Owasso School District Chosen to Test Statewide Acedemic Program

Contributing Writer

EDUCATION ADVOCATES: Members of the OwassoPublic Schools board of education are, from left, Vice President Forrest “Frosty” Turpen, Clerk Pat Vanatta, President Brent England, and Members Rhonda Mills and Neal Kessler.

Photo courtesy OPS

Through the guiding of the Owasso Public School Board of Education, the district has been chosen to beta test a new program created by the Oklahoma State Department of Education called the Individual Career Academic Program, or .

“As a general rule, we always have the same vision every year: for every child, we want to provide them the skills and knowledge required to enable them to purse their life goals and ambitions. That’s what’s been the most direct vision as I see it, and one of the ways that we’re enhancing that is getting involved with the Oklahoma State Department of Education program,” said Board President Brent England.

This unique opportunity seeks to provide individualized advancement for each student and Owasso is one of the first districts to be part of it. England is joined by Vice President Forrest “Frosty” Turpen, Clerk Pat Vanatta, Members Rhonda Mills and Neal Kessler in his efforts to encourage the atmosphere of communication and understanding among the students.

Board members are dedicated public servants who seek to improve the unique education needs of the Owasso community while maintaining the policies and guidelines set in place by state and federal education laws. The work is unpaid but always rewarding as Owasso students are positively impacted by their efforts, and is proving that.

“In simple terms, it’s a tool that helps students engage in academic and career development activity and personal advancement. I think it’s working pretty well, but again, it’s new. It’s really encouraging; I wish they had something like that when I was in school that offers all those opportunities,” said England.

was implemented last year in and is still in the beta testing process. Through the program, students are given the opportunity to understand their own interests and passions and match them with a career path unique to their goals. It is highly individualized as the students can choose their own personal plan for achieving their goals.

“As an interactive software program, if you pick a job, it tells you what academic programs you need to take to prepare for that job. It will take three or four years to fully implement it, but [Owasso students] get to be on the front side of it,” said England.

The program extends beyond academia by providing access to mentoring for each student, keeping with the theme of individualizing each student’s learning track. However, is not the only exciting new change happening in Owasso. The district also has begun construction on a new elementary school, been adding improvements to the football, baseball and softball fields, and included a new field inside the track for the band to use.

“There’s a lot of excitement going around, a lot of new things happening. We’re making lots of progress,” said England.

Updated 10-16-2018

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