- Why is the Charter not being renewed?
Based on consistently low student achievement on the State Assessments, the Sponsor could not renew Benjamin Banneker’s charter. Therefore, the charter officially ends on June 30, 2018.
- If scores improve this year, can Benjamin Banneker stay open?
No, the term of the charter officially ends on June 30, 2018. The charter is a contract that expires after the end of its term.
- Why are you closing a school that will impact 300 students? Are there alternatives that would allow you to keep the school open?
When submitting a charter renewal, by statutory law, the Sponsor must assure and show the Missouri State Board of Education that the school meets all the criteria to be renewed and that includes that it has met the performance measure on the State Assessment exams. The Sponsor could not show that Benjamin Banneker had met the performance measure over the past three years. Therefore, the charter will expire on June 30, 2018, and the school will and must close.
- What will happen to student records?
Student records will follow students to their new school, but a permanent copy of the students’ records will be kept and be accessible through the Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS). The KCPS and Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) will ensure the safe-keeping and transfer of student records after Benjamin Banneker’s doors close.
- Is Benjamin Banneker’s Board of Directors going to open a new school in the present site?
Benjamin Banneker’s Board would be able to open a school on this site if they are the successful bidders when the building is auctioned off this summer.
- I heard a new charter application was filed by the Board of Directors with DESE. Will the new charter school be in operation next year?
A new charter application has been submitted by the Board of Directors without the required sponsor for submission. However, since it is a new charter, under the current law, the soonest a new charter school could open would be Fall 2019.
Please note new charters must have a sponsor when submitted to DESE, receive DESE approval, and then be approved by vote by the State Board of Education.
- Will there be a school open in these buildings next year?
We have no knowledge of plans for the buildings for next year. The buildings will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, which could include a school.
8. Will there be Summer School at Benjamin Banneker this year?
No. Summer School has to be approved by DESE each year. We have been told DESE would not approve a summer school proposal for June 2018. We recommend that you attend a summer session at a school to see if it is the right fit for you.
9. If I have a question that is not listed here, how can I get it answered?
There will be a telephone number on the website where you can reach someone who can answer your questions. As soon as that is secured, we will post it.
10. Will there be any help in finding a new school?
Yes. Two Student Enrollment Fairs will be held the first at the Kauffman Conference Center. A number of schools will present. You will be able to talk to representatives from the schools to see if a particular school is a good fit for you and your child. Information about the Enrollment Fairs will come home with your child. If you are not able to attend these fairs, please call the number that will be provided on the web site to obtain assistance.
11. What will happen to the finances following the school’s closure?
The final year’s budget will be monitored by the Sponsor and DESE. Since the school runs on public funds, state charter law defines how remaining assets are dispersed. A closing audit will be conducted by an accounting firm and there is the possibility of the State Auditor conducting an audit, as well.
12. What happens to the school furnishings?
School furnishings were purchased with public funds. Therefore, state law defines how they are to be sold and/or dispersed.
13. Will there be a contact person after the school closes? If so, how long will this person be available?
Yes, a contact person will be available until all school business has been finalized. Contact information will be provided at the end of the school year.
14. Do Board members get paid for their service?
No, Board members are public servants and volunteer their time.