Genesis School in KCMO is in jeopardy of losing charter, closing

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 7:09 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Genesis School is in jeopardy of losing its charter. School leaders say that, without it, the school will likely be unable to operate.

The Missouri Charter Public School Commission has notified leaders of their intention to revoke its charter on June 30.

“If we were doing a disservice to kids academically, we would shut ourselves down,” said Kevin Foster, Genesis School’s executive director.

Eighty-four percent of the students live within 3 miles of the K-8 school.

“Why is it closing and what is it closing for?” asked student Joscelyn Williams.

“I think it’s very educational,” added Jasmine Johnson. “I think the environment is nice. I think the teachers are very interactive and social. I think this is a place where you can feel very much at home.”

KCTV5 asked Executive Director Foster what reason he was given for the commission’s decision.

“The commission says it’s based on academic performance,” Foster replied. “We live in an accountability system within Missouri that is frequently changing. We hold ourselves to high expectations and we want kids to learn. We’re constantly trying to improve and figure out what’s the best mix of resources and curriculum. That’s a process. It’s a process that we need to work through with a sponsor. Right now, that’s not been successful with the Missouri Charter Public School Commission. But, we continue to engage and try to talk them through who we are and what we do.”

As school leaders work to find a solution to keep the school with a long history of serving the at-risk population in KC open, they said closing it will impact the entire community.

“We must think about our families who work two jobs, work during the night, who need transportation that we provide for them,” said Jordan Rice, Genesis School’s dean of students. “Our students can be here from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.”

“The staff encourages your hobbies,” added Johnson. “We get to choose our own specials. I just like that it’s very comforting for me, especially because I have had quite a few bad experiences.”

“The best part for me of being at Genesis is the people and the environment,” Williams said.

The Missouri Charter Public School Commission issued this statement: “The school has requested the Commission hold an administrative hearing on this matter. Once we have a date, time and location of the hearing we will post that on our website.”