MHS Staffer Who Segregated Students During STAR Test Resigns

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MIDDLETON–A Middleton High School (MHS) staff member accused of segregating students of color during STAR testing in October resigned Monday at the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) board meeting. The staff member was placed on paid leave at the time of the incident, and will remain on paid leave until June 30.

A letter signed by MCPASD Director of Communications Perry Hibner was sent to parents in the district on Feb. 25, and informed them of the resignation.

“We have closely reviewed our protocols since the incident occurred. Going forward, a team of staff members, including administrators, will be involved in making decisions about how we administer the assessment for students. We can say with 100-percent certainty going forward that students will not be grouped by race, gender, or socio-economic status to take the STAR or any grade-level or schoolwide assessment,” Hibner wrote. 

He included that the district was trying to repair the relationships with students and parents that were severed at the time of the incident.

Those measures are as follows:

• The District has put together a community-based group to address issues of bias and hate -- not only in our District, but in our community.  We have scheduled five meetings to occur during the spring semester. 

•We continue our training efforts District-wide. Our staff will have heard from multiple guest speakers on race and equity, along with a panel discussion involving four recent MCPASD graduates in March, as part of our professional development plan for the 2019-20 school year. 

• High School administration is working with the MHS Equity team, along with MHS students, to create Social Justice Days in early April. 

• High School administration is working with the Anti-Defamation League to conduct anti-bias training for students as well.

Hibner added that while the school strives for transparency, the situation was made difficult because a personnel issue was involved.

In a statement to media outlets, Hibner said, “We know these past few months have been difficult for our high school students and families, particularly our families of color whose children. We are sorry for the hurt and angst this has caused. These wounds don’t heal automatically and we know there is work that must continue to repair the trust that was lost. We believe the protocols that have been put in place will help to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.''

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