Before Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) recessed for winter break, Oneta Ridge Middle School students began taking donations for local charities. It started as a competition between grade levels but soon became something near and dear to Ms. Beckee Hacker’s eighth grade students. This group, with the help of community partners, raised $4,500 for James Mission, a non-profit that provides support to children in need.
“An announcement of collection totals over the intercom one morning led me to tease my kiddos about the fact that the entire eighth grade had only collected $6,” said Hacker, who has been a history teacher at BAPS for six years. “With donut parties donated by Krispy Kreme and “Pie a Teacher in the Face” incentives, my students were determined to have some fun while helping others in the community.”
Hacker’s five classes, which together include nearly 150 students, raised $1,000 among themselves. From there, the students took advantage of social media to see if they could raise more. Matt Cantwell State Farm and Hercules Tire Sales stepped up to the plate to contribute and match donations. The total quickly increased to $4,500 for James Mission.
During the assembly, BAPS Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop spoke about the kind heartedness of Broken Arrow’s students.
“Your motivation to wrap your arms around kids just like you to make sure they had a safe and happy holiday motivated many members of the community to give as well,” Dr. Dunlop said during the assembly. “You’ve truly taught the adults something. You’ve taught us that as long as you live from the heart, then you can change the world. Keep doing that. I am so proud of you.”
Hacker’s sentiments echoed those of Dr. Dunlop.
“It was an amazing experience to watch this charity event for James Mission touch the hearts of my students and truly inspire them to make a difference,” she said. “I may be their teacher but they teach me every day.”
At their monthly meeting, Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) Board of Education members voted to name the district’s 15th elementary school Timber Ridge, which will open its doors next year. The school is located at 209 E. Ave., just north of Kenosha.
“Timber Ridge was one of four ideas that the naming committee proposed to the Board,” said Tiffany Green, who was recently named as the school’s principal. “The committee was made up of Broken Arrow administrators, teachers, staff and parents. The name was chosen due to the school’s location on a ridge and its surroundings, giving honor to the beautiful scenery located around the school.”
She initially joined Broken Arrow Public Schools in 2008 as an assistant principal and has served at Arrowhead, Rhoades and Park Lane/Highland Park Elementary. Since 2014, she has led Creekwood’s students and staff as their principal.
As part of the 2015 bond issue, the district began building Timber Ridge in May 2016. This site can accommodate up to 900 students. Amenities include a media center, full-size gymnasium, music room, art room, science room and a tornado safe room.
With over half of the district’s growth at the elementary school level, this is an exciting step forward for our district,” she said. “While I’ll miss my Creekwood family tremendously, I look forward to serving the students and staff of Timber Ridge.”
Broken Arrow Public Schools athletic department will host the 2nd annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraiser in support of the district’s Special Olympics team Jan. 25 at 4 p.m. at the Forest Ridge 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. Click here to download a participation form.
Last year’s “Freezin’” raised more than $5,000, allowing the BAPS athletic department to outfit each Special Olympic athlete in a team uniform and warm-up gear.
“We were so pleased with the way our coaches and teams got involved in the spirit of Special Olympics last year that we decided to up our goal to $6,000 this year,” said Melenda Knight, BAPS assistant athletic director and organizer of the event. “We are so proud of our partnership with our Special Olympians and excited about the opportunity to financially support and promote our Special Olympic athletes again.”
Last year, thousands of athletes, coaches and volunteers from across the state traveled to Stillwater, Okla., for the 47th annual Special Olympics Summer Games. More than 50 Broken Arrow Special Olympians in grades 3-12 took part in last year’s game and were given a special send off by Broken Arrow’s athletic department and BAHS athletes.
“The ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ fundraiser is such a unique event, and it thematically ties to our mission statement, ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win – let me brave in attempt,’” said Linda Moses, special education teacher at Oneta Ridge Middle School and Special Olympics coach. “Our athletes are urged to find courage and to give it all they’ve got, even when it is scary or seems impossible. The athletic department has gone above and beyond on this one.”
Every year, the trip to Stillwater is solely funded by fundraisers throughout the year. More than 70 Broken Arrow Special Olympians are expected to participate this year.
“We are so blessed to be a part of a community that stands behind our students and one that supports fundraisers like ‘Freezin’ for a Reason,” said Debbie Renz, director of special education. “We want our Special Olympians to arrive at their contests with as much exemplary style and class as any of our BA athletic teams.”
Local businesses, groups or organizations that would like to donate or participate in “Freezin’ for a Reason” may contact the athletic office at 918-259-5910. Please visit www.baschools.org/SpecialOlympics for registration information.
Broken Arrow Public Schools is pleased to announce that Broken Arrow High School (BAHS) students in grades 10-12 will have access to ACT test prep resources with a class on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students will be able to take advantage of a small, classroom setting guided by high school teachers. The cost is $25 and enrollment is limited. To register, visit the BeyondBA office located at BAHS or call Melissa Miler at 918-259-4750. Twenty students must be signed up by Monday, Jan. 30 for this class to be held.
In addition, students in grades 10-12 have access to free ACT test prep resources through Naviance, the district's online post-high school planning portal. Students and parents can access the ACT test prep, as well as additional resources, through their Naviance account. For more information about Naviance and the College/Career Center, please visit the webpage at www.baschools.org/beyondba.
In an effort to provide students and parents with information about academic programming offered at Broken Arrow High School, the district’s instructional team is hosting an Academic Advisement Night on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Freshman Academy.
Topics and breakout sessions include information about Advanced Placement (AP), honors classes, dual credit and Tulsa Technology Center opportunities, high school graduation requirements, foreign language classes, the Career Exploration Program (CEP) and more. Students and their parents are encouraged to attend the opening session and four breakout sessions. Please see below for a schedule of events.
“Our district offers many different academic opportunities for our students, and we have consistently sought to improve and add to those offerings,” said Mark Officer, executive director of secondary administration for Broken Arrow Public Schools. “In an attempt to improve our level of advisement for high school students, we are excited to add a night solely dedicated to that purpose.”
Prior to the start of the Academic Advisement Night, there will be a 1:1 Boot Camp for current ninth grade parents/guardians who want to learn how to access their student's Canvas courses. Parents should bring their student's Chromebook to this session. Information will also be provided for those who want to learn how to access their child's grades on Home Access Center. This session will start at 5:15 p.m. and last until 6:00 p.m.
Schedule of Events:
5:15 p.m. - 6 p.m. 1:1 Boot Camp (Canvas/Home Access Center) - ninth grade parents/guardians only
6 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Opening Session in Freshman Academy Cafeteria
6:20 p.m. - 6:40 p.m. Breakout Session 1
6:45 p.m. - 7:05 p.m. Breakout Session 2
7:10 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Breakout Session 3
7:35 p.m. - 7:55 p.m. Breakout Session 4
Breakout sessions include:
Come-and-go informational tables located in the cafeteria:
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 (BAPS), we are privileged to have five committed individuals who play a vital role in serving our students, staff and community,” said Shelli Holland-Handy, BAPS chief communications officer. “We hope our patrons, staff and students will take a moment to express appreciation for each of them and the effort they invest in improving our district.”
The five members are Cheryl Kelly, President; Steve Allen, Vice President; Jerry Denton, Clerk; Steve Majors, Deputy Clerk; and Dr. Theresa Williamson, Member.
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 face complex and demanding challenges as they 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.
Learn more about the BAPS Board by clicking here.
Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) is committed to educational excellence and ensuring that parents stay informed about important activities and events that enhance their child’s life. In an effort to improve parent and community engagement, BAPS has partnered with Peachjar to send digital flyers directly to parents.
“This green initiative will make flyer viewing more convenient for our parents and reduce the amount of paper sent home in backpacks while also saving our schools tons of paper and decreasing copy costs by thousands of dollars,” said Shelli Holland-Handy, chief communications officer for BAPS.
Beginning the week of Jan. 10, digital flyers will be sent directly to parents via email who will see them as visually engaging images on their smartphone or computer screen. Additionally, all flyers will be posted to each school’s website. Parents will now be able to easily register their children for youth sports, enrichment programs and community events.
By using Peachjar, the district expects to eliminate the need to print roughly 2,268,000 pieces of paper per year, which equals nearly 271 trees. Additionally, the school district will no longer incur the administrative burden and costs associated with paper flyer distribution.
For more information, please visit peachjar.com.