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No Cost Covid Testing

Kansas City Public Schools is partnering with the Mid-America Regional Council, KC Cares, Samuel U. Rogers Health Center and Swope Health to offer no-cost COVID-19 testing for KCPS staff, students, families and community members.

KCPS Celebrates Church As Community Champion

The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors and Superintendent Mark Bedell honored Friendship Baptist Church as a Community Champion during a School Board meeting on Wednesday evening, Dec. 9.

KCPS Taps Trio As Terrific Teammates

The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors and Superintendent Mark Bedell recognized the following staff members as Terrific Teammates during a School Board meeting Wednesday evening, Dec. 9.

KCPS Honors Six Students As Scholar Superstars

The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors and Superintendent Mark Bedell recognized the following students as Scholar Superstars during a virtual School Board meeting Wednesday evening, Dec. 10.

KCPS Seeking Feedback from Families with Thoughtexchange

We want to stay connected and hear your questions and ideas about how we should move forward during this pandemic and in this educational landscape. With that in mind, we're asking KCPS families for five minutes today and another five minutes tomorrow to help us plan for the future. Please join our “Thoughtexchange” today to share your thoughts and questions.

Pivot International Donates 7,000 Shields to KCPS

Pivot International, a Lenexa, KS-based global leader in product design, development, and manufacturing, has partnered with Kansas City Public Schools to enhance maximal protection for students and staff with a gift of 7,000 safety shields.

KCPS Board of Education (BOE)

The Kansas City Public Schools IT support team is changing their hours of operation for walk-in support to 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday at the BOE building, which is located at 2901 Troost Ave. in Kansas City, MO.

Lincoln Middle Debate Takes Tourney Title

The Lincoln Middle School debate team successfully made the case for being among the best in the region with a first-place finish in the DEBATE Kansas City (DKC) tournament held virtually on Thursday evening, Dec.3.

Real World Learning Gets Real Boost with $200K Kauffman Grant

Ray Weikal
Culinary Arts students at Manual Career and Technical Center prepare salads for the Cardinal Cafe;

Culinary Arts students at Manual Career and Technical Center prepare salads for the Cardinal Cafe; This is the kind of experience that is included in the Real World Learning initiative in Kansas City Public Schools.

Kansas City, September 24, 2020:  Kansas City Public Schools is ready to move forward with its Real World Learning initiative for students thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Kauffman Foundation.

The KCPS Board of Directors approved the grant during its virtual meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 23. The grant will allow KCPS to significantly expand Real World Learning opportunities for middle school and high school students, according to initiative coordinator Crystal Everett.

Crystal Everett, far right, talks to KCPS Board of Directors member Jennifer Wolfsie at the Cardinal Cafe.

“We are so grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for this grant because it gives us the resources to truly push forward with our strategic plan to make Real World Learning part of the student experience across our district,” Ms. Everett said.

The Real World Learning initiative covers a wide range of programs that are all designed to provide KCPS students with practical, hands-on experiences that help prepare them to succeed in the workforce. Superintendent Mark Bedell made this outcome a priority and built it into the school system’s five-year plan.

“This Kauffman Foundation grant is a great example of how Kansas City Public Schools is building partnerships that will help all of our students become productive adults,” Dr. Bedell said. “This is an investment in our entire community.”

The ultimate goal of the Real World Learning initiative is that every student will attain a “Market Value Asset” before they graduate from high school. As stipulated under terms of the Kauffman Foundation grants, these assets can include work experiences (either client connected projects or internships), college credit (completion of at least nine college credit hours), entrepreneurial experiences, or industry-recognized credentials. Currently, about 30 percent of KCPS students are earning their diplomas with these types of assets.

The Real World learning initiative was launched in 2019 when Everett was hired with the help of an initial $85,000 Kauffman Foundation grant. Since then, she and others in the district have created a plan to tie together and leverage various existing programs, launch new efforts, and make sure that students, families, and staff are aware of these opportunities.

One of the new Real World Learning programs that were launched was the Cardinal Café at Manual Career and Technical Center. Launched before the COVID-19 pandemic, this café gives Culinary Arts and Graphic Arts and Digital Media students the opportunity to operate and promote a fully functioning coffeehouse in the Manual Career Tech building.

This fall, Everett is coordinating the start of a Real World Learning partnership with CommunityAmerica Credit Union to facilitate life skills and financial literacy classes for students.

“We want to make as many connections possible between professionals and our students,” Everett said. “We are creating very intentional experiences and helping our students explore their community.”