The middle school that feeds students to Kansas City's most highly sought after high school has a new leader.
The Kansas City Public Schools district has announced Janice V. Hampton as principal of Lincoln Middle School. After an extensive search, Hampton was recommended for the position by KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell and approved by the school board.
On Thursday, Hampton is being introduced in her new role to the community at a 5 p.m. public meeting at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy high school, 2111 Woodland Ave. in Kansas City.
"I am really excited and I feel blessed to have this opportunity," Hampton said in a brief interview with The Star.
Some in Kansas City may already know Hampton, who currently is principal at Troost Elementary School in the district.
Hampton, who holds a doctorate in education leadership from Auburn University in Alabama, has 12 years of administrative experience at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels. She has taught in districts in Kentucky and Alabama, including a year as an assistant principal at Selma High School in Selma, Ala.
Hampton said that, having started her education career working in a high school, she is looking forward to again working with students who are teens.
She said she plans to bring project-based learning into the middle school. And because the high school has an International Baccalaureate program, she is planning to introduce a similar program at the middle school.
"I want to help provide the students with the resources they need to make a smooth transition from middle school to high school," Hampton said.
Lincoln middle school, at 2012 E. 23rd St, was one of about 21 schools closed in 2010 during what then district officials called a right-sizing action. The district, under Bedell, is reopening and renovating the middle school to accommodate middle schoolers who would feed into Lincoln Prep, one of the highest ranked public high schools in Missouri and nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report. It shows about 60 percent of Lincoln students are proficient in math and 95 percent proficient in English language arts.
The middle school renovations, combined with construction of the high school athletic field, are expected not to exceed $16 million. The middle school is set to open for the 2019-2020 school year.
Currently, middle school students are housed in Lincoln Prep, which has been divided up to accommodate middle and high school age students. Using the high school building in that way has limited the number of middle and high school students who can be admitted each year.
Every year the district is left with a long list of students waiting for a space to open up in the school.
Here are the enrollment numbers, currently and projected once the middle school opens.
Combined Lincoln Prep, currently has 1,022 students in grades 6 through 12, with 675 high school students and 347 in middle school.
District leaders expect to increase the high school population to 1,000 and have room for 545 in the middle school.