In light of recent developments in the fight to secure school funding and the second failure of SB 1033xx, better known as the “StepUp Plan,” I felt it was time to prepare for possible closure of the district’s school sites as requested by OEA (Oklahoma Education Association) and our local teacher groups beginning Monday, April 2. This preparation creates many questions I would like to address, and I realize this situation is fluid and may change before we reach a resolution. Recognizing this, it is impossible to address all of the “what ifs.” Stay connected with developments by accessing this website.
During our recent March 12 regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, the Broken Arrow Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution that supports our teachers and students in the fight to restore education funding. The Board also approved the possible suspension of school beginning April 2 for up to 25 school days, providing that these days must be made up if required by law. In addition, the Board authorized me to suspend school if we determine it necessary for the safety of students and fiscal responsibility/capacity of hiring substitute teachers.
Faculty/staff contracts and pay
Human Resources is working to distribute emails to employees, detailing how days out will affect each type of employee. Our priority is to ensure no employee loses compensation or benefits because of the walk out.
-All SAT testing will take place as planned on April 10 from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. The SAT test is required of every high school junior and very important to their future regardless of their educational or career plans after high school.
Buses to the high school will run as scheduled with students returning home after testing is complete.
All juniors must report to the high school, and staff will be there to direct them to the testing space and facilitate the testing. Make up testing for the SAT will be offered April 24.
We will have volunteers and 12-month administrators, who will continue working despite a shutdown, in place to help administer the test.
-ALL Advanced Placement (AP) tests will be administered May 7-25.
-We will provide information on the Oklahoma School Testing Program for grades 3-8 and the 10th grade science test as information becomes available.
-School will not be in session in the event of a walkout. Students, with the exception of Tulsa Community College students at the high school, will not be able to access school buildings during the school day.
-Tulsa Technology Center is a post-secondary institution and will continue to have classes. Students must arrange transportation to the high school in order to ride the Tulsa Tech shuttle.
-Tulsa Community College (TCC) is a post-secondary institution and will continue to have classes. Students must arrange transportation to the regularly scheduled campus or site. Students attending TCC classes at the NSU-BA campus must arrange for transportation to NSU and home after classes.
-Per district policy, B&A Connections before and after care is not in session when school is dismissed, and parents should be receiving additional information from our enrollment office about tuition, etc.
Co-Curricular, athletics, activities and school-sponsored events
-High school graduation and prom will take place as scheduled.
-All planned trips for athletics and fine arts will take place as scheduled.
-Broken Arrow fine arts activities and contests will take place as scheduled.
-Broken Arrow athletic competitions will take place as scheduled. Practices will take place only after school hours.
With other districts across the state participating in the walk out, there may be individual instances of cancellation of games, activities or contests. Please stay in communication with your director or coach for updates. If you have additional questions, please contact your child’s school. We will update information on our web page, through social media and through media outlets.
Supplemental support for students
In the event of the walk out, our child nutrition department will still be feeding students at certain locations across Broken Arrow. These meals are free for students 18 and under, however, students must eat their meal at the specified locations.
We are also relying on civic groups and local faith-based to assist families during the walk out. The Tulsa Area United Way is graciously creating a central repository of support services for students, parents and families. Should you be aware of any organizations offering services, please share this link with them: www.tauw.org/closureresources.
In these difficult days, we maintain hope that our legislators will address Oklahoma’s school funding, teacher and support pay to avoid the walkout entirely. To find your legislator, visit http://www.oklegislature.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx or download the free OAEC 56th Legislature Guide phone app from Apple or Android store providers. This app has legislator phone, email, website and social media links.
As always, we want to be available to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact district leadership by calling 918-259-5700.
Janet C. Dunlop, Ph. D.
Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) is saddened by the recent death of Mr. Chuck Bowlin, science teacher at Broken Arrow High School, who suffered a heart attack earlier this week.
Mr. Bowlin was a valuable member of the Broken Arrow family and beloved by his students and colleagues.
“He taught Pre-AP and AP chemistry at the high school and was the faculty monitor to our Future Medical Professionals organization,” said Liz Burns, high school principal. "He was much loved by former and current students, many of whom attributed to him their decision to enter the medical field in some capacity. He was also a much loved friend and colleague to those with whom he worked. He will be missed."
A viewing is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 25 at Ninde Funeral Home, located at 37th and Peoria, during which the family will receive guests from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on March 26 at Ninde Funeral Home.
Counselors and support staff will be made available to the Broken Arrow High School family and will continue to be available in the weeks ahead.
During the regular Board of Education meeting on March 12, Broken Arrow Public Schools Board of Education signed a resolution that provides a call-to-action to Oklahoma legislators to restore funding for public education.
The resolution states that it supports all measures taken by Broken Arrow Public Schools’ classroom teachers to demand the necessary funding for a meaningful teacher pay raise and adequate education funding.
In addition, the resolution also supports an advocacy plan endorsed by Oklahoma teachers and stands ready to take any steps necessary to improve conditions for Broken Arrow teachers and students, which includes a districtwide suspension of classes beginning April 2 should politicians not arrive at a solution.
On Monday, March 12, Broken Arrow Public Schools Board of Education approved the 2018-19 Instructional Calendar (pdf). Students will return for their first day of school on Thursday, Aug. 16. In order to help accommodate families and their planning, five snow days have been built into the calendar, and the last day of school has been set for May 24, 2019. If unused snow days are remaining at the end of the 2018-19 school year, the last day of school will be adjusted for an earlier dismissal. Please refer to the bottom right-hand side of the calendar for more details.
New this year, the district will hold a Virtual Day for all grade levels on Jan. 22, and all students will be required to complete assignments at home. Elementary students will complete assignments given from their school site while secondary students will complete assignments through their Chromebooks.
The date of graduation commencement for the Class of 2019 will be released next winter; most likely in January 2019, so please check the website for updates. Because the BOK Center is a venue that holds many events, BAPS is not able to negotiate a date until later in the calendar year. We apologize for any inconvenience but look forward to hosting friends and family as another class of BA Tigers walks across the stage next May.
Gatesway is partnering with Broken Arrow Public Schools and Jenks Public Schools to host the Community Resource Night for students with disabilities and their families on Thursday, March 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gatesway Foundation, located at 1217 E. College St. in Broken Arrow. This longstanding event allows all age levels of students and parents to learn firsthand about support programs and services offered to individuals with disabilities by universities, technology centers and community agencies.
“Whether students are entering the work force, heading to college, or will need lifelong assistance, this event will feature representatives from across the region who will discuss the academic and vocational support services offered to students with disabilities after graduation,” said April Lodes, transition specialist at Broken Arrow Public Schools. “It is never too early to begin planning for the future.”
During this event, top professionals from high school and post-secondary education will discuss transition issues that students with disabilities may experience after graduating high school and moving into the next phase of their educational career or the workforce.
"It is imperative for students with disabilities and their parents to start early in learning about resources available to students after high school graduation," Lodes said. "The Community Resource Night provides a fantastic opportunity for students and parents to visit with representatives from community agencies and post-secondary educational institutions that offer services, employment opportunities and programs to students with disabilities."
For more information or questions regarding the Community Resource Night, please contact April Lodes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-259-4310, ext 4838. Please refer to the Community Resource Night flier for the agenda.
To help reduce hunger in Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) is once again partnering with Move For Hunger, Broken Arrow Neighbors and Broken Arrow Accent Moving and Storage for the sixth annual districtwide food drive March 26-30, the week following spring break.
Broken Arrow Neighbors is asking that certain sites collect specific items in order to complete summer food baskets that will be distributed to families in need.
“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 of the Move for Hunger project,” said Kim Goddard, executive director of Broken Arrow Neighbors. “This food drive is truly a reflection of a strong community joining forces to address social issues that are typically unacknowledged.”
According to a report by Feeding America, 17 percent of Oklahoma’s population is considered food insecure, leaving 242,990 children unsure where they will get their next meal. Locally, this means that one out of four Broken Arrow children are at risk of being hungry.
For five days, students and staff from across the Broken Arrow district are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items – including canned foods, juice, pasta, soup, baby food and more – to any school site. All donations benefit Broken Arrow Neighbors, a nonprofit that provides basic needs and emergency assistance to Broken Arrow families.
Last year, the effort resulted in more than 12,000 pounds of food. The goal for this year is to surpass 12,000 items.
Nationwide, the BAPS event is the largest school-related drive for Move For Hunger, and the district’s assistance throughout the school year makes it the top contributor of food donations to Broken Arrow Neighbors.
The districtwide drive began with an idea generated by Candy Lievsay, teacher at Sequoyah Middle School. In January 2012, her classroom read an article about Move For Hunger, a nonprofit organization that teams up with relocation companies across the nation to pick up non-perishable food items from people who are moving and deliver the items to local food banks. In the fall of 2012, Sequoyah held a food drive that collected more than 3,500 pounds of food, and Move For Hunger along with Accent Moving and Storage supplied the muscle to get the food delivered to Broken Arrow Neighbors.
"As a local Broken Arrow business since 1987, it is our way to give back to our city and to the citizens who are in need," said Accent Moving and Storage's Jody Davis. "This food drive has such a significant impact on our community, and it is an honor to serve the district, BA Neighbors and our city through this heartwarming effort."
In March of 2013, the district held its first districtwide food drive and has since collected more than 70,000 pounds of food.
To learn more about Broken Arrow Neighbors, please visit www.baneighbors.org.
The Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) Foundation is proud to announce a fundraising gala and auction to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 7 at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center.
All proceeds from the event, entitled “Back to Basics: Celebrating 25 years of supporting classrooms in Broken Arrow,” will support the Foundation’s mission of positively impacting education in Broken Arrow by providing funds for incentive grants to teachers.
Sponsorship opportunities are available, and single tickets can be purchased for $75 at bitly.com/BABack2Basics.
In the last 10 years, the Foundation has awarded 672 grants for more than $309,000 to Broken Arrow teachers as well as provided monetary support for other major initiatives like Project Graduation.
“In light of the current financial situation for public education in Oklahoma, we are committed to doing everything we can to raise money to continue to support our teachers and provide the world-class education our students in Broken Arrow deserve,” BAPS Foundation president Sharon Whelpley said.
The event will have a “cowboy casual” theme and will include dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. News On 6 Chief Meteorologist and Tulsa television legend Travis Meyer is scheduled to serve as Master of Ceremonies.
“Our goal is to provide a night to remember as well as to celebrate the great things our Broken Arrow teachers are accomplishing,” BAPS Foundation Advisory Member Charlie Hannema said. “We are thrilled to have Travis join us, and I know from experience how his personality can light up a room.”
For more information about corporate and table sponsorships, please contact Amanda Grace at 918-510-5454 or email@example.com.
The SAT is the nation's most widely used admissions test among colleges and universities, so Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) recently partnered with the College Board to administer the exam to all juniors during the school day at no cost on Tuesday, April 10. The SAT is accepted at all Oklahoma colleges and universities.
Students will need to bring an approved SAT calculator on test day. In case of emergency, there will be a few on hand that can be passed out. Only battery-operated, handheld equipment can be used for testing. No power cords are allowed. Calculators permitted during testing include most graphing calculators, all scientific calculators and all four-function calculators, which are not recommended.
For a full list of acceptable calculators, download the SAT Subject Tests Student Guide.
“Research shows that the SAT assesses the critical thinking skills that our students need for academic success in college and beyond,” BAPS Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said. “Our instructional team decided to transition from offering the free ACT to the SAT because the SAT was recently redesigned to reflect state and district standards. This will allow our students to showcase their best work by mastering the skills they are learning in the classroom.”
In 2016, the College Board made significant changes to the SAT, including content, format and scoring.
“There is no penalty for guessing, no more SAT vocabulary words, more time per question, and more relevant math and reading questions,” BAPS Executive Director of Assessment Jean Brassfield said. “The redesigned test prioritizes content that students will encounter in college and in their future work lives. It will reinforce what students are learning in the classroom and will focus on the content tested, not just test-taking strategies.”
In addition, the College Board provides students with SAT practice tools through the Khan Academy, which includes personalized study plans, full-length practice tests, thousands of interactive practice questions, video lessons, test taking tips and more.
“New data links Khan Academy practice tools to substantial student score gains from the PSAT to the SAT,” Brassfield said. “Nationally, students who used Khan Academy to prepare for the SAT for 20 hours experienced an average score gain of 115 points on a 1,600 point scale. That’s nearly double the average score gain achieved by students who didn’t use Khan Academy.”
Juniors are required to take the SAT on April 10 and will not need to register. April 24 is a scheduled make-up day for students that missed taking the test on April 10.
“Administering the SAT during the school day helps foster a college-going culture and increases access to college,” said Brassfield. “’SAT School Day’ is beneficial for students who may otherwise face barriers to standard Saturday administrations.”
For more detailed information on the SAT, please visit www.baschools.org/SAT.