Several schools in Andover and Wichita will spend the next year redesigning their curriculum in collaboration with the Kansas State Department of Education.
The Kansans Can School Redesign Project is an initiative from KSDE designed to encourage schools to rethink how to best prepare students for the workforce, possibly even forgoing traditional grade levels in the process. The project focuses on five factors, including social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, individual plan of study, high school graduation rates and postsecondary completion.
KSDE announced the first 14 schools to participate in the first phase of the initiative last August. Schools accepted in the project's latest wave — called Gemini II — include Cessna Elementary and Chester Lewis Academic Learning Center in Wichita. In Andover, there’s Meadowlark Elementary, Robert Martin Elementary, Cottonwood Elementary and Andover Central Middle.
"It's really an opportunity to have a blank slate,” says Dana Matheny, principal at Meadowlark Elementary. "And to really, really wrap our minds around what we really think is best for kids and what is happening now in our classrooms or in our schools that's impeding us."
The redesigns will take effect in fall 2020.
Stephan Bisaha, based at KMUW in Wichita, is an education reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.