KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A summer of fun will instead be a summer of learning for Ingels Elementary students.
The south Kansas City school is the only one in the Hickman Mills School District to switch to a year-round schedule.
Two weeks ago, the Board of Education approved a change that will see students go to school an extra 32 days per year. However, district officials said Thursday at an informational meeting with parents that the change could happen at other schools in the future.
When Ingels lets out in late May, students will have to be back on June 12 through August 3, with a couple of breaks in between. Ingels students will then have less than two weeks off before going back to school with the rest of the district on August 21.
“I don’t want to do this. I really don’t like it,” said Adrianna, a fourth grader at Ingels. “We don’t get to have our summer.”
Students and parents are both upset with the change, which takes effect in the 2023-2024 school year. The $1.3 million change will bring in new staff members, shrink class sizes, eliminate summer learning loss, and maintain current hours.
The district said it made the change because Ingels is its lowest performing school, and that year-round learning couldn’t be put off another year.
Hickman Mills officials said teachers in the district started applying for a transfer this week to work a year-round schedule, but officials did not say what kind of pay increase that would mean.
Meanwhile, current Ingels teachers can request a transfer to work at another district school in order to maintain a traditional summer vacation.
Speaking of summer vacation, district officials said students would be encouraged to go on pre-planned vacations this summer and that they’d welcome them back when they get home. However, minutes later, the district said the students would be marked as absent.
“They should have started next year, give the kids time. Something like that,” added Tonisha McDaniel, a parent with a first and fourth grader at Ingels. “They’re unorganized. Very unorganized. They should have asked parents stuff before doing things.”
Another parent, Kayla Contreras, shared her frustrations as well about the district not asking input from parents.
“It’s taking away from family and people that have plans already. I think it’s a terrible idea,” she said.
About 50 people showed up to the meeting in the gymnasium at Ingels Elementary. Parents were given index cards to write questions, which officials then went over at the end of the roughly 45-minute meeting.
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Parents are able to file transfer paperwork to move elsewhere in the district, but it’s unclear if all of those will be approved.