According to a report by Feeding America, 17.2 percent of people in Oklahoma suffer from food insecurity. In Tulsa County alone, more than 102,000 struggle with hunger and nearly 37,000 of those are children.
To help reduce hunger in our community, Broken Arrow Public Schools is joining together with Broken Arrow Neighbors, a nonprofit that provides basic needs to local families, and BA Food For Kids, an extension of the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, to host the annual Empty Bowls project. This $10 event includes a delicious dinner of soup, salad and bread, as well as your choice of a handmade ceramic bowl created by Broken Arrow students. The event will take place in the Broken Arrow High School (BAHS) cafeteria on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In addition, attendees may also bid on beautifully hand-crafted bowls in the silent auction.
“I am always amazed at the level of understanding today’s youth has regarding food insecurity and their willingness to accept the ‘call to action,’” said Kim Goddard, executive director of Broken Arrow Neighbors. “Empty Bowls is a true reflection of a strong community joining forces to address social issues that are typically unacknowledged.”
The Empty Bowls service project began in 2012 by nearly 1,000 BAHS students and staff members who brought the community together to raise awareness and provide substantial support to Broken Arrow’s local hunger relief organizations.
These students handcrafted ceramic bowls in their art classes to give to Empty Bowl attendees as a gift of gratitude and as a reminder of the empty bowls in the world. Now in its fifth year, the project has grown into a district-wide project, involving participation from a number of school sites.
As was true last year, a number of classes are involved in making this project possible. From business classes to vocational agricultural classes, students and teachers are combining their efforts to make this year’s Empty Bowl project a huge success.
The evening will not only be a strong example of service, but will also include entertainment. This entertainment will include readings from Joshua Wann's creative writing and poetry students, a performance from the dance program inspired by Emily Dickinson, and a special performance of "You are My Sunshine" and "Baby Shark" from the Tulsa Children's Chorus Special Needs Choir Pilot Program froom Leisure Park Elementary. There will also be a children's activity station at the event where small children can actually create a bowl out of clay.
Tickets will be on sale for $10 starting Oct. 28 and are available at Broken Arrow High School's student union, the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center, Broken Arrow Neighbors or at the door. Attendees are also being asked to bring a nonperishable food item. Donations and proceeds benefit Broken Arrow Neighbors and BA Food For Kids.
Sponsorships for the event are available from $50-$150. Please contact Jennifer Deal at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the sponsorships.
“This year, we hope to raise $6,000,” Deal said. “Last year, we donated $5,100.” Click here to visit BA Empty Bowls facebook account.
As our district continues to grow at 2 to 3 percent each year, we must plan for the future and an important part of that planning is the configuration of the high school. In 2015, the Board of Education commissioned a high school configuration study to develop a model which will enhance student learning, improve academic achievement and provide opportunities for student engagement while taking into consideration the available financial resources and facilities.
This study is about much more than evaluating if and when to divide our current high school. It is about developing a long-term plan for the next decade and beyond to accommodate our growing student population in the 9th through 12th grades.
Since last fall, a steering committee, which includes parents, students, district staff and community members, has worked tirelessly to gather data and evaluate potential configurations. After months of research, the committee has narrowed the options to three possible models, including splitting the high school into two or three comprehensive high schools; dividing students by grade; or separating students into academies focused on particular fields of study.
Last week, we held three community forums to provide an update on the study and obtain stakeholder feedback on the process thus far. From October 13 until November 1, the community will also have the opportunity to provide feedback through a survey available online at baschools.org/basurvey. Both the survey and community forums will provide our steering committee with insight and valuable data as they create a roadmap for the future of our high school. Their recommendations will be presented to the board of education by May 2017.
Input from all stakeholders is an essential part of this process, and I encourage anyone who has a vested interest in the outcome of this study to participate in the survey. You can find additional information about the study at baschools.org/goba, including updates as we move forward.
Thank you for your continued support of our district.
Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) announces the resignation of Associate Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Janet Dunlop. After serving the district for six years, Dunlop recently accepted the position as deputy superintendent of assessment and accountability for the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
“Dr. Dunlop played an important role in helping the district develop a revamped vision that focuses on literacy, engagement and graduation for every student,” said BAPS Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall. “Her knowledge about curriculum and education is unmatched, but it’s her love for students and people that really makes her special. Although the district is losing an incredible educator, the state is fortunate for gaining such a passionate advocate for public education.”
Dunlop has more than 25 years of experience in the field of education as a teacher, academic principal, college professor and central office administrator. Since joining BAPS in 2010, she has facilitated the district’s literacy initiative resulting in a significant increase in literacy scores. She was recently recognized by the National Reading Recovery Council for her work in elementary literacy.
Under her leadership, the BAPS instructional team successfully aligned curriculum for grades Pre-K through 12, restructured the special education program to be more inclusive of special needs, and developed district Open Education Resource (OER) textbooks resulting in significant cost savings for the district.
Dunlop serves as the legislative advisory committee chair for the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) as well as the district representative for both the P20 Council of Tulsa and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce Education Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Oklahoma State Department of Education Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee and was instrumental in crafting the new Oklahoma state standards that were approved earlier this year. Most recently, she was named as the Oklahoma Assistant Superintendent of the Year by CCOSA and the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators.
“I am honored by the opportunity to serve our State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and our public schools in Oklahoma,” said Dunlop. “With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, Oklahoma is in a unique position to make choices that will improve the way our schools measure and report student learning.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister praised Dunlop’s expertise and her commitment to Oklahoma’s public schools.
“I am excited to welcome Dr. Janet Dunlop to our department. Dr. Dunlop is a tireless advocate for the academic success of Oklahoma’s schoolchildren and brings an impressive record of experience to the position,” said Hofmeister. “I am confident that her breadth of knowledge and commitment to excellence will prove invaluable.”
The district will begin a search for Dunlop’s replacement in the near future.
Please click here to take the online survey.
As part of its high school configuration study, Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) has launched an online survey to provide community members with an opportunity to give input on the future of the district's high school. The survey is available through Nov. 1.
"The goal of the study is to develop a long-term plan for our high school to accommodate student growth at the 9th through 12th grade levels," said BAPS Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall. "Input from all stakeholders is an essential part of the process, and we encourage anyone who has a vested interest in the outcome of this study to provide feedback."
BAPS is in the third of four phases of the high school configuration study, a comprehensive evaluation of potential high school configurations. The district began planning for this study in the summer of 2015. That fall, the board of education commissioned a 20-person steering committee comprised of parents, teachers, students and community members to evaluate the future of the high school.
For the past several months, working groups have been researching which model will maximize student achievement and engagement given the available facilities, financial resources and human capital. The final piece of research will be feedback obtained from the community forums held earlier this month along with the results of this survey.
The steering committee will then evaluate the findings and begin to develop a long-term plan, which will be presented to the board of education in the spring of 2017.
"The goal is to develop a roadmap for our high school that is best for our community," said Cheryl Kelly, BAPS Board of Education president. "I am confident that this process will help us achieve that goal."
Please click here to take the online survey.
Please click here to take the online survey.
From now until fall 2017, construction crews will be working to complete 11 new Broken Arrow High School classrooms and a commons area near the eastern section of Tiger Field House.
Due to construction, the eastern entrances to the field house will be blocked along with its adjacent south parking lot. Patrons and students are encouraged to use the field house’s northwest and southwest entrances, and are asked to park in the parking lot behind Building D.
In addition, the east side of the Visual and Performing Arts Building will be blocked.
This project is made possible by the passage of the 2015 bond issue. These bond funds allow the district to add classrooms to accommodate growing enrollment, expand and update our facilities and add technology to the classroom.
For a detailed map of where construction will take place, please click here.
This year, the district implemented eSchoolPlus, a new student management system. As part of that system, parents will have a new parent portal known as Home Access Center. The eSchoolPlus Home Access Center (HAC) is replacing ParentConnect and keeps parents in the loop online and through a mobile app with access to grades, assignments, attendance and more. HAC will also allow parents to update their own contact information for easy, two-way communication with the district and school sites.
Currently, technology is working on additional features to enhance the experience parents will have when using HAC and we anticipate parents will be able to utilize HAC after Fall Break. We realize that parents are anxious to access their student’s grades, assignments and other information so they can help their student have a successful year – and we understand and appreciate that concern.
In an effort to keep parents informed in the meantime, if a student falls below a C average, does not progress as expected, or if there are any other academic/behavioral concerns, teachers will contact parents directly through phone or email. Additionally, to keep parents informed of a student’s attendance, daily autocalls will continue to go out if a student has an unreported absence. If parents have specific concerns they would like to address, we encourage them to contact their student’s teacher.
Parents took the first step to using Home Access Center this summer by completing the Student Information Form online. Following Fall Break, information will be sent to the email address provided on the Student Information Form for the primary parent or guardian directing them to the Home Access Center page on the district website and providing instructions to complete registration.
Thank you for your patience and partnership. If you have any questions, please contact your student’s school site.