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Morning Bell: OKC high school opens its own daycare

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High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Good Thursday morning! U.S. Grant High School opened its own child care center earlier this year, which was made possible through a partnership with Sunbeam Family Services and a federal Early Head Start grant.

The child care center is free to teen parents at U.S. Grant. It has the capacity for eight babies or toddlers from birth to 3 years old and is currently serving six. Two pregnant students plan to use the center for their babies later this year, which would bring the center to capacity.

"It helps us not stress,'' said Darayah Sellers, 17,  a senior at U.S. Grant who has a son in the child care center. "I can still pursue my dreams."

The Oklahoman's Darla Slipke wrote last week about this new facility and the impact it as on students who have a baby. 

Schools approve medical marijuana policies

Two districts in Oklahoma have approved rules that will allow students with medical marijuana cards to use medical marijuana on campus, reports KOCO

District officials at Piedmont and Purcell public schools have recently adopted policies allowing students who have medical marijuana cards to use the substance on campus. Those students, however, won't be allowed to just light up while on school grounds.

Lots of schools are considering new policies in light of the legalization of medical marijuana in Oklahoma. I wrote last month that the state Department of Education has fielded many questions about medical marijuana and how schools should respond.

The state Board of Education is expected to be presented with emergency rules regarding medical marijuana and public schools, and the state department plans to offer guidelines on how schools should to respond to students who may get a license to consume. 

State will likely set new Emergency certified teacher record 

Officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Education said about 915 more emergency certifications are expected to be approved when the Oklahoma State Board of Education meets this morning. 

In the first two months of hiring for the 2018-19 academic year, the state board already approved 1,237 emergency certifications. In all 12 months of 2017-18, 1,975 were approved.

In 2011-12, Oklahoma issued just 32 emergency teaching certificates in a single year.

Share of staff benefit costs grow for school districts

School districts are spending bigger chunks of their budgets on staff benefits, leaving less money to spend in the classroom, a new study finds.  

The report, published by the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners and its project TeacherPensions.org, analyzes the 10 most recent years of school district finance data from the U.S. Department of Education, reports Education Week. It found that nationally, from 2005 to 2014, instructional spending increased by 2.6 percent, while spending on benefits for instructional staff members grew by 24 percent. 

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

Related Photos
High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7ef39e49abf231ea1b19248e599fb58f.jpg" alt="Photo - High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman" title="High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>High School student Sayra Perez holds her baby Zeleyna Lopez while in the new US Grant High School daycare center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. 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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