The Kauffman Foundation supported the development and potential start-up of several of new school models in the Kansas City area. In evaluating school models, the Foundation seeks innovative approaches that show evidence of effectiveness. Independent evaluations by respected organizations show that when these designs are implemented, they bring about significant improvements in student achievement as measured by standardized tests and portfolios of student work. Studies have also found that these models change instructional practices and school culture for the better, improve student attendance and parent participation, and reduce the need for disciplinary actions.
- Outward Bound, Inc.
Expeditionary Learning Schools Outward Bound is a comprehensive school reform model for elementary, middle and high schools that emphasizes learning by doing, character growth, teamwork, and literacy. Teachers connect reading, writing, science, math, the arts, and other subjects with a challenging set of real-world projects called Learning Expeditions. Schools build cultures of high academic and social standards by designing Learning Expeditions aligned with district and state standards, grouping students heterogeneously, and supporting all students to achieve beyond their expectations. A 2002 meta-analysis of 29 comprehensive school reform models by the Center for Reserch on the Education of Students at Risk gave Expeditionary Learning the highest rating given to any model created in the previous ten years.
- KIPP Schools
Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is a network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory public schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. The KIPP model emphasizes outstanding educators, more time in school, a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, and a strong culture of achievement and support help our students make significant academic gains and continue to excel in high school and college.
- Cristo Rey
The Cristo Rey Network is a national association of high schools that provide quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to urban young people who live in communities with limited educational options. Cristo Rey high schools offer a high-quality, college preparatory Jesuit education to young people from low-income families through a dual-language curriculum and rigorous math and science instruction. A unique Corporate Internship Program with local businesses helps cover the cost of tuition and provides students with hands-on experience, marketable skills, mentoring, and a business-oriented work ethic. Students can be of any faith but are required to attend religion classes. In 2004, the Archdiocese of St. Joseph - Kansas City received a grant from the Cristo Rey Network to study the feasibility of establishing a Cristo Rey school. During the fall of 2006, the Cristo Rey Kansas City School opened and is run locally by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. The school accepts students from Kansas and Missouri.