Grant Will Help Crossroads Academy Open Charter High School In Downtown Kansas City

Apr 26, 2017

A $1.3 million grant will help a downtown charter school expand.

Education nonprofit SchoolSmartKC announced Tuesday support for Crossroads Academy, which hopes to open a high school in 2018.

“Whenever you’re growing and expanding, there are a lot of operational costs associated with the planning and staffing something while it’s still small and before it can reach full capacity and scale up to a point where it’s self-sustainable,” says Dean Johnson, executive director at Crossroads Academy.

Currently Crossroads serves about 550 students K-8 at two campuses. The school plans to serve ninth grade students at its middle school campus during the 2017-18 school year before opening a high school in 2018.

Johnson says every eighth grader the charter enrolls is guaranteed a high school seat.

“However, we will have open seats for other folks in the community graduating from other eighth grades,” he says. “For us, this is an important part of the design of the high school.”

Johnson says high school enrollment is lower within the boundaries of Kansas City Public Schools than other grades.

“We don’t have as many high schools that families are sending their students to,” Johnson says. “There’s a drop off. The numbers would suggest to us families are finding other options.”

Also Tuesday, SchoolSmartKC awarded Scuola Vita Nuova in the Historic Northeast a $621,000 grant, which will allow it to double its current capacity of 200.

The education nonprofit, which launched earlier this month, has also made investments in district schools.

SchoolSmartKC gets its funding from the Hall Family Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation.

Elle Moxley covers Missouri schools and politics for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.