As this year comes to a close we are proud to reflect on such a successful year. With the help of so many wonderful people we have been able to improve the lives of more than three thousand students
United Way presents BEP with a generous donation of $15,000 to support BEP. BEP plans to use the money to purchase elementary books for the six elementary schools in the district.
Bartlesville Education Promise is continuing to build on it progress by expanding programs designed for help students who face challenges in learning.
The nonprofit is providing funds for three new programs this summer, said BEP chairman Martin Garber. This means that students will have several opportunities to learn in fun and engaging ways.
Beginning in June, the popular STEM Camp held at Tri County Tech will be open to even more students. Last year’s camp had room form 184 students, while this year nearly 300 students will be introduced to science, technology, engineering and math.
As a means to improve educational opportunities and graduation rates for Bartlesville students, the organization initially spearheaded the summer camps with the help of Bartlesville Public Schools, Tri County Tech and the Barry W. Lowe and Karen Sue Lowe Foundation.
The extension of the STEM Camp is made possible by numerous corporate and association donors. Classes will be taught by a qualified teacher and will have the help of business employees from the community who will stress the importance of STEM subjects to various careers.
The first camp will be from June 4-9 for grades 8-9 and will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The second camp will be from June 11-15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be for grades 4-5. Finally, the third camp will run from June 18-22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for grades 6-7.
The upcoming opportunities are being provided at low cost, and some students could be eligible for scholarships for the summer programs. Interested students should obtain an application from their school and submit it to their counselor’s office.
Garber said the summer camps are a good way for Bartlesville students to learn, while still having fun.
“That’s the whole purpose of our program is to challenge the kids and help them with the graduation rate over the long run,” said Garber.
One of the major programs BEP focuses on is third-grade reading, and has regularly provided take home books to each of the elementary schools.
Thanks to the Bartlesville Community Foundation, BEP will also establish a summer reading program. Teachers from the Bartlesville School system are being hired to work with partners to encourage young students to improve their reading skills.
Reading teachers will work with summer school participants and afternoon participants at the YMCA, Bartlesville Public Library, and the Boys and Girls Club, and other organizations to encourage students to select a book to read at home, Garber explained.
BEP Vice Chairman Ginger Griffin noted that most third grade students are realizing that improved reading skills can have a lifetime impact.
“Great numbers of middle school and high school students are using after school tutoring resources to improve absorption of subject matter content in critical learning of English and STEM subjects,” said Griffin.
During the summer reading program, students will be encouraged to sign a “pledge” to read during their summer months. During the afternoons when the students attend one of the partner locations, teachers will discuss the books with the students, making sure they are completing their reading and helping them to select a grade level reading book.
Emphasis will be placed on students in the first through third grades, but the program will be open to all students, Garber said.
Finally, BEP funds will allow the Boys and Girls Club to hire educational staff to provide up to three hours of educational programs for close to 400 students each day. The courses taught under “Project Learn,” a Boys and Girls Club program, include math, English, and computing. The club also will hold an art and science camp.
Bartlesville Education Promise is committed to improving the graduation rate in local public schools, and Griffin and Garber are confident that tutoring after school helps. The summer enrichment programs are making a difference, too, not only to provide areas of interest for learning, but to make sure students don’t regress during the summer.
“Summer courses expand lifetime horizons and reduce the uncertainty that many students experience when making moves from primary to middle schools and from middle schools to the high school,” said Griffin.
Last year combined attendance at the BEP’s after school tutoring in all nine Bartlesville schools summer programs totaled more than 2,800 students.
The Bartlesville Education Promise Board of Directors has announced the approval of 3 new programs for the summer of 2018.
The first is an expansion of the STEM Camp that will be held at Tri-County Tech starting June 4, 2018. This year there will be three camps with the expansion of the number of students that will be able to attend. The first camp will be from June 4-9 for grades 8-9 and will run from 8am to 4pm each day. The second camp will be from June 11-15 from 8am -4pm and will be for grades 4-5. The third camp will run from June 18-22 from 8am-4pm for grades 6-7. Cost for each camper ranges from $195-245, however scholarships are available. Interested students should obtain an application from their school and submit it to their counselor’s office. Camps will vary, but each camp will provide an introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and will be taught by a qualified teacher and will have the help of business employees from the community who will stress the importance of STEM subjects to various careers. Last year’s camp had room form 184 students, while this year’s camp has been expanded to close to 300 students. The extension of the STEM Camp is possible by many of our corporate and association donors including: The Lowe Foundation, the Bartlesville Community Foundation, the Bartlesville Service League, Phillips66, ConocoPhillips, ABB, Schmoldt’s Family Foundation, Bartlesville Rotary, Bartlesville Kiwanis Club, BOK Foundation, ChrevronPhillips Chemical, Arvest, Parson Foundation, Bartlesville United Way, and the Lyon Foundation.
The second expansion is to intensify our efforts in 3rd grade reading. With the assistance of the Bartlesville Community Foundation we are establishing a Summer Reading Program. Teachers from the Bartlesville School system are being hired to work with partners to encourage young readers to improve their reading skills. Reading teachers will work with summer school participants and afternoon participants at the YMCA, Bartlesville Public Library, and the Boys and Girls Club, and other organizations to encourage students to select a book to read at home. Students will be encouraged to sign a “pledge” to read during their summer months. During the afternoons when the students attend one of the partner locations, teachers will discuss the books with the students, making sure they are completing their reading and helping them to select a grade level reading book. Emphasis will be placed on students in the 1-3 grades, but the program will be open to all students. During the 2017 year, the State established a new reading test, which all 3rd grade students are required to take and pass before graduation to the 4th grade. Due to the large number of students that had trouble with this test, it is obvious additional efforts need to be made for our students to learn to read. To help the 3rd graders, during the 2017-18 school year the BEP provided funds for reading teachers to work with some 140 students after school to improve their reading.
The third new program approved is funds to allow the Boys and Girls Club to hire educational staff to provide up to 3 hours of educational programs for close to 400 students each day. The courses taught under “Project Learn” a Boys and Girls Club program, include math, English, and computing. The Club will also hold an art, and science camp. Faculty for the Project Learn classes will be college level students and the Art and Science Camp will be taught by Bartlesville teachers. These courses will provide an educational supplement to each of the students that participate and will better prepare each student to move to the next grade the following school year.
The Bartlesville Education Promise is committed to improving the graduation rate in our local schools. We have learned tutoring after school helps. We have also learned that summer enrichment programs will make a real difference, not only to provide areas of interest for learning, but to also make sure students don’t regress during the summer. Last year with the after school tutoring in all nine Bartlesville schools, and our summer programs over 2,800 students participated in BEP programs.
All BEP programs are privately funded, and if you have questions about our programs, our website is Bartlesvilleeducationpromise.com. Donations to our programs can be sent to Bartlesville Community Foundation/BEP, P.O. Box 2323, Bartlesville, OK 74005.
Lorraine Johnson branch manager of BOK in Bartlesville, makes a financial grant to the Bartlesville Education Promise for the 2018 STEM camp. Also making the presentation, Tierra Sherrill, assistance Branch manager and accepting Martin Garber and Ginger Griffin from BEP.
LaDonna Chancellor (center) receiving the Bartlesville Area Chamber of Commerce “Investing in Our Future” award at the Woman in Business Dinner on February 20, 2018. The award recognizes a woman who has made a positive impact on the leaders of tomorrow. LaDonna is the Principal of the Bartlesville High School and Operations Director for the Bartlesville Education Promise. With her accepting the award is her husband, members of the Board of Directors of the Bartlesville Education Promise and officials from the Bartlesville Public Schools.
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.
For the 2017-18 school year, the nonprofit is providing funds for additional after-school tutoring in the district’s elementary schools, explained BEP chairman Martin Garber.
“We are committed in this area and basically doubled the funding we’re providing to the elementary schools for this year. They’re going to be tutoring all year,” he said.
BEP was formed in 2015, when the group of education supporters teamed up with Bartlesville public school officials to develop innovative ways to help at-risk youth live up to their potential and have a successful future.
The organization’s range of assistance has grown to include reading support for elementary students, after-school tutoring, a summer academy to help students transition to a new school, ACT/PSAT test preparation, and camps in Advanced Placement readiness, art and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
“What we’re concerned with is developing programs that raise the outcomes of the entire student body, with particular focus on the at-risk kids and helping them to graduate,” said Garber. “The community recognizes our mission and the progress is happening because of them.”
One of the major programs BEP focuses on is third-grade reading, and for the past two years it has provided take home books to each of the elementary schools.
BEP provides books for 20 percent of all elementary students to take home, and teachers are seeing good results among students who have difficulty in acquiring requisite readings skills.
“This gives them the opportunity to read, learn and explore more while in the comfort of their own home,” Jacquelyn Smith, first-grade teacher at Ranch Heights School, reported in a BEP feedback form.
“Hopefully we don’t have any kid that is held back because of reading, because that’s traumatic to the kid obviously and it’s very traumatic to the family as well,” said Garber. “Our goal is to make sure that every kid can read by the third grade, otherwise they’re going to be struggling their entire life.”
High school students who have difficulty grasping math and English can get assistance from qualified tutors three times a week now, and BEP also provides transportation home.
According to Ginger Griffin, BEP vice chairman, 85 percent of high school students who attended at least half of the tutoring sessions passed core classes.
Teachers also reported seeing growth in vocabulary and comprehension, said Griffin, and during the 2016-17 school year more than 1,000 middle school students and 600 Bartlesville High School students benefited from after-school tutoring.
Research shows that a significant challenge for some students is mastering the transition from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school, said Griffin.
“The migration causes some of the students to be fearful,” he said, noting that the transition from eight grade to high school can be particularly daunting..
Thanks to BEP-sponsored transition camps over the summer months, students gained an exposure to their new school, got informed about school programs and mastered their locker combinations. Students also learned about career paths related to their educational interests.
Griffin said that the summer transition camps help keep students minds engaged and productive. ACT/PSAT and AP Readiness was also was provided along with art, science and STEM camps.
“There’s a lot of countries who have year-round school and obviously when you have that, their test scores are going to be a lot better,” added Garber. “There’s a three month-period when families don’t concentrate on learning here, and part of our effort was to give our students an opportunity to learn in the summer if they’re so inclined.”
More than 70 qualified teachers from Bartlesville schools and Tri County Technology Center led the summer programs, and Garber noted that they were paid on an hourly basis with benefits.
Budget cuts to the Bartlesville Public School District, coupled with concerns about the increase of children at risk, Griffin believes that society “must step in” and help support the segment of students who are homeless, live in poverty, single-parent homes, abusive households or non-English speaking homes.
“Half the student body is getting free and reduced lunches. We’re concerned about the 25-30 most vulnerable kids in each graduating class, and we’re focusing on those, but we’re not forgetting that out of the 400 in a senior class, 200 of them have problems and obstacles they’re dealing with,” said Griffin. “These kids have obstacles that we need to help them with.”
Volunteers with BEP studied the total “needs” for volunteers last year and cataloged 150 opportunities. The group was successful in encouraging 100 of the positions to be filled and Griffin and Garber hope to have more on board this coming school year.
“All nine schools need extra help. Given the cutbacks the schools have had in all areas, they need many kinds of volunteers. All of the schools need library help, putting books in, crossing guards, monitors for the playground,” said Garber.
“The needs are compelling given the amount of cuts that have not only impacted the teachers but the support staff.”
The mission of Bartlesville Education Promise is to guide our community towards assuming greater shared ownership with Bartlesville Public Schools. for improved educational outcomes for all students of our schools, with special focus on improving graduate rates and readiness for higher education, technical school or full-time employment. Working with the schools, this involves special attention in identifying and helping students who are struggling and are at risk of dropping out of school before graduation. Based on work with the schools, BEP helps identify unmet needs, develops appropriate programs and funds these with contributions from individuals, corporations, civic clubs and foundations.
Consistent with this Mission , Bartlesville Education Promise focuses on four major programs to improve long term improvements in terms of student outcomes for all students with special focus on students at risk of not graduating from high school.
1 Third Grade Reading. The Oklahoma legislature, in recognition of the need for lifetime competence in reading, has mandated that there will no longer be social promotions of students beyond the third grade if they do not demonstrate adequate reading skills. For the past two years, BEP has provided take home books to each of the elementary schools as too many families have no books at home and can’t help with reading at home. Starting in 2016, BEP has additionally established high priority for after school tutoring for young students who are struggling most in acquiring the requisite reading skills. At the schools’ request we are adding funds for additional after school tutoring in our primary schools in 2017-18.
2. After school professional tutoring. Through after school tutoring BEP provides the opportunity to all students to enhance their learning, with special focus on identifying and including students who are at risk of not graduating. During the 2016-17 school year more that 1000 middle school students and 600 BHS students availed themselves of the opportunity to benefit from after schools tutoring, frequently with their own classroom teacher.
3. Provide Transition Summer Camps. Research concludes that difficulty for students in adjusting to transfers from grade school to middle school and from middle school to high school is one of the biggest obstacles for all students to master. BEP provides strong Transition Camps to help students master these critical steps. As an example, 20 of 21 ninth grade at risk kids, through extra help from tutoring, passed their required courses and have moved on to the 10th grade.
4. Make summer months productive for Bartlesville students. BEP provides a rich and challenging menu of summer camps that address the need for expanding student horizons to take more STEM and other challenging subjects that are predicted to be the foundation for many jobs in the future. The summer camps also serve the purpose of keeping students involved in continuous learning during the otherwise down summer months.
Several different camps were held in the summer of 2017 for students at Bartlesville High School. One of the camps was funded by the local group Bartlesville Education Promise, offering several Summer Institute courses for almost fifty students. The school’s Parent Support Group funded an afternoon camp for incoming freshmen.
Over two hundred incoming freshmen attended Bruin Camp on the afternoon of August 4, 2017 at Bartlesville High School’s Freshman Academy. The event featured a scavenger hunt, school spirit session, and panel discussion with former BHS students to help the students with the transition from middle school to high school. The students were treated to Jared Frozen Custard after the event. Many parents chose to stay so that their student could check out a Chromebook to use at school and at home. That flood of students for the new checkout process dragged it out for some time, but in the end over 100 very patient parents and students left the building with a Chromebook in a nice Bruin case in an early start for the district’s bond-funded Student Computing Initiative.
Another program was the BHS Summer Institute, with several different courses offered for only a $10 registration fee. The program was made possible by the support of Bartlesville Education Promise, a nonprofit group of concerned citizens who want to see Bartlesville schoolchildren continue to succeed. Donations to the group are accepted through the Bartlesville Community Foundation. Superintendent of Schools Chuck McCauley has said Bartlesville Education Promise offers represents the spirit of the community in helping students succeed.
High School Fundamentals served 18 incoming freshmen from July 10-28. Freshman Academy teachers Amanda Hancock, Diana Johnson, Theresa Keller, and Bill McQueen taught foundation skills for successful organization and communication to the incoming high schoolers.
ACT Test Prep was offered June 5-8 by BHS faculty members Warren Neff and Jen Ward. It helped two dozen students prepare for the ACT assessment. There were two days focusing on English/Reading and two days focusing on Math. Students who attended were encouraged to register for the ACT given that week.
From July 10-21 BHS teacher Mandy Lumbley offered Prep for Accelerated English – Path to AP, guiding seven students through their summer reading project via class discussion, notes, and independent work time. In addition, the course provided a foundation in the skills for successful analysis, argument, annotation, and synthesis of text in all major genres.
The district appreciates the support of its staff members, parents, and community partners in providing students with these summer learning opportunities.
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.