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Private schools gain popularity due to pandemic’s effect on public school

<i>KCTV/KSMO</i><br/>Kansas City area private schools are seeing increased interest in enrollment from former public school families. Harvest Christian School has seen an influx of students from public school.
KCTV/KSMO
KCTV/KSMO
Kansas City area private schools are seeing increased interest in enrollment from former public school families. Harvest Christian School has seen an influx of students from public school.

By Leslie Aguilar

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — It’s been a roller coaster for public schools the last year and half due to the pandemic and many parents have had enough.

Kansas City area private schools are seeing increased interest in enrollment from former public school families.

“We have had an influx of students from public school at Harvest Christian School,” Winifred Edwards said.

Edwards helps run both the Harvest Christian School and the church. She gets calls from parents of prospective new pre-k to 8th grade students now more than ever.

“Every day and I love it,” she said.

Many parents just don’t have faith in the public school setting after the roller coaster of last year. Some parents are unhappy with their district’s decisions regarding whether to require masks, nervous about the likelihood of more quarantines, or just want more individualized teaching for their children.

Nia Campbell is a teacher at Harvest Christian School and has new students in her class who transferred from public school.

“One of the parents said that they were kind of pushed off in the shadows and the teacher wasn’t paying attention to them as much. So, they came here to put them in a smaller class size,” Campbell said.

Campbell did have to do hybrid teaching last year for a while when the city was in lockdown with her classes of around nine students.

She can’t imagine having to do it with a larger class size.

“Even with the small class size, sometimes it can get overwhelming. Because it was difficult to teach somebody that’s virtual and watch them on the camera, then have to change and walk around the classroom,” she said.

It’s a similar story at the Kansas City Academy, a private school for 6th through 12th grade.

“A lot of parents have really learned a lot about how their kids learn and what kind of environments they learn best in over the pandemic, and have been reaching out to put them in a more supportive environment,” Admissions Director Martha Sanders said.

Kansas City Academy has a waitlist right now for most age groups.

“It’s longer than usual and we have a wait list for more grades than usual,” Sanders said.

The school has small classes, integrates arts into much of the curriculum, and requires masking despite 87% of the students and staff being fully vaccinated.

“I feel very safe here and I just don’t want to be at one of those places were people are fighting not to have masks. I really don’t want to be sick and I’ve heard of people who got COVID and got really sick and I just don’t want anyone around me to experience that,” 11th grader Baasil said.

Baasil is new to Kansas City Academy this year, but says it’s already the best fit from any other school he’s been to.

“When I raise my hand I can get called on easily because instead of a one and 20 chance, it’s like a one and six or one and 12 chance,” he said.

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