A Message From The Superintendent
Take a moment to check out Bart's Monthly Blog!

He writes about education, learning, leadership and more!
Students of the Month
Congratulations to Bandee Dees and Mary Lancaster! We are proud to have these exceptional students representing EPIC as our March students of the month.

Watch the video to learn more about these young scholars.
Trio - College Planning Events
ATTENTION SENIORS!!! Do you need help with college planning?

The TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) program provides counseling and information on college and post high school planning to current seniors. Epic is excited to have TRIO EOC come to the EPIC 50 Penn office to offer multiple sessions focused to help our students. Families with a currently enrolled senior can attend any or all of the below sessions being hosted by TRIO.
When:
  • Tuesday, March 3rd 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 5th 6:00-8:00 pm
March 3 (Tuesday) Topic:  Financial Aid Discussion and FAFSA Completion

Meeting Location: EPIC 50 Penn Place Campus 1900 Northwest Expy, Oklahoma City, OK 73118 Conference Room 3024

Activity: Complete
FAFSA; discuss financial aid processing and possible challenges; Q&A for students and parents; provide individualized assistance to complete FAFSA

March 5 (Thursday) Class Session – (6:00 to 8:00 pm)
Topic: Financial Literacy / Individual Assistance

Meeting Location: EPIC 50 Penn Place Campus 1900 Northwest Expy, Oklahoma City, OK 73118 Conference Room 3024

Activity: Discuss financial literacy and budgeting; provide individualized assistance for students to complete college applications / FAFSAs; provide college tour schedule (locations, dates, times)
New Online Support Groups
Epic is offering students and parents the opportunity to join virtual support groups in order to bridge the distance among our EIPIC family.

Erica Fenderson, 504 Specialist, tells us more about this new opportunity below:
Here is Erica in her own words:

"I work as a 504 Specialist for EPIC and was on the phone with a parent who was just really struggling with the idea that their child had a new diagnosis. Listening to the tone of that parent's voice caused the light bulb to go off. I attend class in an online environment. I work for a school that offers online education with the motto "school can be different." I thought, "why can't counseling and support look different?" What if we could offer support groups to the students and parents of EPIC in order to build bridges across the distances that separate us? With a student population of more than 30,000 Oklahomans, there is no reason that we can't utilize the technology before us in order to lean on each other during times of need. I love the idea of facilitating a sense of community and camaraderie because we are all part of the EPIC family, and that alone is something special."

Erica, currently working on her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, stresses the importance of knowing you're not alone and working through negative emotions: "[One of the benefits of a support group] is knowing you are not alone or the only person who feels the way you feel. But also, I think it is always helpful to know that you have a safe place to talk about struggles. Often, we bottle or suppress things that don't make us feel good and in exchange, we look for things to make us feel better instead of dealing with the negative emotion. This type of pattern is not healthy or sustainable, so being a member of a support group can help members learn to deal with these issues before they become a bigger problem."

Other benefits to support groups include:
  • Learning helpful information.
  • Improved social skills. 
  • Gaining hope. 
  • Reducing distress. 
  • Increased self-understanding. 
  • Helping others in the group with your story.

If you are an EPIC student in 7-12th grade or the parent of an EPIC student and would like more information about joining a group, please contact Erica Fenderson at erica.fenderson@epiccharterschools.org.
Contact Your Legislator
Every year from February to May, the Oklahoma legislature convenes to build a state budget and decide on policy matters. Education is a core component of budgeting and the policy-making process. That is why it is vitally important for your legislators to hear from you about how school choice and EPIC have impacted your families and lives. 

Please find your legislators and communicate with them on the importance of EPIC.

Find your legislators here:
EPIC's Plan: Coronavirus
Some parents and teachers have inquired what EPIC's plan would be should there be an outbreak in Oklahoma and state and/or federal health officials encourage schools and employers to temporarily close. EPIC's plan is simple: We would follow any and all guidance from the government. Fortunately, EPIC's learning model allows our students to work remotely and it provides the same flexibility to our employees. So we do not foresee any disruption to learning and school operations should there be an outbreak. Students attending our on-site blended learning facilities would be given technology to work from home and teachers would continue to facilitate their learning by engaging with students by phone, computer and video conferencing. Our one-on-one students would continue to learn from home and engage with their teachers in the same manner, but we would temporarily suspend face-to-face meetings and therapies until health officials believed it safe for them to resume. Employees would work from home if that was the guidance from health officials.

We do not share this with our families and staff to create any anxiety. There are no reported cases in Oklahoma and the federal government indicates our nation is prepared. However, should there be an outbreak, EPIC is prepared to deal with the situation without any major disruption to student learning. 
For the first time ever, there will be TWO EPIC proms, one in the Oklahoma City area and the other in the Tulsa area. Students will be able to select the prom of their choice to attend this special event with a Roaring 20’s theme in the year 2020!
Open to EPIC Charter Schools students (and guests) in grades 9-12
Saturday, April 25th, 2020
Castle Falls
820 North MacArthur Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73127
6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
and
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Glenpool Conference Center
12205 South Yukon Avenue
Glenpool, OK 74033
6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Ticket Pricing
  • EPIC Banquet & Ball ($80 per ticket) will allow entry at 6:00 p.m. and includes a dinner available until approximately 7:00 p.m. Guests should plan to arrive PRIOR to 6:30 p.m. to allow yourself plenty of time to eat. 
  • EPIC Ball ($50 per ticket) will allow entry to the dance portion of the evening beginning at 7:00 p.m.
  • Ticket sales are non-refundable. Learning Funds may not be used to pay for tickets or any other associated expenses. All monies collected through ticket sales will be managed and used by the event organizer to cover costs related to the event.
Coffee, tea and water will be available to quench your thirst throughout the evening for all guests.

For more information, visit the EPIC Prom webpage HERE .
Celebrate these holidays and post a picture or video on social media with the day's hashtag!
March 2 National Read Across America Day #NationalReadAcrossAmericaDayEPIC
March 4 National Grammar Day #NationalGrammarDayEPIC
March 8 International Women's Day #WomensDayEPIC
March 14 National Pi Da y
#NationalPiDayEPIC
March 21 Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
#IncredibleKidDayEPIC
EPIC School Picture Days
EPIC is excited to partner once again with professional school photography studios to offer One-on-One students and their families four school picture days! Professional photographers will be available to take photos of EPIC students, and parents will be able to order prints and digital photos directly from the photography studios!

Oklahoma City
Monday, March 9, 2020
50 Penn Place
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Lawton
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Sylvan Learning Center
Lawton, OK 73505

Durant
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Boys and Girls Club of Durant
Durant, OK 74701

These dates are for all EPIC Charter Schools students. The Blended Learning Centers have already had their annual school photo days.
The learning fund cannot be used to pay for school photos.
EPIC Partners with Oklahoma Christian University

We are pleased to be able to announce our new partnership with Oklahoma Christian University, which kicks off with the Difference Maker Scholarship.

Available immediately, Oklahoma Christian will award a $12,500 scholarship to 20 different EPIC students!

All you have to do is fill out the application form telling Oklahoma Christian what you have done to contribute to your community, either locally or globally. 
Important - OSTP Practice Tests

Practice tests for the online OSTP assessments are now available in kiosk mode and online via a web browser. Students should use these practice questions to become familiar with the online tools* available as well as the formatting of the multiple-choice, constructive response, and technology enhanced items. Please remember that the intent of these practice questions is not to predict a student’s performance level on the operational assessment, but to familiarize them with the online platform. These practice questions may be used in school as well as sent home for families to review. 

The practice exams are valuable tools and carry merit with regards to student preparation. It is our hope that these practice exams become a part of your daily instruction and routine as you continue to prepare your students for state testing. 
OSTP kiosk is installed on all EPIC Chromebooks. Students accessing the practice exam on an EPIC Chromebook must do so through the OSTP kiosk in "Apps" located in the lower left hand corner of the screen.

Please visit the online practice test web page:  https://okpracticetest.measuredprogress.org/student/login . Login credentials are not required for the Practice Test. Use the drop-down menu under “Select a Test” to select one of the practice tests listed below. Then click “Go”.
  • OSTP Practice Test
  • OSTP Spanish Practice Test
  • CCRA Practice Test
  • CCRA Spanish Practice Test

Note:  If login credentials are requested, clear your browser’s cache and relaunch the Practice Test web page.

*All available online tools are present for the practice questions to allow for students that will need accommodations (e.g. text-to-speech). For the operational assessment only students with a valid IEP, 504 Plan, or EL accommodation will receive the accommodated online tools.

Also, please do not forget about the online readiness tool that was shared in our October and December newsletter. It is extremely important that students are familiar with the online testing format and functionality. This is especially important for our third grade students as the third grade math assessment is online this year.
EPIC is launching a new program called UTeach. The program aims to train professionals with non-education degrees to be alternatively certified Special Education teachers for EPIC. And, once alternatively certified, EPIC will further invest in these employees by helping them to become fully certified Oklahoma teachers.

The first cohort of UTeach participants will begin their training this July, and the details of this new program are outlined in great detail on our EPIC website at this link:  https://epiccharterschools.org/uteach.html .

If you have family or friends you believe would be interested in UTeach, please have them review the information on our website and consider applying. Questions about the program should be directed to me, and my information is in the email signature below. 

We are very excited about the potential of UTeach and look forward to hearing from any individuals within your network who are interested in joining EPIC through this innovative new program!
 
Sincerely,
Dr. Jeffrey Keeney,
Director of Educator Preparation & Certification
918.955.7032
Each year, our graduation ceremony grows tremendously and planning an event of this magnitude takes great effort and planning. The success of last year’s ceremony was dependent upon the volunteer efforts of faculty and staff members…and thousands of participating students and their friends and family members who attended. If you’ve ever wondered what an EPIC graduation looks like, look no further than our  videos of the 2019 ceremonies .

WHO:  Seniors who are qualified to graduate will receive notification by both mail and email. These Seniors need to register through EPIC and order their  Cap and Gown from Herff-Jones . The official graduation registration will be sent to Seniors beginning in March. You must register to attend the ceremony of your choice in advance.

WHEN:  

Saturday, May 30, 2020 at the Mabee Center in Tulsa
Two Ceremonies: 11:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m.
and
Saturday, June 6, 2020 at the Cox Center in Oklahoma City
Two Ceremonies: 11:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m.
*Graduates should arrive at least 90 minutes before the ceremony, preferably two hours. Ceremonies should last between 90 minutes and two hours.

WHAT: 

EPIC Charter Schools Commencement

WHERE:  

MABEE CENTER   7777 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74171 &
COX CONVENTION CENTER  1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

HOW:  Once a student has been notified that they have been identified as a candidate for graduation* they will need to click on the Commencement Registration links. Students will be able to choose which of the four ceremonies they plan on attending when registering. Students may only participate in one commencement ceremony each. Upon completing the commencement registration students will be directed to the Cap & Gown Ordering information.

The school is expecting a record-setting audience for the hundreds to thousands of students and faculty in attendance at each ceremony. All candidates for graduation will be contacted regarding their status beginning in March.

*Your graduation is contingent on your completion of all unfinished work and participation in state testing. The Graduation Support Department will be conducting final graduation checks in May to ensure that each senior has met local and state graduation requirements.

For more information, and to view our frequently asked question section, click the link below to visit the EPIC Graduation Website.
Order Your Cap and Gown
Are you needing to order your commencement regalia early? If so, you are in luck! Herff-Jones made the Cap & Gown order link live TODAY!

Registration for the EPIC Commencement ceremonies will not go live until the second semester of school. We will email all qualifying Seniors when the link goes live with all of the ceremony details.
Class Ring Orders Now Available
View the short tutorial on how to order an official class ring for EPIC Charter Schools.

If you have additional questions or need assistance ordering, contact customer service at highschoolcs@herffjones.com  or call toll free 866-238-5336.