Mercury 7 school districts approved to redesign & improve schools

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Educators from seven Kansas school districts have worked to improve the education system for all of the districts in the state.

Those school districts, also known as the 'Mercury 7 School Districts', were selected by the Kansas State Board of Education, last year, to participate in the Kansans Can School Redesign Project.

Two school from each district were chosen to participate, and are listed below:

  • Liberal USD 480
    • Meadowlark Elementary School
    • Liberal High School
  • Twin Valley USD 420
    • Tescott Grade School
    • Bennington Junior-Senior High School
  • Coffeyville USD 445
    • Community Elementary School
    • Field Kindley High School
  • McPherson USD 418
    • Eisenhower Elementary School
    • McPherson Middle School
  • Olathe USD 233
    • Westview Elementary School
    • Santa Fe Trail Middle School
  • Stockton USD 271
    • Stockton Grade School
    • Stockton Middle School

A teacher at Santa Fe Trail Middle School, Deb Hill, said the journey has been a lot of work.

"You're pushing people's boundaries. You're shifting their paradigm, and making them think of things differently, and that's not something that we all embrace easily," she explained.

During the Kansas State Board of Education's two day meeting the 14 schools shared their redesign plan.

Schools focused on five elements proposed by the board:

  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Individual plans of study focused on careers
  • increased graduation rates
  • Post secondary completion rates
  • Social-emotional growth

Not only did educators work with each other, but they also worked with those who will be affected the most.

"We're really involving the students this process, and I think that's really important because the kids feel like it belongs to them as well," teacher Sylvia Kvacik said.

The board approved all 14 plans, and said they look forward to the upcoming school year.

The plans will serve as an example to more than 100 other schools who have committed to the redesign project in the coming years.