Saying Goodbye to Grade Levels in Kansas

Schools across the country are making strides to remake the education system in an unexpected way. By dropping grade levels all together and educating students based on experience and readiness, rather than age, visionaries hope to do a full overhaul and significantly improve the way students learn.


In Kansas, the Department of Education (KSDE) launched the Kansans Can School Redesign Project in 2017 and affiliated districts are nearly ready for their launch. This project is blasting off in seven school districts and 14 schools in Kansas for experts to study and other districts and education leaders to visit and learn from. The school redesign project started in August of 2017 with development and is nearing phase three. Material and human resources are being distributed as the plan is completed and set for "lift off." The redesign team will be presenting their plan the Kansas State Board of Education in the summer of 2018 for implementation. The project will begin with seven of the 29 schools that applied to participate. The original team of leaders is named "Mercury 7," as this project is said to be as ambitious as the NASA moon missions in the 60's. The other 22 districts will be known as "Gemini" districts and their programs will launch shortly after "Mercury 7." 


The Kansans Can School Redesign Project is expected to be a 10 year journey and leaders of the project hope to completely redesign the K12 education system for all 286 surrounding districts.


The next 10 years of this project are expected to be nothing near traditional.  The outcomes of this project include social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, implementation of individual plan of study(IPS), high school graduation, and post-secondary success. While the structure and size of every classroom will be dependent on the students involved, participants and leaders of the project plan for character development, citizenship, and work ethic to be more deeply rooted into the education process than ever before as the focus narrows to each individual student. 


"A successful Kansas high school graduate has the academic preparation, cognitive preparation, technical skills, employability skills and civic engagement to be successful in postsecondary education, in the attainment of an industry-recognized certification or in the workforce, without the need for remediation." -KSDE


We are extremely interested in the continuation of this forward-thinking project and look forward to the outcomes. You can follow this project along with us by clicking here. 

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