Dr. Barry Tomassetti, Superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District, started by reminding us that the District is ranked in the 96th percentile of districts nationally. This exceptional performance is achieved by living the District mission every day, which Dr. Tomasetti summarized as: "No matter who comes in, improve their success every day".
This approach is critical to success in a district as diverse as Kennett. 45% of the students are economically disadvantaged. So far this year 95 new students have enrolled coming from Mexico and Guatemala. Yet students from all backgrounds graduate and go on to post-secondary education in a wide range of environments, including Ivy League Colleges. 
The District is justifiably proud of its STEM program. The program is integrated into classes from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It takes potentially dull information and relates it to the real world by using hands on activities such as building a marshmallow throwing machine in third grade, or building bridges and testing them to the point of collapse a few years later. Various technical tools are introduced so the students experience some of the tools used by engineers and other professionals. Right now there is even a group of seniors working with Bentley Architects on design projects. An example of the success of this approach can be seen in the internationally recognized robotics team. 
Parental engagement is a critical success factor in the US approach to education. Therefore, the District works to teach parents from other countries how to become engaged in the education of their children. This effort starts with preschool kids, such as those participating in Head Start. Parents are brought together with successful students from the same culture to learn what their kids can achieve and the support successful students need. These parents also get assistance to show them how to support early brain development through games, reading and other shared activities with their children. Parents with older children are involved in the APEX program where they work with volunteer parents from the community to learn how our education system works and they can support it, and the value their children will gain from a solid education. 
Dr. Michael Barber, Assistant Superintendent of the District, then explained how the English Language Development (ELD) program works. This program is integrated into normal class work for all grades. The ELD program relies on full content mapping of regular classes so the ELD teachers can use materials used in the class the students are taken from. This allows students to receive special instruction without losing ground in regular courses. The ELD program is successful. Standard required student testing shows all fourth graders are improving their English language skills. Very few comparable districts can make that claim.