Broken Arrow Express
In April, Broken Arrow Public Schools will gain community feedback regarding the recent recommendation given by the BAPS High School Configuration Study Steering Committee.
Two community forums will be held April 4 and 5 to allow patrons the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the proposed plan.
The preliminary recommendation will provide the community with a starting point in the configuration discussion, noted the committee.
The committee’s preliminary recommendation includes two 9-12 grade high schools with STEM classroom additions at both campuses, one 9-12 grade “Options” Academy, and a proposal to build a third comprehensive 9-12 grade high school on a 2027 Bond.
The Broken Arrow High School and Broken Arrow Freshman Academy would become the two 9-12 grade high schools. The Broken Arrow Acad-emy/Broken Arrow Virtual High School would become the “Options” Academy.
Each high school would vary in size, with the current High School campus housing 3,250 students, the Freshman Academy campus housing 2,250 students, the B.A. Academy and Virtual High School campus housing 650 students. The proposed high school on the 2027 Bond Issue would house 3,250 students.
Based on the preliminary recommendation and timeline, BAPS would begin transitioning students into the second high school in in fall 2019 and would have two comprehensive 9-12 grade high schools by fall 2021.
The third 9-12 high school would open in fall 2031, pending the outcome of a 2027 Bond election.
The configuration would honor the items within the 2015 Bond, provide pathways for specialized learning at each high school campus, allow BAPS to proceed with the proposed recommendation within its current bonding and building capacity, and help support and balance the project-ed enrollment growth at every grade level.
The next step for the district will be to hold two community forums on April 4 and 5 For patrons who are unable to attend either event, the forums will be broadcast live on ArrowVision.tv.
The information from these forums will be used to finalize the high school configuration recommendation that will then be presented to the school board of education in May.
The committee’s recommendation is based on various types of research, including public feedback from three forums and a community survey.
Approximately 150 patrons attended the community forums, with nearly 2,500 individuals taking part in the survey.
Some of the significant findings include:
• More than 85 percent of respondents are concerned or very concerned about the size and projected growth of Broken Arrow High School and the Freshman Academy.
• High academic achievement was the area that respondents felt was the most important when considering a new high school configuration.
• When considering the most important amenities at a new high school campus, respondents ranked fully-equipped science labs and a full service cafeteria as the most important and a stadium as the least important.
• College and career readiness ranked as the most important focus in the area of academic achievement with the ability to earn college credit taking the second spot.
• More than 87 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that regardless of which configuration model was chosen, students must somehow be divided into smaller learning communities in order for them to receive individual attention.
• Nearly 85 percent agreed or strongly agreed that if an academy approach was utilized, they must be structured so that students are not locked into pathways for their entire high school career.
• 59 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that an academy model would be beneficial because it would create smaller learning communities of students with similar interests, 25 percent were unsure.
• 45 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that establishing a 10th grade center would create too many transitions for students from 9th through 12th grade.
• 38 percent of respondents felt that it would be more beneficial for sophomores to attend a 10th grade center than to be integrated with other grade levels. 23 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.
• Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at Broken Arrow Freshman Academy, 301 W. New Orleans St., at 6:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at Centennial Middle School, 225 E. Omaha St., at 6:30 p.m.