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Bartlesville Public Schools

Posted: Aug 07, 2019 1:38 PMUpdated: Aug 07, 2019 2:54 PM

Reflections, Focuses from State of the Schools Lunch

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Garrett Giles

The second ever State of the Schools Luncheon heard Bartlesville Superintendent Chuck McCauley discuss many issues and successes surrounding the school district.

At Wednesday's event, McCauley said Bartlesville Public Schools is one of the best high schools across the nation.

U.S. News and World Report ranks top high schools, universities, hospitals and other sites in the country. Once again, BHS has been ranked in the top 5-percent of high schools in Oklahoma. They also ranked the school highly on the national level.

McCauley added that the school's ACT composite score from 2018, which includes scores from high school juniors that took the test, came in at 21.4. BHS is among the top ten in the State of Oklahoma with their composite score.

They are also two to five points higher than other schools in the area like Dewey, Nowata, Caney Valley, Copan, Pawhuska and Barnsdall, according to McCauley. He said the private school in Bartlesville, Wesleyan Christian, is an excellent school that had a composite score of 21.1.

The district also saw McCauley shares what they want to invest in as they look ahead to the future of the schools. He said they want to make these investments as the State of Oklahoma and budgets improve.

Unfortunately, BPS had 21 emergency certified in 2018 and they still have 21 emergency certified teachers for the incoming school year, which starts on Thursday, Aug. 15th. McCauley said some of those teachers work really hard and they love what they do. He said they need to continue to improve that and that they need the teacher pool to increase.

This may take years to improve. Superintendent McCauley said there are great people going into education but there are not enough people going into the profession. That has forced the schools hand when it comes to hiring new teachers or keeping their existing staff.

Improving class sizes, boosting professional development and training, and expanding student opportunities in school are other focuses McCauley mentioned BPS wants to meet in the future.

The increase in teacher pay that was made last spring was also talked about on Wednesday at the luncheon. The average teacher pay in the last 2 years has increased from $7,000 to $10,000. Support staff pay has also increased from $1,800 to $2,600.

"We now have a regionally competitive teacher salary," McCauley said. "Thank goodness we're finally there."

Additional operational funding was also acquired, but Superintendent McCauley said they are still not where they need to be. He said the State of Oklahoma did a good job this year, but they need to continue to invest in per people funding because Oklahoma is still behind the regionally average.

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