Summit School prepares for year
The duplex that will house the Summit School across from Baldwin's junior and senior high schools is being built with the needs of the students in mind. The school's curriculum also is being built around the needs of the students.
The alternative school, called Summit School, for Baldwin, Wellsville and Eudora students is preparing to start its first year. The duplex should be completed in late September, and a small group of students should then be ready to call it their school. In the meantime, the students will begin meeting in the Baldwin City Public Library meeting room starting Sept. 5.
Lead teacher Lee Hanson said the Summit School is for students in grades 7-12 who are not successful in a traditional classroom setting. The Summit School setting works to facilitate experiential learning with individual needs in mind.
Originally, the school was to target students with behavioral problems in the classroom. That focus has since been changed to a wider range of students who haven't succeeded in a traditional school setting, even with resource room support, individual counseling and behavior modifications plans.
"These are kids that can't sit in a classroom 8 hours a day," said Hanson. "That's why we are calling it the Summit School. It's a climb to the top of a mountain. There is a wide spectrum of students."
There are slots for 12 students at the Summit School. The hands-on curriculum will include reading, mathematics, science, writing, social studies, career exploration and critical thinking. The school also will include learning activities, such as health and recreation, career and college preparation, computer literacy, life skills, and community-based instruction.
The three-bedroom duplex and the community will serve as classroom space, and as a therapeutic environment. Chris Mayer, school psychologist; Kerrie Young, school social worker, and Kathy Jardon, paraprofessional, also are part of the school's staff. Students will participate in a social and emotional skills curriculum. Groups will address areas such as anger management, assertiveness training, social skills, relationships and problem solving.
"We are real excited about this opportunity and feel as though this is a need within these communities," Hanson said.
Hanson said students who would benefit from the Summit School are being assessed by staff, when referred by their home schools.
The school is administrated by the special education cooperative, which serves the Baldwin, Wellsville and Eudora school districts. The cooperative's office is located in Baldwin City.