KC Public Schools Receives $1,500,000 Grant from MO DESE

Kansas City Public Schools was recently awarded a $1,500,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support the teacher leadership model that builds the capacity of mathematics and science teacher leaders who will become highly trained and knowledgeable for the benefit of other teachers in their buildings.

The Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) Mathematics Initiative Partnership is a collaborative effort by regional STEM leaders and educators who are committed to the principle that all K – 6 students require effective math instruction from highly-qualified teachers. This will be accomplished by preparing KCPS teachers to develop and implement lessons which promote mathematical proficiency, use research-based instructional strategies, and develop skilled readers able to comprehend mathematics and science informational texts.  The project goal is to provide professional development that: 1) initiates sustainable teacher leadership supportive of the KCPS vision and direction for district-wide improvement in K – 6 mathematics instruction, 2) develops highly qualified and competent teachers of mathematics, 3) improves literacy in the mathematics and science content areas, and 4) increases mathematics and English Language Arts performance on the MAP.

According to the National Resource Council (NRC, 2001), all students throughout elementary can and should be able to understand mathematical ideas, compute fluently, solve problems and engage in logical reasoning. Traditional school mathematics programs do not enable students to develop the strands of mathematical proficiency in a solid manner. Highly qualified elementary teachers have deep understanding of mathematical proficiency. They focus attention to and work with students in ways that encourage them to use mathematical tasks (National Research Council, 2001). Students will value learning activities that engage those with different abilities and backgrounds within a learning community. The quality of interaction between teachers and students is essential to learning mathematics and science because how students respond to opportunities teachers offer frames how the teachers see their capacity and progress, as well as the next steps of the curriculum they are offered.

In Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS), our purpose is to provide a high-quality education that prepares all of our students, regardless of background or circumstance, for success in college, career, and life.  KCPS is the 12th largest school system in the State of Missouri. It is ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse, serving approximately 15,500 students in pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Our students come from rich and diverse backgrounds that reflect the dynamic world for which our schools are preparing them. More than 50 languages from around the globe are spoken by our students!