Kauffman School Named 2015 Missouri Charter School of the Year

Success attributed to contributions from students, families and staff

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 13, 2015) — This year has been a big one for the Ewing Marion Kauffman School. Students exceeded expectations on state test results. Doors opened to welcome the first high school students. And to top it all off, the Missouri Charter Public School Association just named the Kauffman School its Missouri Charter School of the Year.  

“We are so humbled to receive this statewide recognition of our outstanding students, committed families and hardworking teachers and staff,” said Hannah Lofthus, founding principal and CEO of the Kauffman School. “We are honored to see our students’ accomplishments celebrated as they work hard toward their goal of becoming college graduates.”

Douglas Thaman, executive director of the Missouri Charter Public School Association, said the Kauffman School was selected for the honor because of the strong academic performance of its students, innovative professional development techniques and daily efforts to build community and engage parents in the life of the school. The association made the announcement Nov. 12 at its annual conference. 

“The Ewing Marion Kauffman School understands the academic bars their students must meet, however, they also acknowledge the personal characteristics research shows are equally important to model and teach,” said Thaman. “Passion, results, empathy, perseverance are all character traits that EMKS believes build lifelong habits of success for learners and leaders.”

Now in its fifth year, the Kauffman School enrolls about 690 fifth through ninth graders. By 2018, the school will serve about 1,100 fifth through twelfth graders. The school’s mission is “creating college graduates” and works to accomplish it by developing the mindsets and habits necessary for academic success. To fulfill this promise, the school has made strategic decisions about classroom structure to maximize instructional time for students. The school also has a longer school day and longer school year than traditional public schools.

Recent state test scores show the hard work is paying off. In communication arts, 80 percent of the school’s founding class (then eighth graders, now ninth graders) scored proficient or above. In math, 81 percent scored proficient, and in science, 76 percent were proficient. Missouri eighth graders as a whole were 58 percent, 28 percent and 49 percent proficient in communication arts, math and science, respectively.

“To me, this award proves that we as different races and cultures are succeeding and we are going to accomplish our dreams,” said ninth-grade student Kimberly Cisnernos. “Despite what others are saying about schools in urban Kansas City, we are proving that we can succeed. I’m proud to be part of Kauffman School, representing my city and showing that I’m on a path to college.”

About the Ewing Marion Kauffman School
The Kauffman School is a rigorous college preparatory school founded in 2011 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The mission of the Kauffman School is to prepare students to excel academically, graduate from college and apply their unique talents in the world to create economically independent and personally fulfilling lives. For more information, visit kauffmanschool.org.