Midtown Community School Initiative introduces charter partner to community


Midtown and the Citizens of the World Charter Schools started getting acquainted last night, in a quest to find out if they are a good match. If the two groups decide they are well-suited, it could lead to a partnership that would open a new school in Midtown in 2016.

Here’s how the relationship began. Last year, the Midtown Community School Initiative, a group of parents and others interested in bringing schools to Midtown, issued an RFP looking for an education partner.  The national school network Citizens of the World Charter Schools (CWC), as well as two other groups, responded. Right away, both the community school initiative and Citizens of the World said there was a strong feeling of this could be a good match.

“When we read the RFP, we said ‘That sounds like us,”” Krupa Desai told a Kansas City audience last night. CWC describes their schools as “academically challenging, free public schools where students of diverse backgrounds learn at high levels and grow into caring and responsible citizens of the world.”

So now, three representatives of Citizens of the World are in Midtown, sharing their ideas and hearing from people here about what kind of school they would like to see. Both groups say they haven’t cemented a deal, but they are moving in the direction of CWC working with the Midtown group on opening a school. CWC currently has three schools in Los Angeles and two in New York, and it is talking to other communities about expanding its model.


Andrea Arroyo is the new site developer for Citizens of the World Charter Schools.

Andrea Aroyo, CWC New Site Development and Community Engagement Director, said her group is impressed with the enthusiasm it has seen in Midtown, something that bodes well for a successful school. But, she adds, CWC wants to spend the time it takes to get to know this community.

“We want to make sure the community is excited. Not just aware of us, but excited” to get involved, she told the group at last night’s community meeting. She believes that getting parents engaged early in the process of starting a school is one key to success. She’s been talking to parents, community leaders and different organizations in Kansas City, trying to gauge community support.

Today, the CWC response to the RFP is to be posted on the Midtown Community School Initiative website.

“This is the first step in building our relationship with the Kansas City community,” Arroyo said. “But we need to make sure we understand the issues.” Parents and other supporters will have a chance to follow the progress on the Midtown Community School Initiative Facebook page, and later there will be more community meetings and other organizations may become partners in the school-creation process.

“This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint,” Arroyo said.



  1. Trevor says:

    I went to the meeting. It was very good. Just a note of clarification, Arroyo said “This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint”, not the other way around. Just wanted to clear that up…

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