Ashley Daniels, Prospective KCGPA Parent
I am the parent of a 4th grade girl that currently attends a public school in Kansas City. Now that my daughter is in the last year at this school, I am faced with multiple decisions regarding schooling and how to keep her excited about school. She was allowed an opportunity in 3rd grade to be a part of an innovative open-concept classroom with a person-centered approach to learning to assure all students were their best. There were tables instead of desks in the classrooms, sensory chairs for students who needed them and students were encouraged in the areas of critical thinking and problem solving daily. She responded enthusiastically to this non-traditional approach while in class as she came home discussing new projects or tasks that she completed that day. As a parent, I knew that this was an environment that I would want her to experience through 12th grade, but was unclear about where to look for a school that would meet her learning style.
In the summer of 2018, I learned about Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, a new charter school that was also going to be single gender with a focus on creative expression and responsibility and that was going to be community led. During the first meeting for the school, I learned about how each student would have a voice in the school, restorative justice practices that would be implemented and how each girl would be celebrated, no matter what was brought to the table. This was unheard of to me and I was excited that all students and families would be able to build the culture of the school, to increase pride and encourage healthy relationships between peers. The founding teams’ ideas and innovative approaches to growth of the students through different means is refreshing to hear to make sure all students succeed.
Initially, my daughter was skeptical about KCGPA with it being single gender and was not sure how it would compare to her current school, as students, staff and parents work as a team for the students. My daughter’s mind was changed after she met Ms. Haskins, the school leader. She was happy to see a school leader, that looked like her, who she was able to relate to and most importantly, listened to EVERY idea possible from students to make the school a success. I have invited other families to the meetings to learn and discuss how KCGPA would absolutely benefit our future girl leaders of the world. I believe that this school will be a leader in charter schools in Kansas City and I was excited to apply to KCGPA for my daughter to encourage her to reach all her academic goals, as well as build character and responsibility.