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Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA)

KESA Facts

The Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) is the state’s K-12 accrediting model. KESA accredits at the System (district) level to create systemic change within and among school buildings across the district. The Kansas State Board of Education identified five goal areas believed to have direct impact on producing successful high school graduates. These goals are: Social-Emotional Factors Measured Locally, Kindergarten Readiness, Individual Plans of Study, High School Graduation and Postsecondary Success. The KESA model focuses Systems on meeting these goals. Systems need to redesign and pursue a continuous improvement process at both the district and school levels. The School Redesign Project at the Kansas State Department of Education and KESA work together to create system changes to support the State Board Outcomes. 

Data Analysis

Data supporting the State Board’s definition of a successful Kansas high school graduate, will drive decision making throughout the process. This includes data that backs the system’s successful implementation of its action plan, data that substantiates growth in student success, and data demonstrating growth in the five Kansans Can State Board outcomes – Social/Emotional Factors, Kindergarten Readiness, Individual Plans of Study, Graduation Rates, and Postsecondary Completion.

Quality Growth Process

Effective systems employ a quality, cyclical growth process. This process includes assessing the current situation to determine needs (using KESA 4R’s or similar criteria), establishing goals and measurements to determine goal achievement, creating an action plan for each goal, implementing the plan, and assessing and reflecting on growth before beginning next cycle. KESA requires each system to document their system-wide process on a five year cycle, which should incorporate their building level processes such as School Redesign.

Stakeholder Groups

To support a quality growth process, systems must engage their stakeholders all levels of the process, including both internal and external stakeholders. The District Leadership Team (DLT) and Building Leadership Teams (BLTs) should include teachers. The District Site Council (DSC) and Building Site Councils (BSCs) should include community members, parents, and students. Districts will also benefit from the involvement of local business and industry partnerships that reinforce the goals of their growth process.

Foundational Structures

Systemic approaches addressing State Board-identified evidence-based practices, or structures, for education systems. The identified structures include the Rose Capacities, tiered systems of support, stakeholder engagement, and diversity/equity.


Systems must be in good standing with the State Board. “In good standing” means “in compliance with, or actively working with the State Board to achieve compliance with, all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.”

Outside Visitation Team

The Outside Visitation Team (OVT) is a group of educators who work with a System to support their accreditation efforts. The System selects a chair and team members from a list of trained individuals. The OVT chair must receive “member” and “chair” training. The OVT Members must receive “member” training prior to beginning service.

KESA Vision Poster