Board Approves New Charter School Sponsorships, Technology Upgrades
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 12, 2011) – In a special meeting by telephone Dec. 7, the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors approved the sponsorship of two new charter schools in Kansas City, as well as upgrades to the campus technology network that significantly benefit students, faculty and staff, and the addition of a new women’s golf team.
The board unanimously approved the sponsorship of Crossroads Academy of Kansas City and the EASON Academy charter schools, following a presentation by Vici Hughes, director of the UCM Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education, and Mike Wright, dean of the College of Education. Pending state approval, both schools will open in August 2012. Hughes said the final application for each school will be forwarded to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with a request for placement on the Missouri State Board of Education’s agenda in February 2012.
Crossroads Academy planes to locate at the Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St.,
Kansas City, and begin serving up to 156 students in grades K-5. It will add one grade per year to serve a maximum of 420 students in grades K-8.
According to the school’s mission statement, Crossroad Academy is designed to “prepare students to excel in high school by providing an academically rigorous K-8 education. The goal for each student is to become a lifelong learner with a love for the process of learning, a commitment to high achievement, and a thirst for serving the community.”
EASON (Educational Achievement Sustains Our Nation) Academy will be located at 1911 E. 232rd St. It will serve 75 students in grades K-5 initially, and incrementally increase to a maximum of 140 students over the next five years. The school is designed to serve students who are at-risk of academic failure due to poor academic performance, truancy, dropping out, expulsion, behaviorally and/or emotionally challenged, facing family discord, or are candidates for mental health assessment.
Wright told the board the sponsorship will be cost-neutral for the university as the result of funding provided to the sponsor through state resources. This includes 1.5 percent of state aid generated by the charter school.
Following a presentation by Jim Graham, vice provost for information technology, the board approved technology infrastructure upgrades totaling $3.25 million that serve as a major investment in the future of the university and its ability to enhance the quality of the student educational experience. Graham noted that through these improvements, students who come to UCM will be assured that they have access to front-edge technology that delivers speed and capacity that will meet information needs of all campus users.
The university will move forward with the acquisition and deployment of a Cisco Systems network infrastructure upgrade, via a proposal by World Wide Technologies. It will cover fiber optic cabling, network core electronics, building entry routers, floor switches, and wireless access points in order to meet and address the delivery of current and future technology resources. These improvements will be paid for from funding sources that include the Office of Technology, Residential Housing, proceeds from the Greenwood Park insurance claim, and a combination of Student Technology Fee and institutional carry-forward dollars.
It was noted that the current network infrastructure’s fiber optic backbone was installed in 1990 and now lacks the ability to meet the high bandwidth needs and requirements that are essential to emerging technologies such as distance learning and video conferencing applications. The infrastructure also is nearly at capacity for handling Wi-Fi connectivity requirements. Without the essential investment in technology upgrades, needs in such areas could grow beyond the university’s capabilities.
After hearing a presentation by Kathy Anderson, UCM senior associate athletic director, internal operations, the board approved a motion to add intercollegiate women’s golf in 2012-13. This will make UCM the sixth school in the MIAA to include the women’s sport. The program is expected to generate additional revenue through the recruitment of new students to campus, and with the recent completion of the new Audrey J. Walton Clubhouse at Pertle Springs Keth Memorial Golf Course, the university also has excellent facilities to accommodate the team. The university plans to begin recruiting students and hire a new coach as early as possible in 2012.