University of Central Missouri
The Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education
An educational resource for the Kansas City area and UCM students
The University of Central Missouri’s role as sponsor to public charter schools enhances its ability to provide a comprehensive, engaging teacher preparation program and contributes to its mission by serving at-risk students. The University of Central Missouri was the first charter school sponsor in Missouri with the first school opening in 1999.
The sponsorship of charter schools in Kansas City, Missouri, benefits UCM’s teacher education students by offering them opportunities to gain hands-on experience within an urban setting, and satisfying accreditation standards for their education. Since 2003, more than 2300 student have acquired field experience in the UCM-sponsored charter schools.
The Midwest Center for Charter School and Urban Education proudly sponsors nine public charter schools:
- Academie Lafayette
- Guadalupe Center Charter Schools
- Crossroads Academy of Kansas City
- Kansas City International Academy
- Gordon Parks Elementary
- Hope Leadership Academy
- Scuola Vita Nuova
The University of Central Missouri Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education will provide support and oversight to its authorized public charter schools, promoting high quality and unique educational opportunities for the students and communities served.
Positive Learning Environment. We believe the well-being and interests of students are
paramount factors in providing the community with viable schools of choice. These factors include academic achievement, a safe and healthy learning environment, and a school culture of mutual respect and dignity.
Accountability – We hold our charter schools accountable for their academic and operational performance. Charter renewal or revocation decisions are transparent and data driven. We encourage and support our schools in their efforts to make informed instruction and curriculum decisions based on multiple data. It is each charter school’s responsibility to demonstrate and document operational and academic performance as per the charter agreement and state standards.
School Autonomy – Charter schools are independent public schools, free of traditional regulations in return for a higher degree of accountability. We uphold the autonomy of our charter schools. Boards and school leaders are independent of the university as their authorizer. Budget, curriculum and instruction, and operational decisions are recognized and respected as responsibilities of the board, educational leaders, and staff members.
Mission Driven – We recognize that each charter school is unique and that differences in vision, mission, values, curriculum and instruction, school culture and leadership styles reflect differences within their individual missions, available resources, and the communities they serve. The unique mission of each charter school is reflected within the accountability plan of each charter agreement.
School Success – The University of Central Missouri expects its charter schools to be successful and provides operational guidance, professional development, data, and oversight processes with the sole purpose of supporting effective and productive schools. While the university provides support to board members, school leaders, and staff members, it is not responsible for the charter schools’ operations or overall effectiveness, but for holding the charter schools accountable for their organizational and student performance.