Home/School Search/All Grades, K-12/Whittier Elementary
  • Whittier Elementary building
    Whittier Elementary is a K-6th grade neighborhood elementary school and a part of Kansas City Public Schools. Students at Whittier are bussed to school or walk to school from the surrounding neighborhood. Students at Whittier wear uniforms daily including khaki or navy bottoms and white or navy tops.
  • Phillena Layne school principal picture
    Phillena Layne is principal at Whittier Elementary. She is committed to kids and works to get to know each one individually. Students at Whittier come from all over the world and bring a variety of languages and cultures to school daily.
  • School board
    Whittier Elementary is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse schools in Kansas City Public Schools. Students come from around the world and learn to form a school community. To help with that, Whittier focuses on helping students to be safe, respectful, and responsible with one another and school staff.
  • students in art class
    In art class, these Kindergarten students create pictures for their families. All students go to art class weekly.
  • students in gym class
    In gym class, these Kindergarten students race to put away the equipment as they prepare for their teacher to arrive to take them back to their classroom. All students go to gym class weekly.
  • iSparks lab class
    In addition to gym and art, students to go iSparks class where they learn coding, computer skills, and design. All students go to ISparks lab weekly.
  • students learning letters and sounds
    These first grade students are pulled for a quick New Americans session with an interventionist. Here they are learning their letters and sounds. New Americans are students who have newly entered the country and have little or no knowledge of English. These students receive pull out support at Whittier in addition to their in class instruction.
  • students practicing sight words
    In this first grade room, students practice sight words with their teacher on the carpet. Because students come from all over the world, targeted language instruction is a feature of each classroom at Whittier.
  • students practice story writing
    In this first grade classroom, students practice writing a story to share with their friends on the carpet.
  • stairwell with math problems
    At Whittier, every opportunity to reinforce student learning is taken, here math facts are painted on all of the stairwells in the building.
  • first grade learning displays
    Outside of their classroom, first grade displays their in-class learning for all to see.
  • students in the classroom
    In second grade, this student takes his friends through a review off the previous day’s lesson. 
  • students reviewing letters with teacher
    While in another second grade classroom, students review letter sounds with their teacher.
  • student backpack hooks
    In class, students are assigned hooks like these to hang their belongings during the day.
  • students taking spelling test
    Students in this third grade classroom are taking a spelling test with their teacher while the rest of the class is finishing up independent work.
  • third grade vocabulary lesson
    In this third grade room students are working on a vocabulary lesson with their teacher.
  • fourth grade phonics lesson
    In fourth grade, these students are working on a phonics lesson with their teacher.
  • students writing and typing papers
    In this fourth grade classroom, students are working on a writing assignment assisted by their teacher. The students on the right are typing their papers on their school computers while the ones on the left are still writing rough drafts. Technology is available to all students at Whittier each day.
  • students completing science experiment
    In fifth grade, these students work together to complete a science experiment that their teacher has given them.
  • students teaching each other lessons
    In sixth grade, these students use their computers and each other to complete a research assignment given to them by their teacher.
  • school cafeteria with free breakfast and lunch
    In the cafeteria, all students are provided free breakfast and lunch each day.
  • school auditorium
    When parents come to student performances, they sit in this auditorium. It has been there since the school began and is a favorite for students and teachers.
  • two playgrounds
    Outside, students have two playgrounds to use.
  • Colorful blacktop play area
    In addition to the playgrounds, students have this colorful blacktop area and…
  • Large blacktop and greenspace area
    This large blacktop area and greenspace where students play soccer.
  • students walking in hallway
    At Whittier, students go through the day creating a happy multicultural school community. 

Whittier Elementary (K-6)

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1012 Bales Ave
Kansas City, MO 64127
816-418-3850 Visit School Website

School Leader(s)

Phillena Layne, Principal
  • NO Tuition
  • Availability for 2020-2021
  • Transportation provided
  • Before and After-Care Available

Quick Facts

Our Mission

At Whittier we choose to honor students and families. We recognize that it takes many to fully educate our students.

Points of Pride

  • Diversity
  • High Expectations
  • Family Feel

School Hours

  • School Hours: 8:20 am - 3:20 pm
  • Before Care Hours Start: 7:00 am
  • After Care Hours End: 6:00 pm

School Details

  • Year Established: 1889
  • Total Enrollment: 449
  • Affiliation: KCPS-Neighborhood
  • School Type: KCPS-Neighborhood

Feeder Schools

  • Middle School: Northeast Middle School
  • High School: Northeast High School


  • Tuition: NO Tuition

Our Demographics


Receive Special Ed Services


English Language Learners

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Programs and Features

Specialized Programs

  • N/A

Arts Programs

  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts

Sports Programs

  • Cheerleading (Girls)
  • Soccer (Boys)
  • Soccer (Girls)

Clubs + Activities

  • Journalism/Newspaper
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics
  • Spirit Squad
  • Student Government

Family Engagement

  • Evening Family Events
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Application Process

Application Details

Although many schools have application deadlines, most continue to accept applications for available seats on an ongoing basis.

  • Application Open: December 5, 2019
  • Kindergarten Cutoff: July 31, 2020
  • Offer Date: March 1, 2021
  • Residence: Students live within Whittier's boundaries in the North Zone.

How to Apply

Enroll online on the KCPS website

Applications for signature and neighborhood schools open on December 14, 2020

The initial round of applications deadline is February 15, 2021

The week of March 1st, initial seats will be offered, and parents will need to complete the registration form.

You can still apply after the deadline, seats will be offered at a later date.

Submit applications online or in person at the Board of Education building, 2901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109. Applications CANNOT be submitted at schools.

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Student Performance

Standardized Test Results



Why It Matters

Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests are scored (or graded) according to four achievement levels: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. The number shown here is the percentage of students who scored Proficient or Advanced. When comparing scores between years, please remember that the test Missouri gives has changed several times.

Please note that private schools are not required to participate in these exams.

In 2019, the average English score in Missouri was 48.7%; the average Math score was 41.9%, source

Attendance Rate 90/90


Why It Matters

Schools strive to have at least 90% of their students achieve a 90% attendance rate because kids learn best when they’re in school.

In 2019, 87.3% of Missouri students were in attendance at least 90% of the time, source.

Third Grade Reading Scores


Why It Matters

Third grade is the important time when kids switch from learning to read to reading to learn and is an important benchmark for a student’s educational development.

In 2019, the average 3rd grade reading score in Missouri was 48.7%, source

Student Growth

English Language Arts

On Track

Why It Matters

This data determines if individual students, compared to their peers, are making achievement gains over time in English Language Arts.

There are three categories possible: Floor (minimum), On Track (doing just fine), and Exceeding (outperforming their peers).



Why It Matters

This data determines if individual students, compared to their peers, are making achievement gains over time in Mathematics.

There are three categories possible: Floor (minimum), On Track (doing just fine), and Exceeding (outperforming their peers).

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Parent Perspective


Judith Aleman, Whittier parent

Our family is made up of eight members, two parents and six children. The majority attend Whittier Elementary School. Ruth goes to sixth grade, Raul goes to fifth grade, Aron goes to fourth grade, Giselle goes to second grade, and Edith goes to kindergarten. Our children have been attending Whittier Elementary School since 2012.The school was recommended to us by parents and friends of Whittier Elementary School. The school was also close to where we live.

We are very pleased with the support we have been getting from the school. We are also very pleased with the way the principal and teachers treat us. The principal and teachers always help us with any doubt or question we have about our childrens’ education. Our son Aron has tutoring after classes because he needs a little help. We as parents are always invited to activities that students do either during class or after classes. We are also invited to participate in sports activities after classes and that is a pleasure to us.

As parents, we know that education is a great responsibility, and that the school will have to teach mathematics, science, reading, writing, etc; but good behavior is parents’ responsibility even if it takes some extra effort. It would be very difficult to achieve that without the help of the teacher. Even though their job is to teach, parents and teachers should be working shoulder to shoulder. They are always collaborating with us in the education of our children and always looking for what is best for them. We want to thank every single teacher, principal, and others who work at Whittier.

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