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KCPS NEWS
KCPS orchestra students perform at the KCPS Fine Arts Showcase on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

"In schools, children need to have a place of belonging. They need to know they're accepted. They have to find their niche, that thing they’re good at,” said KCPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier.

Five people stand in the KCPS boardroom. They are smiling as one receives an award.

At the Wednesday, March 9, 2022, Board of Education meeting, three KCPS employees were recognized as “Terrific Teammates” for their contributions to their school communities.

A banner showing smiling children with the words "Enroll now for fall!"

Current KCPS students will automatically “roll up” to the next grade, and no action is required from parents/guardians at this time. Please do not submit an application for new enrollment, as this will cause processing delays.

A graphic of students attending schools wearing masks.

With guidance from our trusted community health partners, the Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors and administration agreed on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, to end our mask mandate, effective immediately.

students in a bright, colorful classroom work on computers

On Jan. 29, 2022, 42 students from East High School, Lincoln College Prep and Lincoln Middle School competed against students from four other districts and three charter schools in the 2022 PREP-KC Math Relays. KCPS won 41 of 98 awards!

'This is My Gasoline': Student Voice Motivates 2021 Latinx Educator of the Year Josué Aguilar

A Latino man in a blue shirt and a mask sits at a laptop talking to students.

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy Spanish teacher Josué Aguilar leads a discussion about families on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. Mr. Aguilar is the 2021 Latinx Educator of the Year for the nonprofit Latinx Education Collaborative.

 

In Josué Aguilar’s classes, students converse fluently in Spanish about their friends, their families ... and their unusual pets. 

“Today we were talking about new families. What is a family? And one of them says, in Spanish, ‘I have an iguana.’ And it was true!” Mr. Aguilar said with a laugh.

“Josué contributes to their pride in their cultural identity and sense of belonging,” Dr. Villamandos, Spanish Department Chair at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said. “He proves to them that their culture, their language, has value, and that they have knowledge and skills they don’t even realize.”

WHY LATINX? Click here to read about the terminology we're using in this story on the Latinx Education Collaborative's website.      

The nonprofit Latinx Education Collaborative provides resources for Latinx students and teachers while trying to recruit more teachers of color. About a quarter of all students in the U.S. identify as Latinx, but only 8% of educators. 

Mr. Aguilar, who identifies as Mexican and grew up in Oaxaca, said all students, not just those who identify as Latinx, benefit when when they have Hispanic teachers.

a Latino man in a face mask stands in front of a smart board teaching three students

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy Spanish teacher Josué Aguilar leads a discussion about families in the International Baccalaureate Spanish class.

 

“Because we are here. We are part of the city. And we teach and do many important jobs. It is important to be noticed,” Mr. Aguilar said.  

KCPS World Languages Coordinator Diane Bosilevac praised Mr. Aguilar for creating a classroom culture where all students feel comfortable sharing.

“His classes discuss difficult topics that most Americans want to avoid,” she said. “He has also created a book club with his students and the students of UMKC. When students gather from different environments to learn from one another, magic happens.”

Both students who speak Spanish at home and students who only speak Spanish at school take Mr. Aguilar’s classes. He’s been senior Sidney Richardson’s Spanish teacher since tenth grade.

“He handled COVID very well,” Sidney said. “My biggest exposure to Spanish is through my Spanish class, and he created assignments that challenged us to read, write and speak. He also showed us different cultures, which is a big part of the IB program.”

For his part, Mr. Aguilar said he’s lucky he gets to teach so many highly motivated students.

“The Spanish level here is really, really good. We have students who come from Foreign Language Academy who are fluent,” Mr. Aguilar said. “Yes, I can tell which of my students speak Spanish at home, but in my classroom, they are all participating, they are all reading, they are all doing the work.”

Congratulations, Mr. Aguilar, for representing LCPA and KCPS in the 2021 Latinx Educator of the Year contest!