IB High School Proposed for Brookside

southwest1Big news was recently announced for homeowners in Brookside:  Academie Lafayette and KC Public Schools want to form  a partnership to create an International Baccalaureate high school at Southwest High School, 6512 Wornall Road.   If all plans are approved, the first students would enroll in Fall 2015.

Why is this important news for all residents–not just those with school aged children?  Because a successful, well-maintained and respected public school in the heart of Brookside could raise property values and keep families in the neighborhood long term.  I’m very optimistic about this possible new partnership–but of course there are many details to sort out over the next few months.  I attended a  meeting  last week  for parents of current Southwest  students (although I do not have any children at the school) to find out more.  Here are a few things I learned, outlined in bullet points:

*Academie Lafayette would operate the school, hire staff and manage curriculum.  KCPS would retain ownership and maintenance of the building. It would not be a French immersion school, but would have several  foreign language options.

*Prospective students that do not graduate from Academie Lafayette would need to pass a test before enrolling at the school.

*The inaugural 9th grade class (2015-2016) is expected to have 100-150 students, split equally with AL and other grade school grads.  (Southwest has a capacity for over 1600 students; current enrollment is about 500 teens).  One additional class would be added each year through 12th grade.

*Students who  leave Southwest will meet with KCPS representatives, one on one, along  with their parent/guardian, to discuss placement in other schools.

*The proposed partnership has been approved by the MO Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education and the AL charter school sponsor, the University of Central MO. Students would be considered KCPS students.   A final decision is expected before the end of the year.

To learn more…attend a meeting!  If you are the parent/guardian of a current SW student,  the next Family Meeting is Thursday July 17, 6:30pm  at Paseo Academy. Two Public Meetings are scheduled for 6pm Tuesday July 8 and Tuesday July 22 at Paseo Academy.  Online resources:  www.kcpublicschools.org/alhs and the Mind Mixer forum  www.kcpsforum.org

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