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$1.6 million donation will help Kansas City (Mo.) district launch charter school

$1.6 million donation will help Kansas City (Mo.) district launch charter school

The Kansas City Neighborhood Academy is the first charter school sponsored by the school district.

The first charter school sponsored by the Kansas City (Mo.) district has received $1.6 million in donations from two local philanthropists.

The Kansas City Star reports that the the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, set to open next month, will get a $1 million gift from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and $600,000 gift from the Hall Family Foundation. The foundations are providing the funds over three years and help the school establish academic instruction centered on a science, technology, engineering, arts and math theme.

The new school is a result of a partnership between the Urban Neighborhood Initiative and the Kansas City district. It will be housed in what had been the district's Wendell Phillips Elementary School. The district closed that campus earlier this year.

Kauffman Foundation President Wendy Guillies says community support for the school and the community/district partnership makes the Urban Neighborhood Academy “well positioned for success.”

The Kansas City Neighborhood Academy is one of three charters in the district that are supported through the foundation. The Kauffman School charter and Citizens of the World charter are the other two. Numerous charter schools operate in the Kansas City district, but the academy is the first one sponsored by the district.

Academy leaders say its academic model is based on the Charles R. Drew Charter School in Atlanta.

The charter is expected to open with about 220 students in pre-K to 2nd grade. An additional grade will be added each year until it serves grades pre-K to 6.

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