In 2016, as part of the larger Phillips Collective Purpose Built model, UNI opened the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy (KCNA).

KCNA is a neighborhood school for neighborhood children with a strong emphasis on literacy and Project Based Learning. The school has a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) theme and offers both a Literacy Center and a Mathematics Center to accelerate students’ proficiencies.

KCNA opened its doors on August 2, 2016, welcoming over 130 students in Pre-K through second grade. A month earlier, UNI announced grants of $1-million from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and $600,000 from the Hall Family Foundation to be used for instructional support for KCNA. At the news conference announcing the grants, CEO Cleaver said, “We deeply appreciate the generosity of both the Kauffman and Hall Family Foundations and thank them for their votes of confidence in KCNA.”

“I’m excited by the opportunity to build a strong foundation for our youngest learners as we launch this new endeavor,” says Dr. Robin Henderson, principal of KCNA. “We are collaborating with our families and the community to create an environment that encourages our students to be adventurous, creative, and risk-takers.”

The charter school is sponsored by Kansas City Public Schools and governed by its own board of directors. KCNA is located at 1619 East 24th Terrace.