During the 2014-15 school year, Bixby Public Schools administrators determined that it would undergo a district-wide implementation of Great Expectations (GE).
“The GE model is a research-based program that emphasizes a climate of respect and student achievement,” says School Superintendent Dr. Kyle Wood. “I believe that the life principles, classroom expectations and tenets of GE will continue to build a culture that nurtures positive classroom experiences and skills for success in school and in life for all Bixby students.”
Close to 100 teachers received training during the summer of 2014 in the program’s methodology. This summer, the remaining teachers in the district attended four days of GE training. In addition to teachers, district staff, including bus drivers and cafeteria workers, attended the training sessions in an effort to incorporate the program throughout the schools, inside and outside of the classroom.
“We want to develop a common language throughout the district so the kids will feel common respect throughout the day,” says Dee Harris, Bixby Public Schools director of communications and a teacher at Bixby High School.
On May 18, Northeast Elementary and Intermediate became the first school in the district to become a Great Expectations Model School.
In preparation for the start of the 2015-16 school year, to help with the enrollment of students, the district moved its registration online, with the help of InfoSnap.
This will improve business processes for administrative staff and improve communication efforts between the school district and parents and the community, Harris says, because they will have instant access to up-to-date, accurate records that are submitted by families that is then reviewed and formatted to meet the district’s policies. It will allow for real-time, on-demand data.
In addition, InfoSnap’s Language Localization provides multilingual forms for families in English and Spanish.
“We are excited to launch a solution that will allow school staff to view vital information before the school year begins. The special services department will be alerted if a student registers with specific needs. School nurses will be notified if a student registers with a medical condition,” says Associate Superintendent Bryan Frazier.
“Our school district is rapidly growing. We wanted to implement an impressive solution that provides immediate updates to student data,” he continues.
Bixby schools on an average maintains a three and a half percent student growth rate. However, currently that rate is between four and five percent, says Harris.
The district’s school bond vote on Feb. 9, 2016, will, no doubt, deal much with the district’s growth.
The bond issue will be for $143 million and include building renovations – “taking facilities into the 21st century,” says Harris – and technology integration. More information as to specific projects will be available in the coming months.