• Does the Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) district serve the entire municipality of Kansas City, Missouri?
    map of districts serving kc jpegNo. There are 15 school districts that serve Kansas City, Missouri. They are: Belton, Blue Springs, Center, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Independence, Kansas City Public Schools, Kearney, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, North Kansas City, Park Hill, Platte County, Raytown, and Smithville. KCPS operates 34 schools from elementary through high school. These include 8 signature schools and 26 neighborhood schools.
  • What is a signature or magnet school?
    To attract highly motivated students, Kansas City Public Schools created signature schools (previously referred to as “magnet schools”) with specific educational themes, such as Montessori, foreign language, performing arts or college preparation. All students living within the KCPS district may apply to attend any signature school available for their grade level, regardless of where they live in the district. Due to limited space in these schools there may be admission criteria, such as test scores, essays, interviews and auditions. Kansas City’s signature schools include:  Border Star Montessori, Holliday Montessori, African-Centered Prep, Carver Dual Language, Foreign Language Academy, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts.
  • What is a charter school?
    A charter school is a tuition-free public school for families who live within the boundaries of the Kansas City Public Schools district. Charter schools operate independently of the traditional public school district and are governed as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
  • I don’t live in the Kansas City Public Schools district – can I still attend a Kansas City charter school?
    No. In order to attend a Kansas City charter school, you must live in the KCPS district. Find an attendance boundary map here.
  • I do live in the Kansas City Public Schools district – does this mean I am eligible to attend any charter school?
    It’s important to check the admissions requirements with every charter school. A few charter schools prioritize admissions for students living in specific zip codes. Some charter schools require that students begin attending their school in kindergarten or first grade and do not accept students after the first grade. Because of the high interest in several charter schools, it’s important to submit your application when enrollment opens. Highly sought after charter schools hold a lottery for applications.
  • Why are so many charter schools not accredited?
    The term “accreditation” is applied differently to charter schools and traditional school districts, such as KCPS. All school districts and charter schools in the State of Missouri earn an APR (Annual Progress Report) score which is based on several performance indicators. The State Board of Education is mandated by state law to determine the accreditation status (Accredited, Provisionally Accredited, Unaccredited) for each traditional school district in the state. The APR score is the primary measurement which is used in determining accreditation status. Charter schools, on the other hand, are “sponsored,” typically by a university, and have a “charter,” which is a contract between itself and its sponsor and which is approved by the State Board of Education. A charter typically lasts five years at which point the charter school must seek a “charter renewal” from its sponsor in order to remain open. During the charter renewal process the school’s APR scores and other performance indicators are evaluated to determine if the charter school warrants a charter renewal. In essence, charter schools are held accountable by their sponsor and the charter renewal process, and school districts are held accountable by the State Board of Education and the accreditation process. While the terminology is different, each of these accountability systems relies on similar performance indicators. That said, some charter schools voluntarily go through an independent accreditation process with a third party group (such as AdvancED). This version of accreditation is basically a “good housekeeping seal of approval,” but is unrelated to the State Board of Education or the charter school sponsors.
  • If I want to attend a Catholic school do I have to attend the parish church?
    If placements are not filled by parish families, spots are usually open to children who do not belong to the parish. However, because of the popularity of some Catholic schools, the school’s admissions office will prioritize non-parishioners who actually live within the parish’s boundaries over non-parishioners who live outside of the parish’s boundaries. Parish boundaries appear to be more relevant for Catholic schools in the South Plaza, Brookside and Waldo neighborhoods.
  • What is the age requirement for my child to enroll in a Kansas City school?
    Your child must be 5 years old before August 1 to enroll in a KCPS kindergarten. For charter schools in Kansas City, the cut-off date for turning 5 years old varies between August 1 and October 1. Private schools determine their own cut-off dates. For the most part, private schools’ cut-off dates fall over the summer - typically July 1st.
  • Do all schools have enrollment deadlines for various grades?
    While many of the schools do not have a firm enrollment date, several of the signature schools, charter schools and private schools do have application deadlines. You’re encouraged to regularly check the Application Calendar on this website and contact your school(s) of interest for more information about the application process.
  • Why can’t I find test results for many of the private elementary schools?
    Every third through eighth grader attending a public school in the state of Missouri is required to take the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test. The results are made public. Private schools may administer a different standardized test. Those results are typically not made public.
  • Why does MO score so much lower than KS on proficiency exams?
    We often compare Missouri and Kansas' test results, but the tests are very different. KCUR education reporter, Sam Zeff, explains that the standards in Missouri are tougher than the ones in Kansas in his story, "What You Probably Didn't Know About Academic Standards In Kansas And Missouri."
  • What are the MAP and End of Course Exams?
    MAP stands for “Missouri Assessment Program.” It is a series of assessments for English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science in grades 3-8. End of Course Exams are given in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in high school.  These assessments are designed to see if students in Missouri are meeting the Show-Me Standards.  There are four levels of achievement possible – “below basic,” “basic,” “proficient” and “advanced.” The results posted on this website indicate the percentage of students who performed “proficient” or “advanced” on the MAP or End of Course exams. Find out more about these achievement levels here. To learn more about how to interpret these scores for your child, find these helpful slides created by Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight and this Guide to Interpreting MAP Results.
  • What is APR?
    Annual Progress Report, or APR, is a state report that looks at specific criteria that Missouri has set forth in measuring the success, and accreditation status, of school districts in Missouri. Think of this as a report card for a K-12 district that has 15 areas for which the district is graded. There are fewer items for K-8 schools. The number of criteria that a charter school must meet varies depending upon the number of grade levels served. The APR is based on 3 years of data, so new schools will not receive an APR until they have 3 years of test data. MAP scores provide the bulk of the APR score. Points can be earned by reaching different levels of “status”, “progress” or “growth” on the MAP, as well as the other noted areas such as attendance and graduation rates. To be considered FULLY ACCREDITED a district must obtain 70% of the available points.  
  • Why does Show Me KC Schools post third grade reading scores?
    Third grade reading scores are significant as research shows that the gap between struggling and fluent readers increases significantly as children progress through school. Through the third grade, children are learning to read. Once they are in the fourth grade, children are reading to learn. Mastering reading skills by the end of third grade is an important indicator of students’ future academic success. Scores posted indicate the percentage of 3rd grade students who performed at the “proficient” or “advanced” reading levels, based on the schools’ English Language Arts MAP scores. MO’s average 3rd grade English Language Arts MAP score is 42.3% “proficient” or “advanced.”
  • What are the Common Core State Standards?
    The Common Core State Standards were created through a state-led initiative and have been adopted by more than forty states, including Missouri.  Parents, teachers, education organizations and businesses have supported the implementation of the Standards, although the debate continues. They were developed by a diverse team of educators, researchers and parents from across the country‒including Missouri‒to be academically rigorous, attainable for students, and practical for teachers and districts. Key objectives are to: -Establish consistent learning goals for all students – regardless of where they live. -Provide a clear roadmap of academic expectations at each grade level. -Be relevant to the real world and prepare students for post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.
  • What is the status of the Kansas City Public Schools’ accreditation?
    Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) announced November 7, 2016 the school district earned the points necessary for full accreditation by receiving 98 of the 140 points possible (70%) from the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP). This level was achieved by KCPS students demonstrating significant and sustained improvement in a wide range of MSIP standards. It is expected that the state Board will require KCPS to sustain these results for at least one more year before granting the ‘Full Accreditation’ status to the school system.
  • How does Show Me KC Schools determine which schools should be featured on this website?
    Show Me KC Schools highlights every school (over 90) within Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) boundaries: district, private, parochial and charter. In addition, we included a few private schools with a unique curriculum and/or because they serve many high school students just beyond the boundaries (Sherwood Center for the Exceptional Child, Bishop Miege HS, Rockhurst HS, Whitefield Academy, Notre Dame de Sion HS, St.Pius X and Lutheran High School). Find a map of the Kansas City Public Schools boundaries here.
  • How does Show Me KC Schools gather data?
    All school data is gathered from publicly posted government and/or school sources. This information is subject to change; corrections and omissions can be made on our Update My School webpage.
  • Why are some schools’ profiles incomplete on the website?
    Show Me KC Schools gathered as much data as possible from publicly posted sites. Every school was contacted to update their profile, but some schools have not completed their profiles yet. These can be updated by school representatives at any time by emailing showmekcschools@gmail.com
  • Why does Show Me KC Schools have a button - “Contact a Parent Rep”?
    Show Me KC Schools believes one of the best ways to gain insight about a particular school is to contact a parent representative of that school. Use the “Contact a Parent Rep” button and we will forward your question to a parent at the school for which you are seeking information.
  • How do I know if schools are still enrolling/have open seats?
    You'll notice that some schools' profile pages have a pink scribble that says "Space Available for 2016-2017" next to General Information. This indicates that the school is still enrolling. Please call the school to find out which grades still have open seats. You can also check here for a complete list of schools with open seats.
  • How do I know which KCPS neighborhood school my child is eligible to attend?
    To find out which KCPS neighborhood school (elementary, middle or HS) your child is eligible to attend enter your address here. Check out a map of all the KCPS schools here.
  • Where can I learn about the history of our school district?
    This KCUR article, How School And District Boundaries Shaped Education In Kansas City, offers a summary of our school district's challenges as school district boundaries were redrawn post-desegregation. KCPT also created an insightful video, How We Got Here, providing a brief history of education in Kansas City.