We’ve heard that tornadoes have damaged several schools during this three-day sweep of storms, and the state Education Department sent out this notice this afternoon:
The Oklahoma State Department of Education is expressing great concern for all Oklahomans affected by the tornados today and yesterday. “This has just been devastating and a horrible reminder of the May 3rd tornados. My staff and I stand ready to offer full support to any school districts that have experienced injuries or damages from these terrible tornados,” State Superintendent Janet Barresi says.
“Right now we are waiting for word of exactly what has happened at Briarwood Elementary School in Moore as well as pulling together information about school districts that may have suffered damage yesterday in Carney, Bethel, Dale, Little Axe, Shawnee and other areas. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by these deadly tornados,” adds Superintendent Barresi.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education stands ready to assist affected school districts. Those in need of assistance in the aftermath of the tornados may call (405) 521-3301.
Here’s a news release from Tulsa Public Schools about where to go for free meals during the summer:
TULSA, Okla. – During the school year, 85 percent of students in Tulsa Public Schools are reliant upon free and reduced price meals. Ever wonder what those same kids do for meals during the summer? Sadly many often go hungry.
To help make sure no child goes hungry over the summer, TPS Child Nutrition Services is a sponsor for the Summer Food Service Program.
The Summer Food Service Program for children is a federally-funded program operated nationally by the United States Department of Agriculture. Free meals will be served to all children 18 years of age or younger at any approved meal site.
TPS will operate the Summer Café program at 65 sites this year from June 3-July 26. Lunch only or lunch and breakfast options will be served at various times at the different sites.
In 2012, the Summer Café program served 81,690 breakfasts and 121,201 lunches in the Tulsa community.
2013 Summer Cafe Site list:
|SITE||ADDRESS||TELEPHONE||DAYS IN OPERATION|
|Antioch Baptist Church||110 E. 56th St. N.||918-582-0768||June 10-July 19|
|Apache Community Center||2402 N. Marion Ave.||918-836-0249||June 3-July 26|
|Bradford Apartments||550 E. 32nd St. N.||918-425-0720||June 3-July 26|
|Celia Clinton Elementary School||1740 N. Harvard Ave.||918-746-9338||June 3-July 26|
|Church of God in Christ||1101 E. Apache St.||918-425-9141||June 3-July 26|
|Church of the Living God||1559 E. Reading St.||918-584-3206||June 17-July 3|
|Comanche Park||3608 N. Quaker Ave.||918-425-0736||June 3-July 26|
|Community Action Resource Association||3636 N. Peoria Ave.||918-428-5255||June 3-July 26|
|Cooper Elementary School||1808 S. 123rd E. Ave.||918-746-9480||June 17-July 12|
|Deborah Brown Community School||2 S. Elgin Ave.||918-425-1407||June 3-June 28|
|Divine Inheritance Ministry||3 N. Phoenix Ave.||918-561-6187||July 9-July 25|
|East Central Community Center||12330 E. Archer St.||918-438-4023||June 3-July 26|
|Edenwood Apartments||2171 N. Hartford Ave.||918-583-4306||June 3-July 26|
|Emerson Elementary School||909 N. Boston Ave.||918-925-1320||June 24-July 26|
|Eugene Field Elementary School||2249 S. Phoenix Ave.||918-746-8840||June 3-July 26|
|Full Gospel Christian Child Care||1609 N. Evanston Pl.||918-834-2325||June 3-July 26|
|Gilcrease Hills Baptist Church||2001 W. Newton St.||918-583-6552||June 3-July 26|
|Greenwood Cultural Center||322 N. Greenwood Ave.||918-596-1020||June 3-June 28|
|Grimes Elementary School||3213 E. 56th St.||918-746-8732||June 3-July 26|
|Hamilton Elementary School||2316 N. Norwood Pl.||918-746-9440||June 17-July 12|
|Hawthorne Elementary School||1105 E. 33rd St. N.||918-925-1340||June 17-July 12|
|Holsey Chapel CME Church||1804 E. 48th St. N.||918-425-6151||June 5-July 26|
|Hoover Elementary School||2327 S. Darlington Ave.||918-747-7780||June 3-July 26|
|Hutcherson YMCA||1120 E. Pine St.||918-382-9622||July 9-July 26|
|In The Spirit Christian Church||1020 S. Garnett Rd.||918-836-6823||June 3-July 26|
|Jackson Elementary School||2137 N Pittsburgh Ave.||918-746-9340||July 15-July 26|
|John 3:16 Mission||2027 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.||918-587-1186||June 10-July 25|
|Kendall-Whittier Elementary School||2601 E. 5th Pl.||918-833-9900||June 10-July 26|
|Key Elementary School||5702 S. Irvington Ave.||918-833-9480||June 17-July 12|
|Lanier Elementary School||1727 S. Harvard Ave.||918-833-9398||June 3-July 26|
|Learning Kurve Child Care Center||1619 N. Boston Pl.||918-794-7754||June 3-July 26|
|Livingstone Baptist Church||6021 N. Osage Dr.||918-428-2652||July 9-July 26|
|London Square Apartments||2217 E. 59th St.||918-748-8009||June 3-July 26|
|McClure Elementary School||1770 E. 61st St.||918-746-8760||June 17-July 12|
|McKinley Elementary School||6703 E. King St.||918-833-8720||June 3-June 13|
|McLain High School for Science &Technology||4929 N. Peoria Ave.||918-833-8500||June 17-July 12|
|Memorial High School||5840 S. Hudson Ave.||918-833-9480||June 17-July 11|
|Metropolitan Baptist Church||1228 W. Apache St.||918-425-5403||June 3-July 25|
|Mohawk Manor||3637 N. Birmingham Ave.||918-425-1723||June 3-July 26|
|Nathan Hale High School||6960 E. 21st St.||918-925-1200||June 17-July 12|
|New Beginnings Christian Church||4606 N. Hartford Ave.||918-779-6270||June 3-July 26|
|Parkview Terrace||1615 W. 59th St.||918-446-6830||June 3-July 26|
|Penn Elementary School||2138 E. 48th St. N.||918-951-5189||June 17-July 26|
|Remington Elementary School||2524 W. 53rd St.||918-746-8880||June 3-June 7|
|Riverview Park||2212 S. Jackson Ave.||918-587-5113||June 3-July 26|
|Robertson Elementary School||2721 W. 50th St.||918-746-8900||June 17-July 12|
|Robyn’s Nest Child Development Center||4903 S. Cincinnati Ave.||918-712-1135||June 3-July 26|
|Will Rogers Early College High School||3909 E. 5th Pl.||918-833-9000||June 17-July 12|
|Ross Child Nutrition Center||8934 E. Latimer St.||918-833-6679||June 3-July 26|
|Salvation Army North Mabee Boys & Girls Club||3001 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.||918-425-7534||June 3-July 26|
|Sandy Park||6301 W. 11th Pl.||918-245-4144||June 3-July 26|
|Seminole Hills||1624 E. Virgin St.||918-587-1259||June 3- July 26|
|Sister D’s Playhouse & Learning Center||5039 N. Peoria Ave.||918-425-7900||June 3-July 26|
|Skelly Elementary School||2940 S. 90th E. Ave.||918-402-2576||June 3-July 12|
|Skelly Primary Elementary School||2714 S. 90th E. Ave.||918-925-1560||June 17-July 12|
|South Haven Recreation Center||4012 W. 56th Pl.||918-446-7139||June 3-July 26|
|Southern Hills United Methodist Church||6160 S. Lewis Ave.||918-743-2013||June 3-July 25|
|Springdale Elementary School||2510 E. Pine St.||918-378-1934||June 10-July 26|
|St. Matthews United Methodist Church||12424 E. 31st St.||918-622-8703||June 3-July 26|
|Sts. Peter & Paul Day Camp||1428 N. 67th E. Ave.||918-836-3114||June 3-July 26|
|Towne Square Apartments||1607 E. Young Pl.||918-425-8200||June 3-July 26|
|Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus||3727 E Apache St.||918-595-8487||June 10-July 12|
|Wesley United Methodist Church||2750 N. Cincinnati Ave.||918-734-0471||June 3-July 26|
|World Won Summer Camp||5484 N. Madison Ave.||918-430-3947||June 3-July 26|
|YMCA Westside||5400 S. Olympia Ave.||918-728-3926||June 3-July 26|
Additional information about Summer Café is available at www.tulsaschools.org/summercafe.
The Oklahoma City School Board voted to deny out-of-district transfers to Classen School of Advanced Studies for the 2013-14 school year. (Kiddos who already go there will be allowed to keep attending.) But the decision has been controversial and has lots of parents asking questions about the future of the school. On Friday morning, PTSA President Dixie Hendrix sent out this statement in the school’s weekly newsletter:
There have been numerous rumors of late, and I would like to address the most recent one regarding the future of Classen: No Classen PTSA officers have talked about or have ANY intention of applying for Classen SAS to become an enterprise or charter school. NO PLANS WHAT SO EVER!!! I have heard nothing from anyone who has any plans to do this. And I will not support any attempt to do so.
A tweet from the Oklahoma Speaker of the House is all the buzz in state education circles. Here’s what T.W. Shannon said Wednesday:
Common Core is a set of national education standards that many states have adopted, including Oklahoma. It was adopted here as part of the Race to the Top grant competition in 2010 but hasn’t been implemented by all Oklahoma school districts yet.
I asked for a response to Speaker Shannon from state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi, and her spokeswoman sent this:
Superintendent Barresi looks forward to continuing discussions with Speaker Shannon about the work of the Department of Education to ensure more rigorous Oklahoma academic standards for the success of Oklahoma’s children.
Speaker Shannon tweeted about Common Core again today, and he linked to this story.
Norman Public Schools has announced the Teacher of the Year. Here’s the info:
Norman Public Schools named Roosevelt third grade teacher Brooke Brown as its 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year amid ceremonies last night at its annual Celebration of Excellence banquet.
The event was held at the National Center for Employee Development (Postal Training Center) in Norman and Brown was one of five finalists for the district’s top teaching honor. The other finalists were Calypso Gilstrap, a library media specialist at Norman High; Suzanne Price, a counselor at Truman Primary; Donna Quee, an anatomy/physiology teacher from Norman North; and Amy Young, a Cleveland Elementary fifth grade teacher.
Brown has been employed with NPS since 2008. She previously worked for Yukon Public Schools and has taught 1st, 2nd and third grades in her nine total years of teaching. She is a National Board certified teacher and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma.
In the portfolio she submitted for the Teacher of the Year competition, Brown wrote: “Because my level of enthusiasm usually determines the success of a lesson, I make a conscious effort to model a love of learning for my students. A majority of third grade content is brand new, therefore, I facilitate numerous breakthrough moments. It is so rewarding to watch eyes light up as they discover an interesting science concept, write their name in cursive for the first time, or gain fact power with multiplication facts. … Although I’ve taught in two schools with widely varying needs, my philosophy has remianed the same with regard to ‘how I want to be remembered’ by my students. It is my hope that by teaching the essentials of love, life and learning, I am shaping the next generation of young leaders and learners.”
Brown and the other four finalists were chosen from a pool of NPS school site Teachers of the Year, and Brown emerged after a competitive process involving a written portfolio, video and individual interviews with the district’s Staff Development Committee. She will now be NPS’ representative in the state Teacher of the Year program, which is an affiliate of the national Teacher of the Year program.
Both Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano and NPS Director of Professional Development and Student Assessment Beth Spears said the district’s Staff Development Committee had a tough task selecting one Teacher of the Year from the five finalists.
“Brooke will be an excellent representative of the Norman Public Schools and we congratulate her on this much-deserved honor,” Siano said. “I know that she agrees that her four colleagues who were also finalists are also exemplary teachers and we are so fortunate to have them all on our team. As I do every year, I also feel fortunate that I have no part in the selection of finalists or the Teacher of the Year. Selecting just one among a pool of so many great teachers is not an enviable task.”
The Cherokee Nation donated about $3.2 million to more than 90 Oklahoma school districts this month. The money comes from tribal car license plates. About a third of tag sales are designated for education. Grants are awarded based on the number of Cherokee students enrolled. Here’s a breakdown of the grants the tribe awarded this year.
|Adair Public Schools||$38,492.19|
|Afton Public Schools||$13,585.48|
|Bartlesville Public Schools||$32,498.60|
|Belfonte Public School||$21,443.75|
|Bluejacket Public Schools||$7,991.46|
|Braggs Public Schools||$5,194.45|
|Briggs Public School||$27,037.77|
|Brushy Public School||$10,655.28|
|Caney Valley Public Schools||$18,779.93|
|Catoosa Public Schools||$43,420.26|
|Cave Springs School||$10,655.28|
|Central Public Schools||$23,974.38|
|Chelsea Public Schools||$43,020.69|
|Cherokee Nation Head Start||$86,307.76|
|Cherokee Nation Immersion||$26,638.20|
|Cherokee Nation Sequoyah High School||$97,495.80|
|Claremore Public School||$107,485.12|
|Colcord Public Schools||$26,371.81|
|Collinsville Public Schools||$50,213.00|
|Copan Public Schools||$4,528.49|
|Dahlonegah Public School||$13,718.67|
|Dewey Public Schools||$15,450.15|
|Fairland Public Schools||$20,511.41|
|Fort Gibson Public Schools||$85,774.99|
|Foyil Public Schools||$23,707.99|
|Gans Public School||$12,919.53|
|Gore Public Schools||$26,638.20|
|Grandview Public School||$33,430.94|
|Greasy Public School||$2,131.06|
|Grove Public Schools||$70,191.65|
|Hilldale Public Schools||$62,599.76|
|Hulbert Public Schools||$43,953.02|
|Inola Public Schools||$30,367.54|
|Jay Public Schools||$84,309.89|
|Kansas Public Schools||$49,147.47|
|Ketchum Public Schools||$27,836.92|
|Keys Public Schools||$55,940.21|
|Liberty Public School||$5,194.45|
|Locust Grove Public Schools||$85,242.23|
|Lowrey Public School||$3,196.58|
|Marble City Schools||$8,257.84|
|Maryetta Public School||$65,929.54|
|Miami Public Schools||$29,568.40|
|Moffett Public School||$7,059.12|
|Muldrow Public Schools||$51,944.48|
|Muskogee Public Schools||$96,297.08|
|Norwood Public School||$11,188.04|
|Nowata Public Schools||$38,891.77|
|Oaks Mission Schools||$10,921.66|
|OK School for the Blind||$932.35|
|Okay Public Schools||$15,583.34|
|Oklahoma Union Public Schools||$21,976.51|
|Oologah-Talala Public Schools||$38,891.77|
|Osage Hills School||$3,729.35|
|Owasso Public Schools||$83,510.75|
|Peavine Public School||$9,722.94|
|Peggs Public School||$13,851.86|
|Porum Public Schools||$16,515.68|
|Pryor Public Schools||$94,299.22|
|Rocky Mountain School||$15,183.77|
|Roland Public Schools||$33,830.51|
|Salina Public Schools||$49,680.24|
|Sallisaw Public Schools||$81,779.26|
|Sequoyah Public Schools||$44,219.41|
|Shady Grove Public School||$10,788.47|
|Skelly Public School||$2,397.44|
|Skiatook Public Schools||$42,487.92|
|South Coffeyville Public Schools||$5,327.64|
|Sperry Public Schools||$22,242.89|
|Stilwell Public Schools||$88,305.62|
|Tahlequah Public Schools||$182,338.45|
|Tenkiller Public School||$22,109.70|
|Tulsa Public Schools||$29,035.63|
|Verdigris Public Schools||$22,376.09|
|Vian Public Schools||$54,608.30|
|Vinita Public Schools||$61,667.42|
|Wagoner Public Schools||$51,145.34|
|Warner Public Schools||$33,963.70|
|Watts Public Schools||$13,052.72|
|Webbers Falls Public Schools||$11,587.62|
|Welch Public Schools||$11,454.42|
|Westville Public Schools||$65,663.15|
|White Oak Public Schools||$1,331.91|
|Woodall Public School||$35,961.57|
|Zion Public School||$24,507.14|
Here’s information from the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office:
On Thursday, March 28, 2013, at approximately 1:30pm (1330 hours) Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputies/Dispatch received a call from an AT&T operator indicating that she had received an internet call placed from a person claiming to be a Union Student. The caller gave information suggesting that there were two individuals in the building, one with a gun and one with a bomb. The caller indicated that they had heard shots and heard a large amount of screaming coming from an area within the school.
Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned as School Resource Officers responded to the area of the suggested incident within two minutes of receiving the information. Additional Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputies responded along with numerous Tulsa Police Officers and conducted a complete and thorough search of the Union High School campus determining that the information they had received was false and that there was no threat to Union Students. This search was concluded at 2:14pm (1414 hours).
School Superintendent Dr. Burden and other Union School Officials are on site and will administratively be releasing students in conjunction with their regular school day. Union school officials will be putting out a press release informing parents of the administrative processes that took place.
Here’s information out of the House of Representatives about a rally Wednesday:
Common Core will make sweeping changes to the education system in Oklahoma and the nation, but the cost-benefit analysis of these changes has yet to be scrutinized, according to one state lawmaker.
A rally will be held at noon, Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in the Oklahoma State Capitol building, Second Floor, west hallway of the Supreme Court offices. This rally will be sponsored by state Rep. Gus Blackwell (R-Laverne) and Restore Oklahoma Public Education (R.O.P.E.). Blackwell, Glenda Murphey, the Reverend Paul Blair, Traci Montgomery and Jenni White will be speaking about problems with the Common Core agenda.
Common Core was written into state law in 2010. It was one of four education ‘reform’ measures necessary to make the state competitive for a federal Race to the Top, Common Core became law before the standards were available for review or any research had been accumulated on their efficacy or cost. Oklahoma never received that grant. Now that the Common Core and its testing arm, PARCC, are being instituted across the state, districts must have hundreds of thousands of dollars in eRate grants and writing school bond initiatives to fund these mandates. Oklahoma taxpayers are being asked to fund these reforms through property tax, cell phone plans and an increase in the state education budget. The total cost of which is still unknown.
The Common Core changes will also necessitate changes to the increased collection of personal student data, student testing, teacher evaluation, and school performance. At a conference attended by Blackwell and sponsored by Common Core advocates, in the summer of 2012, Common Core was likened to the hull of a ship sailing out of a harbor, while still under construction.
“The fact of the matter is: Few people know the extent of the changes, driven by the private groups advocating this change, which will result in large profits for a few private companies.” Blackwell said.
This year, Blackwell authored House Bill 1907 to create a task force to study the cost of Common Core. Though the bill passed its committee hearing unanimously, Blackwell learned it would not be heard in the state Senate. Blackwell was able to reach an agreement with House leadership authorizing a long-overdue extended legislative study on the costs of Common Core in Oklahoma schools.
“I do not think Oklahomans want to relinquish the local control of their schools or the state-guidance of standards to the nationalization of education, by a handful of elitists in Washington, D.C.,” Blackwell said. “The Common Core State Standards must be brought to bear under public scrutiny before we move further into its implementation. Taxpayers should not bear the brunt of a program for which we know little about, even three years after its inception.”
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb put out his monthly column recently. Here it is:
As parents we want our children to be healthy and to do well academically, but our first priority is for our children to be safe and secure during their school day. Following the tragic event in Newtown, Connecticut last December, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon asked me to chair the Oklahoma Commission on School Security (OCSS). The OCSS was a statewide, nonpartisan commission comprised of 22 professionals from various fields including local school personnel, law enforcement, emergency response, mental health and parents.
I previously served as a special agent with the United States Secret Service. As state senator, I was the principal author of the Oklahoma School Security Act. School security has been a focus of mine for many years.
The OCSS members sacrificed their time and provided their expertise to conduct a several week comprehensive analysis of this very important issue. Commission meetings included speaker testimony and discussion on the various factors related to school security including but not limited to public safety, access control, physical assessments, training, mental health and local control.
The OCSS was given a March deadline in order for recommendations to be placed in bills this legislative session. After hearing expert testimony and completing their study, the OCSS released five policy recommendations in the 2013 Report of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security:
1) Formation of the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI)
2) Establish a Mental Health First Aid Training Pilot Program
3) Amend and change state law to consolidate and require safety drills
4) Require the reporting of illegal firearms found on school property to local law enforcement
5) Establish a school security tip line
At the time of printing deadline, I am happy to report that the recommendations have received unanimous support in the State Senate and will now move to the State House for consideration.
No policy can prevent evil from occurring, but the OCSS’s hope is that these recommendations will mitigate and lessen the potential of future large scale school violence. We want our children to be not only healthy and thrive in our great state, but we want to make sure they remain safe and secure during their school day.
This came out of the House of Representatives today:
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Todd Thomsen today stressed the need for House Bill 1711 to be signed into law.
“Those arguing against House Bill 1711 say that legislators seeking to provide ‘local control’ to schools ‘could rob students’ of some unknown benefit,” said Thomsen, R-Ada. “What seems lost on those opposing this legislation is that our school districts have endured multiple years of reduced state and federal funding while at the same time being buried under a mountain of unfunded and underfunded mandates. There is no money left for innovation at the local level.”
Thomsen listed some of the more recently enacted unfunded and underfunded mandates:
· New Teacher / Leader Evaluation System
· Mandatory Remediation for Elementary Students Struggling to Read at Grade Level
· Mandatory Remediation for High School Students Failing Graduation Exams
· Implementation of the National Common Core State Standards
· Grading Schools on an A-F Scale
“Each of the mandates listed above have a significant cost that the state has pushed onto school districts,” Thomsen said. “House Bill 1711 has turned the attention of the Legislature toward providing sufficient resources to ensure proper implementation of the important education reforms that have been enacted.”
Thomsen noted that in February, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin was in Washington, D.C., as part of her duties as vice chair of the National Governors Association. The governor asked that President Obama and the Congress “relax those [federal] mandates [and] give us some leeway.” While in Washington, Fallin was quoted as saying, “Don’t balance the federal budget on the backs of state governments.”
“Organizations representing school boards, school administrators and teachers have come together to support House Bill 1711 using the same message that Governor Fallin used in Washington, D.C.,” Thomsen said. “The plea of these groups is that the time has come for our state to recognize that we cannot continue to push unfunded mandates on schools while at the same time balancing our state’s budget on the backs of school districts.
“I support Governor Fallin’s belief that our state should neither be used to balance the federal budget nor bear the price of unfunded federal mandates. When it comes to our school districts here in Oklahoma, the State Legislature should provide that same leeway to locally elected school boards.
“Those closest to our children understand what is needed and what can be afforded at the local school district level. House Bill 1711 provides parents, elected school boards and locally employed educators the flexibility to free up funds and use them in a more meaningful way that ultimately leads to better education outcomes for the students of Oklahoma.”