University Academy recently announced that it is one of 342 schools across the United States to earn 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools Recognition. The award recognizes schools based on overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. University Academy is sponsored by the UMKC School of Education’s Charter School Center.
According to a news release from University Academy, this award is considered the highest honor an American K-12 school can receive: Less than one third of one percent of eligible schools receive this award in any year. University Academy is the first charter public school in Missouri and the only high school in Missouri this year to receive this award.
“On behalf of the board, we are extremely proud to receive this incredible honor,” said Board Chairman Bush Helzberg. “It is a clear reflection of the extraordinary talent and commitment of our students, faculty and administration.”
Tony Kline, superintendent and executive director of University Academy, congratulated students and their parents for not only embracing the mission of University Academy, but also for supporting the mastery philosophy of the Upper School. He also thanked UMKC for its support as the school’s sponsor.
“Being recognized as a recipient of the NBRS award honors the hard work of past and present cohorts of University Academy Upper School students, teachers and parents,” said Clement O. Ukaoma, Upper School principal. “I wish to thank all of our stakeholders for trusting and supporting our insistence on rigorous academics, high expectations and belief that mastery eventually delivers true excellence that pays off in the long run.”
“These schools have done outstanding work in preparing their students to succeed,” said Margie Vandeven, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner of Education. “Congratulations to the school leaders, teachers, students and communities on this national recognition.”
Representatives from University Academy will travel to Washington, D.C. Nov. 6–7 when the Department of Education will honor all recipients of the award by presenting them with an engraved plaque and a program flag in the national awards ceremony. The National Blue Ribbon Schools status never expires.
Earlier this year, University Academy received the honor of being named a Gold Star School under a program established by DESE in 1991. University Academy is a K-12 charter public school that serves roughly 1,100 students who live within the boundaries of the Kansas City, Missouri School District. Admission is by lottery.