MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 2, 2013

Okay High to partner with Adair High to improve

Okay High to partner with Adair High to improve

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Okay High School is set to partner with Adair High School as part of the state’s Raise the Grade Together Initiative.

Through the program, schools listed as Reward Schools by the state team with those listed as Priority Schools.

Oklahoma Superintendent for Public Instruction Janet Barresi said in a media release that six Reward schools were awarded grants to work with the Priority school.

Adair High School received a $47,000 grant to partner with Okay High School in the initiative.

Interim Okay Superintendent David Harlow said he has not received official notification about the grant or the partnership. Harlow came to Okay schools in January after former Superintendent Mickey Igert retired.

Priority schools are ranked in the bottom 5 percent of achievement in the state in reading and math or have a graduation rate below 60 percent over the last three years. Okay High School was listed as a Priority school in December for the second year in a row. In August, the state presented Okay with a list showing that the school has followed its improvement plan.

The State Department of Education gave Okay a C on the state’s A-F report card.

Reward schools are designated as achieving in all state assessments or showing great progress in reading and math. Adair High School, located in Mayes County, received an A on its report card.

In a media release, assistant State Superintendent of Educational Support Kerri White said the vision for the grant is to see schools celebrate successes while collaborating to seek continuous improvement in student learning, school culture and professional growth. The ultimate goal is to see schools removed from the Priority School list while seeing an increase in the number of Reward Schools.

The State Department of Education staff will monitor grant administration and mentoring activities from February to June 2014. Funds can be used for celebration of excellence activities at the Reward School and partnership activities that are likely to benefit both the Reward School and the Priority School.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee phoenix.com.