Kansas Education System 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 effect 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 two Goal Areas 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.
USD 497 is in Year Five of the KESA cycle. This phase is the cumulative product of the alignment between the needs assessment, goals, implementation, analysis of data, and evaluation of results. As a continuous growth process, the results become a bridge to the next phase of data analysis and goal setting. Systems reflect on their comprehensive needs assessment data to determine what has improved, maintained, or declined so appropriate actions can be taken. The results become part of the potential comprehensive needs assessment as data is utilized to determine goals.
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.
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 certification or in the workforce, without the need for remediation.
KESA Foundational Structures
Throughout the KESA process, districts are asked to report on how their system is addressing certain foundational structures that have been identified as essential or primary requisites for the operation of any state-accredited system in Kansas.
In certain years, USD 497 will be asked to describe how your system is addressing each of the foundational structures that are essential for any effective educational system. At the completion of the KESA process, the district will reflect on how your continuous improvement work within the KESA process has impacted each of those foundational structure areas.
Below you will find the list of foundational structures that all Kansas educational systems are expected to have, as well as links to a rubric that districts can use as a self-assessment of where you are in the implementation of each of these areas. USD 497 has crosswalked these rubrics to the district's strategic plan. Those crosswalked rubrics can be found here.