Lots of kiddos are heading back to school this time of year, and Norman Public Schools resumes Wednesday. Here’s some information from the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.
The summer is over for children in Cleveland County as they head back to class and begin a new school year.
Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies encourage everyone to slow down in and around school zones and obey all traffic laws. Students will be walking or driving to school.
Beginning this week, deputies will kick off “Operation Back to School Safely” in the areas of Lexington and Noble Public Schools and Robin Hill Public School. The program focuses on school traffic safety.
Deputies are patrolling school zones throughout the day. Officers will strictly enforce the law. Motorists caught speeding or driving recklessly will be stopped and cited.
Sheriff Joe Lester said drivers should be alert for children around schools, especially pedestrians crossing roads in school zones.
“Please be careful as children walk to class and leave school each day,” Lester said. “Deputies will put an extra emphasis on school zones to remind the public that school is back in session and watch out for kids.”
Any questions regarding this press release and/or information can be addressed to Meghan McCormick, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, community liaison/public information officer. McCormick can be reached at (405) 701-8847.
And more from the Norman Police Department:
Norman Public Schools resume classes on Wednesday, August 22, and the Norman Police Department encourages citizens to slow down around schools and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. This year, there is one new school zone. With Reagan Elementary opening on 24th Ave SE, expect additional patrol officers in the area to help remind drivers of this new school zone. Another school zone, added at the end of last school year, is for a private school located on 36th Ave SE. Citations for school zones violations carry a $200 fine, plus additional court costs. As always, Norman Police Officers will be watching schools zones to ensure compliance and the safety of our young citizens.
Motorists should also watch for school busses stopped for loading or unloading with their flashing red lights activated. Driving in either direction past a stopped school bus with the red lights activated is unlawful, and is extremely dangerous to children who are boarding or leaving the bus. Disregarding a school bus signal may carry the maximum sentence from Norman’s Municipal Court—a $750 fine and/or 60 days in jail.
Now is also a good time for parents to review traffic and personal safety basics with their young students. Remind your children to:
• Always walk on sidewalks when they are available, or if there is no sidewalk, on the shoulder or roadway edge facing traffic. Cross the street only at the corner or at a marked crosswalk. Look both ways before crossing, and avoid crossing the street from between parked vehicles, as the parked cars may block the motorist’s and the child’s view of each other.
• If children ride their bikes to school, parents should remind them that they are subject to the same traffic laws as a motor vehicle, including riding with traffic on the right side of the roadway, as near the right edge as possible. All bicyclists younger than 18 years of age are required to wear an approved bicycle helmet. Now would also be a good time to inspect bicycles to ensure that the brakes, tires, and other essential equipment are properly adjusted and in good repair.
• If a child will walk or bike to a new school this year, the parent should accompany the child the first time or during the weekend prior to the first day. Ensure that the child knows the way, and the parent may detect potential hazards that the child may not recognize.
• Remind children of the dangers of approaching or going with a stranger, regardless of the reason given. Parents who drive their children to school should drop off and pick up only at the locations designated by their child’s school. Parents who fail to do so may endanger their child and cause traffic.
A clever reader shared this detailed info with me this morning in an email about the Nichols Hills Elementary gym project. (It’s one of those times as a reporter that you wish you would have had it yesterday! Doh!) I’ll be honest. I’ve never heard of the phrase “geotechnical report,” so I have definitely learned something new today!
I just looked at the geotechnical report for Nichols Hills Elementary and it shows the Gym to be on the west side. The geotechnical investigation and report are completed prior to the structural plans. The geotechnical investigation was authorized on 3/14/2008! The report was issued on 5/27/2008. If you follow this link: http://www.okc.gov/agendapub/agdocs.aspx?doctype=agenda&itemid=63818, you can look at some of the plans and the geotechnical report (especially the “Plan of Borings” page) in Addendum 1. I don’t know what the people on Glenwood were told, but as far as the architect and the City is concerned (Building Permit was issued on 11/28/2011), that Gym was always going to be on the west side, right up against their backyard fence.
First, a follow-up to a story earlier this week that bullying affects one-third of Oklahoma children. Newsweek magazine published this timely article about just how those who are bullied come to be targeted. The link is counterintuitive according to the article: children who are bullied start out as children who show aggression early in their lives.
And second, two stories related to reading. TIME magazine reports that reading — by all accounts a sedentary activity — may actually help young girls lose weight. And this New York Times story talks about the new idea of linking books and video games together.
Share your comments on these stories below, or share links to other national education news that caught your attention.
I was up earlier than usual this morning to cover International Walk to School Day. I went to Western Village Academy, a charter school in northwest Oklahoma City that accepts all students in the neighborhood.
The morning weather was brisk – cool enough that I could see my breath when I reached the school just after 7 a.m. – but invigorating, too.
You can read more about the walk at Western Village and watch a video about it tomorrow on NewsOK.com.
In the meantime, I’d like to know: Did you walk to school growing up, and do you let your children walk now?
I talked to national school security experts yesterday for this story in today’s Oklahoman about the lockdown at Oklahoma City’s U.S. Grant High School.
Now that you know their views, share your own here. How do you feel about the ongoing lockdown?
(Comments are also still coming in about whether school shootings worry you. Scroll down or click here to add your thoughts on that subject.)
U.S. Grant High School student Hodauri Latifu McCoy was arrested Monday on a felony complaint of carrying a firearm in a school. An officer removed ammunition from the pistol, according to a police report.
No one was hurt, but all of the Oklahoma City School District is now on high alert.
And this morning, almost 5,000 miles away in Finland, a 22-year-old gunman killed 10 students in a classroom at a trade school before taking his own life.
Do school shootings worry you? What would ease your fears?
You’ve heard of the “Party School” rankings that list college campuses reputed for wild, drunken debauchery.
But have you heard of the “Stone-Cold Sober Schools” ranked by Princeton Review?
Here are the top 20 tee-totaling colleges, based on a survey of 120,000 students.
1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
2. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.
3. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.
4. College of the Ozarks, Point Lockout, Mo.
5. Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.
6. U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
7. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
8. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.
9. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif.
10. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.
11. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
12. Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga.
13. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass.
14. City University of New York-Queens College, Flushing, N.Y.
15. Webb Institute, Glen Cove, N.Y.
16. Berea College, Berea, Ky.
17. Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga.
18. City University of New York-Baruch College, New York.
19. Simmons College, Boston.
20. Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Do you have any schools to add, to either category?
DARE — To Keep Kids Off Drugs!
I had the shirt with the slogan splashed across the front in bright red letters.
I had the round black button that said the same thing.
I can still hear the stern voice repeating it in commercials.
Because in the fifth grade, I was a graduate of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in a Texas school.
My husband, who’s from Massachusetts, also remembers going through the program when he was younger, and went on to be a DARE student teacher.
I reported on the program in today’s Oklahoman, and on the controversy over whether it’s effective.
Did you go through DARE? Did your children? Most importantly, do you think the program does what its name claims: help keep kids off drugs?
Seven Oklahoma schools are in a national running for a $10,000 grant from Big Lots. A teacher at one of those seven schools — third-grade teacher Dawn Dilley at Putnam City’s Apollo Elementary — sent me an e-mail about it.
She hopes the school will get the money so they can build a fitness track, and wrote an essay and put together a 90-second video with some of the school’s students as part of the application.
Twenty-five runners-up will get smaller amounts of money; there are 100 schools nationwide all trying to win.
The thing is, online voters choose the winner, and she wants some help. Here’s what she told me in an e-mail.
Apollo’s is very important because we are considered a 100% Title 1 school. All our kids qualify and get free lunch & breakfast through a federal program. Now, due the economic issues facing our students, we don’t have a lot of PTA funds or giant fundraiser budgets to draw money from. We are also aware that kids in poverty have a higher rate of obesity and a lower rate of overall health. Knowing this, we applied for this grant to get our school a walking track. This grant would allow us to easily motivate our kids to get in shape and help the regular classroom teachers at our school comply with the OK Legislature’s new longer PE times, since we will be taking on this burden.
What I need from you is your vote and possibly the vote of all the people who read your education blog, or anyone else you know who might vote. I would also like to get the word out to support all OK educators. This competition costs nothing but 5 minutes of time from now through July 22nd.
It would be great if we could win, but it would be even greater if all 7 Oklahoma schools won some money.
Here’s how to vote: Go to www.lots2give.com. Use the drop-down menu to select Oklahoma, and Apollo Elementary’s video as well as the others will appear. Vote by clicking the “Vote for this school” button. People can vote up to three times a day through July 22, and you don’t have to watch the video each time.
Wendy K. Kleinman
Does just going to college make you more likely to binge drink?
A national study followed students from early adolescence through their mid-20s and found that compared to their peers that never attended college, current college students were less likely to have been binge drinkers prior to their college years but more likely to binge drink once they entered college.
The researchers say this is probably the result of the college environment. Living in an environment in which drinking behaviors are promoted may increase binge drinking. Also, college students with a greater genetic risk consumed more alcohol per drinking episode.
What do you think? Is getting drunk and sloppy on weekends still a “rite of passage” for college students? It’s not harmless fun if you consider the auto accidents and even death that result from drunk driving, or the impact on relationships and studies.
Post a comment here or e-mail me your thoughts at email@example.com
Susan Simpson, Education Writer