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Académie Lafayette High School Coming To Armour Boulevard In Fall 2020

M. Elimane Mbengue, head of Lafayette Academie, says the opening of high school at its Armour campus fufills a 20-year dream.
M. Elimane Mbengue, head of Lafayette Academie, says the opening of high school at its Armour campus fufills a 20-year dream.

Académie Lafayette is opening an International Baccalaureate high school in Midtown, accomplishing a goal the French-immersion charter school program established when it started 20 years ago.

“This is the fulfillment of a dream, our vision,” said M. Elimane Mbengue, head of the school, which currently has 1,146 students enrolled in grades K-8 at three campuses. “Every year, our parents had been challenged finding a quality high school.”

The decision to open the high school was approved by the Académie Lafayette board this week. The first class of ninth graders will start in fall 2020.

The charter school’s earlier effort to partner with the Kansas City School District and open an IB high school in the former Southwest High School building on Wornall Road in Brookside collapsed in 2015.

Two years ago, aided by a $3.5 million fundraising campaign, the Académie bought the former Derrick Thomas Academy building at 201 E. Armour Blvd. with plans for introducing its high school program there.

Right now, sixth through eighth graders attend this Armour campus. The middle school students use three levels in the five-level building. When the high school opens, all five levels will be occupied. The new high school will have 450 students at full capacity.

Kevin Collison writes about downtown Kansas City for CityScene KC. Read his full story here.

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Kevin Collison is a free-lance contributor to KCUR 89.3.