Dear McPherson Parents and Community:

The New York Times published an article Sunday mentioning the rollout of Summit Learning in our schools. We want to address misleading claims made in the article, ensuring you understand our perspective and have answers to any questions you may have.

Here are some basics about Summit Learning:

There are more than 380 schools across the country - in 38 states, in rural, urban, and suburban districts - where 72,000+ students are thriving, and teachers and parents support the program.

Summit Learning does not replace the work of teachers with technology. The Summit Learning Platform is designed by educators as a tool to support great teaching and learning - just as books have done for years. Teachers are still teaching.

Summit Learning does not call for students to be working on a screen all day. Students using Summit spend significant time with hands-on project-based learning, mentorship, and other non-tech learning activities.

The Summit Learning program was developed by teachers, for teachers, in partnership with nationally-acclaimed learning scientists, researchers, and academics. The program was successful with students at Summit Public Schools - a charter school network that first opened in 2003 - before it was ever offered to other public schools.

Protecting student personal information is a top priority for Summit. In addition to mainlining a transparent student privacy practice, Summit has gone above what is currently required by federal law by voluntarily signing on to the Future of Privacy Forum’s Student Privacy Pledge.

In our own schools, we’ve seen real progress since implementing this approach. As students become more comfortable with the changes, we see greater student engagement and increased interaction between the teacher and student regarding the learning process.

It’s vital that we don’t allow the media to misrepresent what’s going on in our community. McPherson is a great place to live. Our schools have a tradition that reflects the quality of our community and the quality of life throughout Kansas. We appreciate your support as we partner in supporting children and families in our community.

 

Thank you,

Gordon Mohn

Superintendent