The opening of a new Crossroads charter high school in the fall would add a new option for students moving on from Kansas City’s Scuola Vita Nuova elementary charter.
Last year, the two charters — Crossroads and Scuola Vita Nuova — had planned to join forces and open a high school with a shared operating board. At the time, each was serving kindergarten through eighth grades.
But that plan fell through when state education officials said Missouri statutes would have to be amended to allow charter schools to merge.
“Current legislation does not provide an avenue for two local school districts to merge,” said Mary Pittala, the business manager for Scuola Vita Nuova. She said the plan the two charters proposed would require the dismantling of one of the schools and the formation of a completely new charter.
“We didn’t want to do that,” Pittala said.
So now Crossroads, sponsored by the University of Central Missouri, is going forward alone to open a new high school. And Scuola Vita Nuova is expanding its K-8 program.
Crossroads has entered into a partnership with Park University to open its new high school this fall, using Park’s downtown Kansas City campus at 911 Main St. as a temporary location.
Earlier this year, Crossroads announced it would open a high school in the fall with 30 freshman. It anticipates 70 more students to be added for the 2018-2019 school year.
To add more K-8 classes, Scuola Vita Nuova will use space already located on its site at 535 Garfield Ave. In the fall, Scuola Vita Nuova will add a second kindergarten, first grade and second grade. It then plans to build out the other grades, adding one each year up to eighth grade.
Pittala said the charter school is in the process of renovating an existing building to accommodate the growth — doubling its 207 enrollment by the year 2023-2024.
“We decided we would concentrate on doing what we already do well,” Pittala said.
When Scuola Vita Nuova students are ready to head to high school, they will be presented with a variety of choices already in the Kansas City area.
Crossroads will be yet another option for Scuola Vita Nuova students. With the merger plan quashed, Pittala said, “there would be no guarantee seats” for Scuola Vita Nuova students at Crossroads.