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Eight Kansas schools recognized by Civic Advocacy Network

Posted: Aug 14, 2018
Author: Ann Bush

Award winners to be honored on Constitution Day in Topeka

Eight Kansas schools will be recognized in September for the civic engagement opportunities they offer students, said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson.

The Civic Advocacy Network (CAN) was established by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) in order to recognize schools that actively involve students in civic engagement opportunities and to help collect exemplary civic engagement practices to share with schools across the state. The ultimate goal of CAN is to promote civic engagement as part of all preK-12 students’ experiences.

Schools that meet the award criteria receive one of two designations – School of Excellence or School of Promising Practice.

Award applicants must show student engagement around the “Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning:”

  1. Instruction in government, history, law and democracy.
  2. Incorporation of discussion of current local, national and international issues, and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.
  3. Design and implement programs that provide students with opportunities to apply what they learn through performing community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction.
  4. Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities.
  5. Encourage student participation in school governance.
  6. Encourage student participation in simulations of democratic processes and procedures.


Each award applicant also has to submit evidence that one or more of the following takes place around the six practices:

  • Professional learning: Teachers and staff members have been provided training around civic engagement or a particular proven practice.
  • Implementation of a curriculum: Schoolwide initiatives, national, state, local or corporate curriculum that address civic engagement or a particular proven practice.
  • School participation in national, regional, state or corporate competitions and/or programs that address civic engagement or a particular practice.
  • Student performance and recognition: Recognition of students or groups of students for success in civic engagement or a particular proven practice.
  • School recognition: Recognition of the school by an agency outside of the district for work in civic engagement or a particular proven practice.

Schools named as Schools of Excellence are a part of CAN for three years. At the end of the three-year period, each school must reapply.

Schools that apply for the CAN award but aren’t named a School of Excellence have the opportunity to be named a School of Promising Practice. This award is given to schools that have a particularly innovative, effective or unique program that shows potential for impacting student engagement.

This is the first time CAN has named award recipients.

The inaugural CAN award winners are:

  • Complete High School, Maize Unified School District 266
  • Derby Hills Elementary School, Derby USD 260
  • Enders Community Service Magnet Elementary School, Wichita USD 259
  • Garden City High School, Garden City USD 457
  • McPherson Middle School, McPherson USD 418
  • Park Hill Elementary School, Derby USD 260
  • Starside Elementary School, De Soto USD 232
  • Susan B. Anthony Middle School, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383


Schools receiving Promising Practice Awards are:

  • Valley Heights High School, Valley Heights USD 498
  • Florence Wilson Elementary School, Garden City USD 457
  • Merriam Park Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512
  • Seaman High School, Seaman USD 345

Applications were due June 1 and schools were evaluated and scored by Aug. 1. Award winners were announced by Watson during the Kansas State Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Aug. 14, in Topeka.

All schools will be recognized at 1 p.m. on Constitution Day – Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Memorial Building Auditorium, 120 S.W. 10th Ave. in Topeka.


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