KCPS begins first year as fully accredited district in more two decades

KCPS was the first school district in the nation to lose that status back in 2000.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo (KCTV) - K.C. Wolf and Chiefs cheerleaders welcomed Kansas City Public Schools students back to school today with high fives and open arms.

“For the kids to know we care about them and are excited about their first day of school, we hope that shows a signal that they are cared about and that they are going to have a great year,” Jeff Shafer, executive director of City Year – the group that coordinated the welcome, said.

This morning’s first bell rang in the start of a new era.

It’s the first year KCPS is an accredited school district in more than a decade, since becoming the first in the nation to lose that status back in 2000.

“It definitely is a heavy weight lifted from us, but it also gives us hope,” Dr. Jennifer Collier, KCPS interim superintendent, said. “It lets us know that we can continue to propel toward success, and that’s one of our goals: to continue to make improvements. Although we’ve gained our full accreditation, we know that there’s just so much more to be done.”

The fresh start also brings new leadership.

Collier says her goals for her first year are twofold: increasing literacy and keeping students safe.

“I think that’s pivotal for their future,” Collier said. “We’re putting a system in place for our students around conflict resolution – because we believe that that’s important as well: teaching our students and making sure that they have the skills, that they’re equipped to be able to resolve issues through conversation and working with one another.”

KCPS saw tragedy this spring when a student at Northeast Middle School stabbed another student to death.