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The Morning Bell: 'You are not F teachers ... students'

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Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Good Monday morning! - It's back to school for students and teachers after what I hope was a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving break. 

In covering education I often report on the challenges schools face. I look at what's not working and why schools struggle. It's an important part of the job, but so is taking a closer look at what works in education. 

Hugh Bish Elementary school in Lawton was one of those recent opportunities to focus on the good in Oklahoma education. The school went from a F to a B on the state's letter grade system last year. But the success of this school can be measured in more ways than just a letter grade. 

“My passion is back,” said Adalia Kamaunu, a seven-year teacher at Hugh Bish. “It's more work but it's also about doing more efficient work. I feel like I'm a better teacher.

“But it's hard. It's really hard.”

I spent a couple days at Hugh Bish last month to learn about the school's new focus, which includes weekly teacher collaboration meetings in an effort to quickly adjust teaching methods depending on the comprehension of students.

My story on Hugh Bish ran in Sunday's Oklahoman, which you can read here

--Test scores are a small snapshot of a school’s performance, and not the only measure of a school’s overall impact on a student’s life, wrote Duncan schools superintendent Melonie Hau in a recent column for the Duncan Banner

Schools look to bring health to classrooms

"Oklahoma is the only state that doesn't have some type of mandate for health education in schools," said Savannah Owen, the director of health and physical education for the state.

In an era of school budget cuts and an increased focus on core academic subjects, it can be hard for schools to invest in an area that doesn't carry with it a state requirement.

But more schools are realizing the importance of healthy students and the impact it has on their academic abilities. I recently wrote about some ways schools are adding fitness and health to their classes, including the use of action based learning labs in Putnam City. 

Ripley awarded TSET grant

Ripley Public School District was honored for its efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Healthy School District Incentive Grant program. 

To receive the $3,000 incentive grant, Ripley Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff. The district used the grant funds to purchase water bottle filling stations to promote water consumption for students and staff.

Connecting students to workforce needs

Union’s Career Connect program recently allowed 300 juniors and seniors to get a sneak peek at the realities of life in a host of Tulsa workplaces, reported Andrea Eger of the Tulsa World

Sam Darbeh thought he wanted to work in information technology.

Then he tried it.

“I used to like computers,” said Darbeh, an 18-year-old student. “I just didn’t like being stuck in one place all the time, just sitting there.”

Boeing grant helps high schoolers reach higher

A grant from Boeing Co. is helping cover the cost of tuition, fees and books for 11th-grade students from Oklahoma City's Dove Science Academy who are taking classes at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City.

Top-performing Dove students are participating in the early college initiative to earn a high school diploma and complete a two-year associate degree in the time it takes to graduate from high school. You can read more here

ICYMI - Most schools could be impacted by gov's consolidation effort

Gov. Mary Fallin's call for the consolidation of services in Oklahoma school districts that spend less than 60 percent of their budget on student instruction could affect nearly 500 districts, figures provided by the governor's office show. You can read more here

That's all for today's Morning Bell. Got questions, comments or story ideas? Feel free to reach out at bfelder@oklahoman.com. 

Related Photos
Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger,...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bed074a464f4ff3955be8d01610b82ed.jpg" alt="Photo - Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman" title="Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Hugh Bish Elementary principal Sharon Havron speaks with students as she makes her daily classroom rounds at the school in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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