Kansas City Academy
7933 Main Street
Kansas City MO 64114
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 444-5225
Fax 816- 444-8354
Mission Statement
Kansas City Academy is a personalized learning community that respects individuality, encourages independent thinking, and values creativity in all disciplines. Kansas City Academy graduates are active, responsible participants in a diverse world.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Robert Gronniger
Board Chair Jennifer Pate-Pitzel
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Director, The Hodgson Law Firm
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1984
Former Names
Kansas City Academy of Learning
The Learning Cooperative
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
As an independent, private school, we receive no federal or state funding and tuition covers only 80% of our expenses. With donor support, Kansas City Academy is able to remain committed to our educational mission, expand programs and maintain low tuition. There are a number of ways to get involved.
 
KCA relies on donations, grants and foundation support to realize our mission as a personalized learning community that respects individuality, encourages independent thinking, and values creativity in all disciplines. Please visit us at kcacademy.org for donation information.
 
Several times per year, we schedule work projects such as building and garden clean up, or painting. To be included on our email list for notifications about these projects, please contact the Development office at development@kcacademy.org.
 
We are always on the hunt for items to augment our programs, in particular items related to technology, art, music, theater or culinary arts. Please contact the school at (816) 444-5225 to arrange in-kind donations.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Kansas City Academy is a personalized learning community that respects individuality, encourages independent thinking, and values creativity in all disciplines. Kansas City Academy graduates are active, responsible participants in a diverse world.
Background Statement Kansas City Academy (KCA) has always been a school ahead of its time. Founded in 1984, we strive to provide excellent college preparatory education through a creative, hands-on, and project-based curriculum. At KCA, students are encouraged to participate, problem solve, think creatively, try new things, and incorporate things such as individual self- expression into their schoolwork and daily lives. They deepen their values, gain a concern for the welfare of others and the environment, and develop a thirst for lifelong learning.
Impact Statement
PAST YEAR: 
  1. Educational Program Improvements: We continued to advance our educational program in significant ways in the past year. With the goal of improving writing across the curriculum we make improvements to our curriculum in terms of writing instruction, continued to implement measures of assessing writing, and increased professional development for faculty around using tools to teach writing. Additionally, we continued to implement an evidence based assessment system to ensure that students are meeting learning targets at three significant places in their matriculation (8th grade, 10th grade, 12th grade). 
  2. Awareness Campaign: We continued to build awareness of KCA in the community be implementing a new social media strategy, increasing our marketing collateral while staying in-tune with our brand standards, and becoming involved in more community events and organizations.
  3. Arts & Performances: Student performances and art exhibits continued throughout Kansas City area with Showcase performances at L'Ecole Culinaire, The Record Bar, Californos, as well as performances in music and theater held at our campus.
  4. Sustainability: We completed the first phase of a three phase project to update and remodel our restrooms. We also completed a number of projects to increase the aesthetic value of our facility, including painting the main hallway, improving fixtures and displays, as well as significant landscape improvements.
  5. Financial Sustainability: We increased enrollment from 72 students to 77 and continue to grow. We revamped our annual campaign increasing donations by three fold.  
 
CURRENT YEAR GOALS:
  1. Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund provides financial aid support to families whose students would otherwise be unable to afford this type of education. With 50% of our student population on financial aid, Increase to this fund will allow accessibility to more students.
  2. Theater Upgrades: Renovations still needed include sound, seating upgrades, and some structural. This would allow us more community performances.
  3. Healthy Lunches: Currently student lunches are $3.50 / meal. Donations to this program directly affect our ability to reduce this cost for all students and give access to healthy food for all our students.
  4. Outreach: Expanding awareness, we need to upgrade our advertising presence in the community to be inline with other private schools. Estimated $5,000-$20,000.
Needs Statement

KCA's top five funding needs are:

  1. Healthy Lunch Subsidy. Funding to enhance and subsidize our healthy lunch and nutrition curriculum program to ensure all students have healthy lunches. $10,000 annually.
  2. Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund provides financial aid support to families whose students would otherwise be unable to afford this type of education. $150,000 annual goal.
  3. Arts Program Fund. This fund allows the continuation, support and expansion of our thread of providing creative education programs in fine arts, music, theater and culinary arts. $50,000 annual goal.
  4. Community / Student Expeditions. This fund allows our students to learn and connect in the community and is the foundation of our learning. Experiential learning better prepares students with necessary skills for the modern world. $10,000 annual goal.
  5. Theater. Funding for our black box theater structural and sound upgrades. $10,000
Service Categories
Secondary & High Schools
Arts Education
Secondary & High Schools
Areas of Service
International
MO - Jackson County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement Kansas City Academy provides a creative, holistic, personalized, college-preparatory education for middle and high school students. The Academy's educational program is uniquely designed to recognize, nurture, and challenge each student's personal and academic potential. By openly accepting and respecting the uniqueness and worth of each individual, the Academy is a place where students feel valued, learn personal responsibility, and experience learning as interesting, challenging and relevant, encourages uniqueness and creativity, while preparing students for life. In this ever-changing 21st century. I am proud as well as honored to serve the Head of School. We take a holistic approach to education that values the worth and uniqueness of each individual student. Students are encouraged to be part of the decision making process by serving on the Board of Directors, on the Student Discipline Committee, and on committees during the faculty hiring process.
Programs
Description

Middle School Expansion: In 2015-2016 we began expanding our middle school curriculum by enhancing our project based curriculum in grades 6-8. The goal is to provide students with unique opportunities to connect skills and content from their classes to their own lives and to the larger world. Teachers may collaborate to have students examine common themes or ideas across English-language arts, social studies, science, and even math. The arts are deliberately integrated into core courses, and the relevance of learning is a focus. Students practice skills and learn content through personalized learning, and they are afforded a variety of ways to demonstrate their understandings.

Program Budget $75,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Adolescents Only (13-19 years), At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

The enhanced project based curriculum gives middle school students a more applied learning education. The successes we have already experienced in refocusing on our middle school curriculum has led to a significant increase in our middle school population.

Long-Term Success

Studies show students who engage in project based learning for longer periods of time will gain the most benefit - increasing their education up to 10 months. More curriculum focus starting in the earlier years of their Kansas City Academy education will only enhance their educational experience, and better prepare them for college and their future. (www.elschools.org)

Program Success Monitored By

The success of the program will continue to be measured through curriculum measures and student achievement.

Examples of Program Success

In our first year of middle school enhancements our enrollment increased over 200%.

Parents and students are saying the program and teachers offer more academic engagement and attention than most schools. 

"Today was my daughter’s first day at Kansas City Academy. It was also the first day she has ever come home from school happy."

~2015-16 Parent

 
Description

Kansas City Academy encourages creativity throughout a student's education, often partnering the arts with our core curriculum. We offer diversified arts programs, collaborating with many community partners. As schools are letting go of the arts, we have been expanding.

MUSIC
is taught by national musicians –in areas of theory, songwriting, publishing, world drums and live performance. Our school band writes, produces and records their own music, as well as live performances.

ART program collaborates with many partners, including guest professors from Kansas City Art Institute. Students have access to many mediums, such as painting, drawing, kilns, and media and design. Students explore art within the community, and exhibit in shows. Students gain awareness of design in the world, make more informed higher education and career path choices.

THEATER and trained theater instructor continually brings in unique one of a kind performances, crossing relevance, learning and interest to our students. Program is open to all who want to participate.

Program Budget $5,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Extracurricular Arts & Culture
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Adolescents Only (13-19 years), At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success We continue to seek new community partnerships and funders to enhance the student music experience.
Long-Term Success  We continue to seek new community partnerships and funders to enhance the student music experience.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by student participation, community events, student participation, and the music curriculum. 
Examples of Program Success In 2015 KCA Studio Band was honored to perform their original music at several places in the community above and beyond the school events and music program, such as: Union Station and Country Club Plaza Waterfire.
Description

At KCA, students prepare for life academically, and holistically. We teach the whole student, which includes making and teaching healthy choices.

NUTRITION. To rave reviews, KCA has built a greenhouse, planted a vegetable garden, started a farm-to-table style healthy lunch program with local foods, daily fresh fruit, nutrition curriculum, cooking classes and contests. We subsidize healthy lunches to allow access for all students.

FITNESS. KCA has an individualized fitness and assessment program. Our students incorporate fitness into their curriculum by taking class walks, using area parks, exercise on school grounds, cross fit, and  bicycle safety and rides on the Trolley Trail.

SUSTAINABILITY. Students, staff and community work together to make the school more environmentally sustainable and engage students in reducing their carbon footprint . The school has recycling, rain run-off watering, school gardens, compost, solar panels, lighting upgrades, as well as future projects.

Program Budget $5,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Adolescents Only (13-19 years), At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Based on personal testimony, and quantitative surveys, the programs have been highly effective for students, faculty, and families. It is strongly encouraged by the entire school community that we continue and expand the health and wellness programs. The teachers and students see the potential to operate in a green environment as the way of the future, preparing our future leaders for the world as it will be.
Long-Term Success At KCA we have an obligation to be the environment where effective learning happens. We expect to enhance our students’ environment and health, both physical and mental. Current research indicates there is a link between hands-on learning experiences and long-term healthy eating habits.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by student participation, nutrition and fitness assessments and curriculum, and the ongoing greenability project success within our school environment.
Examples of Program Success

In 2015-2016 our nutrition curriculum program and culinary art students increased 200%.

Our healthy lunch program participation has almost doubled from last year, through student participation and supportive donors. 
 
In 2015 student chefs catered several events such as 200 person dinner at Union Station, American Royal BBQ meetings, KC Community Gardens fundraiser.

Two 2015 graduates went on to culinary school - Johnson & Wales and L'ecole. One 2016 graduate has already been offered a four year scholarship to Johnson & Wales.

CEO Comments Kansas City Academy offers a college-preparatory curriculum which enables students to qualify for the college-preparatory studies certificate awarded by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The academy has a writing intensive English department as well as writing across the curriculum with a class on writing for publication. Classes are small and interactive with emphasis on high order thinking skills as opposed to repetition and memorization. Middle School students are placed in Math classes according to their abilities and may be placed in a high school math class. Math in Middle School is taught conceptually with manipulatives to lay the groundwork for higher-level mathematical thinking in high school. Students may choose elective courses in music, theater, or high school art class. In addition to classroom learning, much of the learning extends beyond the walls of the school. Students participate in various expeditions and community service activities.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Robert Gronniger
Term Start June 2019
Experience

Born in Springfield and raised in the Kansas City area, Mr. Gronniger completed his undergraduate studies in education at Southwest Missouri State University. Upon graduation, he taught for two years in Australia, then returned to Missouri where he under took additional masters-level coursework in education, at SMSU and UMKC. Mr. Gronniger returned overseas and served in cutting-edge, independent, American overseas and international schools for thirty-plus years, enjoying successful tenures in Europe, South and Central America, Southwest Asia, and the Middle-East. His roles have ranged from physical educator, middle school science teacher, coach and athletic director to section principal and head of school. While working in Italy, Mr. Gronniger completed his Masters degree in administration and supervision of American and international schools. He is certified as a K-12 principal and completed five years as head of school at The Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri (Springfield) prior to signing on as the head of school at Kansas City Academy in June 2019.

Mr. Gronniger considers his educational philosophy to be progressive in nature, viewing students, teachers and families as partners in the learning process. He believes that schools such as KCA play a vital role in developing the architects and leaders of our increasingly global society.

Former CEOs
NameTerm
Kathy Baldwin-Heitman2011 - 2015
Mary J StatzJuly 1998 - July 2011
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 13
Paid Part-Time Staff 8
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 150
Retention Rate 95%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 2
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 14
Male 7
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations

We have enjoyed recent collaborations with many local and regional organizations like the Kansas City Art Institute, the Kansas City Community Gardens, Crossroads Church, Bistro Kids Healthy Lunch Program,  the Loretto Community, the Waldo Business Association, and the American Friends Service Committee.

External Assessment and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments Kansas City Academy, rooted in the education tradition of Loretto, was started in 1984 by the principal and seven teachers from Loretto to continue the progressive educational philosophy of Loretto that touted creative, brain-related, educational techniques, multiple intelligences, constructivism (hands-on), and "one size does not fit all". Governance philosophy is "those most affected by decisions should help make them"; the Board is democratically elected with students, parents, faculty, and community members. KCA's biggest challenge has always been one of finances due to the strong desire to remain a small community with small class sizes, to provide reasonable faculty salaries, and at the same time maintain affordable tuition.
Board Chair
Board Chair Jennifer Pate-Pitzel
Company Affiliation Community Director, The Hodgson Law Firm
Term July 2017 to
Email jlppitzel@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Sarah CroweParent Director, Hunter Morgan/KS Dept. of Commerce
Cooper EnochsStudent Director
Carole EshchenEmeritus Director, Retired
Dr. Martha FlyEmetritus Director, Retired
Anne GoldkampEmeritus Director, Kansas City Academy
Robert GronnigerKCA Head of School, Ex-Officio Board Member
Ben HutchinsonFaculty Director, Kansas City Academy
Kendall KerrFaculty Director, Kansas City Academy
Kim LarsonFaculty Director, Kansas City Academy
Max MalinowskiStudent Director
Jennifer Pate-PitzelCommunity Director, The Hodgson Law Firm
Karen PrangeParent Director, Locton
Girard SagmillerParent Director, Kronos
Martha SandersKCA Development Director, Ex-Officio Board Member
Mary StatzEmeritus Director, Retired
Jeanne Steinberg-BolingerCommunity Director, IBM Corporation
John SullivanCommunity Director, National Advisors Holdings, Inc.
Sheri ThomasKCA Director of Admissions and Records, Ex-Officio Board Member
Meredith UsherStudent Director
Mary YzonCommunity Director, Federal Reserve Bank
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 14
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Executive
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Board Governance
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Sally FirestoneSally Firestone Foundation
Barbara HerrinCommunity Volunteer
Pat HoushCommunity Volunteer
Fred SloughSlough, Connealy, Irwin & Madden
CEO Comments Kansas City Academy began in 1984 by the principal and seven teachers from Loretto to continue the progressive educational philosophy of Loretto that touted creative, brain-related, educational techniques, multiple intelligences, constructivism (hands-on), and "one size does not fit all". Governance philosophy is "those most affected by decisions should help make them"; the Board is democratically elected with students, parents, faculty, and community members. The main challenge for KCA has always been one of finances. With the strong desire to remain a small school, with adequate teacher salaries and benefits, and at the same time attempting to maintain affordable tuition.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $815,970
Projected Expenses $916,045
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2018, 2017, 2016: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$181,997$94,750$79,603
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
$147$571$0
$899,068$850,908$780,878
Investment Income, Net of Losses$3,698($10,324)$12,991
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$42,068$17,311$56,628
Revenue In-Kind$0$500$50,887
Other$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$921,642$896,955$745,222
Administration Expense$170,627$172,425$168,348
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.030.891.07
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%84%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$524,938$454,108$508,788
Current Assets$166,161$79,936$87,831
Long-Term Liabilities$113,736$45,070$3,507
Current Liabilities$217,775$255,391$253,430
Total Net Assets$193,427$153,647$251,851
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.760.310.35
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets22%10%1%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose With an increase in student enrollment we are anticipating needing to add space to our facility. Additionally, with many years of deferred maintenance, the current facility will require a number of upgrades and repairs in the next five years.
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments The Academy, being founded by educators, struggles as a small, tuition-driven not-for-profit. However, it is well managed with an outstanding CPA firm doing the financials and an outside yearly audit. It is indeed the "little school that could." Because of our unique educational philosophy, and methods for accomplishing academic success, the Board has intentionally limited the size of the student body. The maximum number of students that the school can reasonably handle is 100, without compromising our philosophy or teaching methods. Being a small community of students, with tuition only covering about 78% of expenses, it is important to attract supporters outside our immediate community.
Other Documents
Organization Name Kansas City Academy
Address 7933 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64114
Primary Phone (816) 444-5225
CEO/Executive Director Robert Gronniger
Board Chair Jennifer Pate-Pitzel
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Director, The Hodgson Law Firm
Year of Incorporation 1984
Former Names
Kansas City Academy of Learning
The Learning Cooperative