Who We Are

Our Mission

Kuumba Academy Charter School’s mission is to provide an innovative learning environment for the whole child from kindergarten through eighth grade. Our directors, staff, and families share the core belief that parents are children’s primary educators. KACS parents, in partnership with teachers and administrators, believe that every child can maximize his or her learning potential given the opportunity to do so.

Our Story

In response to the outcry from Wilmington parents looking for a high-quality public education and increased access to arts education for their children, Christina Cultural Arts Center leaders, parents, and community supporters took action and were granted a Department of Education charter to create Kuumba Academy Charter School (KACS) in 2001. KACS was the first school model in the state that partnered a public charter school with a nonprofit community organization.

Christina Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) and KACS form a unique nonprofit/public school partnership committed to educational excellence. Through the innovative union of academics, arts, technology, and family engagement, each KACS student’s individual learning style is nurtured—resulting in creative learners who are agents of positive change in the community.

The CCAC/KACS model is regarded by many as the single most significant achievement in Wilmington’s post public school desegregation history.

KACS Today

Over the past 16 years, KACS has earned a reputation for success. Nearly 800 children have prepared for great futures since the school opened in 2001.

KACS is a premier Vision 2015 Network School of choice, and our K–8 students lead the pack statewide by excelling personally, academically, and artistically.

Core Values

Kuumba Academy Charter School (KACS) promotes four core values or habits of scholarship:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Creativity
  • Persistence

“The students at KACS don’t just receive an outstanding academic curriculum—they also learn our four habits of scholarship (respect, responsibility, creativity, and persistence) in a character development class called crew daily. Students learn to respect themselves, their school, and each other. They also learn to accept responsibility for their actions, find creative ways to solve problems, and persist throughout academic and emotional challenges. This character development curriculum is infused in every academic class at KACS to ensure students are always working on these four habits of scholarship.”
          - Nicole Lancellotti, Second-Grade General Education Teacher at KACS

We also subscribe to the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa:

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)

We believe that young people who incorporate these core values and principles in their lives will be better prepared to achieve academically and to become productive, caring citizens who will make positive contributions to their individual communities and society as a whole. 


Check out the latest news stories featuring KACS.

Kuumba Head of School Sally Maldonado on 'Closing the Achievement Gap'
April 2014 - MetroKids Blog

The Community Education Building: A swanky home for Wilmington schools
January 18, 2014 - The News Journal (DelawareOnline.com)


1200 North French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
P: 302.660.4750



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