17 NE Kansas schools shoot for the moon with education redesign program

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Seventeen northeast Kansas schools are getting the opportunity to redesign their approach to education as part of an effort to engage more students and personalize how they are taught. In all, forty-one schools in nineteen districts statewide were tapped for Apollo Redesign Project.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Dept. of Education released the list of the participating schools. It’s the third round of the agency’s Kansans Can School Redesign Project and brings the number of participating schools to 150, in 66 school districts.

Each school participating in the Apollo round must have a plan ready to implement by the 2020-21 school year. The participating schools in northeast Kansas are:

USD #108

  • Washington Elementary School
  • Washington Co. Junior/Senior High School

USD #321
  • St Mary’s Grade School
  • Rossville Grade School
  • St. Mary’s Junior/Senior High School
  • Rossville Junior/Senior High School

USD #329
  • Maple Hill Elementary School

USD #336
  • Holton Middle School
  • Holton High School

USD #343
  • Perry-Lecompton Middle School
  • Perry-Lecompton High School

USD #487
  • Herington Elementary School
  • Herington Middle/High School

USD #497
  • Broken Arrow Elementary School
  • Deerfield Elementary School
  • Hillcrest Elementary School
  • Free State High School

(See the full list)

The initiative, which was announced in 2017, was the result of two years of community feedback that determined schools needed to focus as much on students’ nonacademic skills, like emotional growth, as it does on developing academic skills, the Education Dept. says.

The agency says the current system works for some students, but not all of them. A more personalized approach, it contends, will allow students to engage in line with the student’s individual preferences and at his or her own pace.

The Education Dept. hopes to have all 286 Kansas school districts involved in the redesign process by 2026.