Judge orders Gordon Parks School to stay open until late June - KCTV5 News

Judge orders Gordon Parks School to stay open until late June

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It's a small victory for Gordon Parks Elementary for now.

Tuesday, a state district judge granted a temporary stay, allowing the charter school to remain open through June 28. This comes after the Missouri Board of Education recently voted to force the school to shut down this month.

The day after the judge's ruling, parents said the extra time is making them cautiously optimistic.

"It's been amazing for us - he really loves it here," Elizabeth Sontheimer said.

She said word of the injunction was welcome news.

"I was relieved to find out we weren't going to have to make arrangements on such short notice," Sontheimer said.

Sontheimer's son Sebastian has spent the first six years of his school career at Gordon Parks. He, along with 230 other students and their parents got a shock last week when state education officials voted to pull the school's charter, saying its doors would close Wednesday.

The state board cited issues with the charter school's sponsor, the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, and years of poor performance on state test scores by the school's largely low-income, disadvantaged students.

School leaders have criticized the state, saying they failed to take into account all factors and improvements. They argued that what wasn't taken into account was the fact that the school serves a high percentage of special needs students as well as those that live in poverty.

Board President Doug Curry said now is the time for the community to speak up.

"This is a time for action, and while we're delighted we can continue to offer services, we're reaching out to those that care and love this school to really ... let's make a difference at this point," he said.

The school is located at 3715 Wyoming St.

A final decision on the future of Gordon Parks Elementary will be made on July 26.

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