Thursday, May 29 2014 9:14 AM EDT2014-05-29 13:14:41 GMT
A teacher at Southwest Early College Campus school talked only to KCTV5 about what it's really like inside the school after two students were charged in the rape of a 14-year-old girl who has Autism. TheMore >
A teacher at Southwest Early College Campus school talked only to KCTV5 about what it's really like inside the school after two students were charged in the rape of a 14-year-old girl who has autism.More >
Thursday, April 3 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-04 02:54:12 GMT
Friday the Office of the Juvenile Officer of Jackson County filed first-degree rape allegations against two boys. The juvenile courts office said the rape happened Thursday at Southwest High School, locatedMore >
Two teens are accused of sexually assaulting another student at Southwest Early College Campus.More >
Thursday, April 3 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-04-03 22:09:13 GMT
The Kansas City, MO, school district said they will work to make schools more safe after a student was raped at Southwest Early College Campus last week. In a recently released police report, police saidMore >
The Kansas City, MO, school district said they will work to make schools more safe after a student was raped at Southwest Early College Campus last week.More >
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Popular charter school Academie Lafayette apparently will get its first high school at the trouble-plagued Southwest High School. A previous charter school effort failed at the Brookside area school.
The partnership between Academie Lafayette, a French-immersion charter school, and the Kansas City School District was announced during a noon news conference. The district will retain ownership of the building but the charter school will operate the school including hiring and retaining teachers.
The high school will be academically rigorous and provide foreign language learning opportunities, but the core curriculum will be taught in English. Each grade is expected to have about 100 to 120 students initially.
District officials said district students could apply to attend the charter school much as students have to apply and meet standards to attend the district's Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. However, current Southwest students who don't meet the standards will have to go to another public school.
Charter school and district officials said there are many details still to be worked out but the change at Southwest High is expected to occur at the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
Academie Lafayette, which has been opened for more than 15 years, has long been a kindergarten through eighth-grade school. Due to demand, the school has wanted to expand and had recently sought to move into the closed Westport High School.
But the school board, which included members no longer on the current board, earlier this year blocked that from occurring.
The new school board unanimously has approved the partnership with the charter school.
Representatives for both the school district and the charter school said they are excited about the opportunities.
Board president Jon Hile said it is a unique and innovative educational partnership that will offer "an academically rigorous and diverse signature public charter high school."
He also sought to erase some concerns.
"I want to assure our stakeholders that this announcement is the beginning of our process, not the end," he said, adding that public meetings will be held over the course of the summer to get public feedback.
The hope is both boards formally will approve the partnership in the fall.
"Nothing can change a child's trajectory like a quality education and that remains elusive for too many of our city's students," Kansas City Mayor Sly James said in a news release. "I applaud the leadership of both the district and Academie Lafayette for taking an innovative approach to increasing quality seats in our schools."
Southwest High is nearly nine decades old and was once one of the crown jewels of the district.
"When I was young man growing up in Kansas City, Southwest High School was synonymous with greatness," James said. "Today begins the school's journey back to greatness," he said.
"Having a school with an international baccalaureate and international language program contributes to my vision of Kansas City being home to world-class education and it is simply the right, smart thing to do," James said.
Superintendent Stephen Green said recent violence at the school did not lead to this decision, saying district and charter school officials have "been talking about this for quite some time."
The district and charter school will have an equal number of slots for students.
"It is our sincere hope that this partnership will be win for every family who lives within the Kansas City Public School boundaries," said Green, who once served three years on the Academie Lafayette board.
He added that the charter school setting up shop inside Southwest as opposed to Westport or another school "from a cost perspective and, I think, from a program perspective this seemed to be the best fit."
While others were enthusiastic, Green repeatedly urged caution and said this is "not a done deal," and it could fall apart before the agreement is finalized. Others at the new conference were more hopeful about reaching a successful conclusion.
In the 1990s, Southwest became a charter school. When that effort failed, the charter school shuttered its doors in 2005. The district reopened it as Southwest Early College Campus in 2008.
But its recent history has been turbulent with fires, fights and crimes occurring at the school.
In April, a 14-year-old girl said she was raped at the school. And last year, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were charged with first-degree rape after an attack at the school.
Some parents aren't happy about the proposal. One concern is that students who now attend Southwest won't qualify for the new school.
"They have Lincoln. Lincoln is one of a kind. They need to just let that bed. Don't try to be a trendsetter," said parent Tanya Warren. "The kids that are here. They are already struggling. I think they should just figure out the problems and the loopholes that they have and work on fixing that and making the kids better kids."
Existing teachers will continue to work through the upcoming school year. After that, they can apply for jobs within the Kansas City School District or apply to work at Southwest. An international search will be done for the principal.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Academie Lafayette aims to open upper-class campus at Southwest HighMore>>
Thursday, May 29 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-05-29 13:15:11 GMT
The Kansas City School District has placed employees at Southwest High School on administrative leave after an autistic girl was repeatedly raped over a month-long period.A boy and girl were taken intoMore >
The Kansas City School District has placed employees at Southwest Early College Campus on administrative leave after a girl with autism was repeatedly raped over a month-long period by another student. More >
Wednesday, September 3 2014 3:05 AM EDT2014-09-03 07:05:24 GMT
Police say a man taken into custody early Wednesday is a person of interest in three assaults at a Motel 6 in the Northland, and detectives are expected to question him about a quintuple shooting.More >
Police say a man taken into custody early Wednesday is a person of interest in three assaults at a Motel 6 in the Northland, and detectives are expected to question him about a quintuple shooting in south Kansas City.More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:12:05 GMT
The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month.More >
Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant...More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:42:09 GMT
Canadian police say pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation involving a photographer, his...More >