Candidate Filing Closes

On Tuesday, January 21 at 5:00 PM the candidate filing period officialy closed for the Kansas City Public Schools Board election. I was the onlu Sub-District 2 candiadate who was verified by the Kanasas City Elections COmmission. Any other individual interested in running must register as a write-in candidate two week prior to the April 8, 2014 election day.

Here is a story about the candidates in the Kansas City Star:

Good luck to everyone in the race!


2014 Election Begins

After a long deliberation process with my family and friends, I have decided to again run for the Kansas City Public School Board 2nd Sub-District seat. When considering the decision, only a short time since the last campaign, a great advisor of mine said he had two questions for me:

1. Do you enjoy what you are doing on the Board; and,

2. Do you think you have made and can continue to make a difference?

Through all the issues, dilemmas and considerations, this rang true to me. Yes to both. I believe we can continue to make great strides in this District, and I believe the gains in the last three years require ever increasing vigilance from the administration and Board. We have shown what stability and a growing community involvement can do for student achievement, I hope to have the honor to continue to serve.

My wife and I will send our daughter to KCPS in just a few short years, and we intend to do everything we can to make it the kind of District she, and everyone else deserves, needs and can be proud of.

You will see me around collecting signatures to be on the ballot the next couple weeks, and I look forward to speaking with you all. If you have any questions, please use our contact page. Thank you and good luck to all the candidates this April 8, 2014!

Board Policy Update Complete

After a year of community engagement, expert insight and good old fashioned hard work, the Kansas City Public Schools Board has completed the update to its entire policy document (1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0). As part of my campaign promise, I said that I would do more community engagement and host several public meetings, focus on building consensus on the Board, update our policy document to be relevant and clearly understood by all, and codify sustainability in the operations of our schools (all building renovations and new construction over 100,000 must be LEED Certified and sustainability must be taken into account in all management decisions), and keep all the outside pressures on the District at bay so the Superintendent, the Board’s one and only employee, focused on student achievement. Together we have done all of that and more. Thank you for a great first year (give or take a few weeks)!

Facilities Master Plan

The Kansas City School Board has created a Facilities Master Plan Ad Hoc Committee and appointed me the Chair to provide insight and assistance to the District during its planning process. As Ad Hoc Chair, I will be working to produce greater community involvement in the process, and providing my knowledge and experience in city planning efforts as needed.

The Facilities Master Plan seeks to create true neighborhood schools by redrawing the boundaries that were assimilated and left as is during the right-sizing approximately three years ago. It will put dollars back in the classrooms by identifying efficiencies through partnerships and potential consolidations. And it will create long-term stability by developing a feeder school system that reflects neighborhood identity and minimizing disturbances to students and their families.

This planning process needs your input as there are many issues at play during this discussion of our public school’s future. For more information about the project and to learn how you can become involved by attending a meeting or posting your ideas/comments on the District’s online forum, please visit the Facilities Master Plan webpage here:

Bingham Will Not Be Sold!

Today the School Board held a special town hall meeting at Southwest Early College Campus to announce that the Bingham Middle School site will not be sold. While this comes at a financial cost to the District, the Board listened to the majority of community stakeholders and will retain the property for future use. In the immediate interim, the District will seek funds to demolish the dangerous buildings on the site (probably not until next fiscal year), perhaps the entire structure, and continue to work with community groups who currently utilize the sports fields.

This is only the most recent chapter in the site’s history. We all hope to bring back a middle school, and that means working to regain the trust of the neighborhood, growing enrollment and continued academic achievement!

Congratulations KCPS

Today the State’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released the final test scores for Kansas City Public Schools. Our scholars made great strides and scored 84 out of a total 140 points on the State’s new accreditation standards. That puts us well into being provisionally accredited. Three years of stability in terms of leadership, financials and governance has produced results.

It never could have happened with the State’s RSIT process, KCPS administrators and teachers, staff and of course our scholars. Go KCPS!

As an update; the State Board of Education chose to not hear the case for reaccreditation. Here is the best coverage I found about the story:

KCPS Updates Ends Policies

The KCPS Board has updated its Vision Statement to be more inclusive of the needs of all stakeholders and encapsulate everything our students should be ready to achieve upon graduation and the District should strive to do to serve our community. Now the Board is working to review all of its policies (2.0, 3.0 and 4.0) in the spirit of our new, refined and refocused vision. Here is the updated language approved by the Board:

KCPS Vision Update Board Policy 1.0

1.0 The Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) is a collaboration of scholars, parents, staff and the community to constantly improve academic achievement by addressing the individual needs of each student from birth.  Scholars will be high achieving critical thinkers who are prepared to succeed in a constantly changing world and who are engaged in the improvement of their community.

Repurposing Bingham Middle School

In the 2nd Sub-District, there are very few remaining school sites owned by the Kansas City Public School District. Real property is our most valuable resource and a necessity for the long-term success of the District. As we grow enrollment and turn around the District, together, through efforts like Hale Cook Elementary, we will need all of these properties in the future. Regarding this topic, I think I cover most of my thoughts in this Vimeo at a recent community meeting regarding the Repurposing of Bingham Middle School:

Board Vision Statement Final Report

After four successful public meetings, a Board retreat, hundreds of surveys, a round of MindMixer (online forum) questions, and other formal and informal discussions, the KCPS Board has completed a report on community input into the update of our Vision Statement (aka Ends Policies).

You can view the Final Report and learn review what we heard you say here:

You can also view it as an attachment here: KCPS Board Report_Vision Statement Update


KCPS Board Needs Your Input for Vision Statement Update

In January 2013, the Kansas City Public Schools Board will host 4 public meetings to seek your ideas on how to make the District better and more representative of your needs. The Board operates on a governance policy model, where our Ends Policies, of Vision guides all the other policies by which we hold our Superintendent accountable. Come to our four public meetings and help us understand what works and needs improvement in our District. The four public meetings are:

KCPS Public Meetings January 2013 Flyer

Tuesday January 22, 2013 at 6:00PM @Garcia Elementary (1000 W. 17th Street)

Thursday January 24, 2013 at 6:00PM @Border Star Montessori (6321 Wornall Road)

Tuesday January 28, 2013 at 6:00PM @Gladstone Elementary (335 N. Elmwood Road)

Thursday January 30, 2013 at 6:00PM @Paseo Academy (4747 Flora Street)