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KCPS eNews


September 9, 2021
weekly kcps news

Seven KCPS Students Named AP Scholars



Six seniors at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and a 2021 East High School graduate have been recognized as AP Scholars by the College Board. The awards are given to students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement by receiving scores of 3 or higher on at least three Advanced Placement exams.


Kevin Huang, a senior at Lincoln, is the first Kansas City Public Schools' student to be granted the prestigious AP Scholar with Distinction award after receiving qualifying scores on five Advanced Placement exams. The award is the top recognition a student can receive from the College Board.


Johnathan Haileselassie, also at Lincoln, is the first Kansas City Public Schools' student to earn the AP Scholar with Honor award by receiving qualifying scores on four Advanced Placement exams.


Five additional KCPS students received AP Scholar awards: 2021 East High School graduate Gohan Gallardo-Meza and Lincoln seniors Jafar Al-Hassan, Zahraa Hassan, Melissa Martinez Diaz and Indigo Nelson Fry.


KCPS pays for students to pursue college credits in high school. During the pandemic, the district allowed Lincoln students taking International Baccalaureate classes to also take AP exams. Andrew Urban, Postsecondary Programming Coordinator, said to have seven AP Scholars was "remarkable," especially after COVID-19 interrupted two school years.


"These students weren't even in a traditional AP class, and yet they're scoring fives," Urban said. "They started taking these exams as sophomores, and they were getting these qualifying scores even at a relatively young stage in their academic careers."


All seven AP Scholars were recognized as Scholar Superstars at the Wednesday, Sept. 8 school board meeting.


APScholars_Kevin.jpgKEVIN HUANG

AP Scholar with Distinction, Lincoln College Prep


"It's almost like you're studying for two separate courses (AP and IB). There are content differences but also mindset differences, and overcoming that was one of the most important things for me."




AP Scholar with Honor, Lincoln College Prep


"It challenges you not only to grow as a learner, but to grow as a person because you think about things that you wouldn't have thought about necessarily."




APScholars_Jafar.jpgJAFAR AL-HASSAN

AP Scholar, Lincoln College Prep


"It was sometimes draining, but it does give you the feeling that once you get into college, whatever comes your way is not going to be so bad because you know how to tackle it."




APScholars_Zahraa.jpgZAHRAA HASSAN

AP Scholar, Lincoln College Prep


"Mr. Urban helped guide me through the process. He helped me cater to my strengths to see which tests I wanted to choose, and then he had weekly AP prep courses that were very helpful."




AP Scholar, Lincoln College Prep


"My classes have definitely prepared me for college. I want to go into nursing, and I'm not saying that nursing school will be easy, but my IB classes definitely helped me with my time management."



APScholars_Indigo2.jpgINDIGO NELSON FRY

AP Scholar, Lincoln College Prep


"I don't take these courses because I want college credit or even necessarily because I want to save money. I'm hoping I do both of those, but I love these courses honestly, because they are just so interesting."




AP Scholar, 2021 East High School Graduate


"My classes helped me with my English and to participate in class, two things I really appreciate now that I am in college. But more than that, I am thankful for some of the teachers I had that taught with passion and desire."    

Transportation Update: Check Infinite Campus For New Bus Route Information

As you are aware, KCPS and schools across the country continue to have challenges with adequate numbers of bus drivers for our students. During the first three weeks of school, our bus provider, Student Transportation of America (STA), has been working to hire additional drivers. However, they continue to lose drivers, which puts us in a position of not having enough drivers for our current daily needs.


Today, you will receive communication about our plan to re-route all current bus riders, starting on Monday, Sept. 13. This could mean a new bus number, pickup time and stop location. New route information will be available on Friday, Sept. 10 in the Infinite Campus parent portal (go to the "More" tab and click "Transportation") and available on the KCPS website. Please look for this important new information. It is our intent that these changes will help us provide every bus run daily, with routes running on time and efficiently on Monday.


We ask for your continued assistance with helping us run our buses effectively. If we have routed a stop that is underutilized or needs to be evaluated for safety reasons, please email the bus line at


Thank you for continuing to be partners in helping with our transportation solutions. We see this adjustment as an improvement to ensure all our students get to school safely and on time. We appreciate your grace and patience as we’ve navigated this challenge. 


Want to get more involved in KCPS? Join DAC!

KCPS is gearing up for the first District Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting of the year from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, and everyone is invited to attend. The DAC addresses school issues and concerns, allows you to share ideas and solve problems cooperatively and helps advise the district’s Board of Directors. Our schools can’t do it alone; we need the involvement and support of parents and guardians to succeed.


During our first meeting, you will meet our new executive team and learn about ways to get involved, provide feedback on our ongoing strategic planning (Blueprint 2030), and hear important updates about the new Code of Student Conduct and the trauma-sensitive supports available to students to help them have a successful school year.


We hope that you are able to join us! There are several ways to participate:

KCPS Adds Resources For Contact Tracing

COVID-19 continues to spread in the Kansas City area. This means that we will have cases in our schools. In the past week, we have adjusted our staffing to improve contact tracing. KCPS now has three staff members dedicated to contact tracing, including an on-call contact tracer to respond to weekend case reports.


Our goal is always to complete contact tracing within two business days. If your student needs to quarantine, you will be contacted by phone or email. We are in constant communication with the Kansas City Health Department. At times, it will be necessary to quarantine entire classes due to the nature of the exposure. You can read more about our COVID-19 protocols on the Reopening KCPS website.


We take communication about individual students seriously and in confidence. Please know that if you are not being communicated with around quarantines or positive COVID-19 cases in your school, your student has not been affected. This is normal and helps us protect our students' privacy.


As always, if your child exhibits any symptoms of sickness, please keep them home and also contact our school nurse. If your symptomatic child needs to get tested for COVID-19, KCPS may be able to help.


You should be receiving more information about COVID-19 testing from your student's school. This is voluntary weekly testing for all students, regardless of symptoms or vaccine status. We encourage every KCPS family to participate in the COVID-19 testing program. This will help us quickly identify cases and, ultimately, slow the spread in our schools. This testing is free for students and staff and will be provided in every school.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination is the leading public health strategy to end the pandemic. The best way to keep our students healthy is to surround them with vaccinated adults. Millions of people have now received COVID-19 vaccines, which are safe and effective. If you have not been vaccinated already, please make an appointment with the Kansas City Health Department as soon as possible. 

Property Tax Levy Public Hearing is Sept. 22

The KCPS Board of Directors will hold a Property Tax Levy Public Hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 before the Regular Business Meeting. This is an annual review of the district's tax rate, and the public is welcome to attend.


Individuals interested in providing public comment during the hearing should contact the Office of Board Services before 3 p.m. on Sept. 22 by calling 816-418-7621 or via email at Alternatively, individuals may sign up at the meeting before 5:45 p.m.


Speakers should limit their remarks to three (3) minutes and follow all rules for public comment.