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Bartlesville Public Schools

Posted: Aug 05, 2020 12:20 PMUpdated: Aug 05, 2020 2:01 PM

Return to Learn, Bond Issues Covered in Event

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Garrett Giles

The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation held its State of the Schools event virtually on Wednesday afternoon.

Superintendent Chuck McCauley addressed the public, giving an update on the state of Bartlesville Public Schools. He summarized the District’s pandemic response planning process, reviewed highlights from last year, and provided an overview of the District’s priorities as we head into this school year.

The conversation started with Superintendent McCauley giving the latest update on the District's Return to Learn plan before school starts on Thursday, Aug. 13th. Several committees were formed to formulate a safe back-to-school plan ahead of the school year. The plans were shared with staff in early-July first before public forums were held at Custer Stadium. Approximately 200 members of the public attended those meetings before the Bartlesville Public Schools Board of Education approved an official plan in their July meeting.

Superintendent McCauley said they plan to have Chromebook devices for every student within the District. He said they have purchased hotspots since March to help provide students with the internet they would need to attend school virtually should the need arise. He said this would help those students and staff that may not have internet at home.

It was announced by Superintendent McCauley that Bartlesville Public Schools has 20 full-time teachers who will work virtually. For example, a third grade teacher teaching virtually would teach a hand-full of students from all six Bartlesville Elementary Schools.

At the middle school level, this process will look different. Superintendent McCauley said students switch classes at the middle school level, so teachers will teach four sessions of traditional, in-person classes and the fifth session will be dedicated to virtual learning. This ensures that the students learning virtually will learn the same instruction that the students in the classroom are learning.

The high school level's set-up for instruction will be similar to the middle school level's set-up. Superintendent McCauley added that there is still the option where students can learn virtual for part of the day and in-person for another part of the day if they so choose.

Essential BPS staff members were commended during the BPS Foundation's Virtual State of the Schools event. Superintendent McCauley said the Child Nutrition team has been heroic under Jon Beckloff's leadership with Sodexo during the pandemic. He said they fed almost 300,000 meals through July 31st. The transportation team also made sure that the meals were delivered. Everyone that has lent a helping hand to prepare for the upcoming school year were also praised.

Bond issues were mentioned by Superintendent McCauley during Wednesday's event. During his address, McCauley mentioned the new agriculture classroom and shop space that the District's Ag Program can use. He said they are anticipating that in future Bond Issue elections that they will possibly have a facility available for the Ag Program's expansion for animals. That potential project is in the early planning stages.

BPS is in the planning stages for another Bond Issue election in 2021. Superintendent McCauley said more details will be released in the months to come. Voters in the Bartlesville Public School district approved a Bond Issue by an 80-percent to 20-percent margin to provide a total of $17.9 million through the end of the 2023 fiscal year.

Security improvements have been made at Bartlesville Public Schools. McCauley said they have replaced several security cameras, replaced the Lobby Guard system in the District's schools and they have installed the crosswalk at BHS with help from the City of Bartlesville.

At Central Middle School, a drive has been added that connects to Cherokee with the hope that it will help with student drop-off and pick-up. A parking lot has been added at Ranch Heights. BPS has completely updated the District's fleet of buses. They now have buses that are 2017 to 2020 models.

The State of the Schools event was held on the BPS Foundation's Facebook page. To watch the full State of the Schools event, click here.

This annual fundraiser, benefiting the BPS Foundation, is typically hosted as a luncheon held at the Bartlesville High School Commons. Given the circumstances, the Foundation transitioned the event online and opened it to the public at no cost.

If you wish to give to the BPS Foundation via text message before the end of the day on Wednesday, all you have to do is text "Schools2020" to 44-321. The Truity Education Foundation will match $2,500 in private donations if the BPS Foundation can raise that much money. Since 1985, the BPS Foundation has given over $3-million to support Bartlesville Public Schools.

An online auction to support the BPS Foundation opened on Wednesday. You can visit 32auctions.com/schools2020 to participate in the auction. All funds will support Bartlesville's classrooms. The auction feature several items, including a day of shadowing BPS Superintendent Chuck McCauley. You can also purchase supply jars for teachers and their classrooms.

The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation is a privately funded non-profit providing financial resources to inspire learning, enrich teaching, and create opportunities for educators and students of Bartlesville public schools. Learn more at bpsfoundation.org. You can make a monthly donation pledge if you visit the BPS Foundation's website.

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