KSD Announces Two-Year Phase-Out of LENS Program

All elementary students to attend their home schools starting in 2025

Kearney, Mo., January 26, 2024: In alignment with our long-term strategic goals, Kearney School District will begin to phase out the LENS program in the 2024-25 school year by offering programming only to current LENS students entering the fourth and fifth grades. In the 2025-26 school year, all elementary students will be served in their home school.

In 2019, the district implemented LENS as a place-based program that offered a unique instructional approach through project-based learning focused on nature and science. The programming has consistently illustrated the benefits of building critical thinking skills, communication, and collaboration.

“We have seen the value of this instructional model, and it is time to take the next step to implement this model of instruction district-wide for the benefit of all elementary students,” Superintendent Emily Miller said. “Over the last three years, the district has systematically provided elementary teachers with professional development in project-based instruction to implement universally.”

LENS has 127 students this school year and is located in a wing of Kearney Junior High. This transition for the program aligns with the district’s goal to help ensure that we are meeting the educational needs of our K-5 students in neighborhood elementary schools. It will also provide additional space at the junior high school for our secondary programs. LENS teachers and support staff will be transferred to other schools in KSD over the next two years.

We want to acknowledge and thank all of the LENS staff members for their vision and commitment over the last five years to this program, to our students, and to our families. Their hard work will have a positive impact on our entire school system.