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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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In This Issue

Read, Learn, Play Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

KCKPS on the Recruitment Trail

Senator Visits with Harmon Students

Mark Your Calendars

NFL PLAY 60 Donation

Students of the Month

Summer Learning Program

It's National Principals Day

Harmon Students Receive Scholarships

Diploma+ Career Fair

Mentorship Program Celebrates its Inaugural Year

Lincoln University Honors Schlage Band Leader

KCKPS Students Tour Garmin Facility

UG to Host Career Fair

KCKPS Partners with Businesses

to Promote Child Literacy

Elementary school students from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools gathered today in front of the Rosedale Ultra Wash to witness the unveiling of a brand new Read, Play, Learn reading nook during a special ribbon-cutting event.

The Read, Play, Learn reading space at Rosedale Ultra Wash located at 4310 Pearl St., in Kansas City, Kansas will offer a fun and safe area for young students to read their favorite books, learn about the world and explore their imaginations.

“Laundry Cares Foundation is proud to partner with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools to help grow the vision of creating community-wide learning for all children. With the installation of Read, Play, and Learn kits in community laundromats, KCKPS is creating bold new opportunities for learning and book ownership to all young children throughout Kansas City,” said Executive Vice President of Laundry Care Foundation Dan Naumann. 

KCKPS shares the vision of the Laundry Cares Foundation in helping bring early literacy into community settings like the laundromat. “Any time a young child can pick up a book and read they will most assuredly benefit from that skill. Reading helps improves their language skills and cognitive development.” said KCKPS Superintendent Dr. Anna Stubblefield.  

“The Read, Play, Learn space at Rosedale Ultra Wash is the second of its kind in our community. It provides a much-needed literacy resource to children in our community which helps build critical school readiness skills. We are excited to see how the partnership with Laundry Cares continues to grow and develop as we strive to provide increased access to early literacy for children in Kansas City, Kansas,” said Director of Early Childhood Megan Cook.

Today’s ribbon cutting was made possible thanks in large part to the owners of the Rosedale Ultra Wash. They’ve been in the Kansas City, Kansas community for more than 20 years, and they feel proud for being part of an impactful contribution. "The literacy space has been a work in progress. We are excited about the partnership with the school district to finish the space and thankful to be a part of the community,” said Rosedale Ultra Wash owner Theresa Potter.

HR Team Recruiting New Staff

Members of the Human Resources Department at Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools have had a very busy and productive April. 

Throughout the month, they have coordinated several virtual and onsite events to hire new certified and classified staff members. 

HR hosted a virtual career fair Tuesday, April 18. During the fair, the department invited administrators and conducted interviews virtually to fill much-needed Certified Teaching positions. 

Staff members have also been busy looking for recruits on the road. Several team members participated in a career fair at the University of Missouri in Columbia on Saturday, April 15. 

HR Directors visited HBCU Howard University in Washington, D.C., for their Educator’s Career Fair on Wednesday, April 12. This is the first onsite career fair in several years due to the pandemic. 

Recent recruiting trips also included stops at Donnelly College and Kansas City Kansas Community College in Kansas City, Kansas, on Thursday, April 13. KCCC held its Spring Career and Transfer Fair. 

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Sen. Pat Pettey Visits with Harmon Students

As students began to file in J.C. Harmon High School for the start of their day, they were joined by a face that may not have been familiar to them.

Kansas State Senator Pat Pettey (District 6) stopped by Harmon bright and early Wednesday, April 19. 

The lawmaker says it’s important to visit schools annually in her district. She’s been a lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas, and has a deep connection with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. “I’ve made it a policy to visit my schools. I’ve been to Harmon several times,” said Pettey. 

A small group of students, primarily seniors, met with Pettey in a first-floor conference room, where they introduced themselves. Pettey followed up the introductions by asking students about their plans for the future. 

Some students answered with certainty what their next move would be. There were also a few who weren’t sure. Pettey reminded them that there are scholarship opportunities available and that it’s important to take advantage of them to help further their education. “The more education you have, the more you are considered for a job,” added Pettey. 

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Just a Reminder

May is a busy month! Reminder, to view information about the KCKPS Graduation Ceremonies.

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Highlights Around the District

NFL PLAY 60 Play Space

Students at Frank Rushton Elementary School have reason to celebrate. 

Thanks to the generosity of the National Football League, Kansas City Chiefs, and the American Heart Association, they now have a brand-new place to play.

The organizations worked together to help pay for installing a new play place at the school. The play space was unveiled to the delight of students and staff Friday, April 28. 

The new Play 60 Play Space offers students a dedicated space to support their overall health and wellness. The Play Space will give students a variety of ways to be active. 

The American Heart Association also donated Recess kits in each classroom to help provide additional activities for students throughout the day.

The NFL Play 60 is the league’s national youth health and fitness campaign, encouraging kids to get physically active for at least 60 minutes daily. 

Since its launch in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $352 million to youth health and fitness through Play 60 programming, grants, and public service announcements.

Students of the Month

Zaina is an exemplary student at Morse Early Childhood Center and has been recommended by teacher Raziya Marks. According to Ms. Marks, “Zaina could possibly be deserving not only student of the month but student of the year.” Zaina is well on her way to being a great reader and math star. Zaina is an influential learner at such a young age. She constantly encourages her friends to try harder on their schoolwork throughout the day and helps our tiniest classmates acclimate to the classroom. When given a task, she goes above and beyond!  

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Sierra is a Kindergarten scholar at T.A. Edison Elementary School and was nominated by principal Cindy Cop. Sierra is an ambassador of kindness and support. Last week, a new student was enrolled and assigned a seat across the table from Sierra. The new student had never been to school before, and everything was new for him. Sierra took the new student under her wing. She helped him hang up his jacket on a hook. She helped him open his milk and organize his breakfast in front of him. All morning she guided the student through the routines of kindergarten.  

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Mia is a natural academic but understands she must work hard to maintain her grades. She is willing to put in the time and effort to do so. She is engaged in class and not afraid to reach out if she needs assistance or has questions after general instructions are given. Mia is that student you wish could stay around for a few more years so that you can have her lead more incoming classes. 

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Javier has the vision of Success Center Student Ambassadors meeting with 9th and 10th-grade Advocacy groups to share information and resources and build the message of possibilities. He also envisions the Student Ambassadors collaborating with the Success Center and Diploma+ team to support the messaging with the 11th and 12th graders. 

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Summer Learning Program

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools has good news about the upcoming Summer Learning Program.

The deadline to sign up has been extended to Tuesday, May 5th.

Some exciting programs students can take advantage of include Driver’s Ed, the YMCA Learn to Swim Program, the ACT Prep Course, the Alvin Ailey Dance Camp, and many more.

We are also excited to announce that KCKPS has some incentives for students.

Students’ names will go into a drawing to earn a chance at winning several fabulous prizes.

They include new backpacks, cash prizes, gift cards, and family passes to the Kansas City Monarchs baseball games.

Students can earn tickets based on their attendance. Each ticket will then be entered into a raffle to win prizes. 

Students must be present to win.

List of some of the SLP classes

  • YMCA Learn to Swim
  • KCYA (Kansas City Young Audiences)
  • Intentional Living – Agility Course
  • Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts
  • For the Love of Self
  • ACT Prep
  • Driver’s Ed
  • ProX – Internships
  • Gear Up – Internships
  • OSHA 10 Training
  • Virtual Reality Career Exploration Labs
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It's National Principals Day!

National School Principals Day is May 2, 2023. Thank you to all of our school leaders for going above and beyond for our students and staff!

Harmon Students Receive Scholarships

The future for dozens of students at J.C. Harmon High School got a little brighter thanks to a special scholarship program.

27 juniors at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools learned Friday, May 28 at a special ceremony that they were awarded a $50,000 scholarship to attend college.

Each awardee will receive up to $50,000 over five years to earn a two, or four-year degree at one of 17 schools in the KC Scholars network.

“This is honestly a blessing because now I can use it to go to college. It’s going to help me a lot,” said Gabriel Rodriguez. For Rodriguez, this day didn’t almost happen. He was headed to Los Angeles, California the same day the scholarship application was supposed to be turned in. Rodriguez says luckily for him, his flight was canceled, and he was able to turn in the paperwork.

Also receiving scholarships, twins Coral, and Cristal Irenia Delasantos. They are both considering going into the medical field because they like helping people. “I feel good. I feel happy that I accomplished something. I did something good,” said Cristal.

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Diploma+ Holds Career Fair

Wave after wave of high school juniors and senior from Kansas City, Kansas Public School packed into the gymnasium at F.L. Schlagle High School.

Students were there to take advantage of the first annual career fair, hosted by Workforce Partnership and the Diploma+ Program.

The event on Thursday, April 27 featured more than 80 businesses from the greater Kansas City area. Representatives from the Unified Government, the KCK Fire Department, the Wyandotte Country Sheriff’s Department were on hand.

Also, there were dozens of large manufacturing companies, local health organizations, and members of the Human Resource Department at KCKPS.  

The career fair was centered around KCKPS students who have decided they do not want to attend college, and instead want to enter into the workforce. “We support any student’s plan for success on how they view that for themselves. We know that not every student can be successful in college or school setting. And that’s fine,” said Assistant Director of Diploma+ Lisa Martinez.

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Mentorship Program Celebrates

Its Inaugural Year

The Wyandotte High School Boys’ Basketball team members recently received their letterman jackets at a special ceremony.

But the event at the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, was more than just about the squad celebrating their season and getting fancy, new jackets.

The gathering on Monday, April 24, was about celebrating members of the team who completed a newly launched mentorship program called the All-American Academic Program.

The boys’ head basketball coach Marcus Johnson Sr created the program. His vision was to create a mentorship program that provided a positive pathway for his young players. 

Johnson started with a small group of players on his basketball team. He paired them with a dozen men from the Kansas City community whom he considered accomplished and successful. Johnson’s overall intent was to help his players improve their grades, increase their attendance at school, and most importantly, improve their leadership skills.

“I feel like our efforts made an extremely positive impact on our student-athletes that were involved. I believe experiences were gained, support was given, and our students have set goals for their future,” said Johnson.

Someone who already has an eye on their future is DeAngelo Mays. The Wyandotte sophomore went through the mentorship program and believed it greatly helped him. “It was pretty good to have someone with insight, someone who’s already experienced what I’m going through now,” said Mays. 

The small forward says he wants to be someday involved in real estate, investment banking, and E-commerce. He says his experience with the mentorship program showed him a lot and helped him on his path. “It’s been a really good motivator and driver for my success in academics and beyond,” May adds. 

Coach Johnson is proud of what was accomplished this year with the mentorship program. He’s already looking forward to next year. “We want to try to expand by slightly increasing our numbers, partnering with other programs, and hopefully hosting more mentor dates and events within the school,” said Johnson.

Johnson credits Wyandotte High School Business Facilitator Sheyvette Dinkens, the Wyandotte PTSA organization, and Wyandotte High School Principal Mary Stewart for their support in help launching and sustain the mentor program. Johnson says Leadership 20/20, KU Gear Up, and SOFTware also helped make the program special. “I’m looking forward to building upon the foundation that we laid down this year.” 

Lincoln University Honors

Schlagle Band Leader

Congratulations are in order for F.L. Schlagle High School Band Leader Katja Otto-Gentry. She has been selected as a 2023 Lincoln University Young Alumni Honors honoree. 

The Lincoln University Young Alumni Honor annually celebrates a distinguished group of young alumni for their outstanding leadership, achievements in their profession, and impact on their community before the age of 45. 

Otto-Gentry is a 2016 graduate of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. 

She has been the band leader at Schlagle for five years and has represented her school and Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools in the most positive and energetic way possible.

“It is a blessing to be recognized by THE Lincoln University in this way. Lincoln University holds a very special place in my heart, not only as my alma mater but also as a place that literally changed my life. I would not be the person I am today without my time at Lincoln University,” said Otto-Gentry. 

This isn’t the first time Otto-Gentry has been recognized. Earlier this year, she was awarded Outstanding Band Teacher by the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association. Otto-Gentry became the first Black woman in the history of the NEKMEA to win this award.

A special gala to honor the Lincoln University Young Alumni will take place at the St. Louis Convention Center on Saturday, June 10. 

Congratulations to Otto-Gentry.  

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KCKPS Students Tour Garmin Facility

KCKPS students interested in a career in technology got a first-hand look at what the future could hold for them.

Harmon, Wyandotte, and Washington High School students visited Garmin, a major GPS navigation and technology company based in Olathe, Kansas, on Thursday, April 6.

It was all part of Garmin’s Fast Track to Tech event. The program is designed for individuals looking for a job in technology but doesn’t require them to have a four-year degree.

Fast Track to Tech exposes students to multiple entry-level career opportunities at Garmin.

Students learned about manufacturing, warehouse work, consumer product support, aviation product support, and printed circuit board design. 


As part of their visit, students went on a tour of Garmin’s facilities and met with associates from several different departments. 

Garmin also had on-hand several college representatives who could talk to students interested in taking advantage of Garmin’s tuition reimbursement program. 

“Overall, students were very impressed with the event and company. Several of them are planning to pursue positions and are now able to understand what to look for in an organization,” said Career and Technical Education Coordinator Kelley James. 

The Diploma+ team coordinated the tour.

The Diploma+ program is an initiative created by Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools. Its goal is to have each graduating KCKPS student exit high school prepared for college and or a career in a global society.

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Community News

UG to Host In-Person Career Expo

On Thursday, May 11, 2023, from 4-7 PM, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will host its first in-person career expo since the Covid-19 pandemic at Memorial Hall at 600 N. 7 Street, KCK, KS 66101.  


“Over 25 years ago, I made a public service career decision to serve as a professional manager with a local government,” said County Administrator David Johnston. “I have found this decision as very rewarding as the work we do touches our citizens’ lives and our business operations daily. I have seen our staff serving the Unified Government having a spirit that is driven by this same value.”  


With a diverse range of open positions, from seasonal and part-time jobs to full-time fieldwork, administrative support, and professional services. Job seekers of all skill levels are encouraged to attend on-site interviews with prospective managers and directors. Potential applicants can meet with departments such as public safety, parks and recreation, public health, and more to learn more about what it is like to serve your community.  


“The Unified Government offers a wide array of opportunities in customer service, public safety, utilities, and various social services where all the work we do focuses on improving the lives of those who call Wyandotte County home,” Johnston continued. “I invite you to attend our career fair to investigate our opportunities.” 


The 2023 Career Expo, Meet the Faces Behind the UG Badge, will feature several resources for prospective applicants from the Unified Government and community partners that can help you with your career development. Wyandotte County residents and interested applicants are encouraged to explore their first or next career move. 


A New Day in Public Sector Hiring 


This month, the Unified Government launched an online job application portal to simplify the process of identifying opportunities and applying, tracking applications, and connecting with the hiring departments.  


This is part of a broader roll-out of a new enterprise resource planning system, Workday, which offers automated online services relating to financial management processing and reporting, and just recently launched the deployment for recruiting and benefits enrollment.  


During the career expo, the Unified Government will have on-site laptops available for attendees to apply for positions and ask questions regarding the online application and hiring process. For more information about open positions and the UG hiring process, please visit our website at  

KCKPS Videos to Watch

The Language Karen

It’s Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month! We have over 60 languages spoken at home, and we want to take a moment to share some information about one of them: Karen.

Board of Education
Upcoming Events and Activities

You can watch past meetings on KCKPS-TV or YouTube.

Board of Education
Upcoming Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

May 9, 2023

May 23, 2023

June 13, 2023

June 27, 2023

July 18, 2023

Zoom meeting

(web-based video conferencing)

5:00 pm

The public can join in on the meeting to listen by clicking on the link on the home page of the district's website.

Your Education Channel

KCKPS-TV is the cable access channel for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. We provide a variety of viewing options for the public to access and watch public meetings and district programming on KCKPS-TV 24-hours, every day of the week.

Broadcast TV

  • Available on Spectrum cable, Channel 18, and in HD on Google Fiber, Channel 145.
  • Available online on the KCKPS website.
  • Programs and school board meetings are also scheduled for rebroadcast on KCKPS-TV.

You can also watch us live where ever you are online, on Roku or the Apple TV app.

Visit KCKPS School Foundation for Excellence website for more information.
Visit the KCKPL website for a full list of calendar events for adults and all ages.
Superintendent of Schools
Kansas City, Kansas
Public Schools
2010 N. 59th Street
Kansas City, Kansas 66104
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