Members of Bartlesville Education Promise are continuing to build on the progress they’ve already made by expanding programs designed for students struggling in school.
Bartlesville Public School students will have multiple opportunities to learn in fun and engaging ways this summer with a collaborative effort between several different organizations.
Bartlesville Education Promise, a nonprofit organization set up to improve educational opportunities and graduation rates for Bartlesville students, spearheaded the summer camps with the help of Bartlesville Public Schools, Tri County Tech and the Barry W. Lowe and Karen Sue Lowe Foundation.
Additional financial support is provided by Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, Chevron Phillips Chemical, ABB and the Parson Foundation.
The opportunities for students are being provided at low cost to students, and some students could be eligible for scholarships for the summer programs.
Bartlesville Education Promise Chairman Martin Garber said the summer camps are a great way for Bartlesville students to learn, while still having fun.
“We want to provide these camps to benefit the students of Bartlesville, no matter their background,” he said. “Many of our programs are geared for those students who are most at-risk for not completing their education. We want to show them learning can be productive and fun at the same time.”
The summer camps kick off June 5, with an ACT Test Prep class at Bartlesville High School for incoming freshmen and sophomores. On the same day, a special science, technology, engineering and math camp for seventh grade through ninth grade will be held at Tri County Tech.
Kerensa Kester, Tri County Tech’s chief instructional officer, said the program has been expanded this year from three topics of interest to six topics — electronics, engineering, robotics, “computer geek” to explore careers in computer science, a chef camp for culinary interests, and “lab rats” to learn about laboratory sciences.
“These are exciting and fun hands-on camps for kids to learn all about the field of STEM,” Kester said. “We are so thankful for the partnership with Bartlesville Education Promise, Bartlesville Public Schools and the Lowe Foundation to bring these summer camps to Tri County. Without these partnerships, students in Bartlesville would have to travel far away from home to get this experience. We are excited about the expansion from last year to offer more programs for the students.”
The first STEM camps at Tri County Tech will be immediately followed by another camp for younger students from June 12-16. Kester said the cost to attend either camp is $245. For students who have financial concerns, scholarships for the STEM camps are available thanks to the Lowe Foundation.
To apply for scholarship opportunities, contact counselors at Bartlesville High School, Madison Middle School or Central Middle School. The deadline for registration, for either a scholarship or for for students able to afford the full cost, is May 15.
For Bartlesville Public Schools’ Summer Institute, which includes the ACT Test Prep and six other programs throughout the summer, the cost is only $10 for registration for each camp. Registration closes on May 25.
Programs include a summer arts camp in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Bartlesville, Prep for Accelerated English, Fundamentals of Composition for writing skills, a High School Fundamentals camp for incoming freshmen, and transition camps at Bartlesville’s two middle schools for incoming sixth-graders.
Bartlesville High School principal LaDonna Chancellor said the participants in the courses from last year have shown an increased engagement in school.
“These students continue to excel and learn about what school life is all about,” she said. “We monitored the students who participated in last year’s camps throughout the school year and we have see so many improvements. I’ve had students tell me if it weren’t for the summer institute, they may be on a different path that would not be as successful. This is such a great program, and thanks to Bartlesville Education Promise and the support of the community, these camps are making a huge difference.”
Bartlesville Education Promise vice chairman Ginger Griffin said the whole point of the organization and the summer camps is to help Bartlesville students on a path to success.
“We are proud to step up and help solve the problems that arise from at-risk students,” Griffin said. “We want these students to be successful. A lot of the time, they don’t have the support from a good family environment. We want to be able to help in whatever way we can to help these kids to be successful.”
For more information about the Summer Institutes at Bartlesville Public Schools, contact Bartlesville counselors at BHS, Central or Madison.
The activities of Bartlesville Education Promise are funded by individuals, local and national businesses and foundations. Tax deductible donations can be made through the Bartlesville Community Foundation with a memo for BEP to P.O. Box 2323, Bartlesville, OK 74005.
The Board of Directors of the Bartlesville Education Promise announced the expansion of the school programs in association with the Bartlesville Public Schools. For the in-school programs for 2016-17 additional projects will be added starting with this school year.
Similar to 2015-16, funds will be provided for elementary schools to purchase books so that struggling students can take home reading books. The 2015-16 project provided take home books for at least 20% of primary students. Parents are also encouraged to help their student practice their reading. This year, in addition to purchasing books for elementary schools, additional funds are being provided for after school tutoring and transportation for third-grade students. Tutoring will be provided in reading and math. Schedules for tutoring will be determined by each elementary school based upon availability of teachers.
New pilot programs are being funded to encourage parental involvement at two schools. These programs, which will be funded at Madison Middle School and Wilson Elementary School, will encourage parent involvement, in support of education and safety.
After school tutoring will be initiated at the two Middle Schools by teachers in math and reading. This tutoring will be held two days a week, with transportation home after the tutoring to be provided.
Tutoring at the Bartlesville High School will continue for the upcoming year, and will be expanded to three days a week. Last year, during five months of the program, students took advantage of 957 tutoring sessions. This year tutoring will continue in Algebra 1, Geometry, English, and Science. Transportation will continue to be provided for those students taking advantage of the tutoring.
In her presentation to the Bartlesville Education Promise Board, LaDonna Chancellor, BPS Coordinator for the programs and Principal at Bartlesville High School, said she and all the staff that were involved with both the in-school and summer programs sponsored by BEP “could not be happier with the outcome of the project. With the 976 tutoring sessions at the high school, we saw marked improvement in the students that took advantage of these sessions.” Many of these students could be classified as “at risk” of not keeping up with their studies.
BEP also funded and supported a very successful Summer Academy. Summer transition camps were held for over 230 students that were going from elementary schools to middle schools and from the middle schools to the high school. These students learned study habits, leadership skills, mixed with other students who would attend their schools next year, met teachers and explored the facilities in their new schools. Chancellor said, “Easing transitions smoothes the path and helps prepare the students for success at a new and more challenging level of learning.”
Other BEP summer camps included the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math camps (STEM), facilitated through partnering with TriCounty Tech, Bartlesville Public School District, and the Lowe Family Young Scholars. These were attended by 145 students. Lowe Family Young Scholars provided scholarships for 54 of the students.
Test prep for ACT/PSAT and AP Readiness attracted another 34 students, and over 350 students participated in an Arts Camp in association with the Boys and Girls Club and Teen Center where BPS teachers helped instruct and prepare students for a public showing of their work at the Bartlesville Community Center. An additional 240 students took advantage of a science camp and 100 students were taken to the Oklahoma Aquarium to learn about educational issues dealing with the ocean and Oklahoma waters.
Chancellor went on to state, “the summer programs gave the students an early look at many of the educational opportunities they will encounter during the coming year.” Many of these summer programs will be continued in 2017, and specific programs will be announced by January 2017.
The Bartlesville Education Promise announced several new partnerships. ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66 have joined the Bartlesville Education Promise and are supporting the seven-part program to improve graduation rates in Bartlesville. These programs include yearlong tutoring in Algebra, geometry, English and science at the High School two days a week, and providing reading books for struggling students at all elementary schools. These books are designed for each student to improve reading skills and the books can be taken home so that parents can assist in reading skills. The program also includes Summer Academies in transition learning from the 5th to 6th grade and 8th to 9thgrade, Test Prep for ACT, STEM camps, Art Camps, and AP camps.
The Schmoldt Family Foundation has also joined as a partner. Their focus will be funding for Math and Science camps and Art camps directed towards At Risk students.
Bartlesville schoolchildren have a chance to get ahead this summer as Bartlesville Education Promise plans several events to keep kids engaged over the summer break.
Vanessa Drummond, board member of Bartlesville Education Promise, said this is a way for students to keep involved over the summer break, especially after the 2013 bond issue for Bartlesville Public Schools was passed.
“Part of the reasoning behind the bond issue that recreated BHS into the four-year school that we see here, is that research shows that struggling students lose ground with every transition from one school to another,” Drummond said. “The Bartlesville Education Promise transition summer camps will address the same issue. We want to provide support for more kids to easily make the transition from elementary to middle school and then again from middle school to high school.”
Additionally, Bartlesville Education Promise will be offering many classes to all Bartlesville students over the summer.
“We will have classes available to Bartlesville Public School students this summer, including Introduction to Acting, Art ACT test preparation and preparation to Accelerated English, a path to Advanced Placement courses in high school,” Drummond said. ” Also, Tri County Tech will be offering a technology STEM camp (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for both middle school and high school students. They will also offer classes for the health industry and computer technology. Each of these camps will seek to keep our students academically involved during the summer, so that they will not fall back in knowledge over those three months and give them information about what kind of jobs are out there when they graduate.”
Most of what Bartlesville Education Promise is trying to address is the changing demographics in Bartlesville as well as the$1.3 billion budget crisis at the state level that is impacting public education.
“Bartlesville students compete academically at the highest levels in our state. We really have a great school system,” Drummond said. “However, our demographics have been changing and we have a lot of children in our schools who face numerous challenges to academic success and graduation.”
Drummond pointed out there are approximately 50 percent of students in Bartlesville who qualify for free or reduced lunches. Also, approximately 300 students are deficient in English skills and over 400 students across the district are homeless.
“Their parents are often unavailable or unable to help them academically,” Drummond said. “These are the kids that need our help.”
Bartlesville Education Promise is a nonprofit group of concerned citizens who want to see Bartlesville schoolchildren continue to succeed. Donations are accepted through the Bartlesville Community Foundation. Incoming Superintendent of Schools Chuck McCauley said what Bartlesville Education Promise is offering represents the spirit of the community to help students who are struggling the most.
“The folks behind this project are amazing,” McCauley said. “In the midst of really tough times facing our most struggling students with state budget cuts, we have a group of Bartlesville citizens stepping up to make a difference. I couldn’t be more pleased to see the continuing community spirit with this group, and the help from Bartlesville Education Promise continues the excellence we have here at the Bartlesville Public School District.”
Bartlesville Education Promise has recently been approved on their 501(c)(3) papers which will finalize their recognition as a charitable organization.
The Downtown Kiwanis Club presented a $1,455 check to members of Bartlesville Education Promise to begin the process of bringing up to 100 books to elementary schools. The books will be used to provide struggling students the opportunity to take home a reading book.
This summer as part of the Summer Institute Bartlesville Education Promise will be providing an Art Class. The Art Class will be open to incoming 9th graders.
In this course, students will explore a variety of tools, techniques, and media which will provide them with the foundation necessary to expand into more specialized areas. The studio activities will focus on developing skills in drawing and painting.
More information and registration can be found here.
Through donations and support from the community Bartlesville Education Promise is proud to present the 2016 Summer Institute. The institute will feature two sessions, one taking place June 6 – 10, and the other, July 11 – 29. Registration will go through May 1st.
“There is a $10 registration fee for all the courses with the exception of the STEM course, but the courses are free of charge thanks to the financial support of the Bartlesville Education Promise,” said Chuck McCauley, BPSD executive director of secondary education. “Breakfast and lunch will also be served daily at Bartlesville High School from June 1 – July 29.”
Courses and Classes Available
High School Fundamentals
This course provides a foundation in skills for successful organization, communi-
cation, and general tools & skills students need to be successful in 9th grade. Introduction to Acting Camp This course is designed as an introduction to creative dramatics and stage craft. The focus is on participation and hands-on experience.
In this course, students will explore a variety of tools, techniques, and media which provides them with the foundation necessary to expand into more specialized areas. The sudio activities will focus on developing skills in drawing and painting.
ACT Test Prep Course
This course is designed to assist students in preparing for the ACT assess-
ment test. There will be 2 days focusing on English/Reading and 2 day focusing on Math.
Prep for Accelerated English – Path to AP
This course will provide a foundation in the skills for successful analysis, argument, annotation, and synthesis of text—in all major genres: poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and drama.
In coordination with Bartlesville Public Schools, there will be STEM classes held at Tri County Tech. The Lowe Foundation has provided funds to Bartlesville Education Promise to support these classes.
The STEM course will cover Computer Technology, Engineering, and Health. The STEM course has a small fee, but scholarships are available to those eligible students. During this course, students will be exposed to STEM courses and outside speakers on various business and technology subjects. More information and enrollment in the STEM classes can be made at Tri County Tech.
Dates and Fees
June 6-10, 2016 (incoming students grades 8, 9, 10)
June 13-17, 2016 (incoming students grades 5, 6, 7)
Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Register by March 11 ($195/camper)
After March 11 ($245/camper)
With funding from United Way, the Bartlesville Education Promise is able to begin another one of their programs — tutoring at Bartlesville High School. Tutoring is available 2 days out of the week in Math, English, and Science.
“We will have a math and English teacher available for after school tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in the new Commons Area,” said Chuck McCauley, BPSD executive director of secondary education. “For those students who need it, transportation will be provided home.”
“We will be offering 1,000 tutoring sessions over the course of the year,” said Martin Garber, chairman of BEP.