The Kansas City Teacher Residency will increase the number of highly effective and diverse teachers who are teaching in special education classrooms across the greater Kansas City area beginning Fall 2021. With funding support from the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, KCTR is able to add capacity for designing and executing this high need certification area while expanding our impact to more students across Kansas City. KCTR is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 to recruit, prepare, develop, place, and retain mission-oriented individuals who want to make a deep commitment to working in high need urban schools in the Kansas City area.

Learn More about Becoming a KCTR Special Education Teacher

Apply with an online application now for the KCTR 2021-22 cohort! We are actively recruiting passionate professionals, recent college graduates, and graduating college seniors who are interested in teaching in Kansas City. The KCTR Talent Recruitment Team would be excited to hear from you to answer any questions you may have.

Support KCTR's High Needs Programs

Regardless of ability, race, gender or zip code, all students deserve a highly effective teacher, but the current teacher shortage is making it difficult for Kansas City schools to find and hire those high need content areas like Special Education, STEM, and Early Childhood Education. Your donation can help KCTR recruit, prepare, and place more teachers where they are needed most!

A landscape analysis conducted through our work with Bellwether Education Partners in 2018 helped to spotlight the drastic shortage of Special Education teachers in Kansas City and across the state. In addition, BIPOC students with disabilities have a lower high school graduation rate than white students with disabilities. KCTR aims to address both of these issues by certifying and developing highly effective teachers for our Special Education students.

In Spring 2020, Leslie McTighe, KCTR Director of Program and Curriculum, led a competitive RFP process for a special education course designer. Dream Education Consulting, LLC began designing 12 courses and assessments plans that align with KCTR’s 5-performance based Gateway assessments. Throughout the entire design, KCTR led focus groups with school partners and education specialists with vested interested in Special Education. The feedback and thought partnership provided throughout the entire research and design phase of the project ensured our curriculum was well equipped to serve our students and Teacher Residents. KCTR will continue to partner with the University of Missouri-Kansas City to offer all SPED Teacher Residents the opportunity to complete a Master’s degree program in curriculum and instructional leadership in tandem with their KCTR commitment to teach.

With this new certification pathway comes a need for additional capacity to lead this work. Beginning January 2021, KCTR will launch a talent search for a full-time dual coach and instructor role to begin during the 2021-22 Residency Year. To connect about this new role, please email Leslie at

Design Special Education Curriculum

Under the leadership of Dr. Royond P. Hendrix, CEO of DREAM Education Consulting, 12 courses and assessments are designed for Special Education Curriculum.

March 2020 - October 2020

Recruit Residents for Special Education Classrooms

KCTR is now accepting applications from professionals, recent college graduates, and graduating college seniors who are interested in teaching in Kansas City.

September 2020 - April 2021

Launch Talent Search for Special Education Instructor and Coach

KCTR will hire a new instructor and coach to lead coursework in Special Education certification. Interested candidates should contact Leslie McTighe at

January 2021 - March 2021

Summer Institute

New Teacher Residents enrolled in the Special Education track will begin Summer Institute with the rest of Cohort 6 in Summer 2021. Coursework will also count towards master's degree credit at UMKC.

June 2021 - July 2021

The Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation has made a multi-year commitment to support capacity building for the Special Education certification track at KCTR. With support from the Foundation, KCTR has afforded Curriculum Design and a full-time position at KCTR as Special Education instructor and coach that will begin Spring 2021.

KCTR has an ongoing responsibility to our students and school partners to recruit, prepare, and retain highly effective teachers to fill critical positions in Special Education. We are thankful to our supporters for sharing our vision and helping to make it a reality.

KCTR is looking for Special Education Course Instructors for the 2021-2022 school year. To read the full Request for Proposal, click here. Proposals should be sent to (attention Leslie McTighe) no later than March 26, 2021, and will be reviewed between March 29 – April 15, 2021.

Learn More About KCTR

If you’re passionate about setting a higher standard for urban education, whether through applying, partnering or donating, please contact KCTR today at (816) 298-5660.