College & Career Readiness

Advanced Placement

Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) will increase college and career readiness for students by providing access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses in all secondary schools. The Advanced Placement Program offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. Students who obtain high scores on the examinations may also receive placement, college credits, or both at American colleges and universities. There are over 30 courses and exams in both pre-AP and AP.

Access to Success: Patterns of Advanced Placement Participation in U.S. High Schools report by the Educational Testing Service found that females were more likely than males to participate in the Advanced Placement Program, and minority and low-income students are less likely to participate, even when they come from schools in which they are in the majority.

KCPS will address this gap for minority students and males of color by informing them of the opportunity, preparing them early, and assist with their personal plan of study. An increase in participation from this group will allow them to be better prepared for college than their peers and could potentially complete their college degrees in a shorter time period.

Academic Standards

KCPS has made incredible strides over the past few years and we have developed new partnerships that are bringing exciting educational opportunities to our students and staff. Our academic plan provides a blueprint detailing our plan of action to build on our recent successes. From early childhood, through the middle years and into college, we are cultivating excellence and graduating greatness. We are the new Kansas City Public Schools and we are asking that you consider joining us as we forge the great schools that Kansas City deserves.


  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Career and Tech Education
  • Health
  • Library Media
  • Physical Education
  • The Arts
  • World Languages


AVID provides scaffolded support that educators and students need to encourage college and career readiness and success. With AVID, school leaders have the flexibility to start small and can deepen AVID’s impact on their campus over time.

AVID Elementary

By teaching and reinforcing academic behaviors and higher-level thinking at a young age, AVID Elementary teachers create a ripple effect in later grades. Elementary students develop the academic habits they will need to be successful in middle school, high school, and college, in an age-appropriate and challenging way. Children learn about organization, study skills, communication, and self-advocacy. AVID Elementary students take structured notes and answer and ask high-level questions that go beyond routine answers.

The strong college-going culture on an AVID Elementary campus encourages students to think about their college and career plans. Schools cover their walls with college pennants and banners, and educators speak about their college experiences. College and careers are no longer foreign concepts, and teachers provide the academic foundation students need to be on a path for college and career success. AVID Elementary closes the opportunity gap before it begins.

Schools may begin AVID Elementary by training teachers across a certain grade level(s) or the entire campus. The training can start with a group as small as four participating in three days of AVID professional learning.

AVID Secondary

Our nation’s schools are full of students who possess a desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard, but many of them do not truly have the opportunity to be college-ready. These are often the students who will be the first in their families to attend college and are from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. AVID Secondary equips teachers and schools with what they need to help these students succeed on a path to college and career success.

To address this need, AVID has developed the AVID Elective course. For one period a day, students receive the additional academic, social, and emotional support that will help them succeed in their school’s most rigorous courses. Districts have the flexibility to decide how many AVID Elective classes to start and which grade levels will implement AVID first. Additionally, in middle school, the language and literacy needs of long-term English language learners can be addressed through the AVID Excel elective class.

The power of AVID Secondary is the ability to impact students in the AVID Elective class and all students throughout the campus. AVID Secondary can have an effect on the entire school by providing classroom activities, teaching practices, and academic behaviors that can be incorporated into any classroom to improve engagement and success for all students. Teachers can take what they've learned at AVID training back to any classroom to help all students, not just those in AVID, to become more college- and career-ready.

The training can start with a group as small as eight participating in three days of AVID professional learning.

Graduation Requirements

The minimum graduation requirements for 2017-2018 includes 4 credits of English, 3 credits of Mathematics, 3 credits of Science, 3.5 credits of Social Studies, 1 credit of PE, .5 credit of Health, 1 credit of Practical Arts, 1 credit of Fine Arts and 7.0 credits of Electives. In addition to the program of study for graduation, a student shall pass proficiency exams, complete forty (40) hours of approved community service, take the ACT, SAT, ASVAB or ACT WorkKeys Test and meet all District disciplinary and financial obligations to qualify for graduation from KCPS. Additional graduation requirements are established to meet specific programs of study as outlined in the chart below. Graduation requirements for a student with a disability receiving special education services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may be determined according to the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Pylons Advanced Academics

The Kansas City Public Schools’ Pylons Advanced Academics (AA) and Gifted & Talented (GT) Program provides challenging learning experiences that are designed to extend, enrich and excel the district curriculum. Through a continuum of opportunities, students engage in complex subject matter, preparing them for more challenging and rigorous courses as they advance in grade level. Leadership, Character, Scholarship and Service—the four pillars of the National Honor Society—provide the four tenants of KCPS AA and GT Program. Students identified for Pylons Honors exhibit exceptional performance capability in academic, intellectual and creative endeavors. In order to meet their academic needs, these learners require a differentiated curriculum.

College Education

Early College Academy

High school juniors and seniors attend college classes full time on the Penn Valley campus, earning both their high school diploma and Associate’s degree.

Locations: Penn Valley Community College

International Baccalaureate Program (IB)

IB is a challenging globally focused program that promotes well-rounded students who are highly prepared for college.

Locations: Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

Career Education

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

CTE prepares students to enter a highly-educated workforce or to begin post-secondary education in Automotive Collision and Repair; Automotive Technology; Computer Science; Construction Technology; Culinary Arts; EMT; Pre-Engineering, Project Lead the Way; Fashion and Costume Design, Clothing, Textiles; Health Science; Educator Prep; TV Production.

Locations: Manual Career and Technical Center, East HS, Northeast HS, Paseo, Southeast HS