High School Options for Midtown Families

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of the Hyde Parker.

Midtown families have many choices for high schools, including 11 public high schools and five private high schools within about three miles of Hyde Park.

Public high schools nearby include Central Academy of Excellence, offering core classes, AP classes, and a variety of electives, athletics, and extra-curricular clubs. Central Academy is the neighborhood high school for Hyde Park and enrolls everyone within their school boundaries, which includes midtown and east side neighborhoods. Two signature school choices are also public and tuition-free. Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts serves grades 7-12 and offers all core classes, as well an opportunity to focus on music, dance, theater, creative writing, or visual arts. Lincoln College Preparatory Academy serves grades 6-12 in an academically rigorous environment with a focus on the International Baccalaureate Diploma, and frequently ranks among the best high schools in Missouri. Signature schools are a part of Kansas City Public Schools, enroll students living with the district boundaries, and may have limited space and admission criteria specific to the school. Enrollment at signature schools is on a first come, first served basis. These and other KCPS high schools offer students a chance to become part of the Early College Academy, where they earn high school credits and college credits attending MCC-Penn Valley classes, full-time, on their campus. Students in the program can graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree. More information on these and other signature and neighborhood schools is available at kcpublicschools.org.



There are also many public and tuition-free charter high schools nearby. Among these are Allen Village in Westport; DeLaSalle Charter and Frontier School of Excellence both located on Troost; Kauffman School, Hogan Preparatory, and University Academy to the south; Guadalupe Centers High School (formerly Alta Vista) in the Northeast, and the new Crossroads High School downtown. Charter schools also enroll students living within the boundaries of the Kansas City Public School district, and may have limited space and different admissions criteria for each school. Some schools offer priority enrollment for students residing within designated boundaries, or do not enroll new students in all grades. Each charter school has an enrollment period, and if more applications are received than spaces available, a lottery will be held. Information about these and other Missouri charter schools can be found at dese.mo.gov/quality-schools/charter-schools.

Private high school options near Hyde Park include Cristo Rey on Linwood, where students participate in a work study program, Plaza Academy on Broadway, Pembroke Hill on State Line Rd, St. Teresa’s Academy in Brookside, and Kansas City Academy further to the south.

With so many school options in Kansas City, one of the best ways to get to know your choices is to go inside and see firsthand what they have to offer. Prospective families are encouraged to call individual schools or visit their websites for info about scheduling a tour, visiting during an open house, and shadowing opportunities. Contact information for these and other Kansas City schools can be found at showmekcschools.org.

Elaine McDermott: A Lasting Impression

This article originally appeared in the March/April issue of the Hyde Parker.

Elaine McDermott moved to 4012 Charlotte Street almost 34 years ago, and during her time in Hyde Park she made a big impact on her neighbors and the neighborhood itself. Moving to Kansas City from a small town in Iowa, Elaine says one of the first reasons she chose to get involved was to meet people. She worked on many neighborhood initiatives over the years, including serving on the HPNA Board, putting South Hyde Park on the National Historic Register, and volunteering on many of the Homes Tours. Elaine co-chaired the tour in 1989, and her own home was featured on the tour and in Star Magazine in 2002. One of Elaine’s most memorable projects was the long process of downzoning Hyde Park, which involved many city meetings and being very politically active on behalf of the neighborhood.

Elaine also worked with Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) as a representative of South Hyde Park and later as president of the NHS board. Serving alongside neighbors and friends there, the partnership with this organization brought several beautification programs in Hyde Park. Among them were the installation of decorative urns throughout the neighborhood that we see adorned each year with colorful flowers, and the planting of hundreds of trees throughout Hyde Park. Elaine secured multiple grants to plant trees along residential streets and other areas.

Neighbors Kay Boehr and Dona Boley remember working together with Elaine on the Gillham Road Improvement Project, the plan responsible for bringing the updated playground to 41st and Kenwood and many other improvements that helped make our neighborhood and Gillham Park the shady, walkable, and family friendly area it is today. Speaking of their work together, Boehr recalls, “She was the energy that drove so many projects that made a huge difference in our neighborhood.”

Elaine is retiring this year from Kansas City Public Schools, and she will be moving to West Plaza. Her advice to neighbors interested in getting involved, “Show up and volunteer! There will always be someone who needs help, and there are always people willing to help. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors.”

Leaf and Brush Pickup

Leaf and Brush Pickup is next week, April 23-27 for Central Kansas City.

Residents who live in CENTRAL Kansas City (south of the Missouri River, north of 63rd Street, but not including residents who live east of Blue Ridge Cutoff) will receive curbside leaf and brush collection from April 23 – 27. Curbside collection will take place on your regularly scheduled trash day. Leave yard waste by your curb on your regularly scheduled trash day. Leaves must be in paper sacks available at hardware, warehouse and other stores. Branches must be bundled. Read the complete collection rules at www.kcwaterservices.org/programs/leaf-brush. If sacks and bundles are not collected on the scheduled trash day, call the 311 Call Center within 24 hours. For questions or to report service-related issues, please call 311 or 816-513-1313. Collecting lawn debris beautifies Kansas City neighborhoods; helps keep storm drains clean; helps prevent flooding in streets and basements, and helps protect creeks, streams, and rivers. Thanks for keeping waste out of street gutters, catch basins, and storm sewers, and for keeping Kansas City neighborhoods looking great!

Host a block party with help from the HPNA

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association’s Social Committee has put together a packet of helpful information, tips, and applications for any neighbors who would like to host a block party. Read the tips and FAQs below, and click here for the application for a block party permit!

If you would like a hard copy of this information, please contact a Board member.

Block Party Tips

We are so happy that you are considering organizing a block party! The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association encourages neighbors to organize block parties as a way to meet neighbors, enjoy community spirit, and have fun! We also know that blocks with neighbors who know each other enjoy the added benefit of less crime. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance as you work through this process!

We hope that these tips will help your organizing process be smooth and trouble-free!

  • Set a date. Talk to some of your neighbors and find a date, likely a weekend day in the summer or fall. You may choose to hold your block party for an entire day or just for a daytime or evening potluck. Consider what will work best with your block’s demographics – older neighbors and families with young children may want the party to wrap up on the earlier side. Plan a date about two months in advance to give yourself enough time for paperwork and planning.
  • Decide on a location. The middle of the block is best for your main gathering spot! If the party location is perceived to be too far from their home people may not participate. However, if you believe some of your neighbors will not initially be excited about the party, you may choose to focus on using a section of the block with supportive neighbors.
  • Claim your date. Please notify HPNA of your desired date so that we can spread them out among our neighborhood. You can either email Chad Moore at northrep@hydeparkkc.org or contact us through the website at https://hydeparkkc.org/contact-us/
  • Fill out the application & get signatures. Print out the KCMO “Neighborhood Block Party Application for Permit”. Note that you will need signatures of 60% of your neighbors, so plan to walk around on an evening or weekend when everyone will be home!
  • Mail your application. There is NO FEE to hold a block party, but KCMO requests they receive applications a month in advance (at the address on the form), though they will accept permits up to five days before the date. When using city blockades, there is a $30 fee which is reimbursed when they are returned. If you need assistance in making this deposit, please feel free to contact the HPNA board.
  • Establish expectations/guidelines. You’ll want to make expectations clear, especially if this is your first block party. Think of what safety matters will ensure the most fun for all. Can neighbors invite friends? Who will be in charge of clean up? Are parents expected to stay with their children? Ask neighbors to clean their front yards of animal waste and other litter before the party. Be sure that a pathway is left open for emergency vehicles – just in case!
  • Decide on a theme & activities. You may decide to have a simple potluck or go all out with a beach-themed luau! Fun block party activities may include:
    • Chili cook-off, mac ‘n’ cheese contest, or wine tasting
    • Bounce house
    • Sidewalk chalk
    • Bike race
    • Tie-dye station
    • Bike decorating & parade
    • Movie on the street
    • Pet parade
    • Fire truck (or other truck) visit
    • Food trucks
    • Fire pits & s’mores
    • Face painting
    • Water table/sprinkler/pool time/water balloon toss
  • Share the duties. Be sure to enlist neighbors to help carry out these awesome ideas! Who is going to call the food truck? Who will get the ice, the drinks, the sidewalk chalk? Will you ask that participating families contribute a certain amount of money for the bounce house rental? Don’t underestimate the resourcefulness of your neighborhood teens to create games and decorations!

If you’re having a potluck, you will want to assign foods, i.e. “even addresses bring a main dish; odd addresses bring a side dish or dessert” or “last names A-J bring main dishes; K-S bring side dishes; T-Z bring desserts”. You might even want to use a site like Sign Up Genius to get everyone organized!

  • Tell your neighbors! Be sure to share the final plan with all of your neighbors (including neighbors at rental units) so everyone can plan ahead, especially with regards to parking. Pass out flyers with a timeline for the day and what everyone should plan on bringing. Hand deliver with a smile on your face!
  • Enjoy! After finalizing plans with volunteers, enjoy your day! Be prepared for the unexpected, and be ready to roll with it. The rest of the neighborhood would love to hear about your party – take photos and share some on the HPNA website!
  • Clean up. Be sure to enlist help to stay and help clean up so that your party doesn’t become bothersome to neighbors. Return blockades and signs.
  • Follow up. A few days after your block party, check in with your neighbors for feedback! What went well? What should be changed and improved for next year? Thank everyone for their help in making it a great event!


Block Party FAQs

Why should we have a block party?

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association encourages neighbors to organize block parties as a way to meet neighbors, enjoy community spirit, and have fun! We also know that blocks with neighbors who know each other enjoy the added benefit of less crime.

What do I need to do hold a block party?

Simply set a date, fill out the needed paperwork & notify HPNA, get signatures, and decide on activities! More information can be found on the “Block Party Tips” page.

How many of my neighbors need to give their permission?

KCMO requires 60% of neighbors on the block sign off on the proposed date.


What if my neighbors aren’t interested in having a block party?

Some neighbors may not be excited about the thought of limited street access for the day. If this is the case, you may decide to limit the party to only a portion of the block, preferable the middle for easy access for all neighbors. (If you do this, you will want to also block off the ends of the block to keep other cars from driving down your street.)


Where can we get tables, chairs, and other items to use at our block party?

Pilgrim Chapel has graciously offered to let neighbors borrow tables, chairs, and drink coolers for their block parties. We suggest a donation of $1/table, $1/10 chairs, and $1/cooler to help cover the cost of wear and tear of these items. Simply contact Pilgrim Chapel to make arrangements.


How can I host a “green” block party?

A neighborhood block party doesn’t have to result in a lot of waste, and a “green” party doesn’t have to be complicated! Choose activities that don’t result in trash, such as bike races, water play, and cooking contests. Opt for a potluck meal so that neighbors can use their own cookware and serving dishes. Request that everyone bring their own plates and cups to use. Provide a bin for composting leftover food and recycling bins for empty drink containers (or better yet, use large pitchers!).


Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Your HPNA Area Reps are happy to help! For assistance, contact the North Hyde Park rep, Chad Moore, at northrep@hydeparkkc.org. South and Central residents can contact their reps with area-specific questions at southrep@hydeparkkc.org and centralrep@hydeparkkc.org! Additional information may also be found on the HPNA website.

New Airbnb Regulations

The Kansas City Star recently published an article detailing how KC will regulate Airbnb and other short-term rentals. You can read this article by clicking here.

Here are some noteworthy points for Hyde Parkers to take into account:

  • Each short-term unit is limited to eight guests, with no more than two people to a bedroom.
  • Multi-family homes are restricted to one short-term unit or 25 percent of all apartments, whichever comes first.
  • Fire and safety inspections are required.
  • Homes or apartments cannot be used for receptions, parties or similar events.
  • Owners who live on the premises must disclose their plans to all adjacent property owners.
  • Off-site owners must secure the consent of 55 percent of adjacent property owners. If that is not possible, they can apply to the city for a special use permit.
  • All hosts will pay a one-time administrative fee of $259 and then $175 annually. Hosts in historic districts or in certain other circumstances must apply for a $596 special use permit. Portions of Hyde Park are considered a historic district. Click here to look at the register of historic places.

Guests love staying in Hyde Park’s historic homes, and choosing to host can be a great experience both financially and socially.

Free Child Immunizations for Kansas City Residents

The City of Kansas City, Mo, Health Department (KCHD) is offering childhood immunization shots. For those children meeting Federal Vaccine for Children (VFC) guidelines, all childhood immunizations are free of charge for KCMO residents!

Child Immunization clients are seen on a walk-in basis during normal clinic hours. Clinic hours are:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday | 8am – 11:30am and 1pm – 4 pm.
  • Thursday 8am – 1pm (registration closes at 12:30pm on Thursdays).
  • Except holidays. There is a full list of our programs and their hours of operation listed as well.

For more details please visit the KCMO Health Department Immunization Clinic website.

Streetcar Funding Ballots


Many Hyde Parkers live in the Transportation Development District (TDD) for streetcar extension — for most of North, Central, and South Hyde park, the district line goes down the middle of Campbell street (those on the east side are not included), and south of 45th down the middle of Harrison. If you live in the TDD, you get to vote in the following elections:




Successfully completed!


Successfully completed!


March 5 – Residents who live inside the boundaries of the TDD can begin applying to receive a ballot for the mail-in election.

April 3 – Applications for ballots to vote in the funding election are due by 5:00 pm.

May 1 – Ballots for the funding election are mailed to voters who requested them.

June 12 – Ballots for the funding election are due.

June 22 – Court certifies the election results.

In order to vote, you must request a ballot. Visit the ConnectKC website to request a ballot today.

Welcome to the new HydeParkKC.org!

Today marks the official launch of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association’s NEW website! When our website was first built in the early 2000s, it was a great tool for its time – loaded with information, much of which you can expect to be posted here in our “History” category (you’ll have to come back to read it!) However as the years have gone by, times have changed and we desperately needed an updated website that would be beautiful, easily navigable, and quickly updated by Board members.

Enter the Hyde Park Communications Committee, comprised of Board members Lydia DeMonte, Troy Batson, Chad Moore, and Clara Keller, as well as neighbors Stephanie Smith and Anthony Carver. Together we determined what exactly Hyde Park needed in a website, and put out an RFP. Ultimately we chose neighbors Dave Kimmis and Tom Free to design and build this beautiful website which you are looking at today!

Please take your time looking through our website, and check back with our blog often for updates. There are still updates to be made, and we are looking for additions to our Communications Committee to keep the website current and contribute content. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Lydia DeMonte at correspondingsecretary@hydeparkkc.org.


Thanks and I look forward to sharing our neighborhood with you!


Lydia DeMonte
Corresponding Secretary and Communications Committee Chair
Hyde Park Neighborhood Association