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Morning Bell: Tulsa staff seek more support from district

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In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, according to the district's planning documents. (Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP)
In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, according to the district's planning documents. (Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP)

Good Wednesday morning. I'll be in Duncan today at the state Department of Education's EngageOK conference. If you see me, say hi! 

Tulsa Public Schools is hindered in its ability to teach students and retain talented teachers in part by staff members’ belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, district planning documents reveal, the Tulsa World's Samuel Hardiman reporter this week

Those documents show that only 23 percent of Tulsa Public Schools’ teachers and principals surveyed said they “agree” that the district’s administration shows concern for the needs of its schools and that only a third of the district’s teaching staff would recommend that a friend or family member work at TPS.

But Paula Shannon, TPS deputy superintendent, said the connections among students’ performance, teacher retention, and how principals and teachers feel about the district administration’s performance “is much more complicated” than those numbers would indicate.

Norman approves drug testing program

Norman Public Schools will start randomly drug testing students participating in extracurricular activities, and official said there will be consequences if a family refuses, reports KOCO

Under the school district's new policy, students won't be able to participate in sporting events or other activities if parents decide if they don't want their child drug tested.

One-third of parents fear for this child's safety at school

After a year scarred by two mass shootings in high schools, 34 percent of parents fear for their child’s safety at school, a new poll finds, and just 27 percent are very confident or extremely confident about their school’s ability to deter a gunman, according to Education Week

Longtime secretary retires in Enid

A 46-year veteran of Enid Public Schools retired this year. For the last 46 years, Sondra Hays worked as the receptionist for EPS, reports the Enid News & Eagle

“She has been the smiling face to welcome thousands of families to our building, and we are so grateful to her for making a difference for parents, students and her fellow EPS employees," said Amber Graham Fitzgerald, executive director of Human Resources and Communications.

Hays began working at the district in 1972 and has since worked with six superintendents and helped the district with implementation of a variety of programs and initiatives, according to a release. 

Norman principal awarded top PTA honors

Oklahoma PTA awarded a Norman Public Schools principal with its top honor for a school staff member last week at its annual conference in Midwest City.

Chris Crelia, who has served as principal at Wilson Elementary School for six years, was recognized with the Pat Henry Award for his collaborative efforts with the school’s PTA to enhance family engagement. 

Crelia was instrumental in helping establish a maker space lab at Wilson, as well as working with parent volunteers to implement family nights throughout the year that offered free meals for parents and their children while integrating social activities with an academic twist. Last spring, Crelia collaborated with parents to organize a Reading Under the Stars night with a $1,000 National PTA grant.

Related Photos
In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, according to the district's planning documents. (Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP)

In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f0b8e5f5af15c04a2ceb1c7cd41ca797.jpg" alt="Photo - In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, according to the district's planning documents. (Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP)" title="In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, according to the district's planning documents. (Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>In this March 5, 2018, photo, Superintendent Deborah Gist speaks during a Tulsa Public Schools board meeting in Tulsa, Oka. Tulsa Public Schools is having trouble instructing students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy, according to the district's planning documents. (Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP)</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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