KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KMBC) — A charter school in Kansas City has now moved to a year-round model to help make up for COVID-19 learning loss.

It’s the first day of school for kindergartners at Gordon Parks Elementary.

A new school year is beginning in the Westport area school in the middle of June.

The school’s CEO says they switched to a year-round model to help the kids and families here.

“When the pandemic hit, everybody started talking about learning loss and the learning gap,” Gordan Parks Elementary CEO Kirsten Lipari-Braman said.

That, coupled with the learning loss that comes during the average summer vacation, made it clear the kids needed to be in school.

“As we started looking at the calendar and looking at the traditional summer school model, we said ‘you know we need to do more,’ so we added 31 more full days to our calendar,” Lipari-Braman said.

Those extra days also mean more time to build relationships with the students and more time for real-world learning.

“Families aren’t having to worry about child care. They’re not having to worry about what am I going to do with my babies when they’re off ten weeks for the summer. They’re going to get to go to school. They know they’re going to be here,” Lipari-Braman said.

The school says this is not just a trial period. Leaders at this school say this will be the permanent model moving forward at Gordon Parks.

The year-round model also offers more help for families facing poverty. They’ll have access to breakfast, lunch and child care during the summer months.

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