Summit students, staff sound off on problems

The administration at Summit Academy Secondary School asked teachers to do work beyond the scope of their training and qualifications to meet state deadlines, a state report indicated.

According to the Ohio Department of Education report, “teachers indicated they were asked to conduct assessments on students they did not have or were not comfortable doing because they did not feel qualified. When the teachers questioned this process, they were told by administration/IEP coordinator to ‘make the information up’ to meet specific deadlines.”

IEPs are individualized education plans for students with special needs.

Of 29 student records reviewed, 21 were found not to have addressed all areas related to the suspected disability category as required under federal regulations, according to the July 10 ODE report.

The report also says: “Students identified as having multiple disabilities were not receiving services and supports.”

Corey Yoakam, former Summit Academy Secondary School intervention specialist, said he thought the school was understaffed.

“That was biggest issue,” he said. “I pushed hard to get more intervention specialists, but they didn’t have money in the budget, and no one wanted to work for the salary they were offering. They had some fantastic general-education teachers who stepped up to help out in paperwork, but they don’t have the training to do the special-education work that was required.”

In an evaluation by ODE’s Office for Exceptional Children, Summit Academy Secondary School, 2800 Shady Run Road, had a number of noncompliance issues, including a lack of formal curriculum, improper procedure and documentation of student disabilities, lack of licensed teachers in some classrooms and grade-appropriate work not being provided to students, among other issues in the report.

Terell Anderson, a 2018 graduate, recalled the day he and his classmates realized several of their teachers were not having their contracts renewed.

Source: VINDY EXCLUSIVE | Summit students, staff sound off on problems | vindy.com

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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