Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy is an open enrollment all girls charter school slated to open Fall 2019 here in Kansas City, MO. The concept is one that has been in development for some time and is an outgrowth of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, which was founded in 1996 in New York by a KC native and has grown nationally to more than 20 schools. I will have a separate post about the network, connection to KCGPA, and more details later this week. For now, you should know that KCGPA will welcome its first class of fifth grade girls next year, in Fall 2019, and continue to grow upwards from there each year. In preparation for their launch, KCGPA has been doing something of a community listening tour. Staff have organized a series of events that invite parents, community leaders, and anyone else connected with the Kansas City education space to give input on the new school. I have never been involved with such regular, planned, and open collaboration in school design, which is why I had to go and see the process up close for myself. After attending two or three of these meetings, I knew I had to share what they are doing with you! If you have not attended these meetings, the gist is this:
- KCGPA wants to design a school that reflects what the community values. Stakeholders are invited to participate in a future visioning protocol where they imagine the kinds of learning taking place in the building, the kind of community impact the girls are making, and the role of parents and community members. It is powerful stuff to watch.
- KCGPA wants an open door policy. As a parent, I know that parents can sometimes have a difficult time knowing how to support their child’s learning at school. In fact, parents can struggle to feel that they are an integral part of the school community at all. KCGPA is planning now to meaningfully incorporate all parents into the fabric of school life. This school will not just benefit the young ladies that elect to attend, it is looking to embrace the families they come from as well.
- ALL voices are welcome. As you will find in the videos below, KCGPA has everyone from representatives of Awesome Ambitions, teachers, parents, and even the firm helping with school branding! All voices are welcome and what is more, feedback is implemented and shared.
Watch the videos below to get a sense of the momentum around this new school AND check them out for yourselves at their next community input session!
RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kcgpa-community-forum-input-on-facility-options-tickets-46908633987
Listen to this parent talk about why she believes KCGPA will be a great choice for her daughter!
Here is a representative of Willoughby Designs discussing how the feedback from the listening session goes into the branding process!
Finally, these ladies represent decades of experience in girls’ education, community involvement, and female leadership. Listen to their thoughts on KCGPA opening up in our community!
Remember to lead is to constantly learn, and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will. The education landscape is changing. The way forward? In the words of Tom Krebs KCGPA CEO, “remember that leadership is an action and not a position.”
**NOTE** for more pictures of my travels, follow me on INSTAGRAM @drkiacoaches if you would like me to come and write about what you are doing in education, email me your event details at firstname.lastname@example.org