Should the Kansas City Public School District reopen Lincoln Middle School?
That question is the topic of discussion at a series of meetings over the next two weeks that school district officials are having with parents of current Lincoln students and the parents of potential students.
Lincoln Middle is the feeder school to the district’s premier high school, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. The two are currently located in the same building at 2111 Woodland Ave.
Middle- and high school-aged students are separated in the building by floors, with the high school students on the upper levels.
The middle school building was shuttered in 2010 when the district closed 21 schools because of diminished enrollment.
The question about opening the middle school again surfaced in 2015 when an advisory committee comprised of district staff and administrators, along with Lincoln parents and students, was formed to explore the idea.
“Reopening the middle school would free up spaces in the high school,” said Thaddeus Wilson, interim principal at Lincoln Prep.
“I look at this as giving other students the opportunity to experience Lincoln Prep.”
Currently, school officials said that both the middle school and the high school have a long list of students waiting for space for them to attend.
To qualify for the middle school and for the high school, students have to pass admission requirements including scoring at or above the 60th percentile on a national standardized reading and math test, show evidence of good citizenship, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. High school students must also be on track to earn four full credits of a foreign language.
Lincoln Prep, which follows a rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum, has consistently been ranked among the top public high schools in the county with high retention and graduation rates, while other schools in the district have struggled academically, with behavior issues and lower graduation rates.
Kansas City Public Schools is currently provisionally accredited, although the district last year scored in accreditation levels.