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Originally opening its doors in January 1961 as Southeast Elementary School, by April of the same year the Lawrence Board of Education unanimously voted to rename the “new” school Kennedy Elementary School to honor Miss Opal Jayne Kennedy. Miss Kennedy retired as principal of Hillcrest Elementary School in 1961 after 50 years of teaching the children of Lawrence and Douglas County. Kennedy school is located on 6.7 acres of land in eastern Lawrence near the Douglas County Fairgrounds. It serves 320 students in grades K-6. Beginning in Fall 2007, the school offers a full-day kindergarten program.