North Kansas City School District considers idea of year-round schooling

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Teachers and kids at two North Kansas City schools might be saying goodbye to summer vacation as early as June 2015.

Of the 21 North Kansas City elementary schools, two will change to a year-round schedule. Instead of getting a three-month summer break, students will get a few weeks in May and July.

"Just taking 177 days as we currently have does not make the achievement gains that the district is looking for," Assistant Superintendent Dr. Dan Clemens said.

Kent Yocum, a teaching and learning coach at Winnwood Elementary, would know; he used to teach at a year-round school.

"When you talk to teachers, you'll always hear that we spend a lot of time catching up at the beginning of the year," he said.

A study by the Century Foundation shows teachers typically spend four weeks catching students up from summer break.

"Teachers always say, ‘I wish I had a little bit more time to go deeper and really probe this information.' We have the chance now," Yocum said.

Andrew Watkins has three kids in North Kansas City schools and isn't as excited about the prospect of less time with his kids.

"Another 31 days might be harder on them and not give them as much free time that they need as children," he said.

He and any other parents can opt to move their child to a school within the district that isn't year-round.

"I think we would relocate," Watkins said.

Sonia Escobar isn't as reluctant.

"First, I will need to see if it helps," she said in regards to her son, "If I don't see any improvement I will take him out."

Clemens told 41 Action News they plan to have parent sessions coming up once the schools are chosen. 

North Kansas City will become the only district in Missouri to have a year-round school.

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