I am overwhelmed with gratitude to my colleagues, my students, and this community for the privilege to have served as superintendent. Over the past 30 years of my career in KCK, I have meet so many wonderful people. I have been so inspired by the stories of our truly extraordinary students, families, and the talented and dedicated staff who I have worked alongside each day. Our school district has a rich history and strong foundation of collective responsibility and achieving results that matter for our students.
We can all be proud of the significant achievements and strides made over the last decade. Working together has resulted in:
- Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) being named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by the America’s Promise Alliance; and
- KCK Public Schools being recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative school districts by the National Association of School Boards, as well as heralded by the Kansas State Department of Education as a leader in school transformation.
Our collective efforts have reduced the number of homeless children by nearly 50% since 2015. Thank you, Avenue of Life, for bringing our community partners together to address the housing needs of our families!
Today, our collective efforts to develop and implement Diploma+ (kckps.org/diplomaplus)is giving our students a step up on their future. The Kansas State Department of Education and our local business community are fully engaged to ensure our student graduate with their high school diploma and endorsements that will open the doors to their future. This fall, high schools will open with College and Career Academies aligned to the high demand and high wage jobs in our metro area and beyond.
Our graduation rate for the class of 2018 is anticipated to have increased to at least 75%, a significant improvement moving in the right direction. These same students earned more than $80 million in college scholarships. We have more to do to increase our graduation level and improve overall academic performance, nonetheless we must celebrate all that we have accomplished by working together.
Our collective efforts during the last 10 years have also led to significant investments in our school and athletic facilities. We have rebuilt and renovated 15 school facilities. Over the next five years, with the 2016 voter approved $235 million bond, the district will replace five more school facilities, and make significant improvements to all of our school facilities, all without a tax increase.
Our work is not complete. As we welcome new leadership to the district, we must continue to lead the call that equity and excellence in education is the right of ALL children. As I enter the end of my season in KCKPS, I ask that we remain vigilant. Remain vigilant to
- expand access to early childhood programs;
- close the opportunity gap many of our children face;
- recruit and retain a diverse workforce, comprised of the best teachers, administrators, and support staff, and to
- ensure the promise of Diploma+ is realized for all of our students.
Always remember, we are better together. “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 “It Up to Us!”
Dr. Cynthia Lane
Signing Off Until Our Paths Meet Again!