According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are 81 K-12 school districts in the KC region that include several National Blue Ribbon School award winners.
There are substantial education innovation building blocks across Kansas City as boutique programs and individual districts are currently offering career exploration, industry-relevant credentials, and dual-credit enrollment to high school students.
Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)
Created in 2009, CAPS is a nationally recognized, innovative high school program. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit. It is now being replicated in more than 33 school districts within 9 states.
A regional urban education intermediary, PREP-KC ensures rigorous K-12 math instruction and provides career exploration preparation opportunities to 15,000 students across six school districts and three charter networks in the bi-state region’s urban core.
Project Lead the Way
Already, more than 30,000 high school students are engaged in STEM programming through Project Lead The Way (a third of the entire metro high school enrollment). Of the 41 districts in the region, 29 have formal accelerated programming in STEM courses, and many of those inform and credential students for education and career pathways after high school. In the last four years, they also increased the number of K-5 STEM students from 120 to 32,141 regionally, while certifying more than 400 K-12 teachers in engineering, computer science and biomedicine.
Recent collaborative education efforts in Kansas City aimed at closing the achievement gap in K-12 education and ensuring access and completion of postsecondary education have generated momentum and evidence that a coordinated effort among all stakeholder groups can result in large-scale investable initiatives to transform the region’s workforce pipeline.
The most dynamic programming is taking place in the following districts and programs:
- Blue Valley CAPS
- Excelsior Springs High School
- Independence School District Academies
- Kansas City Kansas Public Schools Diploma+
- Kansas City Public Schools – Manual Career and Technical Center
- Lee’s Summit – Summit Tech and Missouri Innovation Campus
- Northland CAPS
- Park Hill Lead Innovation Studio
- Olathe Public Schools 21st Century Academies
- Shawnee Mission Public Schools Signature Programs