Former SWECC Principal speaks on sudden resignation

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The former principal of Southwest Early College Campus sent NBC Action News a letter explaining his resignation.

On Friday, Steve Scraggs suddenly resigned as principal at SWECC . Yesterday, district officials installed Doug Bolden as the school’s new leader.

Scraggs’ statement is below:

"I would like to respond to the many inquiries surrounding my resignation as Principal of Southwest Early College Campus (SWECC). When I left Lincoln College Prep to accept the position to reopen SWECC in the spring of 2008, the move was based on my firm conviction that all students could aspire to take rigorous academic coursework at a college-level during their high school years if provided quality teaching, excellent support systems, and a quality environment/culture. SWECC opened its doors as a open-enrollment school district-wide in fall 2008, and the only requirements of students was that they and their parents commit to hard work, positive attitudes, and a "learn at all costs" philosophy.

I am very proud of the students, staff, parents and community at SWECC. The gains that were made this past year as it relates to student measurable academic achievement are certainly indicators that the program can be powerful. SWECC achieved AYP in Math and Communication Arts in all tested subgroups, posting a 20 percentage point gain in Math and a 15 percentage point gain in CA on state exams. 50 percent of students were staying after school daily for voluntary tutoring. This is certainly a tribute to our excellent students, parents and staff. I could not be more proud of their efforts.

I have been honored to work with a powerful set of reform-minded partners, including UMKC, PREP-KC, The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Donnelly College and the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation. Their commitment to urban education and Early College continue to be exciting and inspirational. I am very thankful to the Kansas City, Missouri School District for providing me the opportunity to serve.

I am absolutely committed to the philosophy of Early College high schools and will continue to work in support of providing high-quality educational opportunities for all students. Classroom instruction and school leadership are my passion, and I will certainly remain engaged in this work. I will also continue to do my part as a member of the Kansas City community and support the students, parents, faculty and community of Southwest Early College Campus. I truly have a special place in my heart for all of those who have impacted me so positively over these past 3 years."  - Steve Scraggs

Last month, discipline issues at SWECC and a number of other schools led Superintendent Dr. John Covington to quickly open a new alternative program at Manual Tech .

Since then, sources say security issues improved then worsened.

Read our story about SWECC being evacuated for a fire - click here .

Read our story about a SWECC school security officer being pushed down stairs - click here .

A spokesman for the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department says officers have been called to SWECC 50 times since school started in August.

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