It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Broken Arrow Public Schools teacher Trudy Garrett. Trudy was a math teacher at Oneta Ridge Middle School and was a lifelong Broken Arrow resident. Ms. Garrett joined BAPS in 1999 as a math teacher at Central Middle School (later Centennial Middle School in 2002), where Ms. Garrett remained until 2014, when she transferred to Oneta Ridge Middle School.
She was a sponsor for several different student activities, including Spirit Club, Math Counts Club and Drug Free Youth. She served as the math department chair at both Centennial and Oneta Ridge.
The deadline for in-person students to switch to virtual instruction through the Virtual Academy is Friday, Jan. 29.
Current in-person students will need to get approval from their school site principal. The site administrator will notify the Virtual Academy, and a representative from Virtual Academy will reach out to the family.
Please note: The deadline for Virtual Academy students to return to their home school site was Dec. 11.
For more information, please contact your school site or the Virtual Academy at 918-505-5270.
In the midst of a pandemic, Broken Arrow Schools was dealt a financial blow after winter break when the State Department of Education announced a nearly $7.4 million dollar cut to the budget in a mid-term adjustment released by the department. This loss represents roughly $200.61 per student.
This comes on the heels of the district receiving $6.6 million in CARES Act Stimulus money recently, paling in comparison to neighboring districts that received double and sometimes quadruple the amount of stimulus funding.
“The inequity of this is astounding and discouraging for districts such as Broken Arrow that have done EVERYTHING in our power to maintain choice for families to use virtual options or in-person schooling. We have worked hard to provide a choice for families in which parents and guardians must go to work each day, even in COVID,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Janet Vinson. “We are in desperate need of help in order to avoid a reduction in force for the 2021-2022 school year.”
Many other districts across the state also received drastic cuts to their respective budgets, except for EPIC Charter Schools, which received an enormous increase of more than $155 million for its blended learning and one-on-one charter sites. Further, Broken Arrow students maintained 75 days of in-person learning during the first semester with full bus service the entire time—meaning more expenses for COVID-related issues were incurred.
“COVID has not been a bigger burden on districts of poverty, but instead has been a burden we all share. Each of us have had significant additional needs related to COVID, but those districts such as Broken Arrow that have been in person since the beginning of the fall semester carry a significantly higher burden,” said Vinson.
To see the full list of mid-year adjustments to Oklahoma district budgets, visit https://sde.ok.gov/notice-allocation.
After years of planning and preparation, Broken Arrow Public Schools is proud to unveil a new paid apprenticeship program for students to explore careers and attain journeymen licenses in the plumbing and mechanical fields.
The new program is made possible with the help of several BAPS employees. Randy Few and James Warren, both BAPS maintenance employees and licensed professionals, have signed over their licenses for district use to be able to take on the apprentices. This will allow students to have on-the-job training and skills and logged hours to go toward a journeyman license.
“We are extremely excited about this opportunity and look forward to how maintenance can contribute to the education of our students and get them college and career ready,” said Bob Tolomeo, executive director of construction. “BAPS will be one of the first districts in the area to offer an apprenticeship program for students to work towards a trade journeyman’s license.”
The program is to commence immediately for this semester’s enrollment. The program will run similar to the Career Pathways program currently in place at BAPS where students explore an integrated collection of curriculum and programs that provide them with a roadmap for future success and an easy-to-read plan of study based on their interests. Pathways fall under clusters, which are broad occupational groupings. Each cluster is then divided into various pathways.
These pathways are designed through a collaboration with colleges, economic development agencies and local Broken Arrow employers to make sure students are learning the skills most needed to be best qualified for available job opportunities.
Broken Arrow Public Schools remains vigilant during the ever-changing situation regarding COVID-19 transmissions, quarantines and accompanying guidelines. It is with this effort that we have been able to achieve 75 days of in-person learning for our students and staff, a feat we do not take lightly. We have also taken great care to give our parents/guardians the choice of sending their students to school in person or choosing a virtual educational atmosphere.
In regard to the recent statements from the office of Governor Stitt involving possible changes in quarantine policy, we have concluded that until an official policy of guidance is released from the Oklahoma State Department of Health or the CDC, we will continue to stay the course with our current protocols and guidelines found in our Re-Entry Plan located at www.baschools.org/covid19.
If new guidelines are released, district officials will analyze the information and reevaluate any possible new avenues for quarantining within the schools.
We thank you for your patience and want to emphasize student and teacher safety and health above all. We will continue to practice and encourage mask-wearing, social distancing, good hygiene and overall responsibility in response to this pandemic.
Administrators from Early College High School and Tulsa Community College are hosting multiple informational forums about the benefits of Early College High School for current 8th and 9th graders and their parents. These forums will take place on the following dates at the Broken Arrow Performance Arts Center, 701 S. Main Street in Broken Arrow. Masks will be required. The forums will also be utilizing Zoom for parents/students who want to virtually join to learn more. Parents will need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least two hours in advance of the forum to request the Zoom link.
Early College High School allows students to take high school level courses on the Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow campus while simultaneously equipping them to successfully undertake college coursework upon completion of 10th grade. Watch this 2019-20 ArrowVision video for an overview of ECHS.
“Early College High School was made possible by our partnerships with Northeastern State University and Tulsa Community College,” said Sharon James, executive director of secondary education for Broken Arrow Public Schools. “This program truly increases college readiness and provides students the access to university labs, libraries and other support services.”
Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that time in a postsecondary classroom during high school can lead to more college-going behavior. It also supports the “Power of 15,” an initiative based on studies indicating that students who leave high school with 15 college credits are more likely to attend college and stay there longer. This program also saves parents money for college and increases first generation college attendees.
Additional student benefits of Early College High School include peer/study groups, a smaller learning environment, ease of college enrollment, easier transition after high school, increase in college grades and more focused support for college entrance scores.
All courses will be taught by Broken Arrow teachers. Students in athletics and fine arts are able to participate and still meet necessary requirements.
In an effort to help families and students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA is making school meals (both breakfast and lunch) FREE to all children ages 1-18 for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
Students in school can simply go to their site cafeteria for a free meal, while students enrolled in the Virtual Academy can go to the front office of their nearest school site from noon to 1 p.m. to be directed to the cafeteria. Parents/guardians may pick up meals for their children.
Students must take all food and drink components to receive it for free. Any second meal or extra purchases must be paid for with cash or an account.
Meals are available on all distance learning days in front of each school site from noon until 1 p.m., but are not available on professional days, holidays/breaks or inclement weather days.
Meals will be provided to students without charge and are the same for all students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
For more information or questions, please contact the child nutrition department at 918-259-4565.