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The Kalamazoo Promise

The Kalamazoo Promise is a unique scholarship that provides up to 100 percent, post-secondary tuition and fee assistance for every Kalamazoo Public Schools graduate. Begun in 2005, thanks to the generosity of anonymous donors, the Kalamazoo Promise has provided more than $67 million scholarships to more than 4,000 students. 

Eligibility: One of the most unique elements of the Kalamazoo Promise is its scope of eligibility. The scholarship is open to ALL students who graduate from Kalamazoo Public Schools, 2006 and beyond, are residing in the district and attending KPS for four years or more. Enrollment and residency must be continuous. The tuition benefit is graduated, with students who attend kindergarten through 12th grade receive 100 percent tuition coverage. The amount of tuition decreases for subsequent years of enrollment ending with students who enroll by at least ninth grade receiving 65 percent. 

The Promise is good at all public universities and colleges in Michigan, as well as at the private schools associated with the Michigan Colleges Alliance. Sixty-two institutions participate in the program.

For more information, visit our Kalamazoo Promise page

State of the District

By Dr. Michael F. Rice, Superintendent

March 2019

Kalamazoo Public Schools is a vibrant, growing district, with an increase of 2,500 students in the last 14 years and 1,300 students in the last 12 years. Using the Kalamazoo Promise as a springboard, the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS), its staff, parents, students, and community organizations continue to improve student achievement in a profound way.

We are KPS, the largest, most diverse district in the region, the second largest and the most diverse district on the west side of the state. We appreciate and value our diversity and view it as part of our richness. We are approximately 38 percent African American, 36 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 11 percent multi‐ethnic, less than 2 percent Asian American, and less than 1 percent Native American. We are 1,596 special needs students. We are 1,058 English language learners, of which 165 are refugees who have enrolled in the district in the last three years. We are hundreds of young people who have struggled with housing instability over the last year.

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our teachers, support staff, administrators, parents, grandparents, and community, our children have greater opportunities each year to pursue their promise and their dreams. We continue to make improvements in our schools each and every year.

Below are selected school district and community accomplishments:

· Every major academic board goal area has shown significant growth in the last several years.

· From 2007‐08 through 2018‐19, the number of KPS students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses increased by 156 percent.

· During the same period, the numbers of African American/multi‐ethnic students, economically disadvantaged students, and Hispanic students taking AP courses increased by 313 percent, 402 percent, and 1212 percent, respectively.

· From 2007‐08 through 2018‐19, the number of AP courses taken by our students increased by 226 percent.

· From 2007‐08 to 2017‐18, the number of AP tests earning college credit increased 10 consecutive years, from 143 to 566 tests (a total increase of 296 percent).

· KPS graduation rates are up 12 percentage points since President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at the Kalamazoo Central graduation in 2010 as the prize for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.

· KPS graduation rates (4‐year cohort) have risen from 65.2% in 2013 to 75.2% in 2018 (the highest 4‐year rate in the district’s history under the current federal graduation rate formula).

· KPS graduation rates (5‐year cohort) have risen from 72.4% in 2014 to 80.4% in 2018 (the highest 5‐year rate in the district’s history under the current federal graduation rate formula).

· More students graduated in 2018 than in any year post‐Promise. In 2005, 454 students graduated. In 2018, 692 students graduated, a 52 percent increase.

· The KPS Board of Education expanded the number of Early Middle College programs with Kalamazoo Valley Community College from 8 to 35 three years ago and dozens of students have begun to take advantage of these outstanding programs.

· In April 2017, the KPS Board of Education adopted a new K‐5 math series, for implementation in two stages: grades K‐3 in 2017‐18 and grades 4‐5 in 2018‐19.

· At the same time, the board adopted a new K‐5 writing series, also for implementation in two stages: grades 4‐5 in 2017‐18 and grades K‐3 in 2018‐19.

· Last year, 413 staff and community members mentored 1,168 students in 9,572 weekly mentoring sessions.

· Since 2010, Lift Up Through Literacy, our parent education and family literacy programs at community sites throughout the district, has trained thousands of parents and grandparents to help support their children and grandchildren around literacy.

· KPS voters have approved three bonds in the last decade that total $220.6 million. Additionally, KPS spearheaded a countywide special education millage in 2015.

· KPS has engaged hundreds of community partners, many of which have long‐standing relationships with the district. Communities in Schools‐Kalamazoo has a strong presence in 20 of our 26 schools.

Bridge Magazine named 54 Michigan high schools as 2017 Academic State Champions. Both Kalamazoo Central and Loy Norrix made the list. For high schools in the state with more than 55% free or reduced‐price lunch eligibility, Loy Norrix was ranked first and Kalamazoo Central fourth in the state.

Yet to paraphrase Robert Frost, we have a long way to go before we sleep.

One final thought: Every time a child learns to read, every time a child learns to write, every time all members of a family can read well, every time a student graduates from high school, first in his or her family to do so, every time a young man or woman goes to college, first in his or her family to do so, every time a tutor tutors, a mentor mentors, a church, temple, or mosque steps up to serve children, every time a person comes out of retirement to help a child rise up, we get one step closer to a community culture, a college‐going culture, a literacy community, which we will be proud to leave to and for our children.

Enroll Here

Registration Form

Registration Checklist

Out of District Request to Attend KPS 2018-2019

Student registration forms can be printed, filled out and returned to your school during the school year (to find your assigned school, you can check the street address guide in the section below). During the summer months, student registration forms should be brought to the Student Services office in the KPS Administration Building, 1220 Howard St. 

Out of District enrollment forms should be printed and brought to the Student Services office in the KPS Administration Building, 1220 Howard St. 

For more information, contact Student Services at (269) 337-0161 or visit our general enrollment page

 

 

Maps & Street Guides

Click the map to see the district boundaries and find a district attendance area listing by stree address. 

 

Frequent Questions
  • How many schools are in the district? We offer classes at 26 buildings. We have 17 elementary schools, five middle schools, and four high schools.
  • How many students attend Kalamazoo Public Schools? We have approximately 13,000 students. 
  • Do you offer preschool classes? Yes. School Begins at 4! KPS values the opportunity for four year olds to receive educational services through Pre-kindergarten Early Education Program (PEEP), which is a Great Start Readiness Program. The program has full- and half-day sessions, in select elementary schools across the district. Meals are provided and transportation may be available. Orientation sessions are being offered at each elementary school on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. We invite parents/guardians to come see the programs and contact us for more information by calling (269) 337-0095.
  • How old do you have to be to enroll in  kindergarten? Students must be 5 by Sept. 1 of the year they enroll. Each spring we hold a Kindergarten Orientation. The next one will be held March 14. If you'd like to register outside of orientation, please call Student Services at (269) 337-0161.
  • What documents do you need to register? To register, you will need a child's birth certificate, immunization record, proof of hearing and vision screening (if available), and two proofs of residency (such as: utllity bill, a lease agreement or mortgage document).
  • How do you know which attendance district a house is in? There is a boundary map on the right side of this page. If you click on it, it will take you to a map and a street directory, which will list addresses and school assignments. If you have questions, call KPS Communications at (269) 337-1572.
  • I’m interested in learning more about KPS, is it possible to tour the district? Yes. Please contact the KPS Communications to schedule a tour at (269) 337-1572 or email communications@kalamazoopublicschools.net .
  • What academic enrichment opportunities exist for students? KPS offers the A/T Program for academically talented students in early elementary. Older elementary students participate in Avant-Garde. In middle school, students can test into the Academically Talented program at Western Michigan University. High-achieving high school students can test for the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center. In addition, our high schools offer a wide range of Advanced Placement courses, through which students can earn college credit. High school students may also dual enroll at Western Michigan University or Kalamazoo Valley Community College. 
Curriculum

 

Kalamazoo Public Schools offers a curriculum to provide challenge, rigor, richness, and to promote high academic achievement. The curriculum is based on performance standards aligned to the Michigan Department of Education grade-level and subject expectations, as well as best teaching practices.

At the elementary level, there is a new comprehensive math curriculum called Eurkea Math. Students connect to real world skills that build math confidence, learn to be fluent in mathematics, and learn to visualize math, and develop reasoning skills. The elementary schools will also launch a writing series, called “Being a Writer.” It connects academic and social-emotional learning through the writing process. The teacher starts with discussions and models examples for students, and students develop their own writing voices through an exchange of ideas. Both will be implemented in the 2017-18 and  2018-19 school years.

Our secondary level curriculum emphasizes mastery of core subjects to prepare students for post-secondary education and the changing work force of the future. There are exploratory courses at the middle-school and high-school levels in areas of specific interest. The district offers more than 20 Advanced Placement courses to challenge students to help them earn college credit. Other options for students include Early Middle College with more than 30 career paths leading to a high school diploma, associate’s degrees, or certificates; Education for Employment (EFE); Education for the Arts (EFA); and online courses.

 

Assessments

Students in KPS take the NWEA-Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test for pre- and post- assessments to guide teachers in their instruction and monitor academic progress throughout the school year. This national assessment helps to support student growth and mastery for every student. Teachers are able to target instruction to meet the needs of students.

Students take the state assessment, M-STEP, at the designated grade levels for English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. PSAT is given to ninth and 10th graders. The SAT is given to 11th graders along with WorkKeys. MI-Access is used for students with disabilities at the designated grade levels.

In addition, the district provides benchmark assessments to monitor growth for elementary students to and district common growth assessments at the secondary level. This includes the core curricular areas as well as PE, art, and music. High school students in Advanced Placement courses take the end-of-year advanced placement tests.

 

About Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo is located in Southwestern Michigan approximately 136 miles west of Detroit and 145 miles east of Chicago. Founded in 1831, the city is the county seat and is easily accessible from both I-94 and U.S. 131, which cross the state from east to west and north to south, respectively. It is located just 45 minutes east of Lake Michigan.

Kalamazoo is home to Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. It has two nationally recognized healthcare systems, diverse and affordable housing, and many parks, lakes, and golf courses.

A wide variety of industries and businesses call Kalamazoo home, including major players in the pharmaceutical, medical science, and craft beer industries. The city also offers an array of cultural attractions including professional theaters, dance trouples, an award-winning community theater, a major keyboard festival, museums, visual arts, and more.

For more information on Kalamazoo, visit www.kalamazoocity.org/ or www.discoverkalamazoo.com.

 

Need More Info?

For more information, contact Student Services at (269) 337-0161 or Communications at (269) 337-1572.