University Academy was founded by Tom Bloch, Lynne Brown, and Barnett and Shirley Helzberg. The founders believe deeply that students living in the Kansas City Missouri School District deserve the opportunity to have an excellent college preparatory education. The founders’ initial vision was to establish a school that emphasizes college preparation, career development, community service and leadership. The idea for the school was further developed and refined and eventually a charter school application was written. The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) agreed to sponsor the school’s initial 5 year charter. Although University Academy was among the first schools in Missouri to receive a charter under Missouri’s charter school law (passed in 1998), an entire year was spent planning before the school actually opened.
The school originally opened its doors in 2000, operating in a facility leased from UMKC located at 5605 Troost Avenue. In addition to providing University Academy the initial space for the school to operate and agreeing to sponsor the charter, UMKC has supported University Academy in many ways including providing an additional layer of oversight and guidance for both the board and administration. UMKC’s Charter School Center monitors University Academy’s performance and the school annually submits a written school improvement plan to UMKC. In 2005, UMKC sponsored University Academy’s second charter — this time for ten years.
As a result of the support and generosity of University Academy’s board of directors and the Kansas City community, construction on a new 172,000 square foot state-of-the art facility began in 2004. When the new facility opened in August 2005, enrollment expanded from 300 students in grades 6-12 to roughly 1,000 students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The school's campus provides a wonderful home for University Academy to pursue its mission of preparing students to succeed in college and become leaders in society.
University Academy is a Charter School organization
No. of Schools: 3
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