Lawrence schools approved to participate in state’s redesign project

photo by: Peter Hancock/Journal-World File Photo

This Journal-World file photo from Jan. 6, 2017 shows Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson in his office. A statewide listening tour led Watson to believe that Kansas schools may need to be redesigned in order to meet modern needs.

The Lawrence school district has been approved to participate in the Kansas State Department of Education’s redesign project, the district announced Tuesday.

Teachers at Broken Arrow, Deerfield and Hillcrest elementaries and Free State High School voted in March to apply for the Apollo phase of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project. KSDE has approved the district’s application, meaning those schools will soon begin planning their redesigns to launch in the 2020-21 school year.

The goal of the redesign, which will eventually touch all Kansas schools, is to move away from an approach that relies exclusively on state assessments, and into a model driven by four principles: student success skills, personalized learning, community partnerships and real-world applications, according to talking points from KSDE.

The Lawrence school board will begin to consider costs associated with the planning year, according to the district’s release. Though KSDE is providing training at no charge to the four schools’ redesign teams, those who attend the regular training sessions will need substitutes and transportation, among other costs.

An April 1 Journal-World article provided details about redesign and what it might look like. Find that online at bit.ly/ljwschoolredesign.

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