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School Improvement

Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA)

Kansas utilizes systems accreditation, which provides school districts leverage to address systemic issues by identifying underlying causes, then implementing structures and behaviors necessary to affect sustainable change. It creates an atmosphere of accountability within and among schools across the system, turning individual excellence into collective progress.

Schools conduct Needs Assessments using rubrics and data. Systems (i.e. districts)  then compile school information to determine goals for system-wide focus during the five-year cycle. Schools and system leadership develop specific goals and accompanying action plans which correlate with district goals, yet speak to each building's autonomy. The Kansas State Board of Education grants each system an accreditation rating (accredited, accredited-conditional or not accredited) at the end of each five-year cycle of school improvement.

In the 2021-2022 school year, the final year of the previous cycle, the state Board of Education fully and unanimously accredited USD 232, at the June 10th meeting.

USD 232 is in Year Two of the KESA cycle.  Focus is on both annual goal review, followed by selection of objectives and strategies that must be timely and measurable.  The district identified goals based on the eight Foundational Structures, and schools then identified building goals in alignment with the district.  Directional focus looks to "Why", "What", and "How" to improve instruction, achievement, and services for student learning, with additional concern for consistent delivery of quality instruction, based on multiple measures of data.

Kansas Vision for Education

Kansans demand higher standards in academic skills, as well as employability and citizenship skills, and the need to move away from a “one-size-fits-all” system that relies exclusively on state assessments. This vision for education calls for a more student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success and will require everyone to work together to make it a reality. 

Defining Success

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 certificate or in the workforce, without the need for remediation. 

District Leadership Teams- Balanced and Inclusive Voice

District Improvement Team

The District Improvement Team is comprised of employees of the district, with representation from departments, grades, and certified positions of employment. The group consists of members who are committed to service to the profession both in and beyond the classroom.

  • Oversee and approve building-level KESA work,
  • Lead and facilitate the Needs Assessment process,
  • Establish district goals for the five-year cycle,
  • Develop action plan(s) for each goal,
  • Oversee implementation of action plans, and
  • Analyze the effectiveness of the action plans.

District Site Council

District Site Council is made up primarily of non-employees of the district.  The DSC represents the district’s various demographic and stakeholder groups, including parents, students, business, and community representation. 

  • Needs Assessment,
  • goal area selection,
  • leadership goal and action plan development,
  • evidence and data, and
  • analysis of growth.

KESA Outside Visiting Team (OVT)

The Kansas K-12 accreditation model, Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA), accredits education systems.  Each system is required to work with an Outside Visitation Team (OVT) of education professionals from the Pre-K-12 classroom, educational leadership, and higher education. This team is charged with coaching, mentoring, and supporting the KESA system to which it is assigned for the duration of the five-year accreditation cycle.  Each district is responsible for ensuring that it has an OVT in place.  USD 232 has an outstanding OVT who offers a plethora of experience.  This team leads the district, with annual visits, to increase school improvement efforts that results in maximized student efficacy and achievement.

Dr. Erin Smith- CHAIR

Director of Curriculum & Instruction ¦ USD 230 Spring Hill School District

Ryan Bodensteiner

Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning ¦ USD 453 Leavenworth School District

Doug Kapeller

Director- Innovation and Career Pathways ¦ USD 233 Olathe School District


“Kansas has always performed well academically, but the remediation rates tell us that we need to make sure our students are learning at the depth needed to be academically ready for whatever path they choose after high school,” states Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson. “The shift toward the higher standards is in direct response to the increased demands of the workforce and post-secondary education. We want Kansas students well prepared and through the adoption of higher standards and better academic measures, Kansas schools are meeting that challenge.”