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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 17, 2011) – Citing a number of deficiencies that impair a quality education for the Urban Community Leadership Academy’s (UCLA) students, the University of Central Missouri will not renew the contract for sponsorship of the Kansas City charter school at the end of the academic year. The contract expires June 30, 2012.
The decision was made in a meeting of the university’s Board of Governors on campus Nov. 16. A letter has been sent to the school’s Board of Directors notifying members of the UCM board’s action.
“The decision was reached after serious and deliberate considerations of documents and data from UCLA’s years of operation,” Michael Wright, dean of the UCM College of Education, said in a letter to the UCLA school board.
According to Wright, reasons cited for the decision were: low enrollment, failure to meet attendance goals, poor student retention, failure to meet academic goals, and continued concerns with governance, fiscal and operational practices.
He noted the university is making its decision months prior to the contract’s expiration in order to enable students and their parents to have ample time to seek educational opportunities at other schools in the
Kansas City area. A team will be assembled as quickly as possible to aid students and their families in pursuing education elsewhere in Kansas City.
“In the best interest of the students at UCLA, it is imperative that personnel from UCLA and from the Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education (at UCM) immediately organize a transition team with the goals of answering questions from teachers, parents, and students; working through the closure of the school; and ensuring that students and teachers have a smooth conclusion to their academic year and ample time for transition to a new school,” Wright said in the letter.
UCLA is located at 1524 Paseo, and serves more than 200 students in grades five through nine. It opened in 1999 with UCM as sponsor.
Wright said the staff at the Midwest Center for Charter Schools at UCM is prepared to assist and meet regularly with the UCLA staff and Board of Directors. The Missouri Charter Public School Association and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will also be available to offer assistance. Individuals who have questions can contact the Midwest Center for Charter Schools at 660-543-4723.