For a troubled metro school district, classes won't be out for summer.
Kansas City Public Schools is launching more summer school programs than ever before.
The district has more than tripled the number of summer school spots available to children from 2,500 students to 8,500 students. A decade ago, the district had more than 14,500 students attend summer school.
Many education experts agree that summer programs can help students maintain their academic progress and social development.
The expanded summer program at KCPS means that more students will be better prepared to succeed when regular classes begin Aug. 11.
Also, children will have a safe place to go throughout the summer.
New programs include one-on-one tutoring, kindergarten bootcamp, and students will even get attendance incentives, possibly getting paid up to $75 for perfect attendance.
Some students said they aren't sad about going to school during the summer because classes involve many different avenues of learning in the district. Plus it beats sitting at home.
"I probably would have been sitting home just doing the regular watching TV. Dance, it inspires me and it helps me get moving, I'm very energetic. Basically without dance I wouldn't be as far as I am now," said senior Marquaniesha Kinney.
Mikayla Witcher, 12, would have also probably spent her summer on the couch.
"At home doing nothing. Something that doesn't help me in life. Just being a couch potato basically," she said.
Instead she's learning about drones and robots in her summer school class. Her parents enrolled her in KCPS summer school to keep her up-to-speed and also for peace of mind.
"Safe haven for dad and I not to a worry where our daughter's going to be this summer," said her mother Angelique Witcher.
Students can choose to participate in Alvin Ailey's Dance Camp or they can apply for summer camp, science classes, or earn credits for college, at no cost to parents.
While most parents are putting out hundreds of dollars for summer camps, students can apply for summer school beginning June 4 and going through July 1.
Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green said this is all part of the ongoing process to improve the unaccredited district.
"This is the right thing to do academically and the right thing to do for the community. Everyone wins. We're thrilled that so many young people are going to have fun and learn this summer in Kansas City," Green said in a written statement.
Transportation can be provided for students who need it and school lunches are provided as well.
Several organizations and businesses had already opened their doors to students for the summer. This is the first time the district has joined in a partnership with those organizations. Some of the funding comes from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as from the businesses and organizations that have partnered with the schools.
The partners are:
7 Strategic (9th- through 12th-graders, electives)
Alvin Ailey Camp (middle schoolers)
Boys and Girls Club of KC (middle schoolers)
YMCA (1st- through 2nd-graders, literacy programs, swimming lessons, camp)
So far 6,826 students have applied for KCPS summer school with 400 more applications still to process.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:02:03 GMT
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