• building of african centered
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    Dr. Claire Thornton-Poke is the principal of African Centered Elementary. She has been with Kansas City Public Schools and African Centered Elementary for several years.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    Students and families are greeted by Ms. Williams when they come to school each day. Students at African Centered Elementary wear uniforms that vary by grade level. Kindergarten through second grade students wear green polos & khaki bottoms while third through fifth grades wear red polos & khaki bottoms. Sixth and seventh grade students wear khaki bottoms with black tops while eighth grade students wear all black each day.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    Guests are treated to rows and rows of African dioramas created by each grade level. These depict African life and are a part of a rotating display of African themed project based learning.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    Here, 8th grade students have recreated slave ships as a part of their project based learning about Marcus Garvey and his back to Africa movement.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    Examples of African dress, biographies of famous kings, and explanations of African currency also adorn the walls of African Centered Elementary.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    In Pre-K students practice walking silently in the hallway on their way back to class. Pre-K students focus on soft skills like working together, following directions, and school rules in addition to kindergarten readiness skills.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    These kindergarten students eat lunch with their teachers. Breakfast and lunch are provided free daily for students at African-Centered Prep.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    This student works independently with her teacher to improve her reading fluency.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    In class, these first grade students are playing a game that helps them to learn their sight words. Technology is available to all students at African-Centered Prep.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    These first grade students work to match letter sounds to pictures during choice time.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    In all classes, students have cubbies like these where they hang their belongings.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    Students at African-Centered Prep synthesize their learning by doing projects centered around African history. Here, they did a study of Egyptian rulers and created a class report.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    In second grade, students use technology to support their reading and math skills. Here a student gets help from his teacher.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    AC Prep has an outdoor courtyard where teachers can take classes during the day.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In this second grade classroom, students are working in centers on math and reading while their teacher supports individual students.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In upper elementary, classrooms like this one are common. Students are presented with more opportunities to work individually on assignments and the collaborative tables are less common. The African theme is even more prevalent with artifacts covering the walls and shelves as well.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In the library, students at AC Prep enjoy flexible seating and help with research from their librarian. All students go to the library once each week.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In music class, these third grade students carefully practice their lines for an upcoming school performance. All classes go to music once each week.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    Students at AC Prep also have access to traditional African instruments like these drums. All students in grades Kindergarten through 8th go to Cultural Arts class weekly. There they learn to play the drum and engage in traditional African dance
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In gym class, these fourth grade students play dodgeball. All students go to gym class once each week.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    Foster Grandparents like this one (featured right) are present in classrooms to read with students and support teachers. It is one of the many community partnerships that help to keep kids at AC Prep on track
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    These fifth grade students sit in rows to complete a quiz assigned by their teacher.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    While these fifth grade students read independently during silent reading time.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In class, all students have a reading corner like this one where books are organized by student interest. Students can select their books from here or from the library.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    For visitors, AC Elementary has a permanent African history museum inside of the building. Visitors are treated to student and teacher created displays that reveal aspects of early African life through recent contributions of African Americans.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    Students combine their in class learning with art and created this bulletin board where they displayed the jewelry of kings and queens of Africa. They then wrote reports about what they learned. All students go to art class weekly.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    Students at AC Prep have access to a greenhouse where they grow small plants like these. The greenhouse is used at teacher discretion
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In iSparks class, students learn coding and design thinking. All students go to iSparks weekly.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    n this sixth grade classroom, students are at the board working through a math problem while discussing their thinking with their teacher and classmates
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    These seventh grade students work on reading more about Marcus Garvey in small groups. They are reading his views and comparing and contrasting them with other thinkers of his time.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    In eighth grade, these students are experimenting with different kinds of rhythms to put to a song they are working on writing.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    AC Prep has a large auditorium where students and families gather for important assemblies and school wide celebrations.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    Outside, AC Prep students enjoy a fenced-in playground.
  • African Centered Preparatory Academy
    AC Prep also has green space for students to run and play and raised bed gardens.
  • African-Centered Preparatory Academy
    When visitors enter the building, African themed artwork and projects are prominently displayed and some staff dress in traditional African clothing.

African-Centered Prep Academy (PK-8)

African-Centered Prep Academy

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6410 Swope Parkway
Kansas City, MO 64132
816-418-1175 Visit School Website

School Leader(s)

Claire Thornton-Poke, Principal Stacey Ragsdale-Moore, Vice-Principal
  • NO Tuition
  • Availability for 2021-2022
  • Transportation provided
  • Before and After-Care Available

Quick Facts

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide all students with a sense of purpose; instill a belief that all students can learn and become productive successful members of society; foster high standards of educational performance; provide an intensive College Preparatory Curriculum; infuse through the study and instruction of students the rich history and contributions of African and African-American people and culture; enable students to become aware of the relationship of the past to the present and future; and to help students to understand their time (Historical Chronology) and space (location) in the learning environment.


Our NSBE scholars received first place honors last year in Detroit, MI. We have monthly themes that we infuse with the state's curriculum and standards. We also have a 92% attendance score from last year.

Points of Pride

  • AC Prep provides a unique college preparatory curriculum that is consistent with KCPS.
  • AC Prep strives to exceed district mandates due to its higher levels of expectation.
  • AC Prep stays in-tune with the distinctive foundation of cultural awareness that is important to the success of students in urban areas.

School Hours

  • School Hours: 9:15 am - 4:15 pm
  • Before Care Hours Start: 7:00 am
  • After Care Hours End: 6:00 pm

School Details

  • Year Established: 1988
  • Total Enrollment: 397
  • Affiliation: KCPS-Signature
  • School Type: KCPS-Signature


  • Tuition: NO Tuition

Our Demographics


Receive Special Ed Services


English Language Learners

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Programs and Features

Specialized Programs

  • College Prep
  • Culturally Centered

Arts Programs

  • Drum/Percussion

Sports Programs

  • Basketball (Boys)
  • Basketball (Girls)
  • Cheerleading (Girls)
  • Cross Country (Boys)
  • Cross Country (Girls)
  • Football
  • Track and Field (Boys)
  • Track and Field (Girls)
  • Volleyball (Girls)
  • Wrestling (Boys)

Clubs + Activities

  • Coding
  • Debate
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics
  • Student Government

Family Engagement

  • Evening Family Events
  • Field Trip Chaperone
  • 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: December 6, 2021
  • Application Close: February 15, 2022
  • Kindergarten Cutoff: July 31
  • Offer Date: February 25, 2022
  • Decision Date: March 7, 2022
  • Residence: Students must live within the KCPS boundaries.

How to Apply

Enroll online on the KCPS website

Applications for signature and neighborhood schools open on December 14, 2020

The initial round of applications deadline is February 15, 2021

The week of March 1st, initial seats will be offered, and parents will need to complete the registration form.

You can still apply after the deadline, seats will be offered at a later date.

Submit applications online or in-person at the Board of Education building, 2901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109. Applications CANNOT be submitted at schools.

To be eligible for African-Centered Prep a scholar must: come in for an orientation; have and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better; 90% or better attendance; adhere to all of the uniform guidelines daily; and must not be defiant, disrespectful or a threat to any other Scholar’s education.

Submit applications to www.enrollkc.org or in person at the Board of Education building, 2901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109. Applications CANNOT be submitted at the school.

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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

On Track

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).


On Track

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

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