On June 6, 2018, the Ojai Unified School District Board of Education voted to close Summit Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year.
The question came to the Board, because only eighteen students were enrolled for the upcoming school year. The Board considered many factors during their deliberations, but their greatest concern was whether the District could deliver a comprehensive, innovative and stimulating educational program with such a low enrollment. The recently-adopted Common Core state standards and the district’s adopted curriculum emphasize rich discussion, group work, collaborative teaming and critical analysis of others’ points of view. Recommended classroom activities would be difficult with only 18 students in the school spanning seven grade levels with some grade levels having only one student.
Summit Elementary School has a storied history spanning more than one hundred years. Many generations of Condors received an excellent education while attending this small school, which has a tradition of providing a child-centered program focusing on the education of the whole child. In recent years, as enrollment declined, our incredible certificated and classified staff worked tirelessly alongside parents, extended-family, and Upper Ojai neighbors to continue this tradition.
The decision to suspend school operations at Summit in 2018-19 does not minimize the vital role this school has had within the OUSD community for decades. Whether Summit will re-open in for the 2019-20 school year and its long-term future will be a regular discussion item at Board Meetings during the 2018-19 school year.