About Us

School FAQs

Sections:
Basics (Mission, Students, and Organization)
Location and Transportation
Students and Enrollment
Kauffman Scholars and the Kauffman Foundation
Academics and Other Course Offerings
Questions about the Kansas City, Missouri School District and Other Charters

Basics (Mission, Students, and Organization) [top]

Q: What is the Ewing Marion Kauffman School (the Kauffman School)?

A: The Ewing Marion Kauffman School’s (Kauffman School’s) mission can be summed up in three words:  create college graduates. The Kauffman School is a free, public charter school offering a rigorous college preparatory education to students in grades five through twelve. The inaugural two classes of 100 fifth-grade students were admitted in 2011 and 2012, and will be joined each subsequent year with a new class of fifth-graders until the school is complete from grades five through twelve. As a public school, the Kauffman School is tuition-free and open to all students living within the district boundaries of the Kansas City Public Schools.

Q: How much does the school cost?
A:
As a public charter school, the Kauffman School is free and open to all students who are in appropriate grades and reside within the district boundaries of Kansas City Public Schools.

Q: What is the mission of the Kauffman School?
A: The mission of the Kauffman School is to prepare students to excel academically, graduate from college, and apply their unique talents in the world to create economically independent and personally fulfilling lives.  This can be summed up in three words: create college graduates.

Q: What is the philosophy of the Kauffman School?
A: The Kauffman School will prepare students to be intellectually curious, economically independent, and confidently self-directed. Students will learn to live life on purpose. They will learn not to be afraid to take calculated risks in pursuit of their aspirations and understand that a life devoid of failure is a life half-lived. It is expected that students who attend the Kauffman School will have multiple careers over their lifetimes; some of the jobs they will hold do not yet exist. Since we cannot predict the future, students will be prepared for all potential futures.

School staff will accomplish this goal by making sure students are able to think critically, embrace change, and take charge of their own learning in a rapidly changing world.

The Kauffman School will be a demanding school. Its doors will be open to all students and families, though success will require strength and resolve to seize the opportunity this school will offer. Students and families will need to match the staff’s intensity and dedication to the students’ futures. In return, the Kauffman School staff will be committed to each student’s academic and personal growth.

Q: Does the Kauffman School provide scholarships for students?
A: The Kauffman School will work to prepare students to graduate from college and live personally fulfilling lives. The school will offer a wide range of support in assisting students with access to existing resources designed to help them pay for college, but the school is not planning to offer college scholarships to enrolled students at this time.

Location and Transportation[top]

Q: Where is the Kauffman School located?
A: The Kauffman School is located at 6401 Paseo Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64131.

Q: Will the Kauffman School provide transportation to students?
A: The Kauffman School will provide transportation to students living more than one mile from the school building.

Students and Enrollment [top]

Q: Who can attend the Kauffman School?
A: As a public charter school, the Kauffman School is free and open to all students residing within the district boundaries of the Kansas City Public Schools. The Kauffman School begins with fifth grade and that is the age at which the school will accept enrollments.

As a public charter school, the Kauffman School cannot selectively admit students based on academic aptitude, race, ethnicity, income level, special education needs, prior school record, or almost any other personal characteristic. The school will admit students until its enrollment threshold is met. In the event there are more applications than seats; the school will use a lottery process to give every applicant an equal chance of admission.

The Kauffman School will provide a geographical enrollment preference to students living in six zip codes:  64123, 64124, 64127, 64128, 64130, and 64132. The school will also provide an enrollment preference to siblings of enrolled students and children whose parents work at the school and also reside within the district boundaries of the Kansas City Public Schools.

Q: Why have an enrollment preference based on geography?
A: The Kauffman School’s geographic enrollment preference reflects its desire to reach many students residing in areas of the city with the fewest quality education options from which to choose.

Q: How many students will the school enroll?
A: The inaugural two classes of 100 fifth-grade students were admitted in 2011 and 2012, and will be joined each subsequent year with a new class of fifth-graders until the school is complete from grades five through twelve.

Q: How does the lottery process work?
A: The Kauffman School will establish and announce an initial enrollment period beginning in January of each year and lasting from 6-8 weeks. The maximum number of students the school was prepared to enroll in its first two years was set at 100 fifth-graders. If fewer than the targeted number of students entering fifth grade and residing within the district boundaries of KCPS submit enrollment forms during the initial enrollment period, all students are enrolled and the school continues to enroll students until the enrollment target is met.

If the school receives more than its target number of enrollment forms for students entering fifth grade and also residing within the boundaries of KCPS, the school conducts an enrollment lottery. All students who submit enrollment forms during the initial enrollment period are assigned numbers and are randomly selected for admittance. Students who are not randomly selected in the first lottery selections, and students who submit enrollment forms outside the initial enrollment window, are placed on a waiting list and will be offered seats as they become available prior to the start of school.

Parents/guardians of enrolled and waiting list students are contacted following the lottery with information regarding their enrollment status.

Some students receive priority in the enrollment lottery process: student living within the school’s geographical preference area (ZIP codes 64123, 64124, 64127, 64128, 64130, 64132), have siblings already attending the Kauffman School, or have parents/guardians who work at the school and reside, like the student, within the boundaries of KCPS. Students living within the six zip code preference area are selected via lottery first, and all other students are selected via the same process described above in a separate lottery as necessary.

Q: How can students enroll in the Kauffman School?
A: The parent/guardian of a rising fifth-grader (i.e. a student who will be in fifth-grade in the subsequent school year) can:

Students submitting enrollment forms after the end of the initial enrollment period will be placed on the school’s waiting list and will be offered seats as they become available prior to the start of school. The school does not accept enrollments for the following school year until the initial enrollment period begins in January. This means you should not enroll your rising fifth-grader online until the new enrollment period begins.

Q: What paperwork do I need for enrollment?
A: Initially, only the basic information on the enrollment form is required. Following the lottery date, families with students randomly selected for enrollment in the school will be provided a list of necessary documentation to establish proof of residency, immunization history, and other required information that is collected at any public school.

Q: Will the school have a waiting list? OR How do I get my child on the waiting list?
A: Students who are not enrolled through the lottery process or who submit enrollment forms outside the initial enrollment period will be placed on the school’s waiting list and will be offered seats as they become available prior to the start of school. Students who enroll prior to the end of the enrollment period will be contacted first on the waiting list, followed by students submitting enrollment forms after the end of the initial enrollment period.

All enrollment forms are discarded prior to the start of the following year’s enrollment period (e.g. forms submitted in 2012 are discarded prior to the start of enrollment in 2013). Students already attending the school do not need to submit additional enrollment forms.

Q: Can I enroll my (2nd grader, 3rd grader, kindergartner, two-year-old) to reserve a spot on the waiting list for the future?
A: No. Unless otherwise posted by the school, forms will only be accepted for students entering fifth-grade for the upcoming school year. All enrollment forms are discarded prior to the start of the following year’s enrollment period and parents/guardians of children hoping to enroll in the school must submit an enrollment form each year if their student is not already attending the school.

Q: Why does the school begin with fifth-grade?
A: The Kauffman School begins in fifth grade because that is the point when we believe students can enroll and still achieve the outcomes demanded by the rigorous college preparatory philosophy of the school.

The Kauffman School examined rigorous college preparatory models realizing positive outcomes for students throughout the country. Many of these programs begin their enrollments with a small fifth or sixth grade class and grow to accommodate high school students. Some of these models and schools include Academy of the Pacific Rim, Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First, Noble Street Schools, and YES Prep Public Schools.

Starting small allows the school to focus intensely on building a culture, perfecting systems, and creating cohesion among all aspects of the school aimed at improving student outcomes. As the school grows, the culture and systems grow with it and allow all students entering the school an opportunity to succeed.

Kauffman Scholars and the Kauffman Foundation [top]

Q: What is the relationship between Kauffman Scholars, Inc. and the Kauffman School?
A:  Kauffman Scholars, Inc. (KSI) and the Kauffman School are two separate organizations with different missions and programs, though each is dedicated to getting students residing in Kansas City in and through college.

Q: Will students attending the Kauffman School have preference to get into Kauffman Scholars, Inc? OR Will students already in Kauffman Scholars, Inc. have the opportunity to attend this school?
A:  The Kauffman School and Kauffman Scholars, Inc. (KSI) share the goal of preparing students for success in college and beyond. KSI is an out-of-school program that provides academic and life coaching starting in the seventh grade through college graduation. “Last dollar” college scholarships are available to participants once they successfully complete high school.

The Kauffman School, however, is a school-based effort to prepare students for college and life; no college scholarships are provided through the school. These programs offer students and families a choice between out-of-school and school-based approaches for college preparation. In order to provide these opportunities to as many students as possible, students enrolled in the Kauffman School will not be allowed to participate in the Kauffman Scholars program.

Q: Do younger siblings of current Kauffman Scholars have preference when enrolling in the Kauffman School?
A: No.  As a charter school, the Kauffman School will be free and open to all students residing within the Kansas City, Missouri School District boundaries. A lottery process will be used to ensure equity in the enrollment process.

Q: Who do I contact for more information about Kauffman Scholars?
A: Contact Maribel Martinez (816-932-1278) or visit the Kauffman Scholars website at www.kauffmanscholars.org.

Q: How is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation involved with the Kauffman School?
A: The Kauffman Foundation expects to have a close ongoing relationship with the Kauffman School. The Foundation will have representation on the school’s Board of Directors and will provide financial support during the start-up and early operational periods.

In addition to financial support, the Foundation will assist in acquiring appropriate facilities, work closely with the school to design and implement a robust longitudinal evaluation of student outcomes, and assist with ongoing research contributing to continuous school improvement.

Q: What other education programs does the Kauffman Foundation support in the Kansas City area?
A: Other Kauffman Foundation-sponsored education projects include the Kauffman Scholars program, Teach For America, Leading Educators, The New Teacher Project, and the CDF Freedom Schools. Students across the region also benefit from the Foundation’s support of the FIRST Robotics competition and Project Lead the Way to help students develop their math and science skills to prepare for future careers that require those skills.

Academics and Other Course Offerings [top]

Q: How does the Kauffman School expect to affect student achievement for students attending the school?
A: The Kauffman School will prepare students to succeed in college and life by offering a rigorous college preparatory program combined with an ongoing life prep curriculum. Rigorous college-preparatory charter schools around the United States are proving that all students, regardless of income level or background, can achieve at high levels when provided an environment reflecting strong academics, personal engagement, and a shared sense of urgency. The Kauffman School will work to provide that environment for success.

Q: What will the school teach?
A: The Kauffman School will focus on preparing students for success in college and life. This implies extra time in core subjects and a clear focus on quality classroom time across all grade levels. Students will receive instruction in all core subjects and Fitness every day. The school will also have a longer school day and longer school year than a traditional public school.

Q: Will the school offer extracurricular activities?
A: The Kauffman School is intensely focused on academic outcomes. Extracurricular activities offer students opportunities to learn and build relationships and will be part of the Kauffman School’s offering to students and families. The school will provide opportunities for students to participate in different clubs and activities during the school year. Students will have Fitness class on a daily basis at the Kauffman School. School leadership will make additional decisions regarding extracurricular activities over the course of the school’s initial operating years. 

Questions about the Kansas City, Missouri School District and Other Charters [top]

Q: Why does the Kauffman Foundation want to create a charter school rather than fund district programs or other charter schools?
A: 
The Kauffman Foundation is creating a charter school because students and families living within the KCPS boundaries have few rigorous, college preparatory public school options from which to choose. We believe this school will offer a rich educational experience for children in Kansas City, an experience that will prepare them for success beyond high school and throughout their lives.

The Kauffman School hopes to benefit other public schools, whether district or charter, by sharing its data, practices, and approaches regarding improvement of student academic outcomes. The Kauffman Foundation appreciates the recent efforts by the District to address its long-term structural issues. The creation of a charter school does not preclude Kauffman Foundation support of the District to improve academic outcomes for public school students.