2017 – 2018 Activities

RESULTS:

  • There has been a 55% reduction in the number of 3rd graders that failed to be promoted to the 4th grade due to not passing the State mandated readiness test or qualified for an exemption over a 2 year period.
  • In the summer of 2017 of the 22 “at risk” students that attended the BHS Transition Courses, 21 were promoted to the 10th In the summer of 2018 we had 38 students attend the BHS Transition Course.
  • After school tutoring was continued at ALL Bartlesville Schools.
  • 350 Students attended either math or English after school tutoring at Madison or Central. Numbers were reduced because a policy change allowed students to obtain tutoring during the day during their study hour. This was very popular.
  • 140 students received 3rd grade and 62 2nd graders attended after school tutoring in reading.
  • 407 students Pledged to read over the summer, and 1,078 attended small group meetings.
  • 450 students attended afterschool tutoring at the High School in math, science, and English. 50% of these students were economically disadvantaged. Numbers were reduced somewhat because of the start of dual scheduling for those students that took makeup classes.
  • Watch Dog (dad’s involvement) was continued at Madison and Wilson and one additional school is scheduled to start in 2018. (Hoover)
  • 350 students attended teacher-led Art Camp at the Boys and Girls Club. Another 100 students attended a science-oriented field trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium.
  • 300 students attended Transition Camps at Central, Madison and the High School. The 38 students that attended the High School Transition Camp was primarily directed toward “at Risk” students.
  • 241 students attended 3 one week STEM Camp at Tri-County Tech with 91 “high risk” students receiving scholarships.  Business support was strong outlining the types of education needed to be succeeding in various careers.  This was a 33% increase in campers and 37% increase in the number of scholarships.
  • Over 3,300 students participated in at least one aspect of BEP activities. This is approximately an 18% increase in the number of students participating.
  • BEP supported the Educational Summer Programs of the Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville by providing funds for their summer instructors. BPS employees were utilized. Their educational programs were attended by over 300 students and they provided 294 hours of educational programs and 294 hours of STEM type education.
  • 92 BPS and 17 Tri-County Tech teachers participated in BEP educational efforts and received hourly compensation with benefits, and over 100 volunteers helped in the schools.

Total involvement:
Tutoring at Bartlesville School’s          987 students
Summer Reading                                 1,000 students
Summer STEM                                         241 students
Summer ART                                            350 students
Summer Transition                                300 students
Boys & Girls Club                                    400 students
Test Prep                                                     30 students
Approximate Total                              3,300 students

 

Fundraising Breakfast

The Bartlesville Education Promise and the Bartlesville Masonic Lodge wishes to announce a fundraising breakfast on the morning of Saturday, November 3, 2018. The breakfast will be held at the Bartlesville Masonic Lodge at 610 NE Washington Boulevard. Funds raised will go to the educational programs of the Bartlesville Education Promise.

The Bartlesville Educational Promise is a 501C3 tax exempt organization with the mission of supporting the Bartlesville Public Schools with the goal of helping all students to graduate from high school. Programs are administered in association with the school staff and teachers. During the 2017/18 school year programs include elementary reading books and after school tutoring for elementary students to assure all 3rd graders pass the State sponsored reading test. After school tutoring is also provided at both middle schools in math and English and at the high school in math, English, and science. During the summer funds were provided for numerous summer learning programs to provide a summer learning experience for all students. During the 2016/17 school year, 91 Bartlesville and 17 Tri-County Tech teachers participated and 3,300 students took advantage of at least one program of the BEP activities. All funds provided are from local donors.

Tickets for the breakfast are $6 if purchased in advance and $7 at the door on the morning of Saturday, November 3. Tickets can be purchased from members of the Masonic Lodge and board members and volunteers of the Bartlesville Education Promise.  In addition, many local businesses have tickets for purchase.

For more information or tickets for this event contact mgarber@cableone.net or Martin Garber at 918-397-4286.

Reading Program Aims to Motivate Students

Thousands of books are expected to be read by elementary students this summer, thanks in large part to Bartlesville Education Promise.

The nonprofit recently announced its first-ever Elementary Summer Reading Partners Program, a new service intended to inspire students to keep the book pages turning when school is out.

Some of the best reading teachers in Bartlesville’s school district are lined up as instructors for the program, which starts next month. BEP’s first-year goal is to have 500 students read at least one book each this summer.

“Research indicates that continuing to read in the summer helps students avoid regression that can occur when they don’t read,” said Dianne Martinez, executive director of the district’s elementary and middle schools. “This is truly a collaborative effort designed to motivate and inspire students to continue reading this summer.”

The sessions will be held at Hoover Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Jane Phillips Elementary, Bartlesville Boys & Girls Club, and the Bartlesville Public Library. The program is made possible through funding from Bartlesville Education Promise and the Bartlesville Community Foundation, according to BEP chairman Martin Garber.

“The idea was actually the brain child of our board member Vanessa Drummond. I saw the announcement of a Bartlesville Community Foundation Flash Grant for $5,000 that was being offered, and I sent the announcement to our board of directors for ideas. Vanessa came back with the idea of a reading program,” said Garber.

Indeed, Drummond was excited to hear about the Flash Grant and the possibility of using it to encourage reading and academic success.

“I thought about what could help make reading fun for kids over the summer. I love book groups for both adults and kids, because it helps make a fairly solitary activity a social one,” said Drummond.

Garber said that BEP has a special interest in helping to improve the reading outcomes for students in the third grade.

“Knowing we have a reading problem with third-graders, we decided to try and continue a program to promote reading throughout the summer,” said Garber, adding the program is open to all students.

By observing students reading at least one book this summer, teachers will have a better assessment of how the student will do in the third grade and allow BEP to provide added assistance once school starts next fall, Garber explained.

“Our teachers will be utilizing books from our partners, the school libraries, and we are purchasing a limited number of books that teachers will have to recommend to students,” he said.

Drummond added that it’s great to have some positive peer pressure around finishing and discussing a book.

“I hope the summer reading program will encourage kids to keep their reading skills up over the break and help develop a lifetime love of reading a good book,” she said.

According to Garber, this is the third year BEP has provided books to all six elementary schools in Bartlesville and the organization has provided about $3,000 in grants to provide books to several at-risk students who don’t have books at home.

“We also had a partnership with Friends of the Library, where they provided our elementary schools thousands of books that are elementary-appropriate,” said Garber.

For additional information about the Summer Reading Partners Program, including the schedules for each school, contact Therese Rawlinson, rawlinsontd@bps-ok.org or Kirby Lowry, lowrykm@bps-ok.org.

New Summer Programs

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.

3 New Programs for the Summer of 2018

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.

LaDonna Chancellor Receives “Investing in Our Future” Award

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.

Outstanding School Support Foundation awarded by Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has honored a comprehensive academic support program for at-risk students and three successful fundraising programs as recipients of its 2017 Outstanding Program Awards for Local Education Foundations.

The awards, which recognize innovative programs sponsored or administered by public school foundations in Oklahoma, were presented at the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations held recently in Norman. Receiving plaques and monetary awards of $1,000 each were the Education Promise Program sponsored by Bartlesville Education Promise, Trojan 20 sponsored by the Jenks Public Schools Foundation, the Black & Gold Gala sponsored by the Inola Educational Enrichment Foundation and the Fashion Show Fundraiser presented by the Wagoner Education Foundation Inc.

“We honor these programs for their creativity and the positive impact they have in supporting academic excellence in their communities,” said Donna Alexander, director of Local Education Foundation Outreach for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. “In addition, we recognize these innovative programs at our Fall Forum so that other school foundations might use these ideas in their own local communities.”

To help at-risk students successfully graduate and prepare for college and the work force, the Bartlesville Education Promise launched the Education Promise Program, a multipart initiative that includes reading support for struggling elementary students; after-school tutoring for high school students; a summer academy to help students transition to a new school; ACT/PSAT test prep; and camps in Advanced Placement readiness, art and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The program, which began in the 2015-16 school year, is sponsored by Bartlesville Education Promise, a foundation created in 2015 to support local schools.

“While Bartlesville has a wonderful school system, the community’s demographics have been changing,” said Martin Garber Jr., chairman of Bartlesville Education Promise, noting that about 50 percent of Bartlesville students qualify for free-and-reduced-lunch, 300 are deficient in English language capability and more than 400 are classified as homeless. “As a result, we are beginning to see a declining graduation rate. A principal objective of the Education Promise Program is to help improve the percentage of students that graduate.”

In the 2015-16 school year, the foundation raised approximately $45,000 with support from individuals, businesses and foundations to fund activities benefiting more than 2,000 students. The program provided free books for at-risk elementary readers to take home and share with their families or a reading volunteer. At the high school level, the program offered teacher-led tutoring in English, math and science to 957 students, most of whom showed improvement in their grades after tutoring.

Transition camps were provided for 220 students going into middle school and high school to help reduce student stress and prepare students for the expectations of their new learning environment. The foundation partnered with the Lowe Family Foundation to present STEM camps serving 145 students. Classes addressed robotics, nursing, computers and had several guest speakers who spoke about STEM careers. In addition, six-week summer art camps staffed by district art teachers were held at the Boys and Girls Club and the Teen Center and culminated in a student art show.

In 2016-17, the foundation doubled the program’s budget to $90,000 and expanded in-school tutoring at the elementary and secondary levels, which included providing after-school transportation. The foundation also initiated a campaign to recruit and train community volunteers to work with students.

Nonprofit Gives Schools Extra Help

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.”

Mission and Focused Programs

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.

 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.