Pathway to Greatness Update from Superintendent McDaniel
OKCPS Staff, Families and Community,
As we continue to march through the busy summer months, I wanted to provide you with a quick update on our Pathway To Greatness progress.
First, I deeply appreciated your flexibility and cooperation at the end of the school year as we began the P2G transition process -- for packing up classrooms and media centers, for the willingness of a few teams to be relocated to alternate office locations so we could accelerate some key indoor building projects, and for allowing us to begin the construction of several outdoor athletic spaces. I’m pleased to report that all P2G construction projects are currently on-track for Day One readiness, except some of our outdoor work. My fingers are crossed the weather starts cooperating soon.
In the past few weeks, our teams prepared all 15 of our closed buildings to accept their new occupants, and now our Operations team is working to finalize lease agreements with several organizations who have shown interest in utilizing those spaces in ways that will benefit our community such as early childhood centers, community health centers, and as new homes for several of our existing charter schools.
Now we are throwing our shoulder into preparing our existing schools to welcome students back on August 12. Our HR team and principals will host another job fair tomorrow as they continue to recruit great talent into #TeamOKCPS. By next Monday, teacher items will have been moved out of our new middle schools, and they will be ready to receive the boxes of their new faculty members. Although we’re not ready to host staff to “unpack and settle in” just yet, this is a huge milestone in the reconfiguration of these buildings for next year. Next week, we’ll also begin to swap out the student furniture and fixtures in these new middle school spaces so they are appropriate for older students.
New signage and athletic uniforms have been ordered for all of our schools who will be transitioning in some way as part of P2G, and our Communications team is beginning to adjust their digital presence/branding on our website and in social media as well. Although these things will take time to complete, we know that it’s important for our students, families and staff to begin to physically and emotionally connect with their new school as soon as possible.
Speaking of school identity -- as you will remember, at the March 4, 2019 OKCPS Board meeting, it was determined that Northeast Academy will house the Classen School of Advanced Studies High School as a part of the Pathway to Greatness initiative and board vote. Since that unanimous vote, some have expressed an interest in changing the name, which can only be done by our Board. So far, they have not chosen to take this item up for consideration. So, to ensure clarity for our students, families, and community about the programming the school will offer, the official name will be Classen School of Advanced Studies High School in the 2019-20 school year. That said, we remain committed to honoring the legacy and outstanding history of NEHS and NEA. In fact, several weeks ago, I began sharing some ideas, including visual renderings, with NE Alumni Association leaders, our board, school leaders and other key officials. We have received very positive feedback from most stakeholders, and one item that I’m particularly excited about is our plan to install new signage on the building that will read “Classen SAS High School at Northeast.” Attached you’ll find all of the renderings which are currently under consideration. I look forward to working with members of the alumni association and the community to finalize our recommendations for other ways we can honor the history of Northeast and encourage them to begin thinking about individuals who have had significant influence for NEHS/NEA through the years. View Renderings
Each month, we provide a dashboard update on P2G implementation to our Board Members at their regular business meeting, and that information is also available on our website if you’d like to review it. The next update will come on July 15th. Updates available at: www.okcps.org/pathwayproject
There’s still much work to do in the next few weeks to ensure we are ready to welcome our students back, but I continue to be very pleased with our progress.
Thanks for all you do!
-Dr. Sean McDaniel
Superintendent of Schools