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Oklahoma City-area employers will act like adjunct faculty for new downtown elementary school

Joe Pierce, who will serve as head of school of the John Rex Charter Elementary School, discusses the roles area employers may play. A community forum on the new school, which is set to open this fall at Walker and Sheridan, will be held 7 p.m., Tuesday at the downtown library.
Oklahoman Modified: January 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm •  Published: January 16, 2014

Q&A with Joe Pierce

Mentors, tutors will be needed

at downtown elementary school

Q: A community forum on Oklahoma City's first downtown elementary school, which is under construction at N Walker and Sheridan, will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. How can business leaders play a role in the school's success?

A: The John Rex Charter Elementary School (JRCES) will provide a unique and rich learning experience unlike any other in Oklahoma. Thanks to the many businesses within walking distance of the school, students will be exposed to cultural amenities such as the arts and museums as well as opportunities to learn about government, civics, law and citizenship. There also will be volunteer opportunities such as mentorship and tutoring. For example, companies can help by underwriting extended day programs to expand children's exposure to the arts, robotics or various other interests.

Q: Scheduled to open this fall, the school will serve students who live within the designated JRCES attendance boundary. Can children of downtown employees attend?

A: First-priority enrollment goes to children who already live within the designated attendance boundary. But families who work in downtown are eligible to apply for admission. There are several tiers of application. If classes fill quickly, a lottery system will determine acceptance.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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