CWC Kansas City was born out of a grassroots effort led by Midtown Kansas City families, known as the Midtown Community School Initiative (MCSI). MCSI hoped to create high-performing, diverse neighborhood schools that would provide high-quality options for the growing number of families who wanted to stay and raise their children in Midtown. In September 2013, MCSI issued a national request for proposals (RFP), soliciting partners with the capacity and willingness to launch and operate high-performing schools with a racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse student population. 

Inspired by the vision of the MCSI families, Citizens of the World Charter Schools (CWC Schools) engaged with MCSI and, in November 2013 submitted a proposal to launch a K-12 school system in Midtown Kansas City. In February 2014, MCSI selected CWC Schools as their partner organization. CWC Schools, a national not-for-profit network of diverse, academically rigorous, free public schools, MCSI found a partner aligned in purpose, values, and educational approach.

Following their initial discussions, both organizations understood that in order to launch a school, there needed to be deep and deliberate engagement with and outreach to a wide cross-section of the Midtown and larger Kansas City community. Together, CWC Schools and MCSI spent two years meeting with families and community organizations, paving the way for the launch of CWC Kansas City, approved to open by the Missouri State Board of Education on October 27th, 2015. 

CWC Kansas City then opened its doors to Grades K-1 on its new Broadway campus in Midtown Kansas City in the fall of 2016.