploration Cadre
  • First and Second Quarter: Teachers tried out possible resources
  • First and Second Quarter: Text Bias cadre work; follow up with DEI and SEL
  • November – February: Final Selection Cadre

The decision-making process was based on:

  • Cultural Relevance and Equity
  • Alignment to Standards
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Evidence-based
  • Differentiation
  • Usability and Teacher Support
  • Support for Developing College and Career Readiness

KidsCare

The Board of Education approved the KidsCare MOU for Head Start. The KidsCARE program identifies and addresses medical, dental, or developmental conditions that may interfere with attendance or the academic success of our students. The program is a collaborative effort between Swope Health and the Unified School District No. 500/ Kansas City Kansas Public Schools. The school-based services are delivered via Telehealth and virtual communications, Mobile Pediatric Services, Mobile Dental Services, and/or via facilitated access to a Swope Health Clinic for clinic-based services.

The actual delivery of services is dependent upon the implementation of site or program-specific collaborative processes established under this MOU.

Extended Learning Summer Program

The Board of Education approved the purchase of curricular resources for Extended Learning Summer Program.  Teacher and student materials are needed to provide a robust, hands-on summer learning environment. These resources provide enriching, project-based and inquiry experiences for students at grades PreK-5th grade. The Bridge to Diploma+ will include:

  1. Grade-level core resources to fill gaps and extend learning
  2. Social-emotional learning resources
  3. Specials (art, music, PE) experiences
  4. Project-based learning and inquiry/real world learning (resources needed)

Mosyle Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Apple Products

The district will now utilize Mosyle to manage all apple devices which include:

  • All student iPads
  • Teacher/Staff iPads
  • Teacher/Principal MacBook Airs
  • Student MacBook Airs
  • District Issued Cell Phones
  • All Apple TV’s

Mosyle provides us the ability to remotely manage all the devices listed above. We can remotely lock/unlock devices, install software or software updates, and apply security patches. In the case of lost or stolen devices, it will allow us to remotely lock/wipe the device.

SGI Concrete Repairs

The Board accepted bids from SGI Company in the amount of $195,830 for concrete repairs at various locations.

Repair of concrete surfaces and structures will address multiple issues, including cracked and otherwise deteriorating concrete at the following locations:

  • New Stanley Elementary (West Side Curb & Sidewalk;
  • East Side Curb & Sidewalk; East Side Platform Steps);
  • FL Schlagle High School (Curb & Sidewalk);
  • North Central Office (North Drive Curb);
  • John Fiske Elementary (Sidewalk & Curb);
  • Eisenhower Middle School (Curb & Sidewalk) and
  • Sumner Academy (North Stairs to Parking Lot).

This work will improve safety of students and staff and address related hazards.  Work will be completed by the end of Summer 2022.

Posted April 28, 2022