The Edmond Sun

Education

September 28, 2012

Nonprofit encourages parents to engage with teachers

Oklahoma A+ Schools offers questions for parents

EDMOND — Open House for some parents is a night of sitting and listening to their child’s teacher share what will be happening in their classroom during the school year.

A question a parent might ask that could be an inkling as to not only how a child is learning, but also an insight into how a teacher is teaching would be, “Does my child have a sense of wonder?”

Questions similar to this one are questions the Oklahoma A+ School network urges parents to ask during Open House or parent/teacher conferences during this school year.

Tyler Weldon, operations director for Oklahoma A+ schools, said becoming an Oklahoma A+ School is a commitment from all of the teachers as well as the administration to decide to do things differently.

“We are a whole school network with a whole school initiative so we expect 85 percent of the faculty to be onboard,” Weldon said.

Russell Dougherty Elementary School’s administration in Edmond Public Schools has made the commitment to be an Oklahoma A+ School.

Penny Dilge, in her first year as principal of Russell Dougherty, said the school’s previous principal, Paula Stafford and the faculty incorporated the Oklahoma A+ Learning network in the school.

“Oklahoma A+ Schools encourages different learning styles through the arts and brings that into the curriculum to address every student’s learning style and curriculum to engage more children in learning,” Dilge said.

Whether a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner, Dilge said this program is well accepted by the building’s teachers.

Not only is there a commitment to using the Oklahoma A+ Schools methodology of learning, there is a process administrators and teachers must complete in order to participate.

“I think this is one thing that sets Russell Dougherty apart from the rest of the elementary schools,” Dilge said.

Copies of famous artwork hang in the hallways in order to get the students familiar with different artists and styles, Dilge said. Music also is incorporated and artwork and lessons are completed that address the visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.

“We get the whole student involved,” Dilge said. “Across Edmond teachers are encouraged to differentiate their lessons to include students of all learning styles.”

The nonprofit Oklahoma A+ Schools, based at the University of Central Oklahoma, has developed a tip sheet to help parents ask more meaningful questions at parent-teacher conferences.

Weldon said “Questions like ‘Does my child seem curious?’ and ‘What kinds of questions does my child ask in class?’ are designed to build a stronger relationship between both the parent and teacher and teacher and student.

“Once the basics like grades and behavior have been discussed, the goal is to determine how to help students become creative thinkers and problem solvers.”  

Weldon added Oklahoma A+ Schools effectively helps schools plan and use eight essentials including: Arts every day for every child, cross-curriculum training through mapping and thematic webbing, experiential learning that provides multi-faceted assessment opportunities, multiple learning pathways are used within planning and assessment, ongoing enriched assessment, collaboration occurring with teachers, students, families, the community and local businesses, logistics that provide appropriate space for the arts and provides a positive climate within the school.

“Every school looks a little different,” Weldon said, “but we can fit any school’s needs that wants a reformed state of mind.”

Through continuing professional development and by using Fellows in the Oklahoma A+ Schools network, 75 artists, working teachers, principals and community members, most working practitioners, are available for workshops.

“Our services are all free to member schools,” Weldon said, “with funds provided through a private-public partnership, as well as funds from federal, philanthropic and public dollars.”

Weldon added, these questions lead to that meaningful discussion much more than the typical, “How did he do on his last math test?” or, “Did she take a nap today?”

FOR MORE information about Oklahoma A+ Schools, go to wwwoka+.org.

1
Text Only
Education
  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Dr. Fielding’s variance denied by close vote

    Reverse-angle parking will continue at the 13 N. University Drive office of Dr. Brad Fielding. The Edmond City Council rejected a variance request by the local optometrist to end the city’s pilot project in front of his medical facility.
    Councilman Nick Massey and Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance request that was dismissed in a 3-2 vote.
    Four parking lines were striped late last year at Fielding’s business after the city opened new bicycle lanes along University. The city cites the safety for bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic as the main reasons for introducing reverse-angle parking.

    April 15, 2014

  • Sequoyah Sequoyah names students of the month

    Sequoyah teachers chose the following students as students of the month for being good role models, conscientious students, diligent workers, and respectful individuals

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCU planning Earth Day activities

    Oklahoma City University will celebrate Earth Day with events on April 22. The events are free to the public and will be in the McDaniel University Center near Florida Avenue and Northwest 26th Street.

    April 12, 2014

  • Ruff Draft Student newspaper, magazines take top honors at contest

    Ruff Draft, the student newspaper produced by staffs at all three Edmond high schools, recently took top honors in the Oklahoma Scholastic Media competition, which is conducted in coordination with the Gaylord School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Art Show UCO puts the spotlight on design graduates

    The University of Central Oklahoma Department of Design will present “Defeaters of Dull: The Design Senior Show” from 6-8 p.m. April 17 at the First National Center, 120 N. Robinson Ave., Suite 730W, in downtown Oklahoma City.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gala to celebrate global programs

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Office of Global Affairs will present the International House Night Market Gala from 6-9 p.m. April 18 at the UCO International House, 912 N. Chowning Ave. in Edmond, just north of the main campus.
    Now in its second year, the gala’s 2014 theme is “A Fusion of Art and Cultural Storytelling.”
    Attendees will enjoy dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment and the presentation of the award for Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding to Pam Washington, Ph.D., dean of Central’s College of Fine Arts and Design, as well as the recognition of Zhongying Wang, president of Tiptop Energy Production US LLC, as a top contributor to Cross-Cultural Understanding.

    April 12, 2014

  • Oklahoma Christian presents band, orchestra concerts

    The Oklahoma Christian University music department will present its final instrumental concerts of the school year next week.

    April 12, 2014

  • safety 5.jpg 500-plus Edmond students visit safety village

    More than 500 local students have learned about safety from Edmond firefighters in recent days.
    Mid-day Friday, students from Washington Irving Elementary School were at the Edmond Fire Department’s Children’s Safety Village, a child-size, life safety education center where children learn in a hands-on environment. The village is complete with a city park, buildings, streets, traffic lights, a railroad crossing, a water feature and utility-like infrastructure.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond student named National Achievement Scholarship winner

    National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this week the names of about 800 outstanding Black American high school seniors who have won Achievement Scholarship® awards through the National Achievement Scholarship Program. These awards, totaling more than $2 million, are financed by grants from 31 corporate organizations and professional associations, and by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

    April 11, 2014