As we continue to grow, so has our KU Academy education models. With campuses in Medford and White City, our public charter schools have provided over 500 students with a robust model for learning. At KUA we provide not only a standard based education with ongoing teacher and aide training, but we also provide a 10 hour day of learning beginning at 7:30 a.m. and running until 5:30 p.m. A high quality breakfast, lunch, and dinner is also cooked from scratch daily. Students benefit from our year round school model, extended school day, and free after school enrichment. As our mission statement promises, we are dedicated to ensuring our children are provided more instructional time, enriching programs, and a high expectations, no excuse environment to ensure that high school graduation, college success, and career readiness are reasonable goals for all students regardless of race, gender, economic status, or zip code.
2021 brought many new and unique challenges! KUA started 2021 where 2020 left off with just over 300 students attending from PreK-8th grade benefiting from emergency childcare. Students who would otherwise struggle at home with virtual learning benefited from the help of instructional assistants to complete their online work. They also enjoyed in person benefits of healthy meals, PE, peer interaction, mental health supports, and access to limited in person instruction from teachers. In late February 2021, we began the transition to return to campus classes for in person learning.
After returning to in person learning we immediately recognized the significant gap in not only academic performances but also the socio-emotional challenges that were compounded by nearly a year of isolation. Our board, staff, and families unanimously agreed to respond in the most responsible means we could and that was the adoption of an all year school model.
In August, we launched our first year long school calendar which added nearly three additional weeks of instructional time for students – based on feedback from our families and staff. This extra learning time is essential to bridging the unfinished learning gaps and is combined with our VIBES behavior team which provides early and sustained interventions for supporting behavior and socio emotional needs of our students.
In December, our full time Garden Educator and Coordinator began working at KU. This role will support classrooms with garden/nutrition instruction during the school day and during our camps. The Garden Educator will work with PreK-8th grade students in Medford and White City.