West Metro integration schools chief to leave

  • Updated: October 1, 2013 - 9:50 PM

Daniel Jett announced that he’s leaving his job as superintendent of the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) at the end of the school year, capping what has been a tumultuous period for the two-district school.

Jett, who has been superintendent for 10 years, said Monday he’ll leave as of June 30, when he will be 70 and his contract expires. Both Jett and the district’s sole principal, Kevin Bennett, were put on administrative leaves by the board during investigations. Bennett made allegations against Jett, according to Bennett’s attorney. Jett did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Jett returned last June after four months away from work, and no disciplinary finding was announced. However, rumors that he would leave surfaced immediately. Bennett had been suspended earlier for several days for several infractions.

The West Metro Education Program’s board will meet Oct. 9 to discuss next steps, Chair Helen Bassett said.

The district was formed to promote racial integration of students among Minneapolis and 10 suburban school districts that stretch from St. Anthony to Wayzata. It enrolls students from 28 member and nonmember districts.

The district operates two arts-focused schools, a grade K-3 and 9-12 in downtown Minneapolis and a grade 4-8 in Crystal, that operate as Fair Arts Interdisciplinary Resources School.

In a letter to the board, Jett listed several accomplishments: grade reconfiguration of the two schools, stable funding, progress on the achievement gap in reading, a new strategic plan and teacher training programs. The former Minnetonka superintendent said he was closing 45 years in public education.

Steve Brandt

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