Kalamazoo Promise Signing Days
Families, Schools, Promise Sign Agreements
Kalamazoo Public Schools kindergarteners and their parents pledged to work hard to take advantage of the Kalamazoo Promise at the Promise Signing Days held throughout the district this fall.
Promise Signing Days are designed to encourage families to acknowledge the work and commitment that it takes to prepare a student — starting in kindergarten — to graduate from high school.
“We as a district, several years ago, made a promise that we want our community to go to college for free,” Nina LeSuer, the Washington Writers’ Academy data coach told families at the school’s event. “Teachers do the best they can every day, but we ask for your support. The most important influence are parents.
“We need you to get your children ready for school. Come to school for events like these. Help children when they have homework.”
Schools celebrated with cake and punch. Some events included special photo sessions and caps and gowns for the children to try on. KPS Superintendent Michael Rice and Kalamazoo Promise Executive Director Bob Jorth attended several of the events.
At the signing days, families signed pledges to support and encourage their students by helping with homework and reading, the school district promised to create a positive learning environment, and the Kalamazoo Promise office promised to pay the students’ college tuition upon high school graduation.
The Kalamazoo Promise is a scholarship for Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates. The amount of the scholarship varies depending on how long the student has continuously attended KPS and resided in the district.
For students who attend KPS from kindergarten through 12th grade, the Promise pays all tuition and mandatory fees at all public universities and colleges and most private schools in Michigan. For students who enroll in KPS by ninth grade, the Promise will pay 65 percent of tuition and fees.
For more information about the Kalamazoo Promise, visit www.kalamazoopromise.com or call (269) 337-0037.
10 Things to Remember about the Kalamazoo Promise:
1. The Promise is for all KPS students. Students who attend charter schools or private schools do not earn credit toward the Promise scholarships during the time they are out of district.
2. Students must reside within the boundaries of KPS.
3. Students must have at least grades 9-12 in KPS (enrollment and residency) and graduate from KPS (Loy Norrix, Kalamazoo Central, Phoenix or Kalamazoo Innovative Learning Program) to qualify.
4. The Kalamazoo Promise will not end.
5. The Promise is a four-year scholarship (a bachelor’s degree of 130 credits, whichever occurs first).
6. Students have 10 years from the time you graduate from high school to use your Promise scholarship. Students can start and stop their studies.
7. The Promise covers tuition and mandatory fees.
8. Students sign up for the Promise at the beginning of their senior year. There are two simple forms to complete.
9. There is an appeal process for seniors, especially for hardship cases, such as custody, death in the family and foster care placement.
10. Students using the Promise at Kalamazoo Valley Community College may attend part-time.
-- Courtesy of The Kalamazoo Promise