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Morning Bell: Thoughts on new OKCPS supt

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Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon, May 21, 2018. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon, May 21, 2018. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Good Friday morning. It's the last day of school for some districts, like Edmond. While some schools will return next week, including Oklahoma City, which wraps up the year on Tuesday. 

It has been the season of high school graduations as of late, including at Star Spencer, which was a jubilant affair. (See tweet below)

Oklahoma high school students statewide earned extra money for college through the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s annual Oklahoma Scholarship Competition, totally more than $450,000, reports the Edmond Sun

Lawton breaks ground on new middle school

A ground breaking ceremony was held on Tuesday for the future Eisenhower Middle School. Beverly Mattingly, principal, led off the ceremony by thanking those in attendance and reminding them of the school's vast history.

"Eisenhower Middle School is more than brick and mortar," she said. "It's about students and parents and teachers and staff that have stood the test of time."

Once the new EMS is complete in 18-24 months, it will house up to 1,000 students with amenities to include a commons area, a 1,500-seat auditorium, a 1,000-seat gymnasium and storm shelter space for students and staff, reports the Lawton Constitution. The estimated $46 million project was the main component of a $99.5 million bond issue passed by residents last November.

Tulsa schools search for new names

Two Tulsa elementary schools in search of new names are surveying their school communities this week and presenting them with a array of diverse candidates to consider, reports the Tulsa World

The myriad of options and surveys reflect a concerted effort to gather community feedback on potential school names, a process that has been, at times, divisive in recent months. The school board will likely vote on the new names at its June 4 meeting.

Columbus and Chouteau elementary schools, like Robert E. Lee Elementary and Andrew Jackson elementary and a vacant lot named for Henry Ford, had their names rescinded by the Tulsa School Board in recent months. Lee was renamed Lee School, and Jackson will now be called Unity Learning Academy.

Thoughts on OKC's new superintendent

NonDoc education columnist John Thompson shared his thoughts on the new hire of Sean McDaniel as superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools 

"McDaniel seems to be uniquely qualified to lead an open and balanced conversation on whether OKCPS should stay the course or work with partners to set new priorities," Thompson wrote. "I’m hopeful that he will be a great person for leading such an evidence-based discussion, and I’m confident that most stakeholders would choose to respect our poorest children of color by offering the same meaningful education that is provided in the suburbs and exurbs."

Thompson's column is worth reading as he spells out some potential challenges for the new superintendent. 

While McDaniel doesn't officially start his job until July 1, Oklahoma City Public Schools will pay him $950 per day to consult with the district before his first day as superintendent, reports The Oklahoman's Tim Willert.

Four-day school weeks

Are four-day school weeks coming to urban districts? That's the question NBC News asked in a recent report on the growth of four-day school weeks in rural districts in Oklahoma. It's a setup some urban school systems across the country might also be considering. 

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great holiday weekend. 

Related Photos
Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon,  May 21, 2018.  Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon, May 21, 2018. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4f95c327bbfdb731460fe3d54674aade.jpg" alt="Photo - Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon, May 21, 2018. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman" title="Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon, May 21, 2018. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Graduates, in caps and robes, gather on stage for a group photo at the end of a special graduation ceremony to recognize 30 (ELL) English Language Learners at U.S. Grant High School. The ceremony was Monday afternoon, May 21, 2018. Photo by Jim Beckel, 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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