Oklahoma city schools back in session; superintendent addresses concerns
By Thabie Sibanda
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City schools are officially back in session. More than 40,000 students made their way into classrooms all over the district Monday.There are big changes this year and new leadership. Rob Neu is the new superintendent. He kicked off the school year touring several schools Monday.One of the major changes this year is the addition of a full day pre-kindergarten program. Neu says the city will be one of two major urban markets that provide it."It's a great opportunity to get the kids started early and get a leg-up on their learning," said Neu.Another change is the recently repealed common core standards. The standards were meant to clearly outline what students are expected to learn and know by each grade level."The change of the common core was difficult for us because we've done a lot of work getting ready," said Neu.Justin Ellis was recently elected on to the school board. He agrees there are challenges heading into the school year."We have two years of doing it on our own," said Ellis. "I wish there was some thinking before you repeal it to come up with something else. So that's the hardest part."Neu plans to tackle the challenges head-on with his 100-day transition plan. He has invited parents, community leaders, students and staff to give him feedback through an online engagement form for the first 100 days of the school year."We will continue to have high standards, rigorous standards," said Neu."It takes the school, the parent, the children, the teachers, the principals as well as the administration," said Ellis. "If all works together we will have a successful student and a successful student body coming out of Oklahoma City Public Schools."You can find more detailed information about Neu's plan here: http://okcs.schooldesk.net. Find it under the Superintendent/Board of Education section.
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