KCPS dives deep into data trying to pinpoint problems and develop efficient solutions

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Data pix.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The school year may be winding down, but right now, Kansas City Public Schools remains busy finding ways to fill seats, save money and work more efficiently with charter schools.

A presentation given Thursday went through a lot data that included financing, transportation and how to keep students in the school district through 12th grade. The big takeaway: They cannot fix these problems alone.

This leaves administrators coming up with a lesson plan as the last day of school is less than a month away.

"Why are parents leaving our system? Not just KCPS and not just charter schools, but we are finding from the data that parents at certain grade levels are making the decision to leave the entire system," said Charnissa Holliday Scott, the director of education systems.

According to new data, the district serves 47 percent fewer students in 12th grade than it does in Kindergarten.

"Our children come with a lot of needs, whether it be in health, housing, adult literacy. There are things we need to do to help sustain our families," Scott said.

She started at the school district exactly a month ago, to help better collaborate with charter schools, parents and the community to help find a solution.

"We want to be able to establish a council that, taking this data we have, how do we make decisions from here?" Scott said.

The cost of transportation provided another big takeaway from the research.

"We have charter schools with their own bus systems. We have Kansas City Public Schools with its bus system. So there could be several buses that travel down the same block in the same morning," Scott said.

This leaves the district looking for mutually beneficial solutions.

"Through stuff like coordinated start times, so we can have one fleet of buses that serve different tiers, instead of multiple operators driving around our city that are not full and passing each other on the street," Michael Reynolds, chief resource and accountability officer, said.

Scott says those dollars can be spent elsewhere.

"Those dollars can be translated into the classroom to help the achievement of our students," Scott said.

As for what happens next, the school district has this data of what they want to fix, now they plan to reach out to parents, conduct forums and start having those conversations about how to move forward.



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