Starting Monday, families living within Kansas City Public Schools boundaries can apply to 16 charter schools with a common application.
“Parents don’t have to go to four different schools and fill out four separate applications,” Latresse Yarbough, the chief operating officer for Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, said. “We really want to show the unity between charter schools and the ease of the application.”
Kansas City Neighborhood Academy is sponsored by the Kansas City Public Schools, which last year launched a common application for district schools. Tricia Johnson of Show Me KC Schools, a nonprofit that helps parents pick schools for their kids, said that one application made things so much easier.
“When the charters saw how well this worked for KCPS families, they said, ‘You know, we can do this as well. We can come together and create a system that’s much easier for families to navigate,’” Johnson said.
The online application can be filled out on a mobile device in five minutes or less. Families will have until March 1, 2019, to submit their application. They’ll receive their offers on March 7 and must select a school by March 22. Families can opt to remain on the waitlist for other schools, too.
Six charter schools opted not to use the common application this year, though Johnson is optimistic more will agree to do so next year.
The KCPS application for district schools goes live a day later, at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Unlike charter school seats, which are distributed after a lottery, seats for KCPS Signature Schools are filled on a first come, first served basis.
Elle Moxley covers education for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.