kcps news
Bedell at Graduations 2020

On Thursday, the City Council is scheduled to vote on an incentive package for BlueScope, a billion-dollar multinational corporation. After a 100 percent property tax abatement for 20 years, they want 13 more, holding the City Council hostage by saying they might move to Kansas.

And what they want is the continuation of a deal that has already disproportionately impacted the funding of Kansas City’s schools, libraries and mental health resources.

Jontell Washington Student of LCPA

Jontell Washington is a builder.

In his case, Jontell knows how to build bridges across linguistic gaps. A member of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy’s Class of 2020, he is one of 59 scholars from across Kansas City Public Schools who earned their Missouri Seal of Biliteracy this year.

Tyrell Wooddard in Model 717 at MINDDRIVE

 Tyrell Woodard is a magician.

With a blowtorch and his brain, Tyrell can craft innovative objects that combine every element of STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math. He can build cars that require no fossil fuels.

Essay Board student Sofia Murasi

Last fall, Mr. Odam conceived of a college essay board comprised of KCPS staff members who would donate their time and expertise to help students perfect their compositions. The idea was to tap into the considerable talent that can be found across Team KCPS.

Morgan McPartland teacher of Carver

May 4-8, 2020, is Teacher Appreciation Week. Everything we do in Kansas City Public Schools revolves around the relationships between our teachers and our students. I want to express my gratitude for the work our teachers do every day.


We’re not letting the COVID-19 pandemic keep us from celebrating our seniors who have earned their high school diplomas this year.

This spring has been tough for our graduates, their families and our staff for many reasons, just one of which is the fact that many of the ways they normally celebrate – like prom – have been cancelled due to the virus. With that in mind, we wanted to do something memorable to mark their accomplishment, even though a traditional commencement isn’t possible.

The Class of 2020 made it clear that they wanted some version of an in-person graduation ceremony, rather than entirely virtual. In light of ongoing public health concerns, we are hosting and filming commencements in the auditorium at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts for each high school throughout June. Groups of graduates get to “walk the stage” in front of a small gathering of family members, get their diplomas and be honored by their principal and Dr. Bedell. We are also filming speeches and special performances. These ceremonies will then be broadcast on KCPS-TV in late July. We will be sharing that broadcast schedule as soon as it is finalized. Stay tuned!

KCPS Class of 2020 Commencement Filming Schedule: (These events are by invitation only, in order to ensure proper social distancing. This restriction includes KCPS staff.)

• June 5 – Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts
• June 10 – Southeast High School
• June 11 – Central High School
• June 16 – Northeast High School
• June 18-19 – Lincoln College Preparatory Academy
• June 23-25 – East High School