University Academy-Upper School – Kansas City, MO

Award Year 2017

Exemplary High Performing Schools

University Academy-Upper School

6801 Holmes Road
Kansas City, MO, 64131-1382

(816) 412-5902

Dr. Clement Ukaoma, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School, Title I School

University Academy School District

School Website


Student Demographics

  • Black/African American: 96%
  • White: 1%
  • Hispanic: 1%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 65%


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The Upper School aims to produce well-rounded, college-ready graduates

The Upper School aims to produce well-rounded, college-ready graduates


The Upper School is the flagship of University Academy, a K - 12 college-preparatory Charter Public School founded in 2000 and located in Kansas City, Missouri. University Academy's mission is to prepare students to succeed in an institution of higher education and to participate as leaders in society.

The Upper School has six unique features: (1) visits to college and university campuses are par for the course, beginning in the 9th grade, (2) mastery learning protocol, (3) dual-credit agreements with area universities, (4) two year-long college seminar courses for juniors and seniors prepare students to enter and succeed in college, (5) study abroad programs, allowing students to choose from experiential learning programs such as National Outdoors Learning Schools, Experiment in International Learning, and Student Diplomacy Corps--47 students graduated in 2017 and 57% traveled abroad, (6) four college admission letters is a graduation requirement.

Our accolades stem from these unique features: U. S. News & World Report has recognized the Upper School as one of the nation's top schools starting in 2012; Newsweek named the Upper School to its "Beating the Odds" 199th on its list of high achieving, high poverty schools in 2015; Schooldigger.com named the Upper School first among Missouri high schools in 2016 for high student performance on the Missouri Assessment Program; a Distinguished School recognition in 2016 by the National Title 1 Association; nomination by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for consideration as a National Blue Ribbon School; and, subsequently a Gold Star school.