Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Charter School?

An independent public school that are an alternative to the regular public school system. Charter schools are alike in the following ways:

  • They receive public tax support.

  • They cannot charge tuition nor discriminate in student enrollment.

  • They are non-profit organizations governed by a board that assumes legal, financial, and program oversight responsibilities.

  • They must satisfy their sponsor (ours is University of Central Missouri) and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that students are progressing academically.

  • Each has the capacity to hire and fire its staff.

  • Each may determine its system for reaching the state curricular goals.

What is the mission and vision of the school?


Children are our future. They are our future parents, educators, researchers, politicians, and entrepreneurs. At Gordon Parks, we want our future to be filled with self-sufficient, empathetic, knowledgeable citizens with feelings of hope for their future.


Acting on its conviction that every child has promise, Gordon Parks provides urban-core children, including those who are at-risk, an individualized education that is balanced to develop character, intellect, creativity and physical well-being.

Who manages the school?

Gordon Parks is led by the Chief Academic Officer, Jennifer Hagemaster and Chief Operations Officer Kirsten Lipari-Braman In addition to the leadership on-site, our advisory board provides guidance and perspective as needed.

first grade

Who may apply to attend Gordon Parks Elementary?

Anyone living within the Kansas City, Missouri School District may apply for kindergarten through fourth grade. Call the school office (816.753.6700) for more enrollment information. 

Is transportation provided?

Complimentary door-to-door transportation is provided to our students within the parameters of the district. Please contact the school office (816.753.6700) for more information regarding bus transportation. .

What are the school hours?

School is in session from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. every day. Please contact the school office at 816.753.6700 for more information.

Is the staff qualified?

All teachers are appropriately certified and highly qualified as required by state and federal law.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

The overall student-to-teacher ratio at Gordon Parks Elementary is 12:1.

What is expected of me as a parent?

Ensure your student arrives on time, in uniform, and with plenty of rest ready to start the school day at 8:15 a.m. By ensuring your child is present every day, you show to your child that you value education. You are also expected to watch for and respond to notes from school, provide updated contact information to the school, spend at least 20 minutes each day listening and reading with your child, come to school meetings and volunteer at Gordon Parks when possible.