MMS students plan walk out against Summit Learning

By KBBE News
January 29, 2019

A walkout was organized and executed at McPherson Middle School on Tuesday afternoon, in regard to the Summit Learning program that USD 418 has put in place at the Middle School. The backlash and protests were sparked by frustrations about the Summit Learning program and the change in curriculum from previous years.

A flyer was passed around among students during the week that read, “Tuesday 1/29/19 1 p.m. anti-summit walkout. 1 year of redesign anniversary. Let’s show them who’s boss”

Around 30 students were on the front law of MMS after 1 p.m., some with protest signs, showing their dissatisfaction with Summit Learning. Superintendent Gordon Mohn was at the Middle School during the protest and talked about the walkout activities from the students.

“Yes, we knew there was talk at school of a group of students that were going to walk out,” Mohn said. “To put it in perspective, we’ve got about 550 students and we think the count is about 30 that chose to walk out. Our goal is to keep kids safe when that happened. We told them they needed to stay on school property so as long as they did that there won’t be any consequences.”

McPherson Middle School and USD 418 are setting up times to meet with students, to hear from them about their perspective on the problems they see with the Summit Learning format and what they can do to improve it.

“Mr. (Brandon) Simmelink (MMS Principal) set up meetings to meet with kids to hear their concerns and those will be going on the rest of the week. So we invite all these kids, in fact the whole student body, to come in to talk either in groups or individually with either Mr. Simmelink or Mrs. (Inge) Esping.”