Three-year contract extensions were approved for two Oklahoma City charter schools that school board members remarked have shown impressive test scores despite serving an impoverished demographic. "The accomplishments of Dove (Science Academy) are extraordinary,” board member Phil Horning said. The School Board approved the contract for both the Dove elementary and high schools unanimously after Superintendent Kaan Camuz presented statistics showing students outscoring state averages despite high minority and low-income student populations. "We attempt to visit all of our students in a home setting,” Camuz said, noting that of 375 elementary students and 475 high schoolers, approximately 90 percent have home visits. Board members also unanimously approved a three-year contract renewal for Santa Fe South Charter middle and high schools, which has an 80 percent graduation rate despite 95 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced lunches. Principal Chris Brewster said one unique feature of his school is the emphasis on foreign language studies for a school where most students enter fluent in Spanish. "They walk in the door speaking two languages, and we want to nourish that,” Brewster said.Comments
Food contract renewedThe board also approved a contract with Sodexo, the company that manages the district’s food services for $1.35 million, and a contract with Chartwells for the food and menu development. Bridgid Cook with the parent group Eat Wise OKC attended the meeting to advocate for still healthier options in Oklahoma City Public Schools, while commending the strides Chartwells has made in the past two years. Chocolate toaster pastries were removed from the menu after board member Lyn Watson inquired about them at the last board meeting. A representative from Chartwells said next year the company could look at removing al la carte items from the district. Cook said those items, which students can buy instead of federally approved school lunches, include french fries and cinnamon rolls.
Action on Moon delayedSuperintendent Karl Springer announced at the beginning of the meeting that the discussion regarding reform at F.D. Moon Academy would be delayed until the district has had a chance to meet with parents and teachers at the combined elementary and middle school. "One of the things that we really want to do is be able to talk to parents and make it so that folks understand that this is a process,” Springer said. Moon Academy is in the same situation as U.S. Grant High School this year where the district must select one of five restructuring models to drastically reform the academically struggling schools. Teachers at U.S. Grant will be interviewed for their jobs with at least 50 percent of them being moved to other district positions. No recommendation has been made for Moon.