Mr. Lay's Blog

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The school year is underway and we are busy establishing routines and learning what it means to be a Panther. Our staff has deemed this year as a "work in progress." When you visit the campus, you will see construction themes throughout the hallways and classrooms. We have an amazing staff who work hard to make our school an environment where kids are loved and valued.

Another project you may notice this year is our focus on "mindset." Our staff is undergoing 30 hours of professional development in which most of those hours are spent learning about how each person's established set of attitudes and beliefs shape the life he or she leads. You may notice posters and decorations around the school that promote a positive belief that every person can achieve success at a high level if they put in the work and believe that hard work pays off. In my junior high math classroom, you will see the "power of YET" ideas on the bulletin board. For example, when a student says, "I can't do this," I encourage them to add the word "YET" to the end of that statement. That powerful message is just one way we can begin to change our attitude to one of optimism about our ability to achieve.

If you have visited the campus, you have noticed the work of the bond issue is well underway. The four buildings that were chosen for demolition are now gone, and we will soon begin the work of installing the new water line for the high school fire suppression system. The water line bidding process was closed Thursday, August 30 at 2:00 p.m., and our board of education will award the winning bid at our September board meeting. We also have temporary fencing placed near the demolition sites to help us with crowd control during home football games. The fence has caused a few inconveniences with moving garbage dumpsters and navigating around some of the buildings, but our staff and patrons are dealing with it well. I'll continue to remind everyone that there will be several inconveniences caused by the construction, but we must keep our thoughts on the end results. You may follow the progress of the work by visiting the 2018 Bond Issue page on this website.

As always, if you ever have a question, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am in my office (at the elementary) most days after 11:00 a.m., since I am teaching two hours of math at the junior high. You may reach me in person, by phone at 918-847-2271 ext. 112, or by email at jlay@barnsdallschools.org. I will continue to ask that you please do not send me messages on Facebook, as I do not always see them in a timely manner. I know that several people see Facebook as the most convenient way to communicate, and I do respond when I can, but it's not the best method of contact, and I ask that you please do not get upset if I don't respond. Also, if you have any concerns or issues regarding students, you should always start with a teacher or staff member who is most directly involved with the student, then visit with the building principal if necessary, and finally contact me if you feel that I need to be involved. A chain of command is important for maintaining a respectful and professional school environment, and issues can be resolved more efficiently when it is followed.

Finally, thank you for being so supportive of our school. I am impressed daily by the community of Panthers who work so hard to make BPS a great place to learn! It's an exciting year of change and progress on campus, and I look forward to keeping you updated on the work. Until next time...GO PANTHERS!!