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Morning Bell: A school with the sole purpose 'to keep them from dropping out'

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Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

More Oklahoma teenagers are dropping out of high school than at any time in the past decade, but there are programs targeting at-risk students and they appear to be making a difference, reports The Oklahoman's Tim Willert

At Boulevard Academy, an alternative high school operated by Edmond Public Schools, credit recovery is the focus. The school offers small class sizes, personalized instruction and flexible hours to about 140 students on average.

"They are heading down that path," said Lisa Wright, a counselor at the school. "They are at risk for dropping out. That is our sole purpose, to keep them from dropping out."

Between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, the dropout rate among students in grades nine through twelve climbed from 3,470 to 5,668, or 3 percent of the public school population, figures provided by the state Education Department show.

Tulsa school's confederate name will remain

The Tulsa school board voted 4-3 Monday night to retain Robert E. Lee Elementary School’s controversial surname and rename it just “Lee School.”

After the vote, some of those against the proposal shook their heads and stormed out of the Cheryl Selman Room at Tulsa Public Schools’ Education Service Center, reports the Tulsa World. Superintendent Deborah Gist wiped away tears.

However, Jackson elementary's name was changed:


Major County schools receive CPR kits

Schools in Major County will join those in Grady and Stephens counties in receiving 23 CPR training kits.

Le Norman Properties, Byford Auto Group, GoldKey Service Center and American Heart Asso­ciation are donating the kits to highlight a new state law requiring CPR trai­n­ing in Oklahoma schools, reports the Enid News & Eagle

As part of the AHA’s CPR in Schools program, 20 schools are receiving 23 CPR training kits for use on school campuses. 

“Schools are integral parts of our communities and teaching life-saving CPR will help increase bystander CPR across all communities and in turn empower more people to act in an emergency and help save a life,” said Dave LeNorman with LeNorman Properties,

“Teaching students CPR before they graduate will put qualified lifesavers in community, year after year, and we are thrilled to be part of those efforts and continue our support of the American Heart Association.”

Idaho professor warns of the Oklahoma path

Chris Loucks, professor and chair of the Department of Economics at Boise State University, recently warned her fellow Idahoans that their education system is becoming dangerously like Oklahoma's.

"Taking Oklahoma as an example, we can see many ways in which our state is following the path that caused teachers to reach their breaking point," Loucks wrote in the Idaho Statesman. "Both Oklahoma and Idaho rank in the bottom 10 states for teacher pay, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Since 2009, inflation-adjusted average teacher pay in Oklahoma fell 15.3 percent, while inflation-adjusted average teacher pay in Idaho fell 8.4 percent. According to vox.com, average teacher pay in both states fell more than the national average."

Related Photos
Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e68ea011fd58c3840691507c3e0bb13d.jpg" alt="Photo - Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman" title="Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Lisa Wright, counselor Boulevard Academy in Edmond Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Photo by Doug Hoke, 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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