Jenks School District Ready for 2012-2013

Contributing Editor

GLOBAL VISIONARY: Jenks Superintendent Dr. Kirby Lehman will be honored at the 17th Annual Global Vision Awards presentation and dinner Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Oaks Country Club. Lehman is a strong supporter of foreign language and cultural integration. His appreciation for Chinese education led him to create Chinese language and exchange programs for Jenks Middle School and Jenks High School. Two grants from the Department of Education’s Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) expanded the program to two other schools, Southeast Elementary and East Intermediate.

DAVID JONES for GTR Newspapers

The heat is on but summertime draws to a close as students head back to school. Classes begin Aug. 16 for Jenks Public Schools. The kindergarten through fourth grade school day is scheduled from 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The school day for grades 5 – 12 is from 7:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Pre-kindergarten class times vary by site and program, which is expanding for many in the Jenks School District.

Superintendent Dr. Kirby Lehman says, “Because of the completion of added classroom projects at Southeast Elementary and West Elementary, we will be expanding our focus on early childhood education and will be able to offer full-day Pre-K at all three elementary sites in .

“We are also breaking ground on the last three large projects that are a part of the 2008 lease revenue bond issue: the Early Childhood Center, the Education Service Center and the Field House. These projects are all expected to be complete by September of 2013,” says Lehman.

The 2011-12 school year ended with just over 10,600 on the enrollment roster. Dr. Lehman says that thanks to private donations, a supportive community and a smart staff, can meet growing student demands. But he cites state government at fault for cutting needed funds.

“We continue to be faced with budgetary cuts and challenges due to the under-funding of common education by the state legislature,” says Lehman. “Due to unfunded mandates and cuts in funding from the state over the past few years, the Board has been forced to make difficult decisions. One of the consequences of these decisions has been large class sizes. The Board chose to use money from the Fund Balance to address these class sizes for the upcoming school year and are hiring new teachers for the 2012-2013 school year.”

In looking towards educational goals for the year ahead, Lehman says, “Jenks Public Schools Board of Education adopts triennial goals in order to set a focus for all members of the district, from students to administrators. The 2012-2013 goals include: 1) Achieve excellence in the five A’s: Academics, Activities, Attitude, Arts and Athletics; 2) Focus on fiscal stability; 3) Realize a vision for tomorrow. Each of these goals has specific benchmarks that address the reaching of the goal. We will continue to focus on the Jenks District Goals for the 2012-2013 school year.”

adopts a new teacher evaluation system this year. Lehman says, “Due to the Teacher Leader Effectiveness initiative from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the evaluation instrument will be changing for the 2012-2013 school year. School districts across the state were given three choices: the Danielson Model, the Marzano Model, and the Tulsa Model. Jenks Public Schools chose to use the Tulsa Model for teacher evaluation. The evaluation is based on observations of the teacher by the site administrator.”

The OU Tulsa Global Alliance announced recently that this year’s Global Vision Award goes to Lehman for implementing Chinese education and partnerships for Jenks schools. He says about this award, “In Jenks, we are ‘world players,’ and our students are competing in the world market place. Recognizing that China is a key economic player in the world, it is important for us to interact with them in order to remain competitive and prepare students to be successful in a global economy.”

This school season marks the 23rd year for Lehman to serve as Jenks Schools superintendent.

Updated 07-20-2012

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