Andy Campbell, principal at Summit Ridge Academy, was recently selected to present at the National Alternative Education Association conference, scheduled for March 4-7 in Dallas, Texas. Summit Ridge Academy will participate in the conference’s “Gallery Walk of Alternative Schools” to highlight the work being done at Summit Ridge Academy in the area of alternative education and Trauma-Informed Care.
Mr. Campbell also shared a presentation called “Trauma Informed Care: Helping our Students Move from Surviving to Thriving Through Education and Mindfulness” at the Missouri Alternative Education Network conference, held last July at Lake of the Ozarks. The presentation provided information on what trauma is, what causes it and how it impacts students. Mr. Campbell shares steps taken at Summit Ridge Academy, the Lee’s Summit R-7 alternative school, to combat the effects of trauma on students as well as the school’s positive results.
“As a result of our learning and a commitment from our staff, Summit Ridge Academy has seen a dramatic shift in the way we respond to students,” Mr. Campbell said. “We understand the ‘why’ much better and as a result we have incorporated strategies and interventions into our daily routines to meet each student where they are each day. We work very hard to be proactive and meet student needs recognizing that behavior is a symptom of a larger issue.”
This approach allows Summit Ridge staff members to help students learn a new way of dealing with their feelings and emotions that is productive -- versus simply reacting to negative behaviors.
“As a result we have seen a decline in discipline issues and suspensions and an increase in the number of students completing the program and earning their diploma,” Mr. Campbell added.
The state conference held in July included approximately 200 educators in attendance. In addition to presenting on this topic at the state level, Mr. Campbell shared this information with a Kansas City metropolitan area group of alternative school directors and for the Kansas City Regional Professional Development Center (KCRPDC) and will be presenting the topic at the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders Conference, scheduled for February.
Mr. Campbell has worked for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District for nine years, including serving as a teacher of students with special needs at Pleasant Lea Middle School and Lee’s Summit West High School. He also served as assistant principal and principal at Harrisonville High School for eight years before returning to Lee’s Summit R-7 in 2015 to work at Summit Ridge Academy.