Kansas City, MO

The Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City is a multi-purpose facility and represents a piece of history

CJ Coombs

Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Missouri.Mwkruse, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Summer's almost over, again, and schools will be starting soon if they haven't already. This school carries so much history. On January 15, 2014, this structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

One highly rated school in the Kansas City, Missouri School District is Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. It's a public magnet school that "has 974 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 22 to 1. According to state test scores, 54% of students are at least proficient in math and 92% in reading." (Source.) The school is also called Lincoln Prep Academy and The Castle on the Hill.

This educational academy has a three-year middle school and a four-year college preparatory magnet school within the Kansas City, Missouri School District. The high school also offers International Baccalaureate programs.

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy is a unique learning community that values and demonstrates respect for individuals and educational experience at every level. Students, faculty, parents and partners work together to create a place that exemplifies what is possible in public education. (Source.)

School building and stats

The high school located on Woodland Avenue in Kansas City was originally founded for African Americans in 1865. In 1890, it became a high school. This three-story red brick building sits up on a hill. The architectural design includes Late Gothic Revival and some Art Deco.

The building retains excellent integrity of the features that characterize it as an educational facility. (Source.)

In 1978, this educational facility became integrated as it was converted into a magnet school. Most of the students are African American and Hispanic.

In 2012 and 2015, this school was ranked as one of the Top 100 High Schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Before that, in 2008 and 2014, the United States Department of Education awarded the school the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence. That is the highest award a school in America can receive. It was named the best public school in the state of Missouri in 2016.

The 2022 rankings of this school as reported by U.S. News & World Report are below:

  • #263 in National Rankings
  • #2 in Missouri High Schools
  • #2 in Kansas City, MO Metro Area High Schools
  • #1 in Kansas City Public Schools High Schools
  • #59 in Magnet High Schools


Before 1890, students were going to a church to learn. Throughout most of the segregated years, Lincoln High School was an all-African American school and the goal was to help students become successful with successful tools. With integration in 1978, the facility became a magnet school and was named the Lincoln Academy for Accelerated Study. In 1986, the name became Lincoln College Preparatory Academy.

Now operating as both middle and high school, over 90% of the school's graduates go to college. In 2014, 161 students of the graduating class received scholarships, grants, and financial aid in the amount of $15.6 million. The school has a positive student-teacher ratio and there has been consistently high achievement success.

Interestingly, part of the admission requirements includes a 90% or better attendance record and a 3.00 GPA in the core subjects.

Vintage postcard.Boston Public Library, public domain, picryl.com

The above vintage postcard of this high school is dated 1930-1945. It's interesting to me because I also collect postcards and I was happy to see there was one of this school online.

Some alumni

NFL players Charles Harris, Jeff Hurd, Greg Westbrooks, and Vernon Vanoy (who also played at the University of Kansas) attended this school. Jazz musician, Charlie Parker, went here. Female civil rights activists also attended--Ida M. Bowman Becks (class of 1899), Lucile Bluford, Florynce Kennedy, and Ollie Gates (founder of Gates BBQ).

Lincoln College Prep Academy aka Lincoln High School has been significant with its role in education as well as its history in Kansas City.

Thank you for reading. Keeping history alive.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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