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The Kingfisher Times & Free Press

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By Staci Elder Hensley superintendent of the Mill- the committee. tage as they move toward students learn basic daily
Independent Journalist wood School District in In Norman, a new public college and future careers, living, technological, and
Oct Officials from a range of Oklahoma City, said she took charter school, Le Monde said Superintendent Chuck social skills. The school’s
traditional public schools, advantage of a little-known International School, McCauley. growth has accelerated rap-
24 public charter schools, and state law and switched her
district’s elementary and
opened its doors last month
with 132 students. At the
“We have families who
move to Bartlesville to send
idly thanks to the Lindsey
Nicole Henry Scholarship
private schools briefed state
lawmakers on some of their middle schools to charter full-immersion language their kids to this school.” Program for Children with
conversion schools. After school, students are taught —Clair Bartley, Paths Disabilities, a private-school
2018 innovative educational ap-
proaches during an interim partnering with Teach for in Spanish or French 90 to Independence (PTI) voucher program enacted in
study on Sept. 11 in the America and implementing percent of the time, “except co-founder and director 2010.
Senate Education Commit- a “Success for All” reading for classes where English Focusing on the Future “See a need and fill it”
Page tee. The study was held at program, school officials is required for the subject Another success story in may be a business mantra,
A005 the request of state Sen. Rob have seen a dramatic up- matter,” said executive di- Bartlesville is Paths to Inde- but it’s also a key factor
Standridge (R-Norman). surge in progress from its rector Lance Seeright. “All pendence (PTI), a nonprofit behind several private and
Clip Cecilia Robinson-Woods, inner-city students, she told students have an education private school for students charter schools around the
plan based on their learning with autism. Opened in state, presenters said. Many
resized style. Since we have just 2010, the school serves stu- of these schools have opened
41% opened, and not everyone is dents ranging in age from their doors only within the y

familiar with the concept of three through adult. “We past year or two and, like M
immersion learning, we are serve the whole spectrum of Paths to Independence,
working on earning trust autism disorders, which is are geared toward a highly
L
from the community. It’s up very unique,” said co-found- specific student population.
to us to prove our worth.” er and director Clair Bartley, Crossover Preparatory U
Epic Charter Schools who’s also a special educa- Academy is an all-male
operates a virtual learning tion teacher. school in north Tulsa with
curriculum accessible to Bartley said she con- a focus on college prepa- ‡
pre-K through 12th grade ceived the idea for PTI ration for its mostly Afri- ‡
students across the state. because she saw large num- can-American students, in
Many Epic students were bers of autistic children 7th through 12th grades. G
victims of severe bullying
or in an otherwise unsafe
falling through the cracks in
public schools. Many were
Executive director Philip
Abode said the curriculum
H
and ineffective environ- severely bullied. They’re is modeled after a successful
ment prior to making the also suspended at much program in New Jersey. The
switch to Epic, said David higher rates than other stu- push to create the school,
Chaney, superintendent dents, often because regular he said, came after realizing
and co-founder. “In some teachers don’t understand that only 22 African-Amer-
rural areas, we’re the only how to handle their behav- ican senior boys in 2015
charter school option,” he ior. were college-ready in Tulsa
said. “What it highlights for “What we do at Paths to Public Schools.
me is the need for different Independence is to focus Crossover Prep relies
alternatives.” on the future,” Bartley said. heavily on Oklahoma’s
Collegiate Hall is a col- “The number-one reason private-school tax-credit
lege-preparatory charter parents opt out of public scholarship program enact-
school in Tulsa for students schools is the lack of per- ed in 2011.
in grades four through eight. sonal attention. We have a “The tax credit allows
Students are flourishing two-to-one student-teacher us to have these students’
academically in a school ratio, and each student tuition free,” Abode said.
culture that strongly empha- works from an individual “We don’t believe access
sizes a team approach and education plan. We also to a good education should
extensive teacher training, teach parents how to be an be limited.” Plans are now
lead founder Nikhil Kawlra effective advocate for their in the works to create a
told the committee. child and for autistic chil- similar academy for young ‡
Bartlesville Public dren in general.” African-American women, ‡
Schools, meanwhile, es- In addition to regular he said.
tablished a successful part- classroom subjects, the E
nership with the national
nonprofit Project Lead the
Way (PLTW), the Bartles-
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Clip
Oct 2018 Page resized
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Mustang News

g Thursday, October 25, 2018 NEWS◆3A

Retired educator is
‘virtually’ teaching
By CHRIS EVERSOLE able by computer the rest of the
newseditor@mustangnews.info time.
“I can give more individual
Beverly Ferree is enjoying her attention than I could in a class-
retirement from 35 years teaching room of 35 students,” she said.
public school. “I get to learn their strengths
Beverly Ferree, a teacher for Epic Charter Schools, works with Keeth Ferree, who is She hangs out at Starbucks and
her grandson, and Holli Bos at the Mustang Starbucks. Photo/Chris Eversole and weaknesses.”
libraries a lot, but she’s not there
for her own pleasure. Ferree is flexible in her teaching.
Rather, Ferree meets with stu- For example, students can inter-
pret a novel they read in a way that

Readers respond to
dents enrolled in Epic Charter
Schools, a statewide organization suits them, such as drawing or cre-
that provides virtual education for ating music.
students for pre-K through 12th Tenth-grader Holli Bos was
grade.

Mustang Creek Crossing
studying with Ferree at the
Ferree, who lives in Tuttle, often Mustang Starbucks recently.
meets with students at the “I love it,” she said. “I can work
Mustang Starbucks and the at my own pace. When I was going
Mustang Public Library. to high school, classes were either
By CHRIS EVERSOLE Matt Smith
newseditor@mustangnews.info She meets with each of her 35 too slow – and I was bored – or
-Element? Wow...some of us might
want to avoid a hateful person like
students one-on-one for an hour they moved so fast they left me
you. – Traci every other week, and she is avail- behind.”
News of plans for Mustang Creek -I am thankful more things are
Crossing generated an unusual num

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