Citizens of the World Kansas City was born out of a grassroots effort led by Midtown Kansas City families known as the Midtown Community School Initiative (MCSI). MCSI hoped to create high-performing, diverse neighborhood schools that would provide quality options for the growing number of families who wanted to stay and raise their children in Midtown. In September 2013, MCSI issued a national request for proposals (RFP), soliciting partners with the capacity and willingness to launch and operate high-performing schools with a racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse student population.
Inspired by the vision of the MCSI families, Citizens of the World Charter Schools (CWC Schools) connected with MCSI, and in November 2013 submitted a proposal to launch a school system in Midtown Kansas City. In February 2014, MCSI selected CWC Schools as their partner organization. Through partnering with the national not-for-profit network of diverse, academically rigorous, free public schools, MCSI found a partner aligned in purpose, values, and educational approach.
Following their initial discussions, both organizations understood that in order to launch a school, there needed to be deep and deliberate engagement with and outreach to a wide cross-section of the Midtown and the broader Kansas City community. Together, CWC Schools and MCSI spent two years meeting with families and community organizations, paving the way for the launch of CWC Kansas City, approved to open by the Missouri State Board of Education on October 27, 2015.
Citizens of the World Kansas City opened its doors to Grades K-1 on its new Broadway campus in Midtown Kansas City in the fall of 2016.
If you were to peek into a classroom at any point during the school day, you would see learning focused on three pillars: Core Academics, Social-Emotional Development, and Difference & Inclusion.
- Core Academics: Our students will develop deep mastery of knowledge and skills. They will be challenged, supported, and will make real life connections to their learning.
- Social-Emotional Development: We want our graduates to know and be confident in themselves, and have strong relationships with their peers.
- Difference & Inclusion: We believe it is important for students to learn to work alongside peers across lines of difference. This will be necessary for them to practice self-understanding and empathy in order to solve complex problems that exist in our world.
Citizens of the World Kansas City’s work is undergirded by three philosophical foundations: Understanding, Connection, and Diversity.
- Understanding: Learning best occurs when students construct their own understandings, under the guidance of a teacher who offers varying levels of support, which are reflective of students’ current abilities and needs. Our theory of learning is comprised of three building blocks: constructivism, gradual release of responsibility, and data-driven instruction.
- Connection: CWC’s academic model supports and depends upon connections with self, one’s community, and the world. Our model supports this development through social emotional learning (SEL), which we believe to be as integral to an excellent education as traditional academic subjects and, moreover, is necessary for the world that we live in.
- Diversity: We believe that the diversity of our communities, and of the world at large, is a great strength. Through targeted outreach and recruitment, our schools are intentionally designed to reflect their surrounding communities and the larger society in terms of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. By learning, interacting, and growing in a diverse setting, our students are preparing to thrive in the pluralistic society they will soon join.
In this work, we are guided by our core values of Excellence, Authenticity, Diversity, Community and Change, and our operating norms that reflect a commitment to personal and professional growth, including operating as learners, with curiosity, integrity and humility.
- Excellence: We strive to do our best.
- Change: We roll with change.
- Community: We are engaged in our community.
- Diversity: We respect our differences.
- Authenticity: We dare to be ourselves.