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Santa Fe Trail High School students receive no punishment for organized walkout

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 10:19 PM CDT
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OSAGE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Parents joined students at Carbondale Attendance Center and Santa Fe Trail High School in an organized walk-out followed by the Santa Fe Trail Superintendent, Jim Lentz, telling parents that students were orderly and peaceful today in demonstrating their rights.

He said students were not counted as absent, and no disciplinary actions were taken. However, he said students walking out tomorrow will be considered tardy and-or absent.

Last night, The USD 434 Board of Education voted to accept the resignations and retirements of teachers who oppose the Summit Learning Program.

James Martin, a parent of two USD 434 students said, “It’s nowhere near what conventional teaching is and the teachers just want to be teaching the students and that’s what the students want.”

Jodi Perry is a parent of a USD 434 student and does not agree with the board’s decision as well. She said this isn’t the first time a new teaching method has been disliked from parents, teachers and students.

“Every single year, this is 6th grade for my student, she’s gone here since kindergarten, this is the 4th program she has been expected to navigate,” she said. “She’s meeting all the bench marks. She excels, however she’s getting zero engagement from her peers, from her teachers, from anyone in this building.”

The board voted down a suggestion to wait a month and see if they could address teachers' concerns. Following the decision, the students decided they would leave the classroom and head to the sidewalk.

“They asked about it and I told them my only request is be respectful, be orderly, be kind but I’ll stand behind you 100% on this,” said Martin.

The chants might not stop when the bell rings. “It’s pride and we need help to continue that pride and we need you to understand our pride,” said Perry. “We are not just some face in the crowd, a nameless community. We are Santa Fe Trail and we deserve that respect.”

Martin said, “I’m not really sure what the next step is but the school board, the administration they are servants of the community and I’m sure the community is going to take action.”

Carbondale students said they plan to have another walkout tomorrow.

OSAGE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Students at Santa Fe Trail High School have walked out of class and plan on staying out of class all day Thursday, protesting the school district for not working with teachers.

Teachers are retiring or will be resigning following this school year after the district implemented Summit Program Learning for students.

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 10:19 PM CDT

Summit Learning Program has teachers leaving USD 434

OSAGE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Santa Fe Trail USD 434 educators are retiring or will be resigning following this school year after the district implemented Summit Program Learning for students.

Summit learning is a free, online tool described as helping students set individual goals and learn their studies at their own pace.

Some teachers said it can help them in higher level learning.

“When they do get to college, they can take that syllabus they get and the professor has everything on there -- professors, most of them aren’t going to remind them what they need to do. This will give them the skills to make sure they will be successful at that level,” said one educator in favor of the program.

Those that oppose it were open about their feelings towards the board.

“We are no longer valued, trusted, or respected,” one of the teachers leaving said.

They argue Summit limits interaction, leaving students frustrated and limiting achievement.

“The kids I teach have spoken. They hate it. My opinion no longer matters. When kids refuse to learn I don’t care how good you are, you cannot teach.”

Some parents backed up the teachers' claims.

“After only nine weeks of school, I’ve concerning lack of interest in school in both of my children and they both have voiced their dislike in the summit program,” said one parent. “We got close to the end of the nine weeks and john wants to, he’s an 11 year old, and he wants to drop out of school,” said another.

One board member suggested tabling the discussion for a month, and trying to address the teachers concerns. “Listen to our kids. Who are we here for? Us? I don’t have a job without them,” said the teacher opposing Summit.

In the end, the board voted four to three to move ahead, and accept the teachers' decisions to leave at the end of the school year.

“We will go get jobs somewhere else next year and we will do our best the rest of this year for our children,” the teacher leaving USD 434 said.

13 News received word some parents and students will hold a walkout at 8:05 Thursday morning for the administration work with the teachers.

One of the teachers is retiring for other reasons -- she is ending a long career, and has even had her own grandchildren in her classrooms.

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