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    January 30, 2018
    Leadership Chickasha tours SPLC at Chickasha High School
    Jessica Lane/The Express Star

    Tom Rose said that while he thought SPLC was a good concept, he questioned why there was so much scrutiny in the community. 

    Michelle Pontikos, Chickasha High School Principal, said it was a case of people knowing a little information but not the full story. She said there have been several meetings available to parents and the community, including an SPLC open house. 

     
     

    Pontikos said several parents have pulled their children from the program during the recent controversy, though she said parents do have the right to do so. 

    "Nothing is perfect the first time it comes out. Parents have the option to pull [their children] out," she said. 

    Paul Lewis, who leads the Leadership Chickasha class, said he was impressed with the program and called the students who answered questions "courageous." 

    One student said the program allowed him better focus without the distraction of a traditional classroom environment. 

    Pontikos said she has seen "unbelievable growth for special education students." 

    A Leadership Chickasha member asked if the SPLC might have the effect of isolating SPLC students from the rest of the school.

    Pontikos said before the SPLC program was implemented,  there was discussion about this issue. SPLC students can eat lunch and attend pep rallies with students in traditional classes. 

    "It's very important that we remain one school," she said. "We're all Fightin' Chicks." 

    However, Pontikos said there is always room for improvement. 

    "It is not perfect. We are working on it" … "But I'll tell you we're trying real hard," she said. 

    Pontikos said the teachers meet every Thursday morning to discuss progress and/or issues within the program and their classrooms. 

     
     

    Geometry teacher, Kevin Wilda, was in attendance at the meeting. He said during his class students may gather around the Smartboard and learn or they may take a short break and visit with their friends. 

    The Express-Star approached Wilda after the meeting. 

    Wilda clarified that if a student is not doing well in the class, they are expected to be among those sitting in front of the Smartboard. Students who are doing well in the class are granted a little more freedom, he said. 

    Wilda said there have been parents who have pulled their child out of the program without asking any questions. He said he is willing to address any concerns that a parent may have and he has initiated meetings with parents who seemed doubtful.

    As for parents' concerns that the SPLC program will affect college admissions, Wilda said the problem is parents call asking about "SPLC" when he would suggest the term "electronic textbook" or "digital textbook." Wilda said the transcript of a student in either traditional or SPLC classes will look the same. He said there was little difference in the way he teaches a lesson in an SPLC class versus a traditional class. If a student is absent for a lesson, Wilda said he works with the student one on one after the student reviews the lesson. 

    Wilda said if he had any doubts about SPLC, he would not hesitate to leave the program. 

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PO Box 873 Chickasha, OK 73023
P: 405-224-0787
(Physical) 221 W. Chickasha Avenue Chickasha, OK 73018