Freshman Academy is hosting sessions on Tuesday, Jan. 21 for parents and students that are currently in 8th grade to learn more about high school academic opportunities. The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will last until 7:30 p.m. The following is the schedule for the four breakout sessions:
Breakout Session #1: 5:30 p.m. to 5:55 p.m.
Breakout Session #2: 6 p.m. to 6:25 p.m.
Breakout Session #3: 6:30 p.m. to 6:55 p.m.
Breakout Session #4: 7 p.m. to 7:25 p.m.
Each of the following topics will be repeated in the above time slots:
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses: Learn about how AP courses will prepare your students for college and earn them college credits while in high school. Presentation will be in the BAFA media center.
TulsaTech Courses: Learn about why Tulsa Tech is one of the best career and technical training centers in the country. Presentation will be in the BAFA cafeteria.
Early College High School and Concurrent Enrollment: Learn about the opportunities to take college courses while still in high school and how these courses can save you money for college. Presentation will be in the BAFA Art Gallery.
Internships: Learn about the opportunities to explore a career interest and how this can result in better preparation for the future and more scholarship and hiring opportunities. Presentation will be in the BAFA gymnasium.
In the Main Lobby, tables will be setup for parents/students to pick up information about Virtual classes, Broken Arrow Academy and other academic opportunities.
Please contact the Freshman Academy at 918-259-4330 for more information.
The district's athletic department will host its 5th annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraiser in support of the Special Olympics team at 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the BA Golf and Athletic Club swimming pool.
Those taking the cold-water plunge are asked to raise a minimum of $50 to help support the Special Olympians’ trip to the Oklahoma Olympic Games this spring. Broken Arrow students may participate for a $10 donation.
“Our athletes look forward to this day more than most of the things we do together as a team,” Broken Arrow Public Schools Special Olympics Coach Christina Gould said. “This is a time when they get to see the kids they look up to. The varsity athletes come out and do something so special for them. This year we hope to have groups from each of our varsity sports jumping into cold water with us.
“Last year’s turn out is going to be hard to beat, I’m confident the coaches can pull their teams together.”
Giving has averaged approximately $6,000 each of the previous four years. Money raised helps outfit each Special Olympic athlete in a team uniform and warm-up gear, along with offsetting travel expenses.
“Any Special Olympic coach will tell that you the most inspiring thing you do for a Special Olympics Athlete is to put them in a uniform,” Gould said. “Because of the support from the athletic staff at Broken Arrow we have some of the best-looking uniforms out there.”
More than 100 Broken Arrow Special Olympians in grades 3-12 participated in the last summer's Oklahoma Special Olympics Summer Games in Stillwater. This year's games are scheduled for May 13-15. The team’s annual trip to Stillwater is solely funded by fundraisers throughout the year.
Participants may bring their donation and registration form to the BA Athletic Department any weekday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Jan. 6 or bring donation and registration the day of the event. Students under the age of 18 will need to have the registration form signed by a parent or guardian. Cash or check only please. Make checks out to Broken Arrow Public Schools.
“We are so grateful to the staff at the athletic office for organizing this for us each year,” Gould said. “Our recent growth with adding seven new sports and events for our athletes comes at a cost. We wouldn’t be able to outfit our teams without this event.”
Local businesses, groups or organizations that would like to donate or participate in “Freezin’ for a Reason” may contact the athletic office at 918-259-5900.
The BA Golf and Athletic Club is located at 1651 E. Omaha St. (51st Street) between Lynn Lane and County Line Road.
Another fundraiser, the annual BA Special Olympics Chili Cook-off with silent and live auction is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Feb. 1 at Centennial Middle School.
It is with heavy hearts Broken Arrow Public Schools announces Chief Technology Officer Ben Stout, a beloved member of the district’s leadership team, died Wednesday afternoon following a lengthy illness.
Stout, 60, joined Broken Arrow Public Schools in February 2017 after a long career in both the public and private sectors. Previous career highlights include serving as chief information officer for Cypress Energy Partners as well as Tulsa Public Schools and the City of Tulsa.
“Ben was one of a kind in that he was an expert in his field of technology, but he had the heart of an educator and embraced the responsibility of that calling in every decision he made,” said Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop. “His heart was always focused on serving students.”
Stout’s wife, Vonna, is a music teacher at Broken Arrow’s Timber Ridge Elementary, which colleagues say helped give him a valued perspective when making decisions.
“It was always important to him to know what school sites wanted and what was best for students,” said Executive Director of Student Information Services Ashley Bowser. “His wife as a teacher helped with that.”
“Ben would say to me, ‘I don’t think my wife would go for that,’” said Dr. Keith Ballard, former Tulsa Public Schools superintendent. “What it says about Ben is that he cared what the person who was going to be impacted by his decision thought.”
With more than 17,000 devices and 1,500 network access points across the district, Stout’s team plays a critical role in keeping the instructional process operating efficiently. Stout led the implementation of a five-year technology strategic plan as well as a life cycle replacement schedule for all district devices.
“He could see the big picture and take it one chunk at a time,” said Executive Director of Infrastructure Services Ali Shehada. “Ben was great at putting the right people in the right place and made sure the culture and core values of our district extended out to everyone. He was a great example to us in how to handle difficult situations with respect to staff, users and vendors.”
Stout first entered the public sector in 2006 as the City of Tulsa’s chief information officer.
“Ben moved from private industry to share his talents with the public sector because of a personal mission to give back,” said former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor. “He was a thoughtful, kind soul with a long-term vision for each organization he joined. I considered Ben a friend, colleague and an inspiration, as did every member of our team. His impact will be long felt in our community.”
In addition to Stout’s vision and project management, numerous colleagues praised his commitment to relationships, both professionally and personally.
“Ben’s love for his family was apparent in everything he did,” said Dunlop. “Rarely did you have a conversation with him that he didn’t speak about his wife. His life revolved around her and his children.”
Former Mayor Taylor echoed those sentiments. “He had a smile for everyone, but it was always biggest when he talked about his family,” she said.
Ballard added, “He combined being the most knowledgeable IT person that I've talked to with a genuine concern for people. He engendered trust whenever you talked to him. You could just tell. Sincerity, trust, relationships. That’s what made him absolutely someone you wanted to hire right away.”
That focus on relationships shined brightest through an unlikely source – tomatoes.
He proudly hosted an annual tomato competition with his team at Broken Arrow, a tradition he carried over from his time at Tulsa Public Schools.
“That tomato contest turned our department into a family,” said Shehada. “To have a supervisor and staff members who were all able to sit around and joke with each other built great camaraderie.”
Bowser added, “I don’t even eat tomatoes and I participated because I couldn’t let him win!”
He is survived by his wife, Vonna, two sons, Justin (Karin) and Jason (Sara) and six grandchildren; Isaac, Hattie, Levi, Lucas, Cooper and Henri.
Friends and colleagues are invited to a public viewing from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Floral Haven Funeral Home, 6500 S. 129th E. Ave. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at First Baptist Church Broken Arrow, 100 W. Albany St.
Cold weather and a delicious bowl of chili are the perfect pair, which is why the Broken Arrow Special Olympics Team is excited to host its annual chili dinner and auction Saturday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Middle School cafeteria.
During this fundraising event, attendees will enjoy dinner with a variety of chili. The auction features themed baskets, hotel stays, spa packages and restaurant packages.
All proceeds benefit BA Special Olympics, assisting the team as they travel to the area and state games.
The Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation recently awarded classroom grants worth $39,986.61 to 60 teachers across the district.
All Broken Arrow teachers were eligible to apply for grants to help enhance educational opportunities for their students. Winning projects were determined by a committee of BAPS Foundation members based on the number of students impacted and their uniqueness.
“We were very impressed by the number of innovative ideas our teachers proposed this year,” said Karen Lawless, chair of the BAPS Foundation grant committee. “We are proud to be funding some larger scale projects this year and cannot wait to see how they impact our students.”
BAPS Foundation members surprised the entire Timber Ridge student body to present a grant worth $5,507 to teachers Lisa Franklin and Laura Anderson for an action-based learning lab. The project is estimated to impact nearly 400 students in kindergarten through second grade.
Each station in the active learning lab will use the brain’s connection with the body to develop important skills which are critical to future learning. As an example, improvements in a child’s balance and spatial awareness are connected to their ability to place words and letters on a page.
“There is a tremendous amount of research available on the changing ways students are able to learn,” said BAPS Foundation President Frankie Catlett. “Funding this project will give Timber Ridge teachers the ability to schedule weekly visits to the active learning lab and customize their experience based on their current learning objectives.”
The BAPS Foundation also awarded $4,692.46 to Heather McGrew and Rebecca Lewis, physical education teachers at Highland Park to fund a personal fitness program called DrumFIT, where students drum on a stability ball to a choreographed program.
Research shows a correlation between a student’s physical fitness and their scholastic success, especially in math and reading. This program will allow each student to build their cardio strength while also incorporating other academic subjects.
“Most adults can think back to when they were in P.E. class and how the natural athletes dominated while other classmates tried to hide or stay out of the way,” said Catlett. “This program appealed to us because it provides a fun and equal experience for all students regardless of their athletic ability.”
New for the 2019-20 school year, the BAPS Foundation moved its grant window earlier in the school year to allow teachers more time to use their grant funds with their current students.
“Our district is incredibly fortunate to have such strong support from the BAPS Foundation,” said Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop. “I love seeing the different types of projects that were funded this year and cannot wait to see how they change the lives of our students.”
About the BAPS Foundation
The BAPS Foundation raises money to fund programs that support teachers and students through an annual fundraising gala, a golf tournament and individual or corporate donations. Additional funding comes through investment proceeds from the Foundation’s endowment.
Since its inception in 1992, the BAPS Foundation has awarded more than $665,000 in classroom grants to district teachers.
You can help support the BAPS Foundation by attending the third annual Black & Gold Gala April 18 at Stoney Creek Hotel and Convention Center. Ticket and sponsorship information will be available soon.
This month is School Board Recognition Month – a time designated to salute the work of more than 2,700 elected school board members for their untiring dedication to public education.
“At Broken Arrow Public Schools, we are privileged to have five committed individuals who play a vital role in serving our students, staff and community,” Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said.
The five members are Steve Allen, President; Steve Majors, Vice President; Jerry Denton, Clerk; John Cockrell, Deputy Clerk; and Brandy Roulet, Member.
“Each of these individuals develop policies and make tough decisions on complex education and social issues impacting the entire community,” Dunlop said. “They bear the responsibility of a $112 million budget, which serves more than 19,000 students and 2,000 district employees. They carry out the truest form of representative government in our democracy – volunteer public service.”
The Board is responsible for establishing policies under which the school system operates while acting within the framework of Oklahoma and federal laws. As citizen leaders, individual school board members contribute hundreds of hours each year to leading the district, whether it be crafting policies, listening to staff and student concerns, or recognizing outstanding programs.
“I hope each of you will help me take a moment to express appreciation for each of them and the effort they invest in improving our district,” Dunlop said.
Learn more about each member by visiting www.baschools.org/BoardofEducation.
The Long Range Planning Committee, which consists of parents from each elementary and middle school in the district, has announced an additional version of its recommended attendance boundaries for the 2020-21 school year.
Committee members will present the additional recommendation to the Board of Education at its Jan. 13 meeting.
This recommendation modifies areas east and north of the Muskogee Turnpike to continue attending Highland Park Elementary and Oneta Ridge Middle School. Students living between the Muskogee Turnpike and State Highway 51 would still attend Elementary 16 but would go to Oneta Ridge Middle School.
Those changes were made due to public comments received concerning travel distance and road conditions, primarily to Childers Middle School.
As a result, two sections along 71st Street would change from Highland Park to Timber Ridge, the district’s second-newest elementary school which opened in 2017. Other adjustments were also made to the recommendation based on public feedback.
The proposed changes to the boundaries were necessary due to the district’s continued enrollment growth and the construction of Broken Arrow’s 16th elementary school, which will open in August.
Parents and community members are encouraged to submit feedback and questions through a survey.