• University Academy is a PK-12 public charter school in Kansas City, Missouri. Students that live within the boundaries for Kansas City Public Schools are eligible to attend. University Academy students are bussed to school or dropped off by parents each day. All children wear uniforms of khaki or navy pants and navy or white tops.
  • As one of the highest performing charter schools in the Kansas City Area, University Academy repeatedly encourages students to embrace a growth mindset. This means that when students are faced with challenges they are encouraged to see the struggle as a necessary part of progress.
  • Stacy Graff is head middle school principal at University Academy. He and his team try to make learning hands on and engaging for students each day.
  • Clem Ukaoma (featured far left) is head principal of the high school. He and his team including Assistant Principal Krista Horner (featured center) work to ensure that University Academy prepares students for the world beyond high school. They do this by providing students with opportunities to study abroad, complete internships, and learn more about the college admissions process.
  • Thanks to partnerships with UMKC and Children’s Mercy, all students at University Academy have access to a free dental and medical clinic located inside of the school. Parents sign children up and they are able to have teeth cleanings and medical check ups without leaving school.
  • All students at University Academy also have access to vision care thanks to community partners.
  • When parent meetings are held, families gather in this large auditorium.
  • In lower grades, students are exposed to technology as a tool for learning in their classrooms. Here, students use a popular language program to work on vocabulary in class.
  • Many lower school teachers use SMART boards and direct instruction coupled with group work. Students receive instruction from their teacher, work as a class to practice new skills, and then are released into small groups to complete assignments. Here students demonstrate their math understanding for their teacher.
  • These young learners are practicing new vocabulary words on the carpet with their teacher. Students at University Academy are exposed to new learning in a variety of ways including traditional methods like memorization and new methods like online practice.
  • In the lower school as students get closer to middle school, they have access to lockers like these. Students are allowed to use their lockers during certain times of day.
  • In middle school, these students work on a science experiment assigned by their teacher. They are divided into teams and share their results with the class.
  • Another group of middle school students work to complete their experiment.
  • In this middle school classroom, students are watching a news story and writing about its connection to other texts they have read in class.
  • In this English class, students are working to analyze a piece of literature assigned to them by their teacher.
  • All students have an opportunity to learn a foreign language. These include Spanish, French, and Turkish. In this classroom, students are working on a practice language assignment.
  • In upper grades, all students are given a computer to use at school. Older students use their laptops as a research tool. Students learn how to navigate a digital world including research essentials and computer fundamentals.
  • In high school, students also work to connect their in class learning with their out of class lived experiences. This makes for a curriculum that exposes students to traditional ideas with a relevant lens so that students understand why what they are learning is important and how it applies to their daily lives.
  • University Academy requires all high school students complete a college readiness course. Here, students work with their teacher to evaluate college options, consider cost, and areas of interest.
  • In high school, students push one another towards success with their positive and encouraging environment. Here, students leave positive notes on a classmates locker.
  • University Academy academic and athletic teams are highly competitive. Here is one trophy case with student awards. On the other side, student artwork is displayed.
  • In music class, these lower school students do a vocal warm up with help from their teacher. All lower and middle school students at University Academy take music class weekly.
  • This middle school band practices for an upcoming performance. In upper grades, students move into more specialized versions of their electives including band, orchestra, choir, and other electives.
  • In addition to their academic coursework, all students at University Academy take elective classes like art, music, and gym. Here, lower grades students are working to complete a holiday art project assigned by their teacher.
  • In the upper grades, students are exposed to a variety of artistic mediums including sculpture. Here, student art work waits to be finished when students return to class.
  • A student art piece commemorating the Day of the Dead is featured prominently in the hallway.
  • Lower school students also display their artwork in the hallway outside of classrooms. Students are regularly encouraged to share their learning at University Academy.
  • In gym class, these lower elementary students enjoy a game of dodgeball. All lower and middle school students at University Academy go to gym class weekly.
  • Students at University Academy also have a large gym where games are held and high school students have their gym classes.
  • Student athletes train here in the school weight room. The University Athletic program begins in middle school and goes through high school. Student athletes have games in the full sized gym and on the full sized athletic field at the school. Teams are competitive and participating students must do well academically as well as athletically.
  • Outside, lower school students enjoy recess on a large playground accessible only from the inside.
  • All students at University Academy have access to this large library. There are computers here for student use as well as a resource media specialist to help classroom teachers and individual students.
  • Lunch is available daily at University Academy but is not free. Children bring their lunch each day or families can pay for lunch using a sliding scale based on family income.
  • Students and teachers at University Academy all believe that every child can reach success. It is a goal they reach for every day.

University Academy (PK-12)

  Ask a Question
Categories: , ,
6801 Holmes Road
Kansas City, MO 64131
816-412-5900 Visit School Website

School Leader(s)

Ashley Knapp, K-2 Principal Aisha Smith, 3-5 Principal Levette Amerison, Middle School Principal Clem Ukaoma, High School Principal Tony Kline, Superintendent
  • NO Tuition
  • No space available for 2020-2021
  • Transportation provided
  • After-Care only
  • Participating SchoolAppKC School

Quick Facts

Our Mission

Through high expectations, University Academy prepares students to succeed in institutions of higher education and to serve as positive role models and valuable members of the community.

Points of Pride

  • UA is a Pre-K-12 program. Students can transition from elementary grades to middle/high school and then graduate from UA.
  • Children's Mercy Wellness Clinic and UMKC Dental Clinic on-site
  • Advanced Studies Program beginning in third grade

School Hours

  • School Hours: 7:30 am - 2:40 pm
  • Before Care Hours Start: No Before Care available.
  • After Care Hours End: 5:30 pm

School Details

  • Year Established: 2000
  • Total Enrollment: 1,130
  • Affiliation: Charter
  • School Type: Charter

Charter Sponsor

  • Missouri Charter Public School Commission


  • Tuition: NO Tuition

Our Demographics


Receive Special Ed Services


English Language Learners

Back to top

Programs and Features

Specialized Programs

  • Advanced Placement
  • College Prep

Arts Programs

  • Band
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Orchestra
  • Visual Arts

Sports Programs

  • Basketball (Boys)
  • Basketball (Girls)
  • Cheerleading (Girls)
  • Cross Country (Boys)
  • Cross Country (Girls)
  • Football
  • Soccer (Boys)
  • Soccer (Girls)
  • Volleyball (Girls)

Clubs + Activities

  • Book Club
  • Speech + Debate
  • Student Government

Family Engagement

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
Back to top

Application Process

Application Details

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

  • Application Open: October 1, 2021
  • Application Close: February 22, 2021
  • Kindergarten Cutoff: August 1, 2021
  • Offer Date: March 1, 2021
  • Residence: Students must live within the KCPS boundaries.

How to Apply

UA will enroll Kindergarten students for the 2020-2021 school year. If you apply for more than one child and one of those children is selected for enrollment, it automatically changes the status of your remaining child to sibling status; siblings have priority for available seats.

Applications accepted for Pre-K-9th grades.

Admission Preferences

Siblings , Geographic , Employee

Back to top

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).



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).

Student Retention Rate

Dropout Rate


Why It Matters

The dropout rate helps tell the story of the graduation rate because it takes into account students who take more than four years to graduate or who transferred to other schools.

In 2019, the average dropout rate in Missouri was 1.9%, source.

Graduation Rate


Why It Matters

The number of students who started at a school in 9th grade and graduate from that particular school four years later.

In 2019, the average graduation rate in Missouri was 89.64%, source.

ACT Scores

ACT Average Score


ACT Participation Rate


Why It Matters

The ACT is a standardized test that many students take before applying to college. This is the percentage of graduates who took the ACT and their average score. Students need a score of at least 18 in order to qualify for Missouri A+ Scholarships. Research shows that students who earn a 21 or higher have the best chance of earning grades C or higher in college.

In 2019, Missouri’s average ACT score was 20.6 and the percent of graduates who took the ACT was 76.69%, source

Back to top

Parent Perspective


Theresa Cole, University Academy Parent

As a family, we are confident that we have made an excellent choice in having our three children attend University Academy. Our eldest is currently in his last year of middle school and started UA in the fourth grade. Our younger two children both started UA in kindergarten and are currently in the fourth and first grades.

We decided on University Academy because of its record of high academic success and commitment to our community. Having our children there helped us realize that there is so much more to love about UA. It is wonderful to have teachers, administration, and other staff that are genuinely concerned with the safety, emotional well-being, and academic growth of all its students. As a parent it means a great deal to me that teachers and administration listen carefully to concerns that parents may have and address them promptly.

We enjoy the convenience that having all grades at the same facility provides. My children love being able to see their siblings occasionally throughout the school day. I love that when they ride the school bus they get to do it together, regardless of grade level. I was initially concerned about the safety of younger/smaller children among their fellow middle or even high school classmates especially in the closed quarters of student restrooms. University Academy, of course, has a solution for this by keeping lower, middle, and upper schools to their own spaces within its sizable campus. Kindergarten classrooms even have their own restrooms in the back of the classroom.

Two thumbs up for University Academy.

Back to top


University Academy offers off-site Pre-K at Metro. To enroll, families must qualify for free and reduced meals. The application opens on October 1, 2020 and the deadline to apply is February 2, 2021. Families will be notified of their acceptance or waitlist status on March 1, 2021. If you qualify for and receive an offer to enroll, you will be guaranteed a kindergarten spot at University Academy.

Points of Pride

  • NAEYC-accredited comprehensive approach to the family
  • Special curriculum-integrated art activities
  • Open year-round

School Hours

  • School Hours: 6:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Days Open: M, Tu, W, Th, F
  • Before Care Hours Start: 6:30 am
  • After Care Hours End: No After Care available

School Details

  • Total Enrollment: 102
  • Specialized Focus: Arts Intensive


  • Tuition Amount: None for families who qualify for Free and Reduced meals


  • Not provided
Back to top