By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
LOOKING BACK: Dr. Ron Foore has enjoyed being a part of the positive changes that have occurred in Tulsa Public Schools over the last four years. These changes have created rewarding experiences and treasured memories for teachers and graduating seniors.
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for GTR Newspapers
Seniors are making plans to take a step forward while looking back on the memories that they have made while attending Tulsa Public Schools. From their very first day of class to their last, seniors have experienced a number of positive changes that their school has undergone.
Dr. Ron Foore has been a teacher at Tulsa Public Schools for over 15 years. He is currently teaching psychology at Booker T. Washington High School and has immensely enjoyed the experience.
One of the largest rewards of teaching is reaching out to the students and then watching them succeed, says Foore. “Students at Booker T. Washington are very diverse and intrinsically motivated. They already have goals set for their future and are working hard to reach them. Booker T. Washington has a 100 percent graduation rate, making it one of only a few that can claim that in the state.”
Graduates from Tulsa Public Schools have continued on to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities all over the world and have entered every imaginable academic field of study.
Foore believes that one of the main changes that current seniors have experienced is the increase in safety. Tulsa Public Schools has implemented a special police force in order to keep students as safe as possible. “In light of all of the problems around the country, security has become a very important part of the school. Even in the classroom, safety has been addressed.”
Another large change that current seniors have experienced involves technology. Smart boards are being installed in every classroom, which will enhance lessons. Every student is also expected to create PowerPoint presentations for assignments when just a few years ago, many did not know how to use the program. “Additionally, every teacher in Tulsa Public Schools has a website that features current assignments and schedules. This technology enables parents to have access to their children’s grades at any given time.”
Students have also seen a change in the expectations that are placed on testing. “In order to graduate from high school, seniors must pass four of their end of the year instruction tests. A lot of colleges and universities are taking notice of these tests and as a result, the scores are now being placed on student’s transcripts.”
This has changed the perception of grade inflation within school. “If test scores and grades are not coinciding, then an admissions representative may question the difference.” The implementation of test scores on student transcripts helps deter favoritism in the classroom grading process.
Near the end of the academic year and just before graduation, Booker T. Washington holds a farewell assembly for students. Pictures, videos and memories of their time in the school are displayed, which is very meaningful to seniors. “Many times, the students begin to realize that they may not see one another again. It is a very poignant time for them.”