Mercury 7 You Tube interview on Thursday

KASB’s Scott Rothschild will interview the KSDE “Mercury 7” Kansans Can School Redesign team in a live You Tube interview at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Tammy Mitchell and Jay Scott are the Elementary and Secondary Redesign Specialists, respectively, who will guide the seven school districts chosen on August 8 to serve as demonstration sites in the drive to redesign Kansas public schools around the Kansas State Board of Education’s five outcomes that define a successful high school graduate. 

The Mercury 7 districts are Wellington USD 353, Olathe USD 233, Coffeyville USD 445, Twin Valley USD 240, Liberal USD 480, McPherson USD 418 and Stockton USD 271.  

Harkening to President John F. Kennedy’s call for America to reach the moon, Education Commissioner Randy Watson refers to the school redesign effort as Kansas’ “moonshot,” naming the project after America’s first astronauts, the Mercury 7. Watson said the project seeks to “deconstruct the traditional school system and build what Kansans believe best meets the needs of today’s students — choice.”  

To be considered for the Kansans Can School Redesign project, districts had to agree to redesign one elementary and one secondary school. They also had to have approval of their local school board, faculty support with a vote of 80 percent, and support from teacher professional organizations. The districts had to be willing to launch a new school redesign in the 2018-2019 school year and serve as a demonstration site for other districts in Kansas to study, learn from and visit.  

KASB has specifically endorsed and pledged resources to this project, along with the Kansas Board of Regents, United School Administrators of Kansas, the Kansas National Education Association, the Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland and 4-H Youth Development. 

Rothschild, Mitchell and Scott will discuss how the redesign will best meet the needs of Kansas students and the role of teachers, students, administrators, parent and board members in the process. They’ll also talk about how the ambitious project will take place without additional staff and within existing resources.

To participate in the discussion, go to KASB’s You Tube channel and subscribe.  

For those who cannot participate in the live interview, it will be archived on the You Tube channel. 

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