Gordon Parks Elementary School
3715 Wyoming
Kansas City MO 64111
2nd graders
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 753-6700
Mission Statement
Acting on its conviction that every child has promise, Gordon Parks provides urban-core children, including those who are at-risk, an individualized education that is balanced to develop character, intellect, creativity and physical well-being.
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Steve Lumetta
Board Chair Dr. Bernard Franklin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Assistant Vice President, Kansas State University
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
Acting on its conviction that every child has promise, Gordon Parks provides urban-core children, including those who are at-risk, an individualized education that is balanced to develop character, intellect, creativity and physical well-being.
Background Statement
Founded in 1999 by Dorothy Curry and Sue Jarvis, Gordon Parks Elementary School (GPES) was named in honor of Gordon Parks, the groundbreaking African-American photographer, who proudly endorsed the school’s mission of educating urban core children to reach their full potential. Sponsored by the University of Central Missouri, GPES opened in 2000 with fifty-three children in kindergarten and first grade. Adding a grade each year, by 2005, the school welcomed kindergarten through fifth grade students.
For eighteen years, GPES has provided a nurturing educational environment that addresses the holistic needs of children in the urban core.
Since 2013, our test scores have improved more than 300% as our students receive the resources they need to learn in the classrooms.  We have implemented a Responsive Classroom approach school-wide, we collaborate with 2 full-time teachers in each classroom making our student to teacher ratio 10:1 and we provide a full-time CARE Team to meet the needs our the whole child.
Impact Statement
In 2016-2017, the students and staff of Gordon Parks worked together to reach the following goals:
  • ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE:  55% of our 4th graders who have been with us for 3 years are on grade level for English/Language Arts.
  • ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE:  73% of our 4th graders who have been with us for 3 years are on grade level for Math.
  • STRONG ATTENDANCE: For the second year in a row, the average daily attendance rate remained solid at 94.8%.
  • INCREASED COMMUNITY SUPPORT: In 2016-2017, almost sixty volunteers and mentors committed over 700 hours to our school and students through special projects and weekly visits with students. 
In 2017-2018, Gordon Parks Elementary goals include:
  •  IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE: GPES will continue to monitor student attendance, maintain a benchmarking system for reading and math, and schedule school to increase core instructional time.
  • CONTINUALLY IMPROVE CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION: continue to translate skill statements into daily lessons, continue to develop pre-post assessments and utilize the data to inform instructional decisions.

  • ENHANCE PARENT INVOLVEMENT IN GORDON PARKS PROGRAMS: expand programming for family academic nights, consult on attendance issues, and facilitate involvement in academic and behavior issues.
Needs Statement
Students at GPES thrive thanks to the commitment of the Kansas City community. However, our growing student body has a variety of needs including:
  • Operational support in order to continue to support our student's academic progress with two full-time certified teachers in each classroom.
  • Professional development support in order to continue to improve up on our Responsive Classroom approach school-wide.
  • Funding to help support our CARE Team who continues to provide a trauma-informed care approach to help our students socially and emotionally and get them ready to learn.
  • Join our community and become a GPES mentor or volunteer.
Service Categories
Elementary & Secondary Schools
Charter Schools
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
Any child who resides within the boundaries Kansas City MO Public Schools is eligible to attend Gordon Parks.  We serve 14 different zip codes. 
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
We are committed to providing the high level of qualified staff and special services required to fulfill our mission. Funding a student -teacher ratio of 12;1, a full-time CARE Team and being able to provide professional development for our staff to continue to thrive with our Responsive Classroom approach is a priority.  As the need continues to help the children we serve, so does the need  continue for private community support from individuals, foundations and corporations.

The best way out of generational poverty is education. Our mission is clear: "Acting on our conviction that every child has promise, Gordon Parks provides urban-core children, including those who are at-risk, an individualized education that is balanced to develop character, intellect, creativity and physical well-being." We have a team of faculty and administrators that are committed to creating a school environment with high expectations for our students in the areas of achievement, attendance, and behavior. We have the opportunity to put individualized education to work for our students. At GPES, all students will build strong academic foundations that will lead to a lifetime of success.

Description Gordon Parks Elementary School, Grades K-4
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short-Term Success
The short-term success of Gordon Parks Elementary School is based upon attendance, student achievement and behavior, and teacher-focused, job-embedded professional development.
  • Attendance success measures student daily attendance against the 90/90 benchmark.
  • Student Achievement measures growth in STAR data in the areas of literacy, reading, and math.
  • The success of job embedded professional development is measured by ongoing informal and formal teacher evaluations and student achievement data.
Long-Term Success
Our long-term success is also based upon student achievement and the ability of GPES graduates to remain Advanced/Proficient on MAP tests in middle and high school, and ultimately to create high school and college graduates.
Program Success Monitored By
Our full time Curriculum Coordinator and Teaching Methods Coach provide job embedded professional development for all instructional staff on data teams, best practices, and curriculum writing and implementation. The model they use is consistent across grade levels and subjects. It contains the following key elements:
Continuous Improvement Process: Pre-test > Learning Strategies  > Measured Progress through Summative Assessments > Data Team Diagnostics > Refined Learning Strategies.
In addition, the Leadership Team and Instructional Staff use a variety of assessments to monitor and benchmark the progress and growth of all students. We continue to utilize the STAR assessment as six-week benchmark for early literacy, reading, and math. Staff members use the results of the norm-referenced test to categorize student performance as: above, at, or below grade level benchmark based on the STAR Grade Equivalency. Both STAR assessments generate reports that categorize students as: Tier 1 (at or above grade level), Tier 2 (monitor closely), or Tier 3 (intervention needed). Teachers create a diagnostic instructional plan for all students below grade level. Teachers also use NWEA. NWEA Measure of Academic Progress tests present students with engaging, age-appropriate content. As a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty.
Examples of Program Success
In 2015-2016, the students and staff of Gordon Parks worked together to reach the following goals:
  • Stable Attendance: For the second year in a row, our average daily attendance remained solid at 94.8%.
  • Improved Student Achievement:  The importance of individualized instruction is reflected in our MAP test results:
  • 55% of our 3rd grade students were proficient/advanced in English/Language Arts and 73% were proficient/advanced in Math.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Dr. Steve Lumetta
Term Start July 2017
Compensation $100,001 - $125,000

Social Justice, an equal distribution of resources and opportunities, is Dr. Steve Lumetta's vision for students at Gordon Parks. Lumetta, the school's Chief Executive Officer, joined the faculty in July after a 15-year career in the Liberty Public School District, first as a third grade teacher and later as an administrator.

While working on his Ph.D. at St. Louis University, he realized it was important to think differently about his career. He became enamored by the Social Justice theory which encourages self expression and critical thinking. He believes this approach to education frees students from a rigid curriculum allowing for more effective learning.

Dr. Lumetta's family moved often to accommodate his father's career. He attended schools in several different states and in Saudi Arabia. A native of St. Louis, MO, and a committed Jayhawk, he was encouraged to explore a teaching career after serving as a camp counselor in the Massachusetts' Berkshires. At Gordon Parks, with three teachers for every two classes and a collaborative approach to teaching, he wants to prepare students for jobs of the future.

Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Dr. Lynne Beachner Aug 2004 - June 2009
Steve Fleming -
Senior Staff
Title Federal Grant Administrator
Title Curriculum Coordinator
Title Instructional Coach
Title Chief Development Officer
Experience/Biography Leslie has an extensive fundraising background.  Prior to joining Gordon Parks, Leslie served as Major Gifts Officer for Bishop Ward High School, Fund Development Director at Don Bosco Centers and Director of Development at Aldersgate Village in Topeka, KS.  Prior to her work for nonprofit organizations, Leslie worked in the corporate sector for DST Systems and Forrest T. Jones.
Paid Full-Time Staff 35
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 43
Paid Contractors 2
Retention Rate 95%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 9
Caucasian 27
Hispanic/Latino 2
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 31
Male 6
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes

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External Assessment and Accreditations
Central Missouri State University (CMSU) Annual Charter School Review2017
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Bernard Franklin
Company Affiliation Assistant Vice President, Kansas State University
Term July 2016 to July 2018
Board Members
Ms. April Boyd-Noronha The STEM Broker
Mr. Douglas Curry Corporate Consultant
Mr. Paul Dorathy Baldwin City USD 348
Dr. Bernard Franklin Kansas State University
Ms. Janette Lockridge
Ms. Keli O'Neill Wenzel O'Neill Marketing and Event Management
Mr. Brett Posten Dimensional Innovations
Mr. Adam Sachs Husch Blackwell
Dr. John Vandewalle Lumen Touch
Dr. Kent Yocum
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 6
Board Term Limits 6
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Human Resources / Personnel
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Advisory Board Members
Mr. David Heineman Shank & Hamilton, P.C.
Mr. Chip Power Power Group Benefits
Mr. Chester Thompson Jr.Retired Engineer/Past President
Ms. Levora B. Whitmore Past President
Mr. Frank Young Insurance Consultant
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $3,229,238
Projected Expenses $3,227,645
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,716,326$2,493,004$1,765,421
Administration Expense$632,892$628,076$591,569
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.041.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses81%80%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,546,854$1,585,367$1,457,797
Current Assets$596,874$579,893$513,639
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$200,000
Current Liabilities$175,000$200,000$0
Total Net Assets$1,371,854$1,385,367$1,257,797
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.412.90--
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%14%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Name Gordon Parks Elementary School
Address 3715 Wyoming
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 753-6700
Contact Email lgasser@gpes.org
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Steve Lumetta
Board Chair Dr. Bernard Franklin
Board Chair Company Affiliation Assistant Vice President, Kansas State University
Year of Incorporation 1999