Kansas City, December 15, 2016: After a first-100 days of listening to and learning from students, staff, parents and community members, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell has carefully crafted his plan to move the school system forward.
KCPS will structure and operate itself in order to create student-centered, equitable and truly innovative classrooms that prepare students to achieve their college and career goals in the global economy. That was the big vision Dr. Bedell laid out when he delivered his Post-Entry Plan to the Board of Directors during a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
“I have no magic potions or silver bullets, but I will work tirelessly to put the right people and systems in place in order to ensure the success of our students,” Dr. Bedell said. “When I walk into a classroom, I want to see students at the center. I want to see high-level teaching and learning and I want to see school houses that are inviting resource hubs that showcase student work and welcome families.”
When he started as the new KCPS Superintendent in July 2016, Dr. Bedell promised to devote most of his first 100 days to assessing the status of the school system and finding out what stakeholders want and need. He followed-through with a Listen and Learn Tour, plus appearances at dozens of lunches, evening meetings and other events where he talked with residents from across the community.
Dr. Bedell’s Post-Entry Plan is a map that KCPS will now follow as it goes above and beyond the 98 points it scored on its 2016 Missouri School Improvement Program, which is the first time the school system has met the mark for full state accreditation. Plan highlights include:
- Creating student-centered learning environments while leveraging technology
- Expanding social and emotional supports for students and families throughout KCPS
- Introducing culturally-relevant curriculum into our classrooms
Organizational Effectiveness and Planning
- Laying a foundation for efficiency and effectiveness though our strategic plan and ensuring our organization is structured with student achievement at the forefront
- Creating succession plans and standard operating procedures for each department
- Recruiting quality educators and ensuring they stay with KCPS
Communications and Culture
- Building a culture of trust in our school community and community at large
- Leveraging partnerships to ensure we have innovation and valuable resources in our schools
Throughout his plan, Dr. Bedell emphasizes the importance of nurturing and cultivating students. They will drive everything that happens in KCPS moving forward.
“KCPS students are some of the strongest kids I have ever met,” Dr. Bedell said. “They are funny, inquisitive, precocious and resilient. We owe it to them to be the best school system we can be. They need more opportunities in terms of electives, extracurricular activities, and higher-level classes.”
Classroom technology is another major component of the plan. Under Dr. Bedell’s leadership, KCPS will use technology in a more progressive manner, with differentiation and individualization at the forefront of lesson plans.
“We have to go beyond just brick and mortar and become a school system where teaching and learning is happening 24-7,” Dr. Bedell said.
Equity is also a very significant goal laid out in Dr. Bedell’s plan. Equity in education means that circumstances such as race, gender, special education status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, English language learner (ELL) status, or socioeconomic status are not obstacles to student achievement.
“In KCPS, when it comes to kids, all means all. We will embrace every student that comes through our doors,” Dr. Bedell said. “Although historical factors have continued to contribute to the inequities our students face, it is imperative that we work collectively to address these barriers to success.”
Dr. Bedell’s Post-Entry Plan is available for the public in the Superintendent section of the KCPS website.