OKCPS Adds Four Schools to the IT Schools Model
Last Spring, as OKCPS began to implement the changes brought by the Pathway To Greatness (P2G), we also launched four Innovative Transformation (I.T.) Schools as part of our commitment to making strategic investments in equity to bring enhanced opportunities to our schools.
Although we were excited about all that P2G would bring to students, the plan was not complete without a deeper focus on additional schools. After all, it is only after addressing the critical opportunity and learning gaps in our schools that we will be able to create incubators of innovation for the rest of our district.
The OKCPS Model for Innovative Transformation (I.T.) Schools is built on four key turnaround levers: leadership, instructional infrastructure, differentiated support and accountability, and talent management.
Knowing the impact that an experienced principal and teachers can have on student success, OKCPS built the I.T. Schools Model on a foundation of strong administrators and teacher leaders for these schools. But building a great team is only the first step to improving our schools. Our I.T. Schools also engage in focused professional development to build a School Transformation Plan, develop high-impact goals, and provide Leadership and Instructional Coaching to create a tailored strategy that will support dramatic improvements for all students.
Because these extraordinary leaders and teams will be accepting a significant challenge and added responsibilities, principals are offered a competitive salary and an additional $25,000 stipend. I.T. principals also participate in the hiring of his/her assistant principal, as well as a team of grade level/ subject area teacher leaders who will earn $15,000 (AP) and $10,000 (teacher leader) stipends on top of their competitive compensation packages.
In the fall of 2019, our first four I.T. Schools -- Thelma R. Parks Elementary, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, Britton Elementary and Rockwood Elementary -- opened to welcome students. A clear vision and mission was established for these I.T. Schools focused on the four turnaround levers, and we have already seen some promising improvements in academics, behavior, and attendance. Deemed I.T. Schools, these buildings have leaders and teachers who have what we call the "I.T. Factor:" Igniting systems of change, Inclusive of all stakeholders, Instilling pride in our work, and Inspiring every child, every day.
OKCPS is excited to expand the Innovative Transformation School Model to four additional schools; John Marshall Enterprise Middle School, F.D. Moon Middle School, César Chávez Elementary and Hayes Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year.
I am proud of the work our first four I.T. Schools have done this year. While it's still early, we believe our equity investments are making a difference for students, educators, and communities.
OKCPS continues to focus on the proven levers for success with the University of Virginia's Partnership for Leaders in Education, including a rigorous principal selection process. Using the Behavior Event Interview allowed us to ascertain whether perspective principals or sitting principals had the necessary competencies to lead an Innovative Transformation (I.T.) School. Although we couldn't hire them all, I was excited to see so many proven leaders from across our region raising their hands be part of something special here at OKCPS.
I remain deeply grateful for a shared vision with our Board to serve students and communities with some of the greatest challenges. And, as OKCPS prepares to expand the Innovation Transformation program to four additional schools in 2020-21, I only see great things ahead for these students and families.Sincerely,Dr. Sean McDanielSuperintendent of Schools
Leaders for New IT Schools
Mr. Eric Meador is a 25-year veteran teacher and administrator, spending his entire career in Oklahoma City Public Schools. Having led Monroe Elementary School to be a model Great Expectation School for three years, Mr. Meador moved to Hayes Elementary for the 2018-2019. Identified as a Continuous School Improvement School by the Oklahoma State Board of Education, Mr. Meador quickly began to move the academic and behavioral needle at Hayes. Having attended the University of Central Oklahoma's Educators Leadership Academy, Mr. Meador believes deeply that those who educate children should be lifted and celebrated, and he works to ensure the students in his care are supported emotionally, physically, and academically.
Ms. Laura McGee is a dedicated, bilingual educator with nineteen years experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish from Oklahoma Baptist University and earned her master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma. After spending eleven years teaching elementary school in both Ft. Worth and Edmond, she served as the Executive Director of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness for the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Ms. McGee has served as an assistant principal in Edmond at both Summit Middle School and Heartland Middle School. For the past four years, Ms. McGee has been the principal at Central Middle School in Edmond. She is incredibly excited to join the César Chávez Elementary School family and is honored to be a part of Team OKCPS!
Ms. Patrice Cannon is a native of Oklahoma. After spending seven years in the Army, she was honorably discharged as a Sergeant and settled in Texas where she began pursuing a career in education. Ms. Cannon has served as a teacher, instructional coach, principal, and district and state administrator for public schools. She began teaching in Temple, Texas at a low-performing school and played a central part in helping the school obtain “recognized” status from the State of Texas. She relocated to Oklahoma and began working as an instructional coach, consulting with over 25 school districts in Southeast Oklahoma. Her work in several schools resulted in improvements in reading and math. Ms. Cannon came to Oklahoma City Public Schools in 2013, where she served as an Assistant Principal at Thelma R. Parks Elementary for a short period of time before being transferred and later becoming the head principal at Edwards Elementary. Under her leadership, Edwards Elementary showed significant growth in reading and math, improvements in teacher retention, and increased community support. For the past two years, Ms. Cannon has been a Teacher/Leader Effectiveness Coordinator for the district, where she provides professional development to district personnel on instructional framework. Ms. Cannon is looking forward to becoming a cardinal and joining the FD Moon Middle School family.
Mr. Michael Harris will continue to serve as the Principal of John Marshall Enterprise Middle School. After coaching and teaching Social Studies at Southeast High School, Mr. Harris served as an assistant principal at Jefferson Middle School, Northwest Classen High School and Douglass Mid-High School before becoming the head principal at JMMS. Born in Germany and raised in Lawton, Mr. Harris received his Bachelor’s from the University of Oklahoma and his Master’s in Education Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma before becoming a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Mr. Harris has a proven track record of success as an administrator at both the high school and middle school level, and we believe Mr. Harris is the right leader to support the students, staff and families of JMMS as they become an OKCPS Innovative Transformation School.