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Statewide school suspension could begin 4/2

posted Mar 6, 2018, 4:02 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Mar 8, 2018, 3:24 PM ]
The Oklahoma Education Association has indicated it has accelerated its deadline for the legislature to fund teacher pay raises and other school needs. If the legislature fails to act by April 1, then a statewide suspension of schools is expected to begin on Monday, April 2.

The Association is expected to announce specifics at a press conference on Thursday, March 8 at 1 p.m. in Oklahoma City, including why it accelerated the timeline.

BARTLESVILLE BOARD ACTION ON MARCH 12

Supt. McCauley will be recommending that the Bartlesville Board of Education adopt a resolution at its regular meeting on Monday, March 12 to authorize the superintendent to close all district schools if a teacher "walkout" proceeds as scheduled.

This will include lengthening the school day at Bartlesville High School beginning on March 15 to accommodate a possibly prolonged suspension while ensuring all students receive the state-mandated minutes of instructional time. 

The public portion of the board meeting has been moved to Bartlesville High School in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium at 5:45 p.m. on Monday, March 12

To comply with the Open Meeting Act, a majority of the board members must convene the scheduled meeting at the ESC at 5:30 p.m. and vote to reconvene at the FAC Auditorium at 5:45 p.m.

The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise will be invited to conduct another Facebook Live video stream of the meeting.

GO BARTLESVILLE!

Bartlesville students, teachers, parents, administrators, board members, and the community at large have worked together to spark a much-needed statewide effort, with everyone working toward the same goal: to convince the legislature to adequately fund the public schools. 

Mr. McCauley has told all district staff, "I assure you we are all in this together, and we will need each other’s support and understanding in the weeks ahead. Please do not let issues or opponents divide us or breed mistrust; we are a strong district with a great community that clearly supports us. GO BRUINS!"

April 2

Frequently Asked Questions

WHY WOULD A SUSPENSION BE NECESSARY?

STATE TESTING
The state testing window for paper-and-pencil tests is April 2-20 and the window for online tests is April 2-27. The district will address whatever issues may arise in a manner that protects students without undermining support for its teaching staff. Our current understanding is that the State Superintendent of Instruction has the authority to lengthen the testing window if needed.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT DURING A SUSPENSION
A Bartlesville Communitywide Steering Committee will begin meeting this week to plan and coordinate voluntary community support for students, parents, and teachers during a school suspension. This includes offering meals and safe day activities for students, transportation for teachers to and from the state capitol, and so forth. The committee includes the following representatives from the school district:

  • Alison Clark, Bartlesville Board of Education member
  • Granger Meador, BPSD Exec. Dir. of Technology & Communications
  • Heather Boyle, Wayside teacher and President of the Bartlesville Education Association
  • Stephen Walden, BHS teacher who will coordinate community youth activity resources
  • Jon Beckloff, BPSD Manager of Child Nutrition
  • Chloe Maye, BHS student
Other community members of the committee will represent the Public Education Advocates for Kids community group, the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation, the parent-teacher organizations, local churches, retired educators, and the Bartlesville Young Professionals.

HOWEVER, we also urge parents to consider a suspension like the prolonged inclement weather suspensions we have some years with a blizzard where we face many similar issues and no extraordinary support is provided nor expected. 

As for educational impact, if the legislature is finally convinced to support desperately needed funding increases, the positive long-term improvements for students will easily outweigh the short-term impacts of a temporary suspension. 

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
The district's extracurricular activities would be suspended as well during a suspension of school. This would affect all athletics, fine arts, and other events. Thus this could affect the State Science Fair on 4/5 and other events in early April.

In the April 1990 statewide suspension over the HB1017 education reform law, the OSSAA canceled all athletics and fine arts events statewide. A statewide suspension in early April might bring a similar result, but that is up to the OSSAA. 

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS 
The legislature can prevent a suspension by finally increasing revenues to adequate levels. Thus far Rep. Dunlap and Sen. Daniels have not supported previous grand bargains to boost revenues for schools, which received over 60% approvals but not the 75% requirement (which is the nation's highest and the cause of our dilemma). Meanwhile, Rep. Sears has repeatedly supported them. Your legislators need to hear from you: http://www.oklegislature.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx

“WORK THE CONTRACT”
Tulsa Public Schools has announced a “work the contract” approach, beginning in mid-March, where their teachers would not complete grading, lesson planning, etc. after the end of the normal teacher work day. That approach does not seem a good fit for Bartlesville, where we are blessed to have students and parents who have already been quite vocal in their support for the teachers taking collective action. So the district administration is discouraging a “work the contract” approach in Bartlesville since that would be counterproductive and needlessly stressful for teachers, students, and parents.