Guest Author Jon Hile
In March, Citizens of the World welcomed back nearly all our enrolled Kindergarten students for in-person classes. It was a fantastic moment. The excitement of our students. The chance for parents and caregivers to take a second round of the first day of school pictures. The sounds of kids learning, singing, and playing together. Our Kindergarten students were among our first students to return, and in many ways, their excitement and enthusiasm created momentum for our entire school to return to in-person learning. We’re so proud of their work–even with a very strange school year, the growth that each of our students experienced was remarkable and gives me great hope for the year to come.
As exciting as our return to school was in the spring, we, like many schools in Kansas City, remain concerned about the lagging enrollment among next year’s Kindergarten students. In March, we saw firsthand that younger students thrive in in-person learning. The ability to learn from each other, begin developing the social-emotional skills necessary to thrive as they grow, and receive support from caring, dedicated, and talented teachers help all kids reach their full potential.
National Numbers are Down
Nationally, experts estimate that as many as 20% of eligible Kindergarten students have yet to enroll for school in the fall. Numbers in Kansas City are similar, as schools used to managing waiting lists in the summer are still offering open seats. After a year of disruption and uncertainty, one of the best decisions we can all make is to do all we can do to ensure every eligible Kindergarten family has the opportunity to enroll and make their school choice. Schools have worked closely with local health officials and national experts to design, refine, and implement plans that help students and adults stay safe in our classrooms.
Help Us Change the Narrative in KC
As vaccination rates rise, our community has begun to reopen. I’m sure many of you, like me, have enjoyed indoor dining, socializing with friends, and a return to browsing at your favorite shops. Just as our lives are beginning to return to something that resembles life pre-March, 2020, we must also ensure that our schools make the same kind of rebound. Teachers, boards, and administrators are all working hard to make sure every school is ready to excel in August when students return. Please help us by encouraging the Kindergarten families you know to enroll today.