Kansas announces effort to redesign public schools

? Kansas officials have chosen seven school districts to participate in an effort to improve public education.

The Kansas Board of Education announced the districts participating in the Kansans Can School Redesign program Tuesday. The districts were picked out of nearly 30 applicants, the Kansas City Star reported .

“The schools we are about to announce have already started breaking some of the outdated education models that have been entrenched in schools for decades,” said Jay Scott, a secondary school redesign specialist with the state’s education department.

School districts will be asked to find new ways to promote several principles — developing individual study plans, measuring social and economic growth, improving graduation rates and post-secondary completion and addressing kindergarten readiness.

Each of the selected districts, which collectively have 14 schools, will work to restructure an elementary school and a secondary school. The changes will emphasize the new priorities pushed by the state as it tries to modernize efforts to develop and define successful high school graduates.

“I am excited to have a chance to collaborate with others from around the state to create a new model that helps prepare our students for success,” Westview Elementary School Principal Jon Bell said.

State officials expect redesign models to differ between the 14 schools. Redesign teams will spend the next school year developing ideas for the education department, and changes will go into effect during the 2018-19 year.

State officials said the rest of the state will eventually join the program.

The following are the seven districts and schools:

• Coffeyville USD 445: Community Education School and Field Kindley Memorial High (with Roosevelt Middle School staff involved).

• Liberal USD 480: Meadowlark Elementary School and Liberal High School.

• McPherson USD 418: Eisenhower Elementary School and McPherson Middle School.

• Olathe USD 233: Westview Elementary School and Santa Fe Trail Middle School.

• Stockton USD 271: Stockton Grade School and Stockton High School.

• Twin Valley USD 240: Tescott Elementary School and Bennington Junior-Senior High School.

• Wellington USD 353: Kennedy Elementary School and Wellington High School.