A combined total of $1.4 million awarded to improve students’ academic success.
Beginning in 2017, SchoolSmartKC worked with the KCPS district administration to identify eight neighborhood schools who have shown meaningful and regular academic progress and invited each to create a new strategic plan that could lift the achievement of their students to statewide levels.
As a result of that process, SSKC has awarded three schools with significant grants to implement their plans and improve students’ academic success.
Gladstone Elementary and Phillips Elementary will each receive $600,000 and Northeast High School will receive $200,000 to implement their new strategic plans over the next three years. KCPS and SchoolSmartKC will provide ongoing support to all three schools throughout the grant implementation years.
The three schools presented their strategic plans to a community-based advisory group comprised of civic members and education experts who provided thoughtful and valuable perspective during the plan reviews.
While not awarded grant funds, the remaining five schools benefited from receiving this third-party review of their school environments, highlighting both celebrations and areas for growth. Additionally, each of the schools received support from educational experts on creating effective strategic plans, developing meaningful family and community engagement and understanding the processes and tools necessary to implement a strategic plan.
Gladstone Elementary plans to use the grant to develop the classroom skills of teachers by showing them how to breakdown state standards into management components and implement data-driven instruction. The school will also bring in experts to increase literacy and help develop a “whole-child” support system for students who face trauma outside of school.
Phillips Elementary intends to use the grant to transition the school into a trauma-sensitive school through intense, targeted training and professional development across the building. School staff will learn how to utilize achievement data and will ensure that the data is available for all educators in the building. They will also increase student attendance and success by improving parent engagement; that will include a new, three-day “boot camp” for kindergarteners and their parents this summer.
Northeast High School
Northeast High School was awarded $200,000 for its priority items and hope to raise another $400,000 to fully implement its strategic plan.
The school is focused on providing high quality professional development for teachers in core subjects and staff field trips to learn best practices from educators at schools that have made similar improvements. The school will also increase Advanced Placement opportunities for students, and launch an “Advancement Via Individual Determination” (AVID) program to develop student leaders.