TOPEKA — Twenty-one Kansas school districts will take part in the Gemini Project, which is another facet of the Kansans Can School Redesign Project, the Kansas State Department of Education announced Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
In support of Kansas’ vision for education, KSDE launched the Kansans Can School Redesign Project and received applications from 29 districts interested in joining the project. From those applications, seven — each one representing one of the Mercury 7 astronauts — were selected. The names of the seven districts were announced Aug. 8. The remaining schools had the opportunity to participate in the Gemini Project.
The districts who accepted the challenge of becoming a Gemini district, along with the elementary and secondary school they selected, are:
• Ashland USD 220, Ashland Elementary and Ashland Junior-Senior High
• Basehor-Linwood USD 458, Basehor Elementary and Basehor-Linwood High
• Beloit USD 273, Beloit Elementary and Beloit Junior-Senior High
• Burrton USD 369, Burrton Elementary and Burrton Middle School/High
• Canton-Galva USD 419, Canton-Galva Elementary and Canton-Galva Junior-Senior High
• Chaparral USD 361, Harper Elementary and Chaparral Junior-Senior High
• Dighton USD 482, Dighton Elementary and Dighton Junior-Senior High
• Durham-Hillsboro-Lehigh USD 410, Hillsboro Elementary and Hillsboro Middle High
• Fowler USD 225, Fowler Elementary and Fowler Junior-Senior High
• Geary County USD 475, Westwood Elementary and Junction City High
• Kingman USD 331, Kingman Elementary and Kingman Middle
• Leavenworth USD 453, David Brewer Elementary and Leavenworth High
• Newton USD 373, Slate Creek Elementary/Santa Fe 5-6 Center and Chisolm Middle
• North Lyon County USD 251, Americus Elementary and/or Reading Elementary and Northern Heights High
• North Ottawa County USD 239, Minneapolis Grade School and Minneapolis Junior-Senior High
• Ottawa USD 290, Lincoln Elementary and Ottawa High
• Renwick, USD 267, Colwich Elementary and Garden Plain High
• Rolla USD 217, Rolla Elementary and Rolla Junior-Senior High
• Santa Fe Trail USD 434, Overbrook Attendance Center (kindergarten through third grade) and Santa Fe Trail High
• Skyline USD 438, Skyline Elementary and Skyline High
• Spring Hill USD 230, Prairie Creek Elementary and Spring Hill High
While the districts participating in the Gemini Project won’t receive onsite coaching from KSDE staff members like the Mercury 7 districts, they will participate in video Professional Learning Community (PLC) sessions together; set a project launch date that occurs no later than the spring of 2020; participate in opportunities to collaborate with other Gemini and Mercury schools; develop and share a project timeline with KSDE staff members; redesign one elementary and one secondary school; and adhere to the redesign fundamental principles.
All districts that applied for the Kansans Can School Redesign Project had to agree
to redesign one elementary and one secondary school around the five outcomes established by the Kansas State Board of Education, the five elements identified as defining a successful high school graduate, and what Kansans said they want schools to provide students. They also had to have approval by their local school board with a public vote, faculty support with a vote of 80 percent, and support from KNEA or other professional organization. The districts had to be willing to launch a new school redesign in the 2018-2019 school year and be willing to serve as a demonstration site for other districts in Kansas to study, learn from and visit.
The following districts and schools, along with the name of the Mercury 7 astronaut they selected, were announced earlier this month:
• Coffeyville USD 445: Community Education School and Field Kindley Memorial High (with Roosevelt Middle School staff involved) — John Glenn.
• Liberal USD 480: Meadowlark Elementary School and Liberal High School — Alan Shepard.
• McPherson USD 418: Eisenhower Elementary School and McPherson Middle School — Wally Schirra.
• Olathe USD 233: Westview Elementary School and Santa Fe Trail Middle School — Gordon Cooper.
• Stockton USD 271: Stockton Grade School and Stockton High School — Deke Slayton.
• Twin Valley USD 240: Tescott Elementary School and Bennington Junior-Senior High School — Gus Grissom.
• Wellington USD 353: Kennedy Elementary School and Wellington High School — Scott Carpenter.
To learn more about the Kansans Can School Redesign Mercury 7 Project visit, http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Fiscal-and-Administrative-Services/Communications-and-Recognition-Programs/Vision-Kansans-Can/School-Redesign.
For more information about the Gemini Project, visit http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Fiscal-and-Administrative-Services/Communications-and-Recognition-Programs/Vision-Kansans-Can/School-Redesign/gemini.