Search

Wichita, KS: New school for at-risk K-6 students after 53% increase in discipline problems

April 1, 2018, Wichita (KS) Star: Wichita school district has new plan for elementary students with behavior problems http://www.kansas.com/news/local/education/article207115084.html Starting this fall, the Wichita district will have a new option for young students struggling with behavior problems. Bryant Opportunity Academy — located at the former Bryant Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary near Ninth and West — will serve about 100 kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students "who need a more highly structured, controlled environment," said Terrell Davis, executive director of public affairs and special projects for the Wichita district. Students could attend Bryant for a few months or for years, depending on their needs, Davis said. They would be referred there by administrators at their assigned schools.... The new academy, approved unanimously by school board members during a recent meeting, comes as the Wichita district is experiencing a substantial increase in behavior problems among its youngest students. According to district data, the number of discipline incidents in elementary schools — including suspensions, detentions and trips to the principal's office — increased from 8,762 four years ago to nearly 13,500 last school year – an increase of more than 53 percent. Districtwide over the same time period, the number of discipline incidents increased about 11 percent, while enrollment in Wichita schools fell about 1 percent. Last spring, a local teachers union official said out-of-control kids were disrupting classrooms and driving some teachers out of the profession, and she urged district leaders to address the problem. …