In September, Turn the Page KC, in partnership with the Mayor’s office, hosted a summit that focused on the ill effects of student mobility in the Kansas City area. At the summit, many issues related to highly mobile students were discussed. The two resounding themes from the summit were that students don’t always feel welcome when they transfer into a new school, and that when they transfer they miss multiple days of instruction time.
After the summit, Turn the Page KC staff Mike English and Steven Van Auken, in partnership with Aditya Voleti, of Lumentouch decided to delve further into the issue of missed instruction time when transferring. What they found was that when students transfer schools, they miss an average of 5 days while awaiting transferral of student records. Another issue they found is that enrollment delays stem from the difficulty families face when needing to prove residency via utility bills. They convened for the next several months to come up with a solution to these issues, and recently submitted their idea to a national competition sponsored by AT&T that focused on using tangible solutions and data to increase high school graduation rates. The result of the competition was a 2nd place award for the team with a prize of $10,000.
The team’s solution involves two parts. The first part is an online student records dropbox portal that they developed. In this portal, administrators with proper access privileges can upload and download necessary enrollment documents including health records, transcripts, individual education plans, releases, etc. For the second part, the team is working with Kansas City Power & Light to allow administration to gain access to an already existing agency link, where they could instantly access utility records online.
From here, the team will continue engaging key stakeholders for the development and implementation of this solution. For the proof of residency aspect, they will focus on partnering with local utility companies to allow digital access to utility bills for proof of residency. For the student records dropbox portal, they will work with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as well as officials in the Kansas City Mayor’s office to discuss the design and implementation of their portal on a citywide scale.
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