Dear Hope Leadership Academy Family,
It is with immense pleasure and enthusiasm that I write this letter of introduction to you as the new Executive Director/Principal for Hope Leadership Academy.
Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of meeting phenomenal students, resolute staff members, and committed parents/guardians who make up this wonderful learning community.
I am grateful to have been welcomed with open arms and receptive hearts, and I look forward to learning, growing, and continuing to improve the culture and climate on our campus. A critical component in our school wide effort to enhance student engagement lies in our ability to develop genuine relationships with all our stakeholders.
Let me also take this opportunity to share some background about me. I am a wife and mother of two who enjoys traveling and spending quality time with my loved ones. I have been a staunch advocate for educating students and improving the quality of education. I am a life long learner who values education’s critical role in helping change a person’s life trajectory.
I have over twenty years of educational leadership experience, having served as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principal, and Assistant Principal. Additionally, I have taught students in grades K-8 and served as an Adjunct Professor and School Counselor. As an educator, I have worked closely with students from ethnically diverse, low income communities and have consistently championed efforts to engage families, recognizing their value in helping achieve better outcomes for our students.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Board and former School Leadership for making my transition as seamless and smooth as possible.
I look forward to cultivating healthy relationships with all partners and allies to address our youth and families' social, emotional, and educational well-being.
For Our Children,
Dr. Michelle E. James, Executive Director and Principal
WHO WE ARE
Hope Leadership Academy is a public charter school that serves students in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade who live within the boundaries of the Kansas City Public School district. We are committed to small class sizes in order to maximize educational opportunities and build strong relationships among students and teachers.
What makes HLA unique in the landscape of Kansas City charter schools?
We are a neighborhood based school serving as an anchor in our community. Schools are the heartbeat of a neighborhood and we are proud to be a part of the revitalization of the east side of Kansas City.
VISION & MISSION
We envision a vibrant, close-knit, neighborhood-based school where all students reach for and attain their highest goals. By creating a caring, supportive, and trauma-informed environment, while striving for high expectations.
Our focus is on empowering students to become enthusiastic learners and respectful citizens who work diligently to better themselves and their neighborhood. We believe in growing the whole student, and promoting a high level of success academically, socially, and emotionally. Which allows us to impact and strengthen our families, communities, and the world.
To provide a world-class neighborhood school whose students thrive in a culture of academic rigor, character development, and caring relationships.
PILLARS OF SUCCESS
We at Hope Leadership Academy strongly believe in our mission statement: to provide a world-class neighborhood school whose students thrive in a culture of academic rigor, character development, and caring relationships. Our 3 Pillars of Success are the framework that helps us reach the goals of the HLA mission statement.
Pillar One: Academic Rigor
Hope Leadership Academy prioritizes Academic Excellence as a goal for each and every student. It is our aim to meet each student where they are and push them to where they can be through high expectation, high quality staff and a culture of continuous learning.
Pillar Two: Leadership and Character Development
Leadership development is an essential part of character building and moral maturity. Our goal at HLA is to promote authentic leadership development in our students through identifying characteristics of quality leadership and providing opportunities for leadership exploration. When students learn to be empowered with leadership decision making skills they have the ability to impact their school, community and the larger world around them.
Pillar Three: Caring Relationships
Building and maintaining relationships is a key component to the fabric of Hope Leadership Academy. It is our goal to engage each person/ family from the moment they come into our school or call to inquire. Through respect, transparency, honesty, and leadership, we strive to be the examples of assertive communication, compassionate understanding and nonjudgmental engagement with the goal of providing our students the foundation needed for a successful educational journey.
These Pillars of Success support the Vision Statement of HLA which states that we envision a vibrant, close-knit, neighborhood-based school where all students reach for and attain their highest goals. By creating a caring and supportive environment with high expectations, we will empower students to become enthusiastic learners and respectful citizens who work diligently to better themselves and their neighborhood. Students will experience a high level of success both academically and in the world around them, which will strengthen families and the neighborhood we serve.
How HLA Came to Be
Hope Leadership Academy was born out of a dream by community kids and their families to have a neighborhood school that provides a high quality education, close knit community and lasting relationships.
In 2008, the Kansas City Public School District began a plan to close 29 of the district’s 61 schools. The two district schools that served our students closed and neighborhood kids were being bused to different schools across the city. Hope Leadership Academy opened its doors in the fall of 2011, and once again the children of this neighborhood were able to go to school together within their community.
Why is the Falcon Our Mascot?
In 2010 as we were creating Hope Leadership Academy, our first principal watched a peregrine falcon land on the roof of our school.
This was a highly unique site in our neighborhood, and we felt the strength and determination of this falcon was a perfect symbol for our school and the students that come through our doors!