Elem. school to reopen after some neighborhood help

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -  An elementary school shut down years ago, is on it's way to re-opening after efforts by a neighborhood group.

Friends of Hale Cook chair person Ashley Hand, said they finally they got what they have been working for.

Hale Cook Elementary is near 73rd and Pennsylvania.

"It was a moth-balled school that was closed in 2009 prior to the right-sizing initiative and I think it was a vacant building sitting in a very vital neighborhood," Hand said.

Hand said they created the group, aiming to re-open their neighborhood school.  She said Friday, they got the OK from the school district.

"We are absolutely thrilled. We have an incredible community of people that are very excited to have an opportunity to put their kids to school where they know they don't have to pay tuition and they can get public education of quality," Hand said.

Hand said it wasn't easy to get here. She said they went through a change in district administration and had to conduct a feasibility study under new superintendent Dr. Stephen Green. And Hand said, not to mention, the district's status of accreditation that was taken away.  But she said, this is why Hale Cook must re- open.

"This is a really critical moment when you have an opportunity to fundamentally change the reputation of the district and also help the trajectory of accreditation of the district," she said.

Hand said they will move ahead to enrolling students.  She said she hopes to attract students from outside of the district.

A school district spokesperson said the board approved 50 kindergartners and 25 first graders for Hartman Elementary.  That is where the Hale Cook families will be co-located this fall while the building is worked on.  The district said the group must maintain their numbers to be able to open in fall 2014 at Hale Cook.  The district said you must be registered by May 3.

Applications for enrollment can be found on the Friends of Hale Cook page as well as the district.  You can find those links under the "On Air" section of our website.

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email: gia.vang@wdaftv4.com

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