Oklahoma City Public Schools

Contractors discovered chalk drawings and lessons on blackboards in Emerson High School, dating to 1917.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Updated July 21, 7:40 a.m.: The Oklahoma City Public School Board voted without discussion during its board meeting to temporarily cover up the century-old chalkboards at Emerson Alternative School so renovations at the site can continue.

The drawings from 1917 were discovered last month, and school officials want to find a way to preserve them. The cover-up approved Tuesday night is expected to cost about $26,000.

Original Post

Contractors discovered chalk drawings and lessons on blackboards in Emerson High School, dating to 1917.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A construction crew working on a school in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery earlier this month. Behind the walls at Emerson High School, they found old chalkboards containing class lessons, written in chalk almost a century ago. And chalk drawings, in remarkable condition.

Math teacher Sherry Read’s classroom is a total mess. Light fixtures dangle from the ceiling. The floor has a layer of dust. Down the hallway, workers make a racket in another classroom.

Thelma R. Parks Elementary School in Northeast Oklahoma City, which had the highest overall suspension rate in Oklahoma City at 42.1 percent.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The higher number of black student suspensions starts at an early age in Oklahoma City, where 12 elementary schools suspended more than 40 percent of their black students in 2011-2012.

Data from the U.S. Department of Education show black students in elementary schools are consistently suspended at higher rates than their white peers in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Rob Neu addresses reporters during an April 21, 2015 news conference about the district's discipline practices toward minority students.
Oklahoma Watch / YouTube

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Rob Neu said Tuesday the district is revisiting its code of conduct, and if kids aren’t threatening the safety of others they need to stay in school.

During a press conference, Neu told reporters he also wants the district to get better at intervening before problems get out of hand. He also emphasized that connecting with the student, parents, and community is vital to the solution.

Taft Middle School officials have suspended more than half the school's black students so far this school year.
Victor Henderson / Oklahoma Watch

With two months still left in the school year, administrators at Taft Middle School in Oklahoma City have already suspended more than half of their black students.

At Capitol Hill High School, the average length of a suspension is nearly 12 days, or more than two weeks of missed class time. Capitol Hill officials also told several parents that re-enrolling their children was a “waste of time” because of the re-enrollment date.

Oklahoma City Public Schools

Oklahoma City Public Schools board members say they learned about a city plan to extend the period for redirecting downtown tax revenue away from schools and other purposes only after the City Council voted to go ahead with evaluating the plan.

A screen capture from the Nov. 28 Douglass-Locust Grove high school football playoff game that ended in controversy.
NewsOK.com / YouTube

An Oklahoma judge says a high school football semifinal will not be played Friday so he can consider whether a team that lost in the quarterfinals is entitled to a replay.

Locust Grove's Class 3A semifinal against Heritage Hall was postponed until next week at the earliest. The Oklahoman's Scott Wright reports a hearing on the injunction will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11.

(L-R) Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Robert Neu, and Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora
Oklahoma Watch

By any measure, Oklahoma City Public Schools is struggling.

Many schools are underperforming. Thousands of students are falling short in reading or math. Teachers are stressed and say they are underpaid, leading to constant turnover.

Superintendent Rob Neu and Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora spoke to those issues and others at an “Oklahoma Watch-Out” community forum Sept. 30 near downtown Oklahoma City.

Rob Neu, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent
Oklahoma City Public Schools

The public will get a chance to question new Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu about his policies and goals for the district during a public forum on education Tuesday.

Neu is in his third month as Oklahoma City’s superintendent, but has already drawn attention with plans to increase teacher pay, implement more technology in the classroom and enact a student-loan forgiveness program for University of Central Oklahoma students who teach in the district for three years. He and new Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora, who will also appear at the forum, have said they wish to provide more support to principals and teachers and strengthen the curriculum.

The forum, organized by non-profit investigate news organization Oklahoma Watch, will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kamps 1910 Café, 10 NE 10th St., in Oklahoma City.

Neu, who was hired to replaced interim Superintendent Dave Lopez in July, previously was superintendent for Federal Way Public Schools near Seattle.

Central Oklahoma’s Back-To-School Activities

Aug 1, 2014
Woodley Wonder Works / Flickr Creative Commons

Summer break is coming to a close, and central Oklahoma has some back-to-school events for you.

Pages