Inaugural class of KC sixth-graders finish the year much differently than planned

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday was the last day of classes for a group of metro students, but school has long been out for summer.

The inaugural sixth grade class at Citizens of the World Charter School spent the last part of the year doing classwork and Zoom meetings remotely. 

FOX4 first introduced you to these 50 kids back in August to showcase the school’s first group of sixth graders.

These brave middle schoolers came together on the first day in the shared halls of the Academie Lafayette building off East Armour and Warwick. They were bright-eyed, energetic and anxious to make new friends.

Nine months later, many of them did exactly that — though they spent the last part of the school year communicating digitally.

“Earlier today we just got on a Zoom call to say goodbye to everyone,” Evie Fuller said. “It wasn’t what I was expecting for my sixth grade year, that’s for sure. It’s good that we aren’t in the school building anymore because that way, you can’t get too close to anyone.” 

While they understand the need for social distancing, there are still a lot of questions these middle schoolers have about COVID-19.

“It’s pretty scary because I’m like, ‘What will happen? How long will this be going on for? When will it end?’” Evie said. 

Middle School Dean Alisha Gripp said she’s missed the kids terribly.

“Kids are so much tougher and more resilient than we give them credit for. Some parents have lost jobs. Some parents still have to go to work, so they might be taking care of siblings,” Gripp said.

“Some have parents that are working from home. They’re showing up and still doing the work and still being kind and close knit.”

Cody Humehoynewa said it can be lonely without his classmates. 

“I miss being able to hang out with them, and I miss being able to just chat with them and stuff,” he said.

But he did say there are some positives.

“It can be a little better, like you can take breaks, but just not being able to work with somebody can be hard,” Cody said. 

His classmate BJ Sampson agreed.

“It was really different than what I thought it was going to be,” he said. “I thought the coronavirus was just going to stay where it was in China.”

One thing he doesn’t miss is a scheduled lunch hour.

“Now I get to eat whenever I want to!” BJ said. 

But Gripp definitely does miss those lunch times and much more. 

“I miss popping in and having lunch with them or seeing them on Monday after the weekend and getting a big hug. I miss all of it,” she said. 

Citizens of the World Kansas City is enrolling for next year’s 6th grade, as well as all other grade levels from Pre-K through 7th grade.

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