BEP Expands Programs

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.

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New Partnerships

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.

Academic programs hope to curtail brain drain

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.”

Rotary Club Supports Summer Art Camp

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.

Summer Institute

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.”

Enrollment information for the Bartlesville High School Summer Institute can found here, or students may pick up a flyer in the Freshman Academy office or the Counseling Center.

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.

Art

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.

STEM Summer Camp

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)

 

Bartlesville High School Tutoring

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.

Contribution to Bartlesville Public Schools

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Bartlesville Education Promise presented a check of $3,000 to the Bartlesville Board of Education that will be used to purchase books for each of the six elementary schools in the district. Each school will receive 336 books to help students that have been struggling with reading. The funds to support the program were donated by Downtown Bartlesville Kiwanis Club and Regional United Way.

“Elementary students that are struggling with reading will be able to take the books home and work with their parents on reading in the evening,” Garber said.

“When we talked with teachers about this program, they informed us that about 20 percent of students struggle with reading,” Garber said. “We will be providing the perfect amount of books for those students.”