John Marshall kicked off their Great Expectations training this week. Here’s some info from Principal Aspasia Carlson:
We aim to be the first model secondary school in OK. We had a barbeque lunch, courtesy of JM staff on the grill and lots of good company! We had a fantastic day of learning!
How interesting is that? I plan to revisit this in a couple of weeks.
You have the chance to ask the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools a question. Here’s how:
If you could ask the leader of Oklahoma City Public Schools anything, what would you ask?
Well, actually, you can ask the superintendent anything.
NewsOK is accepting questions for Superintendent Karl Springer from the public through noon Tuesday, July 24. Reporters will choose the best questions for a special back-to-school Q&A with the leader of the state’s largest school district.
Here’s how to submit a question:
- Post a comment on this story or on NewsOK’s Facebook page.
- Tweet @NewsOK or @carriejacobs.
- Email email@example.com.
And you can leave a comment here on this blog if you have a question as well. I’ve already received a couple of really good ones, so don’t be shy! I know there are more out there!
Last night I spotted Billie England at the Oklahoma City School Board meeting, and I was a little surprised to see her. Normally teachers don’t pop up at those meetings, so I was caught a little off-guard. Then, as the meeting wound up, I figured out why she was there. The John Marshall High School math teacher was being promoted. She was named an assistant principal of Jefferson Middle School. It was neat to see someone I met and interviewed move her way up the ranks. The last time I saw Billie, she was making kids run and laugh about algebra. Here’s the story I wrote about her:
“OK my babies, OK my darlings, OK my sweetie pies.”
John Marshall High School math teacher Billie England settles down her class and starts in on her lesson.
Students calculate volume on the marker board as part of a state test review. It’s a game England plays. Each corner of her room represents one of the multiple-choice answers on a state practice test. Students work the problem and then move to the corner they think represents the right answer. The class is almost always divided.
England weaves around the desks, peeking over students’ shoulders. She pats a few on the shoulder. Her goal is to call on or physically touch every kid every hour.
“Kids have a tendency to melt into the wall,” England said. “You can’t just let those kids go unnoticed.”
England wants her students to do well on state tests, but she also wants to prep them for life. Some of her students come from loving homes; others don’t. She works at John Marshall because she wants to help them.
“They need me,” England said. “I don’t know what to say. I guess I need them, too.”
Just as the students debated the answer to an equation, the bell rang.
“Clean it up,” she said. “Go away. Love you. See you Monday.”
I’ll have a story in the paper tomorrow about the Oklahoma City Public Schools school board meeting, but I wanted to post a list here of the contracts and agreements they approved here. A few notes about this list …
It includes only things of $100,000 or above. I didn’t include things previous ratified. I didn’t include things lumped together that totaled more than $100,000 that had multiple contractors. I didn’t include things that didn’t have specific contractors/sellers, such as the board giving the district the right to pay for things as they arise within a certain budget. Everything’s rounded to the nearest dollar. If you’d like to read the full list of all 10 bajillion contracts, just click here. Easy as pie.
So, without further adieu …
- Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal, roofing and repairs, $15 million.
- PATCO, electrical repair, $15 million.
- Schuler Enterprises, plumbing repairs and service, $15 million.
- Hardesty Team Heating and Air Conditioning, chiller repair, $14 million.
- Commercial Roofing, roof repairs and replacements, $10 million.
- Oklahoma School Assurance Group, worker’s compensation insurance, $5,062,294.
- Apple Computer, technology and service, $4 million.
- Dell Computer, technology and service, $4 million.
- Ace Transfer and Storage, moving and storage, $3 million.
- Hiland Dairy Foods, milk, $2.6 million.
- Cooks Fencing, repair and replacement, $2.5 million.
- Buddy’s Produce, produce delivered to schools, $2.2 million.
- Pearson Agreement, professional development, $2 million.
- Independent Insurance Agents of Greater Oklahoma City, property and casualty insurance, $1,861,628.
- Sodexo, food service, $1,428,655.
- SAP, software, $1,249,142.
- RobertsTruckCenter, bus parts, $1.2 million.
- Core Knowledge, elementary school reform supplies, $1 million.
- Great Expectations Institutes, professional development, $1 million.
- Siemans Industry, heating and air repairs and maintenance, $1 million.
- Hunzicker Brothers, electrical supplies, $800,000.
- Office Depot, office supplies, $750,000.
- Voss Lighting, lamps, $750,000.
- Chartwells, child nutrition, $585,000.
- Edusoft, benchmark assessments, $532,837.
- Connections Learning Virtual Learning Programs, full-time virtual education program, $500,000.
- Johnson Controls, heating and air repairs and maintenance, $500,000.
- Oklahoma Department of Central Services, various vendors, $500,000.
- Central Oklahoma Winnelson, plumbing supplies, $500,000.
- Johnstone Supplies, heating and air supplies, $450,000.
- Fuzzell’s Business Equipment, toner cartridge supplies, $410,000.
- Woods Labor and Staffing, temporary landscaping labor, $380,000.
- MetroTech educational services dropout recovery and prevention program, $360,000.
- TransPar Group, transportation, $358,720.
- Marzano Research Laboratory, professional development, $357,500 atCentennialHigh Schooland $175,000 atDouglassHigh School.
- MASSCO Maintenance, custodial supplies, $350,000.
- Waste Management, trash service, $350,000.
- Allied Steel, crane service, $300,000.
- Federal Corporation, boiler repair, $300,000.
- MASSCO Maintenance, copy paper, $300,000.
- AT&T, hosting of SAP, $296,984.
- Center for Education Law, basic legal services, $250,000.
- Hardesty Team Heating and Air Conditioning, repairs and maintenance, $250,000.
- Harris House Moving Contractors, moving services, $250,000 and $150,000.
- Shannon Construction, building repairs, $250,000.
- Youth Cornerstone, truancy program, $192,000.
- EMC Hardware, network storage, $168,958.
- Dell, backup hardware, $167,820.
- Gates-MacGinitie, student tests, $164,585.
- Life Excelerator – Assessment of Personal Skills, teacher training, $163,250.
- Presort First Class, mail service, $160,000.
- ACT, testing supplies, $150,000.
- Filtertec, air filters, $150,000.
- R&R Delivery, courier mail, $125,000.
- Discovery Education, web and video service, $115,000.
- Smartweb Technology Programs, license, $106,061.
- Reliance Medical Sales, medical supplies, $106,000.
- American Eleveator Service, inspection and repair, $100,000.
- Hardesty Team Heating and Air Conditioning, boiler repair, $100,000.
- Magic Services, cafeteria laundering, $100,000.
I plan to keep a running total of how the ACE/EOI appeals process votes have turned out. Here’s a list of how the vote has gone by district.
- Broken Arrow: 2 granted, 4 denied, 15 dismissed
- Catoosa: 1 dismissed
- Choctow: 1 denied
- Lawton: 1 denied
- Mannford: 1 denied
- Marlow: 1 denied
- Norman: 1 denied
- Oklahoma City: 1 granted, 1 denied
- Schulter: 1 dismissed
- Strother: 1 denied
- Tahlequah: 1 denied
- Tulsa: 2 denied
- Tulsa Union: 2 granted, 1 denied
- Wagoner: 1 denied
And here’s a list of how the vote has gone by meeting.
Results from the June 5, 2012 Oklahoma Board of Education Meeting
Granted, Extenuating Circumstances: 1 (Broken Arrow)
Granted, Accepted into a University: 1 (Broken Arrow)
Postponed until June 28: 1 (Oklahoma City)
Denied: 7 (four from Broken Arrow, two from Tulsa, one from Wagoner)
Dismissed: 16 (one from Catoosa, 15 from Broken Arrow)
Results from the June 28, 2012 Oklahoma Board of Education Meeting
Granted, Extenuating Circumstances: 2 (Tulsa Union)
Granted, Accepted into a University: 1 (Oklahoma City)
Denied: 9 (Choctaw, Lawton, Mannford, Marlow, Norman, Oklahoma City, Strother, Tahlequah, Union)
Dismissed: 1 (Schulter)
Total Results from Oklahoma Board of Education for 2012
Granted, Extenuating Circumstances: 3 (one from Broken Arrow, two from Tulsa Union)
Granted, Accepted into a University: 2 (one from Broken Arrow, one from Oklahoma City)
Denied: 16 (four from Broken Arrow, one from Choctaw, one from Lawton, one from Mannford, one from Marlow, one from Norman, one from Oklahoma City, one from Strother, one from Tahlequah, two from Tulsa, one from Union, one from Wagoner)
Dismissed: 17 (one from Catoosa, 15 from Broken Arrow, one from Shulter)
A former official with Oklahoma City Public Schools who seems to be followed by controversy has landed a new job. Alan Ingram has been named the deputy commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Ingram worked as the executive director of federal programs and then the chief accountability officer for Oklahoma City Public Schools. He worked under John Q. Porter, the controversial superintendent who resigned after less than a year in the position. Ingram announced that he was a finalist for superintendent positions in Putnam City and Tacoma, Wash., though he was hired shortly after as the superintendent for schools in Springfield, Mass.
Go to about 2:35 and you can see the studnets of Edwards Elementary. They even get a special shout out at the end (4:05).
I’ve watched this several times now, and I’m not going to lie: I get a little emotional. My daughter is only two years out from attending Oklahoma City Public Schools.
The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools created this video for their annual campaign. They go to many schools and interview all kinds of people – students, volunteers, teachers, administrators. I saw several faces I recognized from spending a week at John Marshall High School. One of those was Ashley Bahtahou. (You can see her at about 1:35 into the video.) I didn’t interview her, but I saw her so many times throughout the week. She’s one of those students who is involved in everything, and you can tell that she’s respected and admired by other students. She was phenomenal during track practice. She was fast, sure, but she was so encouraging of her other teammates. She’s a neat kid.
What she said in the video was so striking to me because it’s the same thing I’ve heard over and over from students and teachers throughout the district: our reputation doesn’t reflect reality. Set aside the reputation and whether you think it’s deserved. To me, the saddest thing is that those kids all know what the city thinks of them. They know what the community says about Oklahoma City Public Schools. Children shouldn’t feel like the world around them expects them to fail. They should feel like everyone expects them to succeed.
Sometimes there are things that just can’t fit into a story but that reporters really want to share. I wanted to share this little bit that was left on the cutting room floor from my nDepth story about Webster Middle School. (Click here to read it.)
The students in Claudette Justice’s English class hurried to summarize the beauty and vastness of nature in 17 syllables before the bell rang. Justice had already taught them how to address a letter, and the second half of her class was dedicated to haiku poetry. A girl counted syllables as she talked to herself: “I love su-shi.” She paused. “Hmm. But I don’t.”
When you plant a seed
and water it and it grows,
then pops out a tree.
Need to use to stay alive.
Forever be my love.
Birds chirping a song
they sing and hum all day long.
Soaring in the sky.
The tree shape I drew
from a little drop of paint
looks like a dancer.
Hear my heart beating.
I’ll stay with you forever,
keeping a promise.
The dog was singing.
He sang a song I once knew
so I sang along.
Bark bark yes it’s me
Owner please give me a treat
Yum yum delicious
The green leaves are gone
missing all the memories.
Autumn, please don’t come.