Brompton, AZ (TWP) A fter last year’s state takeover of failing school district Brompton, remaining teachers petitioned and received the right to run the school. This year, studies show that the teacher-run school has made great success in combating the near epidemic spread of FUTILE syndrome.
FUTILE syndrome, which stands for a phrase teachers often hear from students, “Forget Using This In Life Ever!” causes depression, nausea, headaches, and occasional diarrhea. It is also highly contagious and not treatable with traditional medications.
Co-leader Jennifer Langston, also a middle school history teacher, said, “We started with what we knew—what it means to be human and how to be healthy and successful living one’s life.”
From that initiative the teachers redesigned the schedule and curriculum offerings at every school. At the high school, classes are 3-week intensive studies in specific areas, such as the Harlem Renaissance, taught by a history teacher and an English teacher, and Poster Art, taught by art and computer teachers.
Besides the schedule change and addition of collaborative teaching, other changes included adding additional recess periods at the elementary school and study periods and free time with specific rooms designed for student/teacher interaction at the middle and high schools. School rules were created by students and are monitored by students.
Elementary gym teacher Sue Randolph said, “Physical activity is good for everyone, and these kids just didn’t get enough of it. We had gotten to where they only had one 15-minute recess period and a 20-minute lunch. The rest of the time the principal expected us to have them sitting in their chairs.”
High school student Paul Campbell said of the Mini-Car Derby class he is taking, taught by auto mechanics and math teachers, “I learned more the last two weeks than I did all of last year. I know how an engine works now.”
Co-leader Bob Mitford, 3rd grade teacher, said, “We want to help kids learn how to think. The old model just didn’t cut it. Now kids want to come to school. And so do the teachers.”
The school, which has no administration or board of education, is led by teachers, who all have shared administrative duties. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control started studying the school to understand how it was able to wipe out FUTILE syndrome in just a matter of months.