• Academy for Integrated Arts is a PK-6 charter school with a focus on integrating the arts into all aspects of student learning. AFIA is led by the belief that students are able to make connections between all of the different subjects they study with art as a connector. Students that live within the Kansas City Public Schools boundaries are able to attend.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    This is Dr. Tricia DeGraff. She is the Executive Director at Academy for Integrated Arts. Dr. DeGraff believes that integrating the arts into curriculum deepens student learning. Students at AFIA work on projects to explore topics deeply. Their learning combines the core subject areas like math, science, reading, writing and social studies. When students finish a project, they share their learning with the AFIA community including staff, parents, and community members.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Students are bussed to AFIA each day. Parents can also drop students off. Students at AFIA are required to wear uniforms which consists of navy or khaki bottoms and any color polo shirt.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    In the morning, AFIA staff members greet students at the door and welcome them to school.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Student artwork is on display all over AFIA. Here, visitors are treated to a display that includes student pottery, painting, and mixed media sculpture.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Student artwork guides visitors into the building and demonstrates student learning across subject areas. The AFIA building is a former bowling alley that AFIA renovated to suit their students’ needs.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    When students head to class, they hang their belongings on a hook outside of the classroom.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Students have a strong voice in their classroom communities. This first grade class voted to have a pet bearded dragon. The bearded dragon, Jack is even involved in some of their lessons. In this case, students are brainstorming ideas for how to create a maze for Jack. They are sharing their ideas for it here. AFIA is built on a constructivist learning model. That means that teachers provide students the tools and experiences they need to construct their own knowledge.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    The pet bearded dragon is held by one of the students in class. (Students can elect to read and work in the cozy area created by the cube in the background.) 
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Here is the maze in progress! Students worked on the carpet or used stools like the one in the background to sit on as they designed together.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    As part of their themed unit “Commotion in the Ocean”, these pre-K and kindergarteners learned about different types of fish. This science work was then integrated into the persuasive writing project displayed here. Students wrote about their favorite fish and what characteristics they liked best.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    AFIA uses the project approach in their learning model. This artwork was designed by students to solve a problem they were researching. They explained their design process and thinking as part of the project.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    All students make use of this in-house makerspace where they get supplies for their class projects. Students come to this space weekly for a class. They also go to music, visual arts, and theater arts enrichment classes weekly.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Parents play a pivotal role at AFIA. Here, parents are having a meal with students before the bi-annual student showcase begins. The showcase is a chance for students to show off their work and parents show up in droves to see it and learn from their kids.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    These posters were created as part of a collaboration with a Kansas City Young Audience teaching artist. Upper grade students combined writing and science in their study of biology. These poems are part of a larger student-directed investigation that culminated with a dance performance during a public showcase of the students’ learning.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    In this classroom, third grade students work collaboratively on a writing assignment in small table groups. Much of the work at AFIA is collaborative and all students experience being “experts” at different times throughout the day.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Student self portraits dominate this open classroom space where speakers and teachers talk to classes in small groups.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    These first grade students have breakfast in class as they prepare for the day. Breakfast and lunch are provided free of charge to every student at AFIA.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    All classrooms at AFIA are designed to maximize space and natural light. Students at all grade levels have open work space, desk space, and flexible seating options. They have lots of opportunities to move around throughout the day.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Teachers and tutors have access to collaborative work spaces in the hallways. Here a student gets one on one support with learning.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    The gym also serves as an auditorium and an overall gathering place. On this day, parents and students are having a meal together.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    In the library, students have many books to choose from. They are organized by genre.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    These first grade students are using flexible seating during work time in class. Students at AFIA are encouraged to reflect on their own learning needs and make choices that work best for them, their work style, and the project they need to complete.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    This fourth grade student works independently on a reading assignment. 
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Outside of this fifth grade room, students are reminded to consider their thoughts words and actions. Messages of justice and inclusion are exhibited throughout the building and integrated into student learning.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    AFIA believes that focusing on social emotional learning strengthens academic learning. AFIA pulls from Responsive Classroom, Conscious Discipline, Mind UP and Mindful Schools into their discipline and instructional models. The system of support focuses on helping students build skills and strategies to make strong, positive choices. The support systems also provide opportunities for students to reflect on their actions and fits in naturally with the reflective nature of much of the work at the school.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    These 6th grade students take a brain break during class. As a part of the school’s culture, students are able to integrate movement into all parts of their school day. When they finish one subject or as they brainstorm new ideas, they are encouraged to move around the room. In this case, they pass a beach ball to one another.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    This mural was completed entirely by students to demonstrate their learning about social justice and inequality.
  • Academy for Integrated Arts
    Once each week, AFIA staff and students get together for a celebration called “Harambee”. At this celebration students sing songs, perform dances, and show appreciation to one another and build their school community.

Academy for Integrated Arts (AFIA) (PK-6)

Academy for Integrated Arts (AFIA)

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7910 Troost Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64131
816-444-1720 Visit School Website

School Leader(s)

Tricia DeGraff, Executive Director Karren Colbert, Principal
  • NO Tuition
  • Availability for 2021-2022
  • Transportation provided
  • Before and After-Care Available
  • Participating SchoolAppKC School

Quick Facts

Our Mission

The mission of the Academy for Integrated Arts is to use the arts to prepare students for an admissions-based college preparatory secondary school.

Points of Pride

  • Students engage in the arts as a part of the core curriculum.
  • AFIA utilizes the project approach which allows for learning to be driven by students' questions.
  • Their bi-annual Celebration of Learning provides authentic opportunities for students to share their project work and learning with their families and our community.

School Hours

  • School Hours: 8:15 am - 3:15 pm
  • Before Care Hours Start: 7:15 am
  • After Care Hours End: 6:00 pm

School Details

  • Year Established: 2012
  • Total Enrollment: 248
  • Affiliation: Charter
  • School Type: Charter

Charter Sponsor

  • Missouri Charter Public School Commission


  • Tuition: NO Tuition

Our Demographics


Receive Special Ed Services


English Language Learners

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Programs and Features

Specialized Programs

  • Arts Intensive
  • Culturally Centered

Arts Programs

  • Choir
  • Drama + Theater
  • Drawing
  • Drum/Percussion
  • Fiber Arts
  • Instrumental Music
  • Literature
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Poetry
  • Sculpture
  • Visual Arts

Sports Programs

  • Basketball (Boys)
  • Basketball (Girls)

Clubs + Activities

  • Book Club
  • Chess Club
  • Coding
  • Yoga

Family Engagement

  • Classroom Volunteers
  • Evening Family Events
  • Family Appreciation Events
  • Field Trip Chaperone
  • Parent Communication App
  • Parent Education Programs
  • Parent-Teacher Association
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Schoolwide Volunteers
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Application Process

Application Details

Although many schools have application deadlines, most continue to accept applications for available seats on an ongoing basis.

  • Application Open: November 13, 2021
  • Application Close: March 1, 2022
  • Kindergarten Cutoff: July 31
  • Offer Date: March 7, 2022
  • Decision Date: March 14, 2022
  • Residence: Students must live within KCPS boundaries.

How to Apply

Academy for Integrated Arts (AFIA) is one of 16 Kansas City charter schools working together to simplify their initial application process into one easy 8-question form – SchoolAppKC – that you can fill out on any electronic device.

Note: If they do not have space, you may choose to remain on their waiting list.

Admission Preferences


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Student Performance

Standardized Test Results



Why It Matters

Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests are scored (or graded) according to four achievement levels: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. The number shown here is the percentage of students who scored Proficient or Advanced. When comparing scores between years, please remember that the test Missouri gives has changed several times.

Please note that private schools are not required to participate in these exams.

In 2019, the average English score in Missouri was 48.7%; the average Math score was 41.9%, source

Attendance Rate 90/90


Why It Matters

Schools strive to have at least 90% of their students achieve a 90% attendance rate because kids learn best when they’re in school.

In 2019, 87.3% of Missouri students were in attendance at least 90% of the time, source.

Third Grade Reading Scores


Why It Matters

Third grade is the important time when kids switch from learning to read to reading to learn and is an important benchmark for a student’s educational development.

In 2019, the average 3rd grade reading score in Missouri was 48.7%, source

Student Growth

English Language Arts


Why It Matters

This data determines if individual students, compared to their peers, are making achievement gains over time in English Language Arts.

There are three categories possible: Floor (minimum), On Track (doing just fine), and Exceeding (outperforming their peers).



Why It Matters

This data determines if individual students, compared to their peers, are making achievement gains over time in Mathematics.

There are three categories possible: Floor (minimum), On Track (doing just fine), and Exceeding (outperforming their peers).

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Parent Perspective

parent jj mcdonald

JJ McDonald, AFIA Parent

I have a first grader and a pre-schooler at AFIA, and it’s my second year as part of the community. When I came to visit two years ago, my family was preparing to move from Minneapolis to KCMO. Everybody asked us, “what about the schools?”, before they started sharing a lot of opinions on the matter. When I looked at the conventional public schools and charter schools in the area I quickly realized that people’s hesitance to send their kids to public schools in KC was based on outdated information and unfounded assumptions. After a few tours I actually found that our real challenge was narrowing down which school we liked best. We chose AFIA because (as I’ve told many people) the school has heart and soul.

I see children at AFIA who are kind, community-focused, and confident. I see teachers and staff who are dedicated; they are always learning, and they are always willing to try out new ways to serve the students. Having been around for a little while, I see this as a natural consequence of the arts-based and community-focused curriculum at AFIA. My family feels like we’re a part of something special. The school has recently moved to beautiful, newly renovated facilities that include communal spaces, a gym, a performance space, big windows, and large classrooms. We take full advantage of all the perks of attending AFIA including free breakfast and lunch, free bus to and from school, yoga class, and inexpensive private music lessons through Base Academy of Music. The arts-based education makes the core curriculum relevant and applicable to daily life, and we’re seeing evidence of that in our children. Our first grader is reading, writing his own books, and showing off his knowledge (of animal habitats) like crazy. Our preschooler enjoys math, and likes to teach us songs from class, yoga positions, etc. My family loves AFIA, please reach out if you have any questions!

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