• A LETTER FROM DR. BEDELL

    Hello, KCPS families, friends, staff and visitors!

    Dr Mark Bedell

    Teaching and learning will always be the most important function of our schools. But one of the critical lessons I've learned as an educational leader is that schools can't accomplish their mission alone. That's why Pillar B of our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan calls for building trust, open communication and healthy partnerships with families and community members.

    Under Pillar B, KCPS will weave safety nets by providing a community-wide network of support for students and families. This will include increasing the capacity of our families to serve as advocates for their children's education, and expanding promising programs like our parent liaisons. Our mental health professionals are already applying their expertise across the school system to increase the use of trauma-sensitive best practices.

    Family engagement and communication is another key facet of Pillar B. It's very important that we embrace the diverse perspectives and voices of our parents and caregivers. That means developing a conversation with families when their children are in pre-school and kindergarten so that we can help them develop good academic and social-emotional skills. These dialogues must continue through-out a student's journey in KCPS during twice-a-year engagement meetings with school staff. We are also working to increase the capacity of our Language Services team to provide support, and implementing a series of Family Nights for parents to learn how to support their children in achieving academic success.

    Finally, Pillar B calls for the ongoing development of community partnerships so that we can leverage resources to increase students, school and KCPS achievement. That involves working with pre-school providers to ensure that students are equipped to succeed in kindergarten. We will work with members of the business and civic community to provide students with the opportunity to explore and solve real-world challenges. We're also collaborating with like-minded agencies and organizations to motivate and reward positive student behavior.

    Our school system functions as one part of a much larger social, economic, educational and governance ecosystem in Kansas City. We must continue to nurture great classrooms and schools while simultaneously strengthening our links to the wider community. One of the most important things our families can do is make sure their children are at school on time and ready to learn every day classes are in session. We have to work together if we are going to be successful! It's a big mission, but it's one I know we're built to accomplish.

    Yours in education,
    Dr. Mark Bedell
    Superintendent of Schools