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A year after state announced plans to revoke Genesis School's charter, review shows progress

Genesis Charter School
Posted at 9:41 PM, Dec 14, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo — This holiday season has a different feel for Genesis School staff and families because they aren’t worrying about the state of their charter.

Friday marks one year since Genesis School was notified by the Missouri Charter Public School Commission that they intended to revoke their charter.

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After winning in court, the charter school has been working to make sure they can keep it.

"When I thought they were gonna close down, I was kinda like, 'What?'" said Tisha Johnson, a parent of two kids at Genesis School.

Stacey Blount is a parent of two daughters who attend Genesis School. Last year, she was wondering where she would place her kids if it wasn't at Genesis.

"We didn’t know the next steps," she said. "Everything was a possibility, up in the air and it was really emotional."

After Alison Hart, a parent of two kids at the school, heard the charter would be revoked, she started advocating.

"I knew they were gonna stay open, I wrote an extensive letter," Hart said. "I mean, they help children who have special needs. My children have behavioral issues and they are hands on with that and I like that. What we do at home should be done in school."

Some of the measures included in the Missouri Charter Public School Commission’s initial review were from a school quality report led by academic experts.

The results were given as part of the reason the school should have its charter taken away.

This time around, the report showed evidence of growth in several areas, including fostering a safe learning environment and academic support.

"It was validation is the best way to say it," said Kevin Foster, head of Genesis School. "It was a huge relief."

Proud parents at the charter school aren’t surprised because they see the results it in their children.

The joy on their faces during their school holiday program while they showed teachers and parents what they can do, is something that can only happened if they're in classrooms.

Genesis School
On Thursday, Dec. 14, Genesis School held their first holiday program since COVID-19 began.

"She was having trouble, my kindergartner," Johnson said. "It was her first year in school and she was in Ms. Shepard’s class. [Ms. Shepard] worked with her. She tested the highest score — top three in the class."

The review did reveal where Genesis could improve in instruction, including the level of engagement and participation from students in classrooms and developing problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Foster said those examples given don't meet their expectations. Overall, he said, the report does reflect the effort teachers put in every day.

"We would hope if we were doing a disservice to kids and kids weren’t well served, that the community would rise up and close us and they didn’t do that," he said. "They rose up and defended us."

As Genesis School continues to educate and prove why their classrooms should remain, they will take the wins they can along the way.

"It really does take a village to raise a child," Hart said.

Genesis School said they're looking forward to student's MAP results being available in a few days to gauge their academic progress. Their charter is reinstated until 2025.

After that, they’ll need it renewed with the same or different sponsor to stay open.