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New sixth grade middle school with a special approach launches in KC’s urban core

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A group of about 50 families decided instead of moving to the suburbs, they’re sending their kids to a brand-new public middle school right in the urban core.

Citizens of the World’s primary charter school in Kansas City is a tuition-free kindergarten through fourth grade campus on Broadway Boulevard.

Four blocks down, the school is sharing the hallways of Academie Lafayette to launch its own, first-ever sixth grade.

“All of these students you see in the hallways, some came from home-school, some moved to be a part of this," said Alisha Gripp, dean of the middle school. "They’re coming really from everywhere to be a part of this community.”

Gripp said these kids will share the legacy of launching “the first middle school in the area to not only focus on high academic expectations, but really, especially through our Learning Fellowship program, have a whole-child, a whole-human experience.”

Students Ronn’tai Hughes and Angelina Hernandez can already see differences from their old schools, even though it’s only day one.

“They don’t just tell us to do stuff," Ronn'tai said. "They help us figure it out before we just get to working. I can see they want to help everybody out that they can.”

“I notice how the teachers here are nicer," Angelina said. "It’s a nicer building. And the kids here, they don’t really, they don’t pick on each other.”

Other students shared similar sentiments of excitement.

“What I’m excited for sixth grade in this school is that I get to have lockers. I get to decorate it anime and stuff, and I also get to meet new friends and meet new teachers instead of going to my old boring school!”

The location, classrooms, students, and staff -- every bit of it is new. For the Citizens of the World family, that’s part of the charm.

“We’re all in this together, and it’s really, as you pop in and out of our classrooms, they’re really, that community is forming already and it’s really exciting to see,” Gripp said.

To apply, visit this site.

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