Growth Plan

The school’s K-12 Growth Plan goal is to first expand our K-8 program to provide more quality education options for Kansas City then to add an International Baccalaureate high school.


We are excited about the opportunity to welcome more students to Académie Lafayette to achieve our mission to educate the children of Kansas City to become globally minded, locally active, critical thinkers through immersion in world languages and cultures.

The Académie Lafayette School Board & Administration would like to provide parents an additional opportunity to share feedback regarding our future growth configuration. Please read below for our Frequently Asked Questions, or on the right to download the entire document as well as building options and our community survey. 

 

1. What is the goal of the K-12 Growth Plan?

The goal, which is aligned with the school’s strategic plan, is to first expand our K-8 program to provide more quality education options for Kansas City, then to add an International Baccalaureate high school. This first expansion will allow us to have nine Kindergarten classes beginning in the 2018-19 school year and increase the number of classes for each subsequent grade each year thereafter. This expansion provides the opportunity to welcome more students to Académie Lafayette to achieve our mission to educate more children in Kansas City to become globally minded, locally active critical thinkers through immersion in world languages and cultures.

2. How was the decision made to have two K-5 campuses?

At the February 12 board meeting, the Académie Lafayette Board of Directors voted 7 to 1 (with one board member absent) to adopt the two K-5 building configuration. The decision was made after considering feedback via teacher and parent forums, parent surveys, Conseil d’Ecole feedback, principal feedback and a report by SchoolWorks, a National Educational Consultant Group, which included educational best practices and research. What was clear from the due diligence process is that it is fully possible to create two equally diverse buildings in the K-5 option, which was one of the major concerns expressed by parents as well as the board, teachers and administration.

The board prioritized the following parameters in making its decision:
Impact on the quality of the academic program and students wellbeing (e.g. alignment of curriculum and assessment, support for teachers).
Equitable distribution of non-academic supports and opportunities for students and families (e.g. diversity, parent involvement and after-school opportunities).
Equitable distribution of resources (e.g. busses, staff, materials, etc.)

The board’s intent is for the new school configuration to have minimal impact and disruption to the current Académie Lafayette families. This decision was not easy and the board strongly considered the impact on our community, among other things. The board greatly values and appreciates all families’ involvement and commitment to our school and community.

For additional perspective, we encourage you to read a message from the one board member (who is also a founding parent of our school) who voted against this plan: https://goo.gl/go7Wga

3. How are campus placements decided?

Each campus was assigned a specific geographic boundary and students living within those geographic boundaries were automatically assigned to the campus closest in distance to their residence. For those families living outside the boundaries, campus assignments were made through a computer generated permutation. These boundaries and permutations ensure nearly equal inclusion at both campuses of all students within KCPS boundaries, regardless of proximity, race or household income.

4. What are the geographic boundaries of each campus that results in a student automatically being assigned to that campus based on where they live?

The boundaries for the two campuses are as follows:

Cherry Campus Zone:
39th Street and 27th Street between Southwest Trafficway and Prospect Ave.

Oak Campus Zone:
63rd Street to 75th Street between Main St. and the eastern boundary of the KCPS school district boundary.

5. How will socioeconomic and racial diversity be maintained between the two campuses?

Our commitment to diversity is a priority at Académie Lafayette. To provide insight: for the 2018-19 school year we received 66 applicants for 1st grade and 64% of those applications were from minorities. 36% were from African Americans. We received 242 new applications for kindergarten. 58% were from minorities and 31% were from African Americans. We will not have socio-economic data on our incoming students to share until after the beginning of the next school year.

The data analyzed and methodologies implemented in campus placements will continue to allows us to maintain an equality of diversity, and our recruiting efforts will continue to be inclusive of all students within the KCPS boundaries.

6. How does campus placement impact each grade level?

For school year 2018-2019, the impact is:
– Incoming kindergartners: Campus assignments have been made and sent to parents.
– First grade (2017 Kindergartners): Campus assignments have been made and sent to parents.
– Second grade (2017 first graders): As of the date this FAQ was updated, these students are assigned to the Cherry campus. However, based on input from parent and parents, we are evaluating transitioning this class in the same manner as kindergartners and first graders and assigning them to a campus. We will be requesting additional input from the parents of these students as well as teachers before determining if this will be changed. A decision will be made in April, 2018.
– Third grade (2017-2018 second graders): Cherry campus
– Fourth grade (2017-2018 third graders): Oak campus
– Fifth grade (2017 – 2018 fourth graders): Oak campus
– 2018 – 2019 Sixth through eighth grade: Armour campus

7. I have an incoming kindergartner who was assigned to the Cherry campus. If it is determined that you will transition the 2018-19 second graders at the same time, will my 2018-19 second grader be automatically assigned to the same campus as my incoming kindergartner?

Yes, they will be kept together at the same campus.

8. As an example, I have a fourth grade student at Oak this year (2017-18) and a preschooler who will attend in two years (2019-20) when my older child has matriculated to the Armour campus. What campus will be assigned for my younger child?

After the application period is complete, your younger child’s campus assignment will be made using the same criteria and methodology as the 2018-19 kindergarten and first grade students. **Note – this could also include 2018-19 second grade students if it is determined in April, 2018, that they be split between campuses as well for this school year.

9. Will there still be one PTSO or will each campus have it’s own PTSO?

As of the date that this FAQ was updated, the PTSO will continue as one unit serving the entire school population, with the goal and belief that this will aid in fostering the culture of community across campuses. As the PTSO leadership and volunteers evolve, this structure could be impacted. We encourage parents to volunteer for the PTSO to help shape the future of our school community.

10. If I have a child at the Oak campus now for the 2017-18 school year and my incoming kindergartener for the 2018-19 school year was assigned to the Cherry campus, will my Oak child also move to the Cherry campus?

No. Family campus assignments are consistent only for siblings younger than a 2018-19 school year kindergartener or first grader. **Note** This could include 2018-19 school year second grade students if it is determined in April, 2018 that they will be split between campuses as well for this school year.

11. Where will students attend summer school in 2018?

As of the date this FAQ was updated, the summer school plan is being finalized. A decision is expected to be finalized in April, 2018.

12. With this expansion, which opens seats for more first graders for 2018-19, what is the plan to ensure they aren’t left behind in their education as they did not attend AL and learn French in kindergarten?

A transition team has been formed to address this and many additional decisions and we will communicate accordingly when this has been solidified. The education of EVERY student is a priority in these plans.

13. Will each kindergarten class still have an intern to work with each teacher?

Yes and we are also adding up to three interns for first grade to aid in the transition of first graders new to our school.

14. Will the structure of a Principal and Vice Principal remain on each campus, and will the existing administration remain on their current campuses?

A transition team has been formed to examine every aspect of this issue. The Head of School and Principals will confer with the transition team, but they will make final decisions about staffing. These decisions will be shared with our school community when they are finalized.

15. I was assigned to the Oak campus but all of my neighbors and my child’s friends were assigned to the Cherry campus. Can I find someone assigned to Cherry who would like to switch places with me?

No. Campus assignments are permanent and non-negotiable.

16. I have children under age 5 at home; when they are ready to enter kindergarten, will they be assigned to the same campus as my current child(ren)?

Yes, all subsequent younger siblings will be assigned to the campus of their 2018-19 kindergarten or first grade sibling. If your younger child has a sibling in grades 2 or above in the 2018-19 school year, they will be assigned to a campus using the same criteria and methodology as the 2018-19 kindergarten and first grade students. **Note – If the 2018-19 2nd grade class is also split between campuses, all subsequent younger siblings of these students will be assigned to the same campus as their 2018-19 second grade sibling.

17. What will the bus service boundaries be for each campus?

Bus service will be available to students who live two miles or more from the campus they attend. They may also be bussed to a relative’s house or daycare instead just as long at this address is two miles or more from the campus they attend. Pick up and drop off addresses must be the same for morning and afternoon bus service.

18. Will there be after-school care at both campuses?

After-school programming is still being evaluated but all students will continue to have an option to participate in after-school care, as we understand that is a critical need for our families. The structure of the after-school program is still being evaluated and will be determined at a later date.

19. Will there be staggered start times for all three campuses?

A transition team has been formed to address this issue and we will communicate accordingly when this has been solidified. The reality of parents driving students to more than one campus is being taken into consideration in this decision.

20. As a parent, I would like to have more involvement or have my voice heard as these decisions are made. How can this be achieved?

– Meet 1:1 with the Head of School or principals.
– Email the Head of School or principals.
– Attend board meetings to witness and understand the process, thought leadership, challenges and decisions.
– Sign-up to address the board at any or all of these meetings.
– Attend Conseil d’Ecole meetings to witness and understand the process, thought leadership, challenges and decisions.
– Attend PTSO meetings.
– Volunteer for PTSO events and projects.
– Volunteer to help with committees.
– Attend principal-parent coffees.
– Message the official school Facebook page.
– Read the weekly newsletters to stay up to date on news directly from the administration.

21. Can each campus facilitate carpooling options for students?

Neither the school nor the PTSO can facilitate rideshare opportunities for students.

22. How will each campus be equipped and staffed properly for each grade level in attendance?

A transition team has been formed to address this issue and we will communicate accordingly when this has been solidified. The education and safety of our students along with our ability to provide the necessary tools that enable us recruit, train and retain teachers are priorities in these plans.

23. How can I help the transition succeed?

Provide candid but respectful feedback to the Head of School and principals. Your point of view is important to us. While we may not be able to accommodate each individual circumstance, direct communication between parents and school leaders allows us to better understand the needs of your family, your concerns and hopes for your child, and creates a more supportive and collaborative community.

A house divided cannot stand. Trust, transparency, communication and collaboration bring unity. We are optimistic about our vision for Académie Lafayette’s future, and we welcome your active and respectful participation in the process.

24. How will you maintain one AL community between campuses?

Unity is very important to us, particularly during this time of transition.

Our leadership team meets weekly to discuss all aspects of our school: academics, culture, facilities, students, parents and community partnerships. We will continue to implement processes to ensure successful teaching methods, rigorous curriculum, high standards, and other processes remain consistent in all buildings. If you have comments, questions or concerns about unity of our school, as we’ve said above, please share them candidly and respectfully with our Head of School and principals and play an active role in being part of the solution. We welcome your feedback.

25. If I choose to postpone my child's enrollment to the following year, will their campus assignment remain the same the following year?

No, not necessarily. If you choose to postpone your child’s enrollment to the following school year, your child may be placed at a different campus than the previous year. For example, if your child was initially placed at the Cherry campus, then you postpone their enrollment, they may be placed at Oak or Cherry the following year. There is no guarantee of being placed at the same campus. The only exception is if they have an 18-19 kindergarten or 1st-grade sibling who has already been assigned to a campus. Subsequent younger siblings will be placed at the campus of their 18-19 kindergarten and 1st-grade sibling.

In conclusion

While there are many moving parts that we are working toward solidifying, we are making every effort to keep parents involved and informed while focusing on our primary responsibility as educators to make student safety, well-being and success our highest priorities. If you have additional questions that have not been addressed here, please email any one of the following school leaders below or message the question to our official Facebook page.

 

Supporting documents:

Frequently Asked Questions (Jan ’18)

Building Configuration Options

Community Survey

Community Input Documents:

Please note that all the community documents are the opinions of various parties. 

Previous communications: