Welcome to a New School Year, Sandites!

The start of school is a thrilling time of possibilities– new friends, new teachers, new ideas– and I can’t wait to see what this year brings. We are committed to making our district the best it can be for all students and are always open to ways we can #REIMAGINE and improve!

 

But before we begin the new school year, let’s take a look back at some of the many highlights from the 2021-22 school year.

 

Central Ninth Grade Center Remodel

The remodel of our old Central Ninth Grade Center is well underway. The building now houses our Enrollment Center and Child Nutrition Department. As remodels continue, all central administrative services will be located in that building.

 

This project brings a visionary future to the site while maintaining the charm and history of the building. The leadership of our Board of Education, along with community participation, enhances the learning climate in our district. Our team places an extremely high value on our greatest resource: our children!

 

DonorsChoose District Partnership

 

In October, we announced our new district partnership with DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding platform for classroom projects. Thanks to this new partnership, our educators, and our donors, our district was able to raise $42,851! This funding allowed teachers to purchase musical instruments, graphing boards, art supplies, and so much more.

 

TCC EDGE: Earn a Degree, Graduate Early

In April, we announced the acceptance of 10 eighth grade students into EDGE: Earn a Degree, Graduate Early, a partnership between SSPS and Tulsa Community College. 

 

EDGE students graduate high school at the same time they earn an associate degree from TCC, at no charge to the student. Upon graduation, students are on their way to a bachelor’s degree two years ahead of their peers.

 

The students from our very first EDGE cohort begin their preparatory classes this year. After this year, they will earn college credits. SSPS and TCC will provide additional support to these students as they advance toward their associate degrees.

This is such a unique, wonderful opportunity for the students of our district, thanks to our partnership with TCC.

 

Project Lead the Way Distinguished Schools

 

All five of our elementary schools were named 2021-22 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished SchoolsAngus Valley Elementary, Garfield STEAM Academy, Limestone Technology Academy, Northwoods Fine Arts Academy, and Pratt Elementary are some of only 282 schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch.

 

Through our partnership with PLTW, our outstanding elementary educators have made STEM education opportunities more accessible to the students of our district.

 

Tulsa World’s Best in the Burbs

 

Sand Springs Public Schools was named Best Public School in Tulsa World’s Best in the Burbs Contest. This contest celebrates the top businesses in the communities surrounding Tulsa, and we are thrilled to receive this recognition. 

 

The winner was decided by public vote, and I could not be more thankful to our supportive community. I am also deeply grateful for our dedicated teachers and staff. They are the ones who make this district exceptional, and they earned this award.

 

Digital Media and Broadcasting Pathway

 

With the addition of the Jumbotron at Memorial Stadium, we are reviving and rebranding the Sandite TV program through our Sandite Athletics YouTube channel. The Jumbotron should be ready for the first home football game and came complete with digital media curriculum allowing us to add another program for students to access. With the addition of a few staff members, students will be able to learn about the creation of digital media, the art of sports broadcasting, and digital streaming. 

 

Esports

 

Our district is adding Esports as an additional extracurricular activity for students to choose. After a student interest survey and team tryouts, we will start the year with 24 students participating in the first season of Esports. This competitive activity is sanctioned by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association and will follow all guidelines of this organization. This will open up a whole new set of opportunities for college scholarships and career pathways for our students. 

 

Central Administrative Services

 

This year we look forward to the completion of the Central Administrative Services project. This historic building that recently housed our Freshman students has been transformed into a centralized location for student enrollment and our Virtual Academy. At the completion of the project all administrative services will be under one roof. This will include a Professional Development Lab, the Office of the Superintendent, our Finance Department, Special Education Services, Federal Programs, 21st Century Program, Textbook Depository, and the Board of Education. 

 

Looking Forward

 

Last year was full of growth and milestones, and the 2022-23 school year looks to be just as exciting. Our Highway 97 Rivalry has a new trophy and a new sponsor: American Heritage Bank. Charles Page High School will debut our first-ever ESports team. Renovation of the Central Ninth Grade Center will near completion. But most importantly, whatever this year brings, our outstanding educators will continue to provide the best possible learning experience for our students.

 

Thank you for joining us on this adventure, and GO SANDITES!

 

Sherry Durkee
Superintendent
Sand Springs Public Schools