By Jeff Murphy, October 23, 2015
WARRENSBURG, MO – Expansion of a charter school agreement to include additional educational
services to students in Kansas City, updated services regarding life safety system
testing and inspection, a new graduate certificate program, and a contract for airport
grading and tree clearing improvements were among action items approved by the University
of Central Missouri Board of Governors when it met on campus Oct. 16.
Following a report by Vici Hughes, director of charter schools, the board approved a recommendation to amend the existing charter school contract with Crossroads Academy of Kansas City to expand to two schools providing services to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The agreement also includes expanding the current priority attendance boundaries on the east to Prospect Avenue to increase the recruitment of students designated as high-risk, and setting the open enrollment period between Oct. 1 and March 1, and setting the student lottery date at March 1.
One of nine charter schools sponsored by UCM, Crossroads Academy opened in June 2012 in a renovated office building located in the heart of downtown Kansas City at 1015 Central St. As the school’s enrollment grew, classrooms expanded into the building directly north of the original location, and currently a new gymnasium is under construction, where a parking lot once existed adjacent to the original building.
Over the past three years, students have made strong gains academically, Hughes said, and with heavy parental interest, the school opened this year with more than 150 students on a waitlist after classes were filled. This includes 73 kindergartners. The school board is still searing for a possible site, and plans to open the school in August 2016 with 186 students in grades K-3. The school would add one grade each year as students advance to the next grade level, eventually reaching 422 students in grades K-8 by the 2021-22 school year.
In other business, the board approved a new Graduate Certificate in Mathematics to be housed in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science within the College of Health, Science and Technology. This is in response to a statewide need for mathematics teachers, and policy changes by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE). According to the CBHE, high school teachers who wish to teach dual-credit courses are required to have either a master’s degree in mathematics or 18 hours of graduate-level mathematics courses. This program creates, without need for additional courses, positions or resources, a graduate certificate which teachers can earn as they complete 18 hours of graduate courses. The graduate certificate, which will be implemented in fall 2016, will help individuals meet requirements by both the HLC and CBHE.
The board approved the award of a contract with H.R. Quadi Contractors, LLC to enhance safety at Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport by removal of terrain, trees and brush infringing upon line of sight between the two airport runways, and to remove trees and brush infringing upon runway transitional surfaces. The Missouri Aviation Trust Fund through the Missouri Department of Transportation will provide 90 percent of the funding for this project, which totals $599,817. UCM's matching funds, $59,981, will be provided through the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. The contract with H.R. Quadri Contractors, LLC is for $451,291, and the total project cost also includes consulting services provided by Jviation in the amount of $148,526.
The board approved a recommendation to seek additional services provided by SimplexGrinnell with regard to the Life Safety Testing and Inspection Contract through the National Joint Powers Alliance. SimplexGrinnell provides comprehensive testing and inspection of all campus life safety systems. The contract for their services will run through the term of June 30, 2017, and will include additional services to The Crossing – South at Holden; football concession and locker room areas; main campus; and an update to the total number of fire extinguishers and emergency lighting on campus. The annual contract cost will increase by $24,869.