East High School opened in 1924 and operated as a high school until the late 1990's when it was closed for a couple of years then reopened as an elementary school.
In 2008, East was re-established as a secondary school for grades 8-12. Currently East serves approximately 1100 students in grades 9-12. East High School is the biggest high school in Kansas City. Diversity sets East apart from the other district schools. Over 40 languages are spoken at East representing 42 countries. All levels of ELL are served from New American to Advanced. During the 2011 school year R.J. Delano, the district school for severely mentally and physically handicapped students, merged with East adding to the diversity.
At East, students are challenged to be leaders and achievers operating under the motto, " High Expectations, NO Excuses." In 2017, East students will have a chance to choose from five learning communities within the one school. East will also be implementing a four-year "New Tech" school plan of infusing project-based learning in all classes with technology.