Middletown charter school hosts open house

Middletown’s two Summit Academies, in neighboring buildings at the intersection of Central Avenue and Marshall Road, have a total enrollment of 180 students, including nine kindergartners, said Megan Bockelman, the elementary school director. Kindergarten was added this year after a number of parents requested it, she said.

Summit Academy specializes in educating students who may have trouble in a typical public school setting because of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or high-functioning autism. A mother who attended the open house sang the praises of the school for the help it has given her son Christian.

“Christan has struggled with high-functioning autism. He’d been to regular, traditional schools and couldn’t read, couldn’t do math. I tried to home school and we weren’t getting anywhere,” said Jennifer Doss of Springboro.

She said Summit Academy has helped her son, 10, learn to read and do math almost at grade level.

“For us, it’s been wonderful,” Doss said.

Christian’s time at the school includes a therapeutic martial arts course that Summit offers.

Teachers at Summit often instruct in pairs, with one teacher handling the lesson while another meets one-on-one with the students.

“Having a co-teacher makes it a lot easier because I can teach lesson plans and (the other) modifies it for the kids in the class that need modification. The flow is so much easier when you have two teachers in the classroom,” said high school teacher Rachael Curtis.

“Keep in mind we have ADHD kids and kids with Asperger’s so there’s a lot of activity going on in this room. We work together to keep things calm and to make sure the curriculum gets across to them,” said Lori Harrison, also a high school teacher.

The two Summit schools scored Ds and Fs on their most recent state report cards, but Bockelman and Beth Varley, the secondary school director, said that students there tend to struggle with state tests.

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