Beginning June 30, students, parents, staff and patrons visiting www.baschools.org will experience a redesigned Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) website. The improved website provides users with easier navigation, a simplified layout and a mobile-responsive design.
“The new website captures the essence of what it means to be a Broken Arrow Tiger by focusing on the district’s mantra ‘Literacy, Engagement, Graduation’ with high-quality graphics, content and video,” BAPS Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall said. “With an aesthetically pleasing look, the new website makes it easier for visitors to find exactly what they are looking for.”
Since 2011, Broken Arrow Public Schools has utilized Simplified Online Communication System (SOCS) for its website management system, and last spring, the district became eligible for a template upgrade. SOCS specializes in developing affordable, budget-friendly technology to help nonprofits, especially those in the education sector, stay connected with their communities. Last spring, the BAPS communications team began working with SOCS to create a new template that resembles a higher education institution.
The website will continue to feature district news articles, up-to-date information for school sites including breaking news or emergencies, important dates and many other resources to help the Broken Arrow community connect with its school district.
Additional new website features include:
Students and parents should revisit the website after the Fourth of July holiday for important back-to-school info at www.baschools.org/backtoschool.
If you have any questions about the redesigned website, please contact the BAPS communications department at 918-259-5768 or email@example.com.
At the Board of Education meeting on June 27, Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) named Nathaniel Hutchings as the principal of Arrowhead Elementary for the 2016-17 school year.
Mr. Hutchings earned his bachelor’s degree in 2006 at the University of Central Oklahoma and began his teaching career a year later in Columbia, Mo. While there, Mr. Hutchings attended the University of Missouri to earn his master’s degree in 2013. After moving back to Oklahoma in 2013, he began teaching at Broken Arrow Public Schools’ Country Lane Intermediate. In 2014, Mr. Hutchings became the assistant principal at Oliver Middle School. He will now become the principal at Arrowhead Elementary.
Four former Broken Arrow High School (BAHS) athletes – Alvin Bailey, Sean Gatwood, Jake Harriger and Angela Parsons – along with “Friend of BA Athletics” Blackie Gibson will be inducted into the Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame at the varsity football home opener Sept. 9 against Owasso.
Alvin Bailey, Class of 2009 - A Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks and now a member of the Cleveland Browns, Bailey was a 2008 All-State offensive lineman for the Tigers. During his senior year in high school, a year in which he did not allow a sack, Bailey was considered among the top 30 offensive linemen in the nation. After signing to play at the University of Arkansas, he went on to start 38 games for the Hogs and earn all-SEC honors. In 2013, Bailey joined the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. In three seasons there, he played every offensive line position except center, including starts at left tackle, right tackle and left guard. This spring, he signed a free agent contract with the Browns.
Sean Gatewood, Class of 1994 - An All-State soccer player for the Tigers in 1994, Gatewood was co-captain of that season’s team that reached the state championship game. He graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA and eventually earned Academic All-America Honors as a soccer player at Oklahoma City University. He was named co-freshman of the year at OCU and also earned All-District recognition. Gatewood played for two semi-professional soccer clubs – the Oklahoma City Heat and the Tulsa Roughnecks. He is a currently a sales consultant and trainer with Stryker Endoscopy.
Jake Harriger, Class of 1997 – Harriger was a heavyweight state wrestling champion and football all-stater his senior year at BAHS. Away from athletics, Harriger was an officer in Broken Arrow’s FFA Chapter, earning Star Chapter Farmer and State Farmer awards while being recognized as an Outstanding Youth by the national chapter. A four-year letter winner at Missouri State University, Harriger was named all-conference as a junior and senior and earned honorable mention All-American honors his senior year. With a degree in Agriculture Business Marketing and Sales, Harriger manages the Crop Protection Business of the western United States for Monsanto.
Angela Parsons, Class of 2003 – Parsons earned nearly every considerable honor during her BA soccer career, including All-State and Gatorade All-American. Parsons led the team in scoring for three consecutive seasons and was named all-conference for four years. She lettered all four seasons at Missouri State University, serving as the team captain her junior and senior years. After graduating Magna Cum Laude and being named the Outstanding Graduate of both the College of Economics and College of Humanities and Public Affairs, Parsons was not done with education. She earned a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Temple University, again earning Magna Cum Laude honors. She is co-owner of Xelerate, a national-outsourced recruiting firm that services Fortune 500 corporations.
Blackie Gibson, “Friend of BA Athletics” – It didn’t take Gibson long to find a connection with Tiger football after moving to the town in 1963. He spent several years as a member of the BA chain gang before trading in the down marker to serve as a volunteer coach, first at the eighth grade level and then with the ninth grade squad. Eventually, Gibson volunteer coached for four varsity coaches - Brent Whitson, Ron Lancaster, Steve Spavital and David Alexander. Gibson’s generosity extends beyond volunteering, however. Through his State Farm Agency, he has donated to athletics through game program advertising and radio spots. He has sponsored fireworks at the stadium, several special athletic promotions, and in many ways not seen by the public. Gibson is the first Hall of Fame inductee to be honored in the new category “Friend of BA Athletics.”
The state budget crisis will have a far-reaching impact on the students and teachers at Broken Arrow Public Schools. Decreased funding from the state will likely require the district to cut more than $7 million dollars from the operating budget – a cut that will affect the classroom, as well as instructional programs and services that are provided to our children.
Many parents and patrons are asking how they can help, and the Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation has created an avenue – the BA HERO campaign – for them to do so.
Every dollar raised through the BA HERO campaign will help fund instructional programs and services that are critical to our students. Donate now at www.gofundme.com/BAHERO. The Foundation is asking community members, staff and students to share this link on their social media accounts in an effort to raise more than $250,000.
Donations can also be mailed to the BAPS Foundation, P.O. Box 2695, Broken Arrow, OK 74013.
Funds will be managed by the BAPS Foundation. Once the fundraising campaign is complete, the 29-member board of directors will vote on where and how to allocate the funds. The funds will be used to fund instructional programs and services specifically.
For more information about the Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation, please visit www.baschools.org/foundation or email Andy Truman, Foundation president, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Across the state, Oklahoma educators serve more than 688,000 students each day. Each child has a unique story, a unique perspective, and their own way of understanding and learning. But what each of those students has in common is their dependence on us to provide them with an excellent education and prepare them for life beyond our classrooms.
The state budget failure is and will continue to be a crisis that negatively impacts each and every one of the students we serve. Districts have been forced to cut teaching staff and reduce operational budgets in order to keep their doors open and the lights on. Tough decisions have been made that will undoubtedly affect the services that our students and their families have received for many years. Yet our commitment to these students will not fail.
Though times like this are very challenging, it also serves as a great reminder of how fantastic our business and community partners are, and how they are willing to stand together to Support Our Schools.
TTCU The Credit Union has partnered with other area businesses and organizations, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Tulsa Community Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Charles and Lynne Schusterman Foundation, The Zarrow Family Foundations and American Airlines, to raise significant funds for Tulsa area school districts.
With a campaign goal to raise $4 million by July 1, Support Our Schools provides a way for individuals, businesses, foundations and school districts to unite in their efforts to help lessen the impact on our classrooms and students. TTCU and area partners have pledged to match up to $1.5 million in donations to this campaign.
Donations to the campaign’s general fund will be divided proportionally among the largest 15 public school districts in the Tulsa area. People who donate to the campaign may also designate which Oklahoma school district they want to receive their contributions.
Supporting Our Schools is easy! Make a donation through the Tulsa Community Foundation at www.TulsaCF.org or visit www.ttcu.com for more information and a link to the TCF site. Donations made through the Tulsa Community Foundation are tax-deductible.
I do hope that you will join me and Support Our Schools by making a donation to this worthy cause! You can also help our schools by spreading the word and sharing this fantastic opportunity with others. While the state funding problem cannot be solved overnight, we – as communities and individuals – can help ensure that our classrooms and students receive the support they so deserve.
Dr. Jarod Mendenhall