PARMA, OH (WOIO) - The Summit Academy in Parma is running into some parent and teacher resistance and a possible strike.
Last night, a packed school board meeting allowed them a chance to sound off about what they are calling too many students per class, too few teachers and unsafe conditions.
Abby Fischer’s 13 year-old daughter is bipolar and has ADHD. She has been attending classes at Summit Academy for almost four years.
Until recently, her mom said she was doing well.
“With the change in staffing and the teacher structure, I’m noticing backsliding,” she said. “From a parent side, we’ve noticed a decline in services. We’ve noticed teachers leaving left and right. But you really didn’t know what was going on.”
Summit Academy high school English teacher, Christine Kindel, said there are four main reasons teachers have authorized a strike vote.
“We are dealing with an increase in class size in special ed caseload," said Kindel. "We have staff that leave constantly. We have lots of open positions. Our physical education credit has been replaced by a computer, which is not really appropriate for kids with ADHD, who need to move...Some of our other concerns are health and safety. We don’t feel our building is being cleaned properly.”
One teacher took Cleveland 19 on a short tour through the school, showing us a gaping hole in the wall and a dirty restroom.
We reached out to get answers and got this statement from the company that represents the charter school:
“Summit Academy is disappointed by the union’s recent vote to authorize a strike at our school in Parma. Our team has scheduled additional negotiations with the union and we remain hopeful that those discussions will reach a workable solution for both parties without threatening the operation of the school and focus on the students their members signed contracts to serve.”