Kalamazoo Public Schools’ Investment in Kids is Paying Off, and They Have the Numbers to Prove It

KPS elementary school

KPS has Been Consistently Raising Graduation Rates and Quality Curriculum Since 2013

If you live in the Kalamazoo area, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Kalamazoo Public Schools. As one of the largest school districts in the region serving almost 13,000 students, they’re a hard one to miss. This large student population also requires a lot of real estate: KPS consists of 24 schools (17 elementary, four middle schools, and three high schools).

Inside of those 24 buildings is a supportive team of educators, parents, and community organizations who work tirelessly to improve student achievements and graduation rates. They all work to support KPS’s mission of empowering all students to nurture their dreams and contribute to making the world a better place.

With The Kalamazoo Promise, strong community partnerships, and passionate leaders, Kalamazoo Public Schools is seeing their efforts come to fruition, with seven consecutive years of growth in the number of its high school graduates.

KPS By The Numbers

Kalamazoo Public Schools have demonstrated growth across a variety of areas including graduation rates, advanced course offerings, and curricula improvements.

KPS Graduates

It’s no surprise that The Kalamazoo Promise has had a profound impact on KPS’s enrollment since its inception in 2005. However, the rate of growth in the number of high school graduates outpaces the enrollment growth for the same time period.

In other words, the scholarship has not just attracted more students; it’s also ignited a culture of student achievement and success.

In 2005 (the last graduating class, pre-Promise), KPS had 454 high school graduates. In 2020, 734 young men and women donned their caps and gowns for the district.

2020’s graduation numbers are especially telling, given the impact of COVID-19.

The pandemic didn’t stop our students from performing at their best and our district from providing the supports it has committed to providing to ensure that our students are successful.

~Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri, Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools

Advanced Course Offerings

As a district, KPS has expanded its offerings in advanced classes. High school students now have access to more Advanced Placement (AP) courses and middle schoolers have more high school credit courses, which can qualify them for college credit upon completion.

High schoolers can also earn college credit by dual enrolling at Western Michigan University or Kalamazoo Valley Community College or by enrolling in Early/Middle College, a five-year program that allows a student to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and associate’s degree at KVCC.

Middle school students can now enroll in Algebra I, Spanish I, Basic Design, and Computer Applications, giving them a jump start into high school.

Curricula Improvements

Kalamazoo Public Schools targeted all levels of education for improvements. Middle schools now have increased core instructional minutes and elementary schools adopted new math, science, reading, and writing series. Elementary schools now feature more diverse classroom libraries.

KPS offers an extensive small-group mentoring program through the cooperation of staff, volunteers, and community organizations. Students at all grade levels work with volunteers to improve academic achievement and develop healthy relationships within the community.

Community Support

Community Partnerships

Kalamazoo Public Schools recognizes that student achievement occurs when communities work together. In addition to the schools and students’ families, KPS works with over 250 different organizations within the community.

The support these partners provide includes the following: small group mentoring, Lift Up Through Literacy programs, tutoring, job shadowing, and donations.

Featured KPS Community Partners

The Kalamazoo Promise: The Promise is an anonymously-funded scholarship program providing free college tuition to KPS graduates.

Community in Schools of Kalamazoo: CIS places coordinators on-site in schools to connect students with resources and services. They boast over 700 volunteers committed to addressing high school dropout rates.

The Kalamazoo Public Library: Open since 1872, the KPL serves over 115,000 people through five locations in the Kalamazoo area.

Gryphon Place: For 50 years, Gryphon Place has served the community in suicide prevention, conflict resolution, housing and utility payment assistance, and restorative practices to keep kids in the classroom.

Community Investment

Kalamazoo citizens also believe in Kalamazoo Public Schools, showing their support through bond approvals. Bonds for $96.7 million in 2018, $62 million in 2013, and $62 million in 2010 have all supported optimal learning environments through facility investments and upkeep.

KPS Snapshot

Students: Nearly 13,000 in 24 schools

Buildings: 17 Elementary, 4 Middle, 3 High School

Community Partners: 250+ Organizations

The Kalamazoo Promise: Anonymously-funded scholarship program providing up to 100%, post-secondary tuition and fee assistance. Since it began in 2005, The Kalamazoo Promise has awarded more than 6,000 KPS graduates with more than $130 million in scholarships.

2020 HS Graduates: 734

2005 HS Graduates: 454

Partner Info

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1220 Howard Street

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