OKCPS Launches Pathway to Greatness
Today, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel officially launched the district’s Pathway to Greatness project, a collaborative effort to disrupt the status quo by redesigning OKCPS for the future. This work will align the district’s resources to provide equitable learning opportunities for all students to achieve the district’s vision of every student graduating ready to fulfill their unique purpose in a healthy, vibrant community.
“Trends over time show that our enrollment is declining slightly and will likely level-off in the next couple of years, “ said Superintendent McDaniel. “This means our share of state funding will decline, even if the overall funding level increases again. A comparison of the number of students we have enrolled and the amount of space in our school buildings shows that we are maintaining a lot of instructional space that we aren't using, a choice that is directing resources to facilities instead of to our students.”
“To accomplish this, we are launching the Pathway to Greatness project, the next step on our journey that began with The Great Conversation and led to our district's strategic plan, The Great Commitment. The Pathway Project (P2G) will be informed by a thorough assessment of our facilities, a detailed demographic study, and input from our staff and stakeholders.”
Three important groups of leaders are working together to reinvent OKCPS:
A team of educators, the Trailblazers, are reviewing research to answer important questions about what the OKCPS of the future should look like. Which grade levels should share buildings? What core and specialty programming should we offer? What does it mean to be a great school for our OKCPS community?
A team of community leaders, the Navigators, are building relationships across the city, and their role will be to analyze options and select the path forward. They will be reviewing the recommendations of the Trailblazers and the data on our comprehensive planning criteria as it becomes available.
A team of project planners including district staff and our vendor, ADG, a firm that specializes in assessing facilities and doing demographic and other data analysis, are working together to connect all the dots and ensure that we are truly taking a comprehensive view of all the data points and other factors that will ultimately lead to the reinvention of OKCPS.
“The experts we contracted to help with this project will provide three potential solutions for our facilities needs in January 2019, and there will be multiple opportunities for open community feedback,” said Superintendent McDaniel. “After incorporating the wisdom of our stakeholders, the Navigators panel of community stakeholders will consider the revised options and select one to recommend to me, the Superintendent. We then expect the Board to consider a recommendation from me on the Pathway Project in March 2019.”
“Although hard decisions will have to be made, the Board and I are confident that this work is necessary to improve the health of the entire OKCPS system and provide equity for our students. We have to move quickly, but I hope you will trust in the process. Data and feedback from a variety of stakeholders will be especially valuable to this work, so if given an opportunity to provide input, I hope you will take the time to do so - whether that means volunteering to serve on a committee, participating in a focus group, or taking a survey.”
There will be many opportunities for the community -- families, staff, students, neighbors, and partners -- to learn and weigh in. First, a survey has been launched to seek input on this stage of the “P2G” process through November 4, 2018. OKCPS has also scheduled two sets of community meetings -- one in November to talk through the process, and one in January to seek great ideas which will inform the three visions we will present to the community. Spanish and ASL interpretation will be available at all meetings, as well as a meeting option that will be presented in Spanish with English interpretation available. All meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend.
Superintendent McDaniel encourages the public to be involved. “I hope our families and community will join OKCPS on the Pathway To Greatness, as we begin the important but painstaking work to identify inefficiencies and inequities across our district that will allow us to realign and reinvest precious resources into our classrooms to meet the unique needs of our students across the district -- ultimately providing them with access to the educational opportunities, facilities, and other programming that all of our children need and deserve.
As we move down this Pathway to Greatness, I commit to keeping our stakeholders updated on our progress. As with any project this large and sensitive, I am sure anxiety levels will rise and stories will begin to emerge. I ask you to adopt this simple rule of thumb: If you didn't hear it directly from me, please consider what you're hearing to be a rumor. It is very important to me that we bring an unprecedented level of transparency and access to this process so that everyone has the opportunity to engage in this important conversation about the future of OKCPS in whatever way feels most comfortable to them. Thank you in advance for your continued support of OKCPS.”
OKCPS welcomes comments, questions, and concerns about Pathway to Greatness project. Click here for more information, including Frequently Asked Questions, or to let your voice to be heard. www.okcps.org/pathwayproject