Mayor Emanuel Cleaver II


1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

Kansas City, Missouri School District in collaboration with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and Jackson County, Missouri is developing a continuum of services and out-of-school opportunities to return students to the traditional, private alternative and work-based educational environments better prepared for long term success.

This Dropout Prevention Program identifies students that have a combination of behavior, academic and attendance problems. These students are listed on an at-risk report. From there the students are contacted and recruited to attend one of our "transition sites"(a classroom housed in a community based agency).

The students spend one semester or longer in the site where they receive one-on-one teaching assistance, overcome academic deficiencies and begin to view themselves as successes and not as failures. Ultimately, the goal is that these students are reclaimed and reconnected to their hopes for productive lives as citizens, employees and lifelong learners.

2. When was the program created and why?

In May, 1995, the District formed the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Dropout and Truancy Prevention to develop strategies and take the necessary steps to reduce the numbers of students who were educationally at risk. Included in the recommendations was a proposal to establish intervention or transition centers where students could receive more individualized instruction, as well as self-discovery, self-management focus.

Implemented in 1997, the Dropout Prevention Program and its companion transitional classroom approach work in a proactive and responsive mode by utilizing the at-risk report as a predictor for various interventions. Consequently, intervention is more preventative and less reactive to repeated incidents.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?

Through the KCMSD information system department we track the student progress by the following:

- attendance prior to, during and after transition site.

- grades before, during and after transition site.

- behavior-incidents before, during and after transition site.

- Decrease in incidents of juvenile crime

4. How is the program financed?

The program is funded through Operation and Special Revenue budgets of KCMSD, with a significant contribution from the City and County through a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant provided by the Department of Justice. Kansas City, Missouri is truly investing in its greatest resource--its children.

5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?

Community involvement is significant because all the sites are housed in community based agencies. Students are able to benefit from various support services offered by the agencies. Also, agencies have responded positively to the program and have created opportunities for students to provide community service through their soup kitchens, food pantries, thrift shops and adult day care center.

6. Contact person:

Sherron Bauer, Coordinator Alternative Programs

1211 McGee, Suite 812 D

Kansas City, Missouri 64106

Tel: (816) 418-7943, Fax: (816) 418-7029

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The United States Conference of Mayors

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