The purpose of the Kauffman School can be summed up in three words — create college graduates.
The Kauffman School is a rigorous college preparatory school founded in 2011 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The school design is based on inspiring examples of charter schools throughout the country that are helping urban students achieve at very high academic levels.
The concepts presented in Harvard Graduate School of Education senior lecturer Kay Merseth's book Inside Urban Charter Schools: Promising Practices and Strategies in Five High-Performing Schools serve as guiding principles for the Kauffman School.
Watch the Kauffman Foundation "Sketchbook" video above to get an idea of Merseth's education philosophy.
The Kauffman School has a longer school day (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and a longer school year. Students receive two periods of math and two periods of reading/English instruction each day, and the school maintains high academic and behavioral standards.
The school has a talented and dedicated staff and an intentional set of structures and systems—all of which focus on student achievement.
Kauffman School Mission Statement
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.
Kauffman School Vision Statement
The Kauffman School is recognized as the premiere public school in the state of Missouri and as a national model for the entire public school sector.
Kauffman School Philosophy
The Kauffman School will adhere to the following philosophy:
The Ewing Marion Kauffman School prepares students to be intellectually curious, economically independent, and confidently self-directed. Our students live life on purpose. They 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.
The Kauffman School is unrelentingly focused on the academic and social growth of our students. We know every student in our school. Our strength is our talented staff, which combines deep subject knowledge with the ability to motivate and inspire our students to realize their individual potential.
We will help each student identify his or her unique talents and abilities and how to apply them in the world. We provide our students with a rigorous education to enable each fully to compete in our nation’s colleges and universities. Our students receive strong training in math and science; all students will learn a world language. Each student will be technologically and financially literate. Our students will be prepared to contribute to their local, national, and global communities.
We expect our students will have multiple careers over their lifetimes; some of the jobs they will hold do not yet exist. Since we cannot predict the future, we prepare our students for all potential futures. We accomplish this by making sure our students are able to think critically, embrace change, and take charge of their own learning in a rapidly changing world.
The few years we have with our students are brief. To achieve these goals requires us to maximize the quantity and quality of time we have together. This is a demanding school. Our doors are open to all students and families, though success will require strength and resolve to seize the opportunity we offer. We ask much of ourselves, our students, and our families. We need our students and families to match our intensity and dedication to their futures. In return, we commit ourselves to each student’s academic and personal growth.