Kansas City’s first all-girl pub­lic school finds a home

The Kansas City Star - - Local - BY MARÁ ROSE WIL­LIAMS md­williams@kc­star.com

Kansas City’s new­est char­ter school, the first all-girls pub­lic school planned for the city, has found a lo­ca­tion.

By next fall, the Kansas City Girls Prepara­tory Academy will move into the Ho­gan Prepara­tory Academy El­e­men­tary School build­ing, 5000 E. 17th St., off Van Brunt Boule­vard.

Girls Prep had been look­ing through­out the city for two years for the right lo­ca­tion. It just so hap­pened that Ho­gan was set to move out of its space at the end of this school year.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have found this lo­ca­tion, right in the heart of the com­mu­nity we wish to serve,” said Tara Hask­ins, found­ing prin­ci­pal of the char­ter school. “It is a won­der­ful prop­erty, and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing our first class of stu­dents.”

The old Ho­gan school was built in 1915.

“We are still a lit­tle starstruck that we got this build­ing,” said Chris­tine Kem­per, the new school’s found­ing board chair. Fund­ing came from lo­cal and na­tional do­na­tions and a se­ries of na­tional grants.

Ho­gan Prep El­e­men­tary, which is also a char­ter school, will re­lo­cate to the Mary L. Kelly Cen­ter, part of the non­profit Up­per Room at 2803 E. 51st St. The cen­ter serves stu­dents af­ter school and dur­ing the sum­mer, so it is avail­able dur­ing the day to ac­com­mo­date Ho­gan’s classes.

“Hav­ing Ho­gan Prep El­e­men­tary uti­lize our space for its in­struc­tional needs is a per­fect com­ple­ment to our of­fer­ings and it en­ables us to share re­sources that will greatly ben­e­fit both or­ga­ni­za­tions,” To­nia Gil­bert, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Up­per Room, said in a state­ment.

The an­nounce­ment comes seven months af­ter Girls Prep named Hask­ins its prin­ci­pal. She had been an as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal for KIPP Voy­age Academy for Girls in Hous­ton.

Kansas City’s only sin­gle-gen­der pub­lic school will open with about 100 fifth-grade stu­dents and then will add a grade each sub­se­quent year. The plan is to even­tu­ally have a full en­roll­ment of just un­der 750 stu­dents for grades five through 12.

Tom Krebs, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the girls school, said its founders did ex­ten­sive re­search on the com­mu­nity and held fo­cus groups be­fore propos­ing the sin­gle-gen­der school.

In their char­ter ap­pli­ca­tion, founders wrote that the girls school “seeks to en­sure that young women grow­ing up in neigh­bor­hoods neg­a­tively im­pacted by de jure and de facto ra­cial seg­re­ga­tion achieve eq­ui­table ed­u­ca­tional out­comes.”

‘‘ IT IS A WON­DER­FUL PROP­ERTY, AND WE LOOK FOR­WARD TO WEL­COM­ING OUR FIRST CLASS OF STU­DENTS. Tara Hask­ins, found­ing prin­ci­pal of char­ter school

FILE PHOTO

Tara Hask­ins is the found­ing prin­ci­pal of the Kansas City Girls Prepara­tory Academy char­ter school, set to open next fall.

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