The Comet's Tale  
June 2, 2017
A bright vision for the future
Volunteers needed, ASTEC art showcased
Last month, Ms. Clarissa Urbina and 160 ASTEC sixth-graders each painted a flag for the Children's Garden Festival at the Myriad Gardens. The Festival will take place this week from  June 3 to 11 . Look for the 160 flags hand-painted by, as Urbina describes, "the cutest, most talented scholars ever."

After completing the flags the kids tied them on 20 feet long pieces of twine and each scholar received a free ticket to the event. 

Now, the Garden is in its full Eric Carle-style glory featuring 160 ASTEC Scholars' flags in "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" theme, but the Gardens are still seeking volunteers to work the event. 

"We bring a different book to life each time and this year we’re bringing "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to life. We need nearly 300 volunteers to help put on the festival and volunteers help out with things like entry gate, games, free and paid crafts and general straightening up as over 10,000 people visit each year. It’s a really fun event to volunteer at," said  Megan Brown, volunteer program manager at Myriad Gardens  

If you can help, call Brown at (405) 445-7087

ACT and College Preparedness workshops offered

Professional development workshops using a holistic approach to prepare students for success. This free half-day, interactive workshop is also a great opportunity to meet with professionals to network and share ideas. Topics will include:

  • How do I know if my students are meeting educational standards?
  • What do my students’ test scores really mean?
  • Do my students’ interests line up with their academic and social/emotional skills?
  • How do I know if students are ready for college and career?
  • How do I communicate with students and parents about college and career readiness?
  • How do I leverage free personalized instructional resources for students?

In addition, The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will offer Professional Development Workshops for administrators, counselors, district test coordinators and curriculum leaders for Fall 2017. Topics will include Legislation, preparing students for college and PreACT.

  • Please register at least two weeks in advance of the workshop date to ensure availability of workshop materials.
  • Workshops are typically three hours in length.
  • If you need assistance participating in this workshop due to a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please email at least ten business days prior to the scheduled workshop to request an accommodation.

Select your workshop. Not finding a convenient location? Additional workshop locations will open for registration soon. All workshops begin at 9 a.m. 


       DATE                               LOCATION                                                   October 24                Oklahoma City: Moore Norman Technology Center       October 31                Woodward: High Plains Technology Center                          November 2              Tulsa: Tulsa Technology Center                                  
November 7              Ada: Pontotoc Technology Center                        
Fighting food insecurity
In Oklahoma, nearly 62 percent of public school students are eligible for free and reduced-priced lunches. During the summer months when school is not in session, only 6.4 percent of those same students participate in summer feeding programs, ranking Oklahoma 51st in the nation. 

To that end, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister on Wednesday announced the launch of #FoodforThought, a public awareness campaign by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and its Office of Child Nutrition to significantly increase the number of free meals served to Oklahoma kids 18 and under during the federally funded Summer Food Service Program.

State Budget will flatline education
Governor Mary Fallin on Thursday signed the Fiscal Year 2018 budget bill (Senate Bill 860) into law, which closes an $878 million shortfall, maintains common education funding at current levels, and prevents the closings of hospitals and nursing homes. The 2018 fiscal year appropriated budget will be $6,830,177,825. It is $37,782,641, or 0.55 percent less than the revised fiscal year 2017 appropriated budget, which includes supplementals and the revenue failure.

“My top priorities remain strengthening education and workforce, reducing the state’s incarceration rates and improving health outcomes.  Whether it’s improving public safety, fixing our roads and bridges, boosting education or raising our health outcomes and indicators, the successes of this session to protect core services in the midst of an energy crisis will help to make Oklahoma a better place to live, work and raise a family,” Fallin said.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the budget agreement "will flat-fund" with no pay raise for teachers, something many legislators campaigned for.

Hofmeister says legislators have shown in the budget that education took a high priority, and she is grateful for every dollar dedicated to education

She says the state will still have a growing student population and a teacher shortage, so the education needs are great.

She says she and her office will continue to advocate for students and demonstrate their needs all year long.

When asked what her message is to teachers who will not be getting a raise this year, she said the work is not over yet, and the state needs to be competitive to attract and keep great teachers in Oklahoma.In the mean time, her office will provide whatever support they can to teachers 

She’s positive for the state’s economic outlook, and says there’s $500 million in anticipated revenue to fill in some holes. She says she will know in a few weeks whether schools will need to make even more cuts.

Read the full story here

Enroll Now for 2017/2018 school year 
Whether you're a new student, a returning student or a transfer student, or your child will be one in the fall, it's time to make sure your enrollment is processed. 

Returning students should have completed and turned in their enrollment forms. If not, they need to be turned in ASAP. 

New students can print an enrollment packet at this link. They can also enroll online here.
Transfer students from outside Oklahoma City Public School district should fill out enrollment forms and a district transfer form. Copies of transcripts, shot records, birth certificate and proof of residency can be faxed (405) 947-0035 or brought in to the school secretaries. 
Summer School Starts Soon
For ASTEC Scholars needing to make up credits, Summer School will begin June 5 and last through June 22 at the ASTEC campus. Core classes including math, science, English and social studies will be offered for $150 per class, per semester.

Students will pay for classes the morning of June 5. Classes run from 8 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays. Contact Dean Hall by emailing or stop by office 302 in the Middle School. 
Educators to attend professional summer conferences
Several ASTEC teachers and members of the leadership team will attend various professional development opportunities across the United States this summer, further honing their teaching, technology and student psychology understanding and techniques.

From June 10 to 13, Superintendent Dr. Freda Deskin, Headmaster Ronald Grant and Dean of Instruction Lisa Seay will attend the National Charter School Conference in Washington, D.C

From June 18 to 22, Dean of Students Derek Hall  "Success with Extremely Challenging and Acting Out Kids for Educators," a Love and Logic retreat in Copper Mountain, Colo. 

From June 23 to 28, Instructional Technology Coach Chase Alexander ISTE Conference and Expo ( International Society for Technology in Education)  in San Antonio.

June 28 to July 2, Superintendent Dr. Freda Deskin, Dean of Instruction Lisa Seay, Christy Hanna, Dillyn Sprecher,  Chris Pratt, Brad Rogers and Ryan Patterson will head to Denver to attend the  ASCD ( Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) "Learning, Teach, Lead" conference.