Sumner Academy named top Kansas school by Washington Post

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A Kansas City, Kansas high school is getting national recognition.

According to the Washington Post, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science is one of America's most challenging high schools, and on the Post's list. It's the top school in the state of Kansas.

"As far as homework, every night," said senior, Kalen Allen.

"I've probably been through about five backpacks since I’ve been here," said another senior, Andrea Johnson.

Sumner Academy Sabres are used to tough exams, a heavy work load, and the pressure to succeed.

"They know when they enter these doors, they're going to be challenged," said Principal Jonathan Richard.

Now the hard work of the students and faculty is paying off. The Washington Post has named Sumner Academy the top school in the state of Kansas, and ranks it 339th nationwide.

"I feel like our school is really prestigious, and to be able to say that I go to this school makes me feel really honored and blessed," said Johnson.

The Post ranks schools by factors like the number students taking advanced placement classes and the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies.

"It's been around since 1905 and we're just continuing that legacy of being really high performing," added Richard.

He says the school, which is grades eight through 12, has always had a very college driven culture.

"Sumner has a really rich history, a very long legacy here in the state of Kansas. Historically it was the only high school for black students in the entire state," Richard said.

He says 80% of the students are in a minority and 69% qualify for free and reduced lunch. Another impressive fact is that Sumner graduates 100% of its seniors.

"We have many students that are going to be first generation college bound students," said Richard.

"It takes a lot more work for us to be able to go to college and just have scholarships and all that good stuff so we can make it, and I think our hard work has paid off, and it shows," Johnson said.

"Wyandotte County is the poorest county in the state of Kansas, and so for us to come from this urban area, and minority based, it shows that us minorities too can achieve at high ranks with limited resources," added Allen.

This nationally ranked KCK magnet school was number one; the next seven schools on the top ten list are from Johnson County, Kansas.

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  • Former Sabre

    While this is GREAT news, the article failed to mention that Sumner Academy is a magnet school that draws many off the top students from the entire district who would have otherwise gone to other high schools in the district based on their home address. Students must maintain a certain gpa in order to remain enrolled, 100% graduation rate is by design. It would be more interesting to see the percentage of gradutes compared to the number who began in the same graduating class as 8th graders, 8th grade is pretty much the only point of entry.

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