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CLXXII | Winter 2020

betterschools Fundamental Resources and Editorials for School Administrators

The Power of Telling Your Story








B e t t e r sc h o o l s | W I N TE R 2 0 2 0

Content CCOSA Executive Committee Chris LeGrande CCOSA Chairperson OASSP Past President Principal, Guthrie High School, Guthrie Public Schools Justin Mann CCOSA Vice Chairperson OMLEA President Principal, Del Crest Middle School, Midwest City-Del City Public Schools Dr. Don Raleigh OASA President Superintendent, Pryor Public Schools Dr. April Grace OASA President-Elect Superintendent, Shawnee Public Schools Kim Coody OASSP President Principal, Glenpool High School, Glenpool Public Schools Dusty Throckmorton OASSP President-Elect Assistant Principal, Guthrie High School, Guthrie Public Schools


Words from the Director


2018 - 2019 Annual Report


Professional Development Calendar


Membership Form


The Power of Telling Your Story


Retirement Planning

Jonathan Atchley OMLEA President-Elect Principal, Irving Middle School, Norman Public Schools


Josh Pierce OAESP President Principal, Mannford Lower Elementary School, Mannford Public Schools


Donna Boles OAESP President-Elect Principal, Perkins-Tryon IES, Perkins-Tryon Public Schools


Tracy Mootry ODSS President Special Services Director, Inola Public Schools Melisa Kifer ODSS President-Elect Special Services Director, Stillwater Public Schools Dr. Gregg Garn Higher Education Liaison Dean, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, University of Oklahoma


Dr. Jeanene Barnett, CCOSA Education Policy & Research Analyst

Richie Collins, Financial Services Advisor, Horizon Financial Services

Dissertation Corner Dr. Shane Boothe, Superintendent, Mangum Public Schools

Augmenting Education with Virtual Reality Mandy Green, Alex Holmes, Dr. Jackie Mania, Dr. Nicki Watkins, Ryan Whitlock, The University of Oklahoma, K20 Center

The Basics of Impact Aid Hilary Goldmann, Executive Director, Anne O’Brien, Director of Communications, National Association of Federally Impacted Schools

Navigating School Board Elections Julie L. Miller, OSSBA Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

W inter 2020 | bet ter sch ools


CCOSA Staff Dr. Pam Deering CCOSA/OASA Executive Director


Innovation Success Story: Union Public Schools


Why We Need To Get Out the Count- 2020 Census*

John Federline, Executive Director of Secondary Education, Union Public Schools

William D. Parker OASSP/OMLEA Executive Director

Nora Gordon, Associate Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University *This article was republished from the October 2019 AASA School Administrator magazine.


Derald Glover OASA Assistant Executive Director

Andrea Kunkel CCOSA General Counsel ODSS Executive Director Dr. Jeanene Barnett Education Policy & Research Analyst Elyse Maxwell Director of Communications


Cynda Kolar Business Manager

Julie Bloss, Principal, Grove Early Childhood Center Short anecdotes relating to school administration

Erin Tabberer Communications Coordinator


What We’re Reading


CCOSA Association Updates

Hope Rising, Review written by Kristin Atchley

Lynne White OAESP Executive Assistant Laura Crabtree Membership Coordinator ODSS Executive Assistant McKenzie Lumry OASA Executive Assistant Charlotte Murphy OASSP/OMLEA/CEC Executive Assistant

Better Schools Editorial Advisory Board Dr. Scott Beck, Director of Secondary Student Services, Norman Public Schools Doug Brown, Superintendent, Idabel Public Schools Cathey Bugg, Principal, Heritage Elementary School, Edmond Public Schools Dr. Channa Byerly, Assistant Superintendent, DuncanPublicSchools

Dr. Janet Dunlop, Superintendent, Broken Arrow Public Schools Kathy Dunn, Assistant Superintendent, Mid-Del Public Schools Dr. April Grace, Superintendent, Shawnee Public Schools Amber Graham-Fitzgerald, Director of Human Resources & Communications, Enid Public Schools

Lori Kerns, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Broken Arrow Public Schools Diana Lebsack, Executive Director of Secondary Education, Yukon Public Schools Chuck McCauley, Superintendent, Bartlesville Public Schools Dr. Don Raleigh, Superintendent, Pryor Public Schools

Dr. Jacque Canady, Executive Director, Osage County Interlocal Cooperative

Ashley Hoggatt, Principal, Kirkland Elementary School, Putnam City Public Schools

Lynn Schroeder, Director of Special Services, Sequoyah Public Schools

Dr. Kaylin Coody, Associate Director, Oklahoma Schools Advisory Council

Matt Holder, Superintendent, Sulphur Public Schools

Bret Towne, Superintendent, Edmond Pubic Schools Desarae Witmer, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction


B e t t e r sc h o o l s | W I N TE R 2 0 2 0

Words from the Director Like you, we are back after a wonderful holiday season. We are already hard at work on the many exciting learning opportunities for CCOSA members for the remainder of the 2019 - 2020 year and looking forward to what’s next. We are thankful to welcome Glen Abshere as the new OAESP Executive Director. He replaces Dr. Gracie Branch, who left CCOSA to work as the Associate Executive Director of Professional Development for NAESP. Glen’s first day is January 13. As many of you know, our theme for the CCOSA Summer Leadership Conference is FOCUS. We hope you’ll take a moment to regroup, reenergize and regain your focus for the school year. What does that mean to you? Do you hope to focus on leadership growth? Mentoring a new leader? Becoming more adept in a certain skill? Speaking of focus, we are now just a few shorts weeks away from the 2020 Legislative Session - and have outlined the focus of our legislative efforts for CCOSA, which can be found at php?ccosa-legislative-goals.

Dr. Pam Deering

We saw some meaningful policy changes during last year’s session and hope to see more this year, but we won’t see success alone. It’s vital that you help tell your school’s story to legislators. To help with this, check out the article entitled Telling Your Story in this edition by Dr. Jeanene Barnett. CCOSA must continue to focus our efforts on ensuring that tax credits/vouchers do not continue to grow. School leadership is vital to the success of students. We must protect the profession with expectations of high standards of leadership and accountability. We’ve got so many exciting things coming up very quickly. If you have not already, please be sure you register for these conferences. You won’t want to miss out! • OASA Legislative Conference January 22, 2020 at the Embassy Suites Downtown Medical Center OKC • OAESP Mid-Winter Conference featuring keynote speaker Brad Gustafson - January 31, 2020 at the Moore Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus • OASSP/OMLEA Conference featuring the 2018 National Principal of the Year Dr. Akil Ross and author/speaker Kim Campbell - February 12-13 at the Embassy Suites Downtown Medical Center OKC • Women in School Leadership Forum featuring speakers Dr. Tina Boogren and Lauren Sisler - March 11-12 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, Tulsa • CCOSA Summer Leadership

Conference 2020 - featuring Bill Daggett and thought leaders from across the state and nation - June 2-5 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center, Norman There are lots of other things going on early this year. January is School Board Appreciation Month. I encourage you to let your Boards know how much their support and encouragement matters! February 24 also begins National Public Schools Week. AASA has some wonderful resources available to help you promote the importance of public education. Find more information and a toolkit here. You can see highlights from the 2018-2019 year in our Annual Report, now at and on the next pages. I know you will be pleased with the information and its updated presentation. Seeing a year in review reminds me of all the great work we’ve done together. As I think about what is to come in the last half of this school year, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind. “Focus on the possibilities for success, not the potential for failure.” --- Napoleon Hill Wishing you a great new year with many possibilities for success and reminding you we’re here to help however we can! Stay focused! Sincerely, Dr. Pam Deering.

2018 - 2019


PRESTIGIOUS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT Renaissance Renaissance is the leader in Pre-K—12 assessment and practice software. When using Renaissance, districts will understand where students are currently at in the Oklahoma learning progression, what they need to learn next, and have access to instruction and practice tools to get them to the next level. Renaissance transforms data about how students learn into instruments of empowerment for classroom teachers, enabling them to guide all students to achieve their full potential.


2018-2019 Annual Report



Julie Bloss

CCOSA Chairperson Principal, Grove Early Childhood Center, Grove Public Schools

Chris LeGrande

2018-2019 Annual Report

CCOSA Vice Chairperson Principal, Guthrie High School, Guthrie Public Schools

Adam McPhail

OMLEA President Principal, Canton High School, Canton Public Schools

Lynn Schroeder

ODSS President Federal Programs Director, Sequoyah Public Schools


Dr. John Cox

Dr. Don Raleigh

Justin Mann

Camille Holt

OASA President Superintendent, Peggs Public Schools

OASA President-Elect Superintendent, Pryor Public Schools

OMLEA President-Elect Principal, Del Crest Middle School, Mid-Del Public Schools

OAESP President Principal, Shattuck Elementary School, Shattuck Public Schools

Tracy Mootry

Dr. Gregg Garn

ODSS President-Elect Special Services Director, Inola Public Schools

Higher Ed Liaison Dean, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, OU

Kim Coody

OASSP President-Elect Principal, Glenpool High School, Glenpool Public Schools

Josh Pierce

OAESP President-Elect Principal, Mannford Lower Elementary School, Mannford Public Schools

Cliff Johnson

PAC Representative Superintendent, Latta Public Schools

WORDS FROM THE DIRECTOR “Thank you for your membership. We want you to know that it is our goal to continually improve the services we offer! We’re looking forward to another wonderful year! “

The 2018-2019 school year brought some exciting changes to public education in Oklahoma. Together, we successfully advocated for another muchneeded teacher pay raise. We saw many important pieces of legislation pass, some unanimously, and we had a packed house nearly every single week at Legislative Briefings. Your stories made all the difference in advocating for public education. Thank you for continuing to share the stories of public education in your districts! We also welcomed several new staff members to the CCOSA team this year. Dr. Jeanene Barnett joined us as the Education Policy and Research Analyst. Derald Glover joined CCOSA as the OASA Assistant Executive Director. Elyse Maxwell came on board as the Director of Marketing and Communications and shortly after, we welcomed Communications Coordinator Erin Tabberer. Charlotte Murphy rejoined the CCOSA team as well! We are excited to have received our IRS 501(c)3 designation for the Better Schools Foundation. This will allow us to write for grants that will benefit CCOSA’s professional learning in the future. This year included lots of preparation for programs that will launch in the 2019-2020 year. CCOSA is focusing its efforts around “Quality Schools” and what we can do to assist our members. Using the For The People guide, a project sponsored jointly with OSSBA, we are identifying ways to build leadership, identify policy solutions for the teacher shortage and funding, along with others.

As the world around us modernized, we saw education changing and felt the need to help Oklahoma’s educators through the transition. Derald Glover, along with a team of knowledgeable members, developed the CCOSA Blended Learning Framework to help districts understand how to implement blended learning successfully. You’ll see more information on this framework in 2019-2020! Another project that was a big planning focus this year was the ProjectEcho Tele SPED-ECHO, which was led by Andrea Kunkel, CCOSA’s General Counsel/ODSS Executive Director. Andrea worked with the Oklahoma State University ProjectEcho team to begin planning a series of biweekly webinars about special education where experts can easily share information with educators from across the state. Tele SPED-ECHO is planned to launch in September 2019. I want to sincerely thank our CCOSA Executive Committee as well: Julie Bloss, Chairperson; Chris LeGrande, Vice Chairperson; Dr. John Cox; Dr. Don Raleigh; Kim Coody; Adam McPhail; Justin Mann; Josh Pierce; Camille Holt; Tracy Mootry; Lynn Schroeder; and Dr. Gregg Garn. Please thank them for their service to CCOSA. You will find a lot of information here that showcases the hard work of the executive committees from each association and the CCOSA staff. We hope that this report captures many of the services provided for our members. We thank you for your membership and want you to know that it is our goal to continually improve upon the services we offer! We’re looking forward to another wonderful year! Sincerely,

Dr. Pam Deering CCOSA & OASA Executive Director


2018-2019 Annual Report

Dear CCOSA Members,

ABOUT CCOSA OUR MISSION CCOSA’s mission is to promote quality administrative leadership for Oklahoma schools through professional development, legislation and member services.


2018-2019 Annual Report

Established in 1974, the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) is an incorporated, not for profit organization that ensures close and continuous communication and cooperation among educators, taxpayers and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of the schools. The Council is the umbrella organization for the following professional associations: Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA), Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (OASSP), Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals (OAESP), Oklahoma Middle Level Education Association (OMLEA), Oklahoma Directors of Special Services (ODSS) and Oklahoma Association of Retired School Administrators (OARSA).




traditional school districts



virtual charter schools 8

42,453 teachers


charter school districts


Oklahoma School Insurance Group






Oklahoma School Assurance Group Scholastic

2018-2019 Annual Report

American Fidelity

Edmentum OPSUCA

SILVER Advanced Copier Systems

Alpha Plus


BOK Financial Securities

Certified Commercial Restoration



Family Heritage


Kerr3 Architects


Mass Architects

Forecast5 Analytics Learning Sciences International RedSky Constructors



Dr. Stacey Butterfield

OASA Superintendent of the Year Superintendent, Jenks Public Schools

Dr. Alan Baker

OASA Asst. Superintendent of the Year Assistant Superintendent, Cleveland Public Schools

Dr. Scott Beck

OASSP Principal of the Year Principal, Norman High School, Norman Public Schools

Eliot Smith

OASSP Asst. Principal of the Year Assistant Principal, Bartlesville High School, Bartlesville Public Schools

2018-2019 Annual Report Kristy VanDorn

OMLEA Principal of the Year Principal, Deer Creek Middle School, Deer Creek Public Schools

Cathey Bugg

OAESP Principal of the Year Principal, Heritage Elementary School, Edmond Public Schools

Julie Crutchfield

ODSS Director of the Year Special Services Director, Collinsville Public Schools

PRESTIGIOUS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT American Fidelity American Fidelity provides benefits strategies for education professionals employers. American Fidelity will help you create a long-term benefits plan, communicate with employees about enrollment, provide HR assistance around benefits, and keep you apprised of tax savings through benefits and changes to ACA compliance requirements. 10


As the state’s preeminent membership association for school administrators, CCOSA serves as Oklahoma’s most active and trusted voice in education policy, practice and leadership, informing and shaping public policy and public opinion to ensure Oklahomans have the best public school system available.

1. GOAL Establish an organizational culture and infrastructure to increase membership, board engagement and participation, connect staff to the community through leadership positioning, and cultivate relationships with key stakeholders in public education. • OBJECTIVE Engage the board of CCOSA and its sub-organizations in meaningful ways regarding our organization and its impact on the future of public education. • OBJECTIVE Enrich CCOSA staff culture through systematic professional development and leadership positioning in Oklahoma. • OBJECTIVE Increase the participation of outside stakeholders in the working goals and objectives of CCOSA. 2. GOAL Be the statewide leader in professional development and continuing education for school administrators in Oklahoma through a comprehensive array of membership services to build capacity in public education. • OBJECTIVE Assess and increase use of technology for promotion of CCOSA programs and advocacy. • OBJECTIVE Evaluate and improve current professional development curriculum to become the state’s preeminent learning environment of choice for Oklahoma’s school administrators. • OBJECTIVE Increase membership and engagement through a comprehensive examination of current member benefits and evaluation of impact of membership services. 3. GOAL Lead the conversation regarding public education by creating and putting in place a comprehensive public awareness campaign to inform the public’s perception about the quality and effectiveness of Oklahoma’s public schools. • OBJECTIVE Develop a comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign.  • OBJECTIVE Establish CCOSA, its staff and its board as education experts to create a more significant presence with mass media so that CCOSA is seen as the “go-to-source” for credible information on educational policy. • OBJECTIVE Create and disseminate positive messaging which encompasses our core beliefs regarding the transformative power of public education. 4. GOAL Develop a policy platform and initiatives that will elect pro-public education officials and adequately support them to make informed decisions which benefit students and their public schools. • OBJECTIVE Create a mechanism to educate and inform policy makers to make sound decisions that benefit students and enhance the work of educators.


2018-2019 Annual Report




REVENUES Workshops/Programs/Member Services Conferences


Partnerships/Sponsorships CCOSA Membership Dues



3.22% 9%



2018-2019 Annual Report


Employee Salaries/Benefits Office Operations Conferences



Workshops/Member Services Exec. Committee/Directors Expenses Misc.




MEMBERSHIP Full, active CCOSA membership increased by 1.3 percent between 2017-18 and 2018-19. Of 512 potential superintendent OASA members, 480 were members this year. CCOSA is proud to serve the leadership of nearly every district in the state of Oklahoma. CCOSA members represent each one of the state’s 77 counties.

The largest increase of membership year over year was in OAESP – from 735 to 763 – an almost 4 percent increase. 2018-2019 Annual Report



A S S O C I AT I O N M E M B E R S H I P 20

OASA 744



196 170



OAESP 778 OMLEA 146 ODSS 170 OARSA 196







2,872 members including associate, university & business membership 13

DISTRICT LEVEL SERVICES The CCOSA District Level Services Program offers expanded support and services to our members. District Level Services membership includes support and services in the following areas: • Consulting services • Professional learning • CCOSA Quality School Framework • Exclusive discounts and free services from CCOSA Partners In its inaugural year, the program had 36 members and has increased steadily since then. Now in year three, there are 59 District Level Services members. Since its first year, membership in the program has increased by 64 percent. 2018-2019 Annual Report





1,500-4,999 20 5,000-9,999 4 10,000-24,999


OVER 25,000


4 2 20

14 18

MUTUAL BENEVOLENCE PLAN • 15 deaths • Average total of members: 1,200 • Average of CCOSA members: 215 • Average of OkACTE members: 984 • Average payout to beneficiary: $11,379.13



697 active members | 47 associates

OASA supports adequate funding for Oklahoma public schools, supports accountability measures, rigorous and relevant academics, fair treatment of education employees and seeks to reduce state intrusion in local board of education matters.

2018-2019 HIGHLIGHTS

• Introduced the Blended Learning Framework • Restructured OASA Governance for Membership Categories and Leadership positions (Constitution and By-Law change) • Offered Superintendent Contract training and consultation services • Developed contacts with OARSA members and provided networking • Offered a successful OASA Legislative conference, Advocacy in Action Dr. Pam Deering, CCOSA & OASA Executive Director Derald Glover, OASA Assistant Executive Director

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Rick Garrison, Past President Dr. April Grace, OASPA Rep., Advisory Max Tanner, AASA Rep. Matt Posey, D-8 Randy Davenport, D-9 Randy Harris, D-10 Geri Gilstrap, D-11 Jeff Daugherty, D-12 Chad Hance, D-13 Dr. Jason James, D-14

Terry Davidson, AASA Rep. Dr. Keith Ballard, Advisory Dr. Sharon Lease, Advisory Dr. Kent Shellenberger, Advisory Terry Davidson, D-15 Mike Martin, D-16 Todd Crabtree, D-17 Dr. Beatrice Butler, D-18 Doug Brown, D-19 Dusty Ricks, D-20 (Statewide Career Tech Rep.)

2018-2019 Annual Report

Dr. John Cox, President Dr. Don Raleigh, President-Elect Dr. Jim Beckham, Vice-President Jim Wiggin, D-1 Kyle Reynolds, D-2 Dr. Darrell Floyd, D-3 Jay Vernon, D-4 Sherry Durkee, D-5 Max Tanner, D-6 Bret Towne, D-7

District 1 District 5

District 4

District 2

District 6

District 3

OA SA D I S T R I C T S BY C O U N T Y The state is divided into 20 districts for Executive Committee representation.


District 12

District 7

District 8

District 14

District 10

District 9

District 11

District 18

District 13 District 15

District 16

District 17

District 19

196 members

Membership in the Oklahoma Association of Retired School Administrators (OARSA) is open to persons who have retired from school administration or educational service. To be eligible to join OARSA, individuals shall have been an active CCOSA member for a minimum of three years prior to retirement.



789 active members | 8 associates with 459 OMLEA members of the 789

OASSP’s mission is to support secondary level principals by providing quality professional development, encouraging advocacy and networking for the improvement of middle and high school education in Oklahoma. 2018-2019 HIGHLIGHTS • Throughout 2018-2019, OASSP/OMLEA assisted in hosting CCOSA’s Education Leadership Webinars with topics presented by award-winning principals and superintendents. Each webinar was also made available by video to CCOSA members. Overall, 208 participants attended or watched with these five 30-minute webinar episodes. • In 2018-2019, OASSP partnered with OAESP for combined new training for Assistant Principals. These workshops focused on highly effective leadership strategies and provided feedback from successful practicing Assistant Principals. • OASSP also partnered with OAESP in 2018-2019 for New Principals Assistance Training, which included four sessions of training with 33 new principals from across Oklahoma. Additionally, OASSP and OAESP partnered to facilitate several new CCOSA sponsored professional development offerings, including K20-Center’s Creating Uplifting Classroom Trainings, Principal/Superintendent Certification workshop and Finding Solutions for TraumaInformed Strategies. William D. Parker, OASSP & OMLEA Executive Director

2018-2019 Annual Report

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chris LeGrande, President Kimberly Coody, President-Elect Clay McDonald, Past-President William Frick, University Consultant Connie Miller, D-1 Ron Sunderland, D-2 Dalana Hawkins, D-3 Robert Gamble, D-4 David Beiler & Eric Fox, D-5A Elizabeth Burns, D-5B Michelle Gibson, D-6 Robert Kreutz, D-7

Leslie Frazier, OANHS Coordinator Diana Lebsack, MS Principal of the Year Stephanie Williams, Assistant Principal of the Year Reggy Yount, D-8 Todd Overstreet, D-9 Steve Anderson, D-10 Kimberly Fleak, D-11 Vicki Bush, D-12 Melissa Barlow, D-13 Tony Rose, D-14A Scott Beck, D-14B

District 1

District 9

District 15

District 13

District 18

District 19




2 t1

District 11

District 14


District 10

District 8

District 17

District 16



District 21


District 7

t is

The state is divided into 22 districts with 37 Executive Committee members.

District 4



District 6

District 3 District 5

District 2

Kerry Sitton, Career Tech Consultant Jan Barrick, Business Consultant Stephoni Case, University Consultant Cindy Koss, Deputy State Supt. of Academic Affairs Justin MacDonald, D-15 Marshall Brence, D-16 David Doss, D-17 Tim Hightower, D-18 Justin Kana, D-19 Ead Simon, D-20 Dana Beene, D-21 Laura Bullock, D-22

District 22


605 members*

*OMLEA members are also members of OASSP or OAESP, providing increased resources and networking. This number is included in the report figures for OAESP & OASSP.

The mission of OMLEA is to improve the educational experiences of young adolescents by providing vision, knowledge and resources to all who serve them in order to develop healthy, productive and ethical citizens.

2018-2019 HIGHLIGHTS • The 2018-2019 OASSP/OMLEA combined Leadership & Learning Conference February 6-7, 2019, was the first combined two-day event offered to secondary leaders and middle level educators, with 300 participants. Author Jeff Zoul and ‘Nuts and Bolts’ Presenter, Jack Berkeymeyer, keynoted the event. Teachers and principals provided breakout sessions on best teaching practices and leadership strategies. At the conference, OMLEA also recognized Canton High School Teacher Penny Heath as the OMLEA Educator of the Year.

• OMLEA Regional meetings across the state provided opportunities for secondary principals to discuss best practices and advocacy concerns. Also, on March 27, 2019, OASSP/OMLEA and OAESP hosted Principals Day at the Capitol as school leaders participated in advocacy meetings with representatives in Oklahoma City. NASSP State Coordinator Chris LeGrande attended the NASSP Advocacy Conference, to present on advocacy with students and visit elected officials in Washington, D.C. William D. Parker, OASSP & OMLEA Executive Director with assistance of Dr. Gracie Branc h, OAESP Executive Director

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Adam McPhail, President Justin Mann, President-Elect Adam Beauchamp, Past President Jonathan Atchley, SE Regional Director Jennifer Turner, NE Regional Director Cordell Ehrich, OKC Area Regional Director

Joey Eidson, NE Regional Director Jay Forshee, SE Regional Director Sarah Hall, NW Regional Director Robb Mills, NW Regional Director Christy Jarboe, SW Regional Director Kate Creekmore, Tulsa Area Regional Director


Barlow For more than 30 years, the Barlow firm has provided administrative management and consultant services to hundreds of Oklahoma Public School districts. Areas of expertise include collective bargaining resolution, federal programs, grants, principal mentoring, student advocacy programs and child nutrition. 17

2018-2019 Annual Report

• OMLEA President Adam McPhail and President-Elect Justin Mann attended the AMLE National Conference in Orlando, Florida, and brought back ideas for enhancing the OASSP/OMLEA annual conference.


771 active members | 7 associates with 146 OMLEA members of the 771

OAESP’s mission is to support elementary and middle level principals by providing quality professional development, encouraging advocacy and networking for the improvement of Pre K - 8th grade education in Oklahoma.

2018-2019 HIGHLIGHTS

• OAESP’s Student Leadership Workshop “Lead Like Me” has trained more than 600 Oklahoma students and their advisors around the state to be successful leaders on their campuses. During the workshop, 4th - 6th grade students and their advisors learned to create a dynamic student leadership team. • The OAESP Mid-Winter Conference was held at the Moore-Norman Technology Center on February 1, 2019 with over 230 attending. Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer for Scholastic Education, was the Keynote Speaker. Book Talks were led by Julie Bloss and Chris Mueller with “Bookies and Milk” provided by Scholastic Book Fairs. • Janalyn Taylor was recognized as the 2018 OAESP Administrator of Year and NAESP National Distinguished Principal. She is the principal at Nance Elementary School, Clinton Public Schools. Renita White, principal at James L. Dennis Elementary School in the Putnam City School District, was honored as the 2018 James Burnett Distinguished Principal. The 2018 Principal of Excellence was awarded to Jessele Miller, principal of Centennial Elementary School, Edmond Public Schools. • Several OAESP members participated in the “Principals’ Day at the Capitol” on March 27th. After the Legislative Briefing at the CCOSA office, the group went to the Capitol where they had productive visits with legislators.

2018-2019 Annual Report

Dr. Gracie Branc h, OAESP Executive Director

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Camille Holt, President Josh Pierce, President-Elect Julie Bloss, Past President Kas Nelson, Zone 8 Director

DISTRICT DIRECTORS Janalyn Taylor, Clinton Carla Fry, Ponca City Kevin Wade, Commerce Vicki Lewis, Wyandotte Angie Teas, Tulsa Linda Reid, Jenks

Glen Abshere, NAESP State Representative/ Federal Relations Officer Dr. John Jones, Higher Education Representative Marci Brueggen, Retired Member Sherri Brown, Retired Member Lori Graham, Carnegie Skeeter Sampler, Cache Lana Welch, Lawton Ashley Hoggatt, Putnam City Kim Iraggi, OKC Melissa Ferguson, Tishomingo Katie Brister, Silo




OA E S P D I S T R I C T S BY C O U N T Y The state is divided into 4 quadrants, 2 areas (OKC & Tulsa) with 22 Executive Committee members.

Tulsa area

OKC area Southwest Southeast





157 active members | 13 associates

The mission of ODSS is to provide local special education directors an opportunity to collaborate, problem solve and participate in professional development.

2018-2019 HIGHLIGHTS • 2018-19 was the final year of ODSS’/CCOSA’s six-year contract with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to provide training, resources and mentoring support to first-year special education directors. Over that time, almost 300 new directors participated in the First-Year Project. The success of the Project depends upon experienced special education directors volunteering to mentor their new colleagues. ODSS members volunteered to participate year after year, with some travel reimbursement, but no other compensation.

• Also during 2019, ODSS began gearing up to begin CCOSA’s first collaboration with the OSU Center for Health Sciences Project ECHO and OSU Tulsa. ODSS appointed a hub team of experts, developed a virtual meeting schedule and identified a list of important special education topics, all with a behavior angle, to begin the project – called TeleSPED ECHO – in early September 2019. Information about the launch and success of TeleSPED ECHO will be included in CCOSA’s 2019-20 annual report.

Andrea Kunkel, ODSS Executive Director & CCOSA General Counsel

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Lynn Schroeder, President Tracy Mootry, President-Elect Michele Scott, Past President Angela Rhoades, Legislative & Policy Liaison Linda Coffman, At-Large Rep. Melisa Kifer, At-Large Rep.

Scott McCall, Metro Leader Sherri Coats, Southeast Leader Vicki Hampton, TADSS Leader Leslie Burnett, Northeast Rep. David McCune, Northwest Rep. Teresa Golden, Southeast Rep. Janelle Shepherd, Southwest Rep.

SPOTLIGHT ON PRESTIGIOUS PARTNER OSIG OSIG is dedicated solely to providing insurance coverage for Oklahoma schools. OSIG provides competitive insurance pricing, the broadest coverage available, stabilization of costs and excellence in underwriting and claims service. OSIG is owned by the membership and governed by active Oklahoma superintendents. 19

2018-2019 Annual Report

• During the summer of 2019, ODSS/CCOSA submitted a proposal to OSDE for a new five-year contract to operate the First-Year Project. OSDE awarded the contract to ODSS/CCOSA, which included additional compensation to operate the Project and, for the first time, a stipend for experienced mentor directors.


2018-2019 Annual Report



1126 CCOSA Summer Leadership Conference 183 ODSS Best Practices

1100+ administrators from across Oklahoma

244 OASA Legislative Conference

400+ attendees at Law Day

227 OAESP Mid-Winter Conference

153 exhibitors connecting with school leaders 49 breakout sessions for all levels of administration

279 OASSP/OMLEA Conference 176 Women in School Leadership Forum WORKSHOPS

54 First Year Superintendents Program

3 Thought Leaders sharing expertise with attendees

33 New Principals Assistance Program

Keynote Speakers:

16 Advanced School Finance

Tim Elmore, expert on Gen Y and Gen Z Bronkar Lee, author and performer focused on well-being for leaders

51 Assistant Principal Seminar

223 Treasurers & Encumbrance Clerks 90 School Finance Boot Camps 665 Lead Like Me 46 ODSS First Year Directors Project 77 ODSS School-Based Risk Assessment Training


2018-2019 Annual Report


41 Principal & Superintendent Exam Prep Workshop (NEW) 34 School Law Conference for Administrators 170 Creating Uplifting Classroom Environments 152 The Oklahoma School Report Card Simplified (NEW) 160 Finding Solutions for Trauma-Informed Practice 17 State Revenue Projections and Budgeting TEAC HER LEADER EFFECTIVENESS (TLE)

87 McREL New Administrator 2-Day Training 47 McREL 1/2 Day Recertification Training 2018-2019 Annual Report

326 Tulsa Model New Administrator 2-Day Training 1429 Tulsa Model Recertification Training



OSAG OSAG is the largest provider of workers’ compensation services to Oklahoma public schools. OSAG is an Interlocal Cooperative Act Agency of Schools, governed by a five-member board of trustees, all of which serve as superintendents of OSAG member school districts.


LEGISLATIVE UPDATES Part of CCOSA’s stated purpose identifies, “As the state’s preeminent membership association for school administrators, CCOSA serves as Oklahoma’s most active and trusted voice in education policy, practice, and leadership, informing and shaping public policy and public opinion to ensure Oklahomans have the best public school system available.” CCOSA’s advocacy focus: • Promoting legislation that responds to our members and their schools. • Responding to and working to defeat legislation that promotes inequities and weakens public education. • Collaborating with legislators to improve legislation, again with an eye towards equity and quality in public education.

This 2019 session confirmed the shift through a bigger investment in common education than has ever been given before, greater transparency for all schools who receive public dollars, and a common sense approach to reinstating the standards for accreditation first established in HB1017, signed into law by Governor Henry Bellman in 1990.

Political Action Committee Updates


The CCOSA Executive Committee also oversees PAC and met quarterly throughout 2018-2019.

Investment in our children: For the first time in over a decade, schools received revenue that will allow them to begin to restore services.

During the year, the PAC: • Reviewed candidate contributions • Discussed new legislator training • Supported work on proactive legislation • Celebrated successes in legislation

Common sense approach to reinstating the standards: SB 193, a CCOSA-sponsored bill authored by Senator Dewayne Pemberton, adopts a phase-in approach to reinstating mandates associated with HB1017 and articulated in the OSDE Standards for Accreditation.

$157.9 MILLION

new dollars Transparency for public dollars: HB1395, a CCOSAin public sponsored bill authored by education Representative Sheila Dills, focuses on educational equity for all schools and all students. This bill requires that virtual charter schools are subjected to the same reporting requirements, financial audits, audit procedures and audit requirements as a school district.


2018-2019 Annual Report

Last year (2018) sparked the beginning of a shift back to an ideological basis where legislative leaders valued local community public education and placed local interests above the national school choice movement.

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS During 2018-2019, the CCOSA Marketing & Communications Team supported five associations’ efforts, including marketing conferences, professional development trainings and workshops, membership and networking. The team continued managing Better Schools Magazine. During this time frame, the publication was sent to an average of 2,728 people and readers spent over six minutes in each issue. In addition, the Communication Team provided training for District Level Services members and the Emerging Leader Academy. The team provided marketing and communication assistance to sponsors to ensure their products and services were promoted to members, and assisted with the communication needs of schools across the state.

2018-2019 Annual Report

Twitter • 4592 followers • 65% female followers • 35% male followers

Website Use • 30,695 users • Visitors from 260 different cities • 58% male visitors • 42% female visitors • Most searched terms include: TLE, summer conference, jobs, OASA, dues, scholarship 24

Consultation • Communication support provided to superintendents statewide during crisis situations

Facebook • 33% increase in Facebook likes • 81% female • 18% male • Page likes from 50 cities across the state

Constant Contact • 418 messages sent • 46.4% open rate • 21.7% click rate

Better Schools • 1,591 readers for all 4 issues • 4,879 impressions • Average 6 minutes read time


CCOSA/OASA Executive Director

Andrea Kunkel

General Counsel & ODSS Executive Director

Derald Glover OASA Assistant Executive Director

OAESP Executive Director & TLE Coordinator

Dr. Gracie Branch

William D. Parker

Elyse Maxwell

Dr. Jeanene Barnett

Cynda Kolar

Director of Marketing & Communications

Charlotte Murphy CEC & OASSP/OMLEA Executive Assistant

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Business Manager

Education Policy & Research Analyst

Lynne White

OAESP Executive Assistant & Assistant to the TLE Coordinator

Erin Tabberer

OASSP/OMLEA Executive Director

McKenzie Lumry

OASA Executive Assistant

Laura Crabtree

Membership Coordinator & ODSS Executive Assistant


2018-2019 Annual Report

Dr. Pam Deering


2018-2019 Annual Report

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Renew Your Membership!


It’s time to renew your 2019-2020 Membership!

There are many exciting things at CCOSA this year- a new logo, dozens of practical resources in every Better Schools issue, discounted workshops and a discounted rate for our CCOSA Summer Leadership Conference. Grow your professional network and leadership skills with CCOSA this year! A detailed calendar of upcoming events is on page 30 and a membership form is included on pages 31 and 32 that can be mailed or renew online at!

District Level Services As a CCOSA District Level Services member, you will be able to register, at no charge, up to five staff members at upcoming professional development opportunities, in addition to taking advantage of the other useful resources: January 22, 2020: OASA Legislative Conference Mar. 9, 2020: District Finance Deep Dive with Vernon Florence (OKC Area) Mar. 12, 2020: District Finance Deep Dive with Vernon Florence (Tulsa Area) April 13, 2020: School Law for Administrators with Andrea Kunkel We look forward to working with you. Please contact, Dr. Jeanene Barnett (, CCOSA/OASA Executive Director Dr. Pam Deering (deering@, General Counsel Andrea Kunkel (kunkel@ccosa. org) or Laura Crabtree (laura@ if you have questions about the District Level Services Program.


Phone: 405.524.1191 Email: Mail: CCOSA, 2901 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Fax: 405.524.1196

The following steps will help you complete your form. Please remember that if you are payroll deducting your dues, this form must be submitted to your district payroll clerk. Step 4: Choose your payment method: a. Payroll Deduction - You must submit your form to CCOSA and to Step 1: Enter your information below making sure that all your district payroll clerk. fields are completed (front and back). b. Personal Check (Payment in Full) - Mail form with a personal Step 2: Check the box indicating that all of your information check to CCOSA. is correct before proceeding to the next step. c. Personal Credit Card (Payment in Full) - Call CCOSA to pay by Step 3: Choose your association. Your national membership personal credit card and then submit form to CCOSA. is optional. Step 5: Choose optional membership benefits. Step 6: Sign, date, and submit form. Prefix/Title (Dr/Mr/Mrs/Ms) Last Name

First Name



Suffix (Sr/Jr)

Birthdate (MM/DD/YYYY) Gender

Professional Title

Years in Current Position


Office Phone



Office Fax Work Email


Home Email

Last 4 of SSN



School Address




Home Address




Home Phone

Cell Phone

I verify that the above information is correct.


CCOSA Membership is for Administrators serving at ANY level at the state, school district, or site level. Members who serve as administrators are not precluded from joining other CCOSA Associations.

OAESP Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals — $300

If you selected OAESP or OASSP and you would also like to be affiliated with OMLEA at no additional cost, check the box below.

OASSP Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals — $315

OMLEA Oklahoma Middle Level Educators Association — $0

ODSS Oklahoma Directors of Special Services — $265

OASA* Oklahoma Association of School Administrators

OARSA Oklahoma Association of Retired School Administrators — $35

$385 - Central Office Staff

$405 - Superintendents

Not eligible for professional liability insurance, cyber security optional benefit or MBP.

*Active membership in OASA shall consist of personnel from the following educational groups who have paid dues to this association: public school superintendents, and, their respective central office administrative staff, State Department of Education administrative staff, Oklahoma colleges and universities administrative staff, Oklahoma School Boards administrative staff, State Department of Career and Technical Education administrative staff and technology center superintendents and their respective administrative staff, and executive directors of organizations formed to advocate solely for public schools and their respective administrative staff. Individuals who are 2018-2019 OASA active members will be grandfathered in as an active member of OASA as long as they remain active starting in the 2019-2020 membership year and each year thereafter. If, for any reason, grandfathered individuals fail to maintain their active status in the 2019-2020 membership year and each year thereafter, those individuals will no longer be active members. Administrators, superintendents, members, employees, and similar of not-for profit charter, for-profit charter, virtual charter blended schools, non-local board of education sponsored charter schools, and any other organizations that have a similar purpose as these listed organizations are not eligible for any class of OASA membership.

Associate Memberships

Associate Memberships are for School Employees that are not Administrators and are not considered active CCOSA Members.

OAESP/OMLEA Associate — $150

OASSP/OMLEA Associate — $150

ODSS Associate — $150

OASA Associate** — $150

University Associate — $50

Persons currently ENROLLED with state colleges/universities & not holding an administrator position

Business Associate — $150

Business membership is open to any business entity willing to partner with CCOSA. Business members shall not be eligible to vote, hold office, or receive individual active member benefits.

**Associate membership in OASA shall consist of all other personnel who have not been defined as eligible active members and who have paid dues to this association: local board of education sponsored charter school and tribal school superintendents and their respective central office administrative staff, public school support staff serving in an administrative role and who are eligible for membership in any other educational related association. Associate membership will allow the member to participate in professional learning opportunities offered by the association at a member rate. Associate membership will be a non-voting status, not eligible for association awards or to hold an office in the association. Associate membership does not include advocacy efforts on the part of the member.

National Memberships (Optional)

Please note that joining a national association does NOT make you a member of CCOSA.

AASA American Association of School Administrators $230 Less than 350 students

$460 More than 350 students

NAESP National Association of Elementary School Principals $235 Principal

$195 Asst. Principal

$77 Retired

CEC/CASE Council for Exceptional Children/Council of Administrators of Special Education $205 Full Member NASSP National Association of Secondary School Principals $250 Full Member

$80 Emeritus

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A Comprehensive Literacy Program

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The Power of Telling Your Story Dr. Jeanene Barnett, CCOSA Education Policy & Research Analyst

Personal stories drawn from your local schools serve as a powerful tool of persuasion and motivation with legislators. By bringing personal stories into your meetings with legislators and their staff, you help them connect to an issue emotionally and relate their legislative decisions to deeper personal values and experiences. Stories also motivate and reenergize grassroots supporters to plant these seeds of positivity with others. The effective use of personal stories requires careful thought and preparation. Here are some tips for developing and preparing powerful stories for conversations with your legislator:

Conversation Tips

1. Keep it short—in the range of two to three minutes. A story does not have to be long to be powerful. Distill your story down to the essential details. 2. Write out your story in advance and practice. Seek feedback from others. This is the best way to ensure that your story is concise and memorable. 3. Avoid using overly general language or trying to say too much when telling your story. Find one particular experience or anecdote that is powerful and bring your listener into that moment.

Instead of saying: When we lost state funds, we faced great difficulties and hardships, and had to make several changes. Say this: “It is critical for When we lost state funds, we had to eliminate superintendents to find essential staff, delay roof repairs, and postpone time to rise above the purchasing new textbooks. This resulted in class day-to-day minutiae that sizes near 30 in kindergarten, buckets in classrooms can consume the role of and hallways to catch rain from the leaky roof, uperintendents and focus and outdated textbooks in Mr. Smith’s Chemistry n influencing the systems classroom held together with duct tape. that have a direct impact

on their communities” Ellerson, Oct. 2016, p.20).

Take 15 Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA’s Associate Executive

Director of Policy and Advocacy, gives some advice about policy work at the national level and telling your story in her article Superintendent as Advocate: How You Can Influence Federal Education Policy in as Little as 15 Minutes a Month. This same advice is applicable and even more doable at the local level. In fact, you may want to schedule one-on-one meetings with your state congressional leaders instead of calling or emailing. For, as you know, we have to be intentional about making contact or the myriad of issues that a school leader deals with on a daily basis will interfere and the year will be gone without any contact ever being made. Ellerson’s advice is this: “As simple as 15 minutes a month. Pick one day per week and set a five minute calendar item. During this weekly appointment, contact a member of Congress. For example, on the first Tuesday of the month, email your senator. On the second Tuesday, contact your House representative. On the third Tuesday, connect with your state’s second senator. And on the final Tuesday, you can rest because you will have made contact with your entire congressional delegation. This monthly approach is frequent enough that you become a familiar name and contact, but not too frequent” (Ellerson, Oct. 2016, p. 24). Does that sound like something you can do? Setting a recurring calendar reminder will help ensure you prioritize this task.

How People Talk About Your School Why You Need Talking Points The stories we tell each other shape our world. What stories about your school are being shared at WalMart, the local Quick Mart, church functions, at the athletic fields and in gymnasiums, and at the county fairs? These everyday activities and places provide the perfect opportunity to shift the conversation, to plant seeds of

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positivity --- because we know that Oklahoma public schools have many positive stories. We just have to be ready to share all of the positive opportunities happening in our public schools. Oklahoma public school leaders should be prepared at a moment’s notice to talk about their school to a community member, business representative, reporter, and legislator. Think of it like an elevator speech; a short, clear brief message or commercial about your school, typically about 30 seconds long. The talking points invite discussion and provide support for why Oklahoma local public schools constitute the best choice for Oklahoma families because they represent places where students are safe, loved, and challenged. Elevator Speech Example My [insert district and/or school name here] public school serves as the hub to our neighborhood/ community, uniting educators, community partners, and families to provide all students with [insert what applies to your school and community here. Some examples may include: top-quality academics, enrichment, health and social services, and opportunities to succeed in school, and in life.].


tribes or local providers to ensure students have access to mental health counselors, nurses, school- based social workers, food bank or local churches who support weekend backpack programs, summer feeding or a third meal through child nutrition, etc.]. • We offer enrichment opportunities [robotics, gifted program, etc.] that all students need. • Learning improves when these needs are met, and teachers can focus on teaching.

“Share facts, and better yet embed them into relevant anecdotes. Stories make the issues more understandable and your positions more memorable. Legislators often will share stories with other legislators” (Wade, Oct. 2016, pp. 22-23).

Are you thinking of all the wonderful stories you have to tell? Are you excited to share positive efforts your school is working on this year? We hope so! But most importantly, we hope you now have a guide to get you there. If you have questions about telling your school story to legislators, contact Dr. Jeanene Barnett at barnett@

Talking Points Example • [Insert district and/or school name here] schools offer strong academics [provide local examples of the arts, STEM, AP, Concurrent enrollment, FFA, FCCLA, DECA, athletics, etc. Identify if you have students who received state or national awards]. • We offer health and social support [partnerships with

Submit your experience sharing your story to to be included in future issues.

Ellerson, N. (2016, Oct). Superintendent as advocate: How you can influence federal education policy in as little as 15 minutes a month!. School Administrator. Wade, J. (2016, Oct.). My double-sided life in state advocacy. School Administrator.


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Retirement Planning

Richie Collins, Horizon Financial Services Financial Advisor Anxiety and stress over money is not a new phenomenon, and tackling this issue continues to be one of our favorite annual New Year’s Resolutions. This New Year, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of exactly where you are financially, and target those areas of concern that might be keeping you up at night. Here are some simple concepts that might help you rest easy. Cash Flow & Budget Evaluating your cash flow is a simple exercise that should be recognized as the building blocks of finance. Debt, savings and retirement all hinge from this important exercise. Let’s start by taking a close look at your monthly net income vs. expenses. One simple rule to follow is the 50/30/20 budget: 50 percent goes to necessities which include housing, food, transportation, utilities, insurance, and child care; 30 percent goes to wants such as monthly subscriptions, travel, entertainment and meals out; and 20 percent goes to savings and debt. We understand that everyone’s budget is unique, and we recognize that many of us don’t adhere to a strict monthly budget. You might find it helpful to conduct a simple budget exercise with an online budget calculator, and see what changes you can make to more closely align your budget with your goals. ( nerdwallet-budget-calculator/)* The 15 Percent Rule As a general rule of thumb you should be saving 15 percent for retirement, which assumes you begin at age 25 and continue to age 67. In Oklahoma education, we are fortunate to have a state pension plan that requires certified staff to contribute 7 percent. Social security participation is an additional 6.2 percent of your pay. That’s 13.2 percent of your 15 percent rule that is automatic, and it can be a large percentage of your future retirement income. The problem with relying on those two sources of income is that they are fixed incomes at retirement. Without cost of living adjustments, inflation can erode the purchasing power of your fixed income. Saving an additional two to three percent of your income annually for retirement can help

offset the downward pressure of inflation risk. If you have waited until later in life to save for retirement you will need to save more to catch up, but it’s never too late. Every employer will have a list of approved vendors in their 403b or 457b retirement plans. You can establish an account and get started today. If you are already saving, then don’t forget to consider saving a percentage of your raise, and keep increasing your savings annually in small increments. It will build your nest egg, and train you to live on less, better preparing you for retirement. (https://* College & Health Insurance These two topics remain at the top of the list of client concerns both mid-career and in retirement. The time to worry about these looming liabilities is early in your career. The risk of inflation is the number one issue with both College and Health Insurance costs rising at a rate faster than measured inflation. Let’s tackle these issues with savings. Did you know that Oklahoma has adopted a College Savings Plan? This plan allows you to invest for college, for both kids and grandkids, receive a state tax deduction on contributions, and receive the proceeds tax free when used for qualified education expenses. You can find more information here*. Health Choice has recently allowed a higher deductible plan called Health Choice High Deductible which could be considered for individuals who are interested in establishing a health savings account. These accounts are tax advantaged and are portable with take-it-with-you features. These savings accounts can be used to pay for future health insurance such as Medicare premiums or a Health Choice Supplement ( content/does-healthchoice-offer-health-savings-account-hsa)*. Be ready to help with college and the rising cost of health insurance by saving a percentage of your income for these future needs. Do you have additional questions about planning for retirement, paying for college or health insurance? Feel free to contact me at 405-359-7500.

Richard J. Collins | Financial Advisor

315 West Edmond Road, Unit B, E dmond, OK 73003 | Office: 405-359-7500 | Fax: 405-359-6500 | Cell: 405-226-0487 www. | Securities & Registered Investment Advisory Services offered through GWN Securities, Inc., 11440 N. Jog Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 Member FINRA & SIPC.Horizon Financial Services, Inc. and GWN Securities, Inc. are non-affiliated companies. Horizon Financial Services and its representatives do not represent, nor are they affiliated with the Oklahoma Teacher’s Retirement. *PLEASE NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site/article. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of thirdparty technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site/article and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to. Horizon Financial Services, Inc. is a CCOSA Gold Level Partner. Find out more about our CCOSA sponsor partnerships at


B e t t e r sc h o o l s | W I N TE R 2 0 2 0 E M P L O Y E R B E N E F I T S O L U T I O N S F O R E D U C AT I O N

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Dissertation Corner

Foreward by: Dr. Pam Deering, CCOSA & OASA Executive Director Dissertation Summary by: Dr. Shane Boothe, Superintendent, Mangum Public Schools, Ed. D., Oral Roberts University Co-Author: Dr. J. Patrick Otto

As a new feature in Better Schools, CCOSA is proud to highlight members who have recently (2019) completed their doctorate in education. We know that this is a great accomplishment that represents hard work, long hours, and many sacrifices. Congratulations to those members who have completed this highest level of education! When (not if) you complete your doctorate, please let us know. We would need a summary of your study in education research (no more than 2 pages) and a sign off from your education institution for degree completion. We believe it is important that our membership knows the contributions to the body of educational research provided by Oklahoma leaders! Enjoy this article from a CCOSA member.

Principals’ Perceptions of Oklahoma’s TLE Model The purpose of this study was to determine whether Oklahoma school principals perceive the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) evaluation system to be an effective evaluation model to assess classroom teachers while providing feedback that promotes effective teaching and increased student learning. The study further sought to determine whether the principals' perceptions differed based on the principals' experience evaluating teachers prior to the implementation of the TLE versus those who have only utilized the TLE model. This was a quantitative nonexperimental study using a descriptive survey research model. A questionnaire was developed and all traditional public school districts in Oklahoma were encouraged to participate. Three hundred forty-seven principals responded to the survey. Summary of the Findings Overall, the majority of principals perceived the TLE to be an effective model for conducting teacher evaluations. Respondents were asked, "Do you feel the TLE model you use to evaluate certified teachers provides them with meaningful feedback resulting in enhanced teaching and student learning?" Over 75% of principals responded "yes." With just over 18% of principals responding as neutral on the survey, coupled with the 75% favorable responses, only 6.1% of the principals who responded to the study had an unfavorable perception of the TLE. Furthermore, this study also sought to determine whether the perceptions of principals with experience evaluating teachers prior to the implementation of the TLE was different from the perceptions of principals

who had only utilized the TLE. This study concluded that there was not a statistically significant difference between the two groups. Therefore, regardless of a principals' previous experience evaluating teachers, the majority of the principals surveyed perceived the TLE to be an effective teacher evaluation program. Researcher's Comments I was fascinated to see the demographic data of the respondents align with the State's demographics. The number of respondents based on site type and school size provided an excellent representation of public schools in Oklahoma. Furthermore, I was pleased to see that the number of respondents based on experience evaluating teachers prior to implementation of the TLE was almost equal with those principals who started evaluation since the 2012-2013 school year. Since individual school districts and principals were allowed to create their own criteria for evaluation teachers prior to the implementation of the TLE, I must say I was surprised that the principals' perceptions were so closely aligned regardless of their experience. While I do not have any scientific data to explain this phenomenon, I can say it is apparent that the implementation, training and application of the TLE has been a success.

Submit a summary of your dissertation to to be considered for future issues.

CCOSA reserves the right to determine if any submission will be published, to edit for publication purposes and to seek other verification as needed before publication.


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Augmenting Education with Virtual Reality

Mandy Green, Alex Holmes, Dr. Jackie Mania, Dr. Nicki Watkins, Ryan Whitlock The University of Oklahoma, K20 Center Imagine for a moment, a sixth-grade science classroom. This week, the learning objectives are focused on cells— identifying parts of a cell and describing cell function. Instead of reading about cells in the textbook or labeling cells on a worksheet, however, students in this class are voyaging inside a cell. Students are making their way through the cell membrane, floating in cytoplasm, and following ribosomes across the cell as they create protein. The students call out the names of cell parts as they see them, “Nucleus!” “Mitochondria!,” and the teacher acts as their guide, asking questions about what they are seeing and challenging students to explore more closely and describe the processes occurring around them. While this scenario might seem like something from The Magic School Bus, it is instead a very real educational experience occurring in classrooms across the United States.

Cardboard can be used in Bring Your Own Device classrooms. Students download compatible apps, place their phones in the Cardboard device, and view the content through the special lenses. The most comprehensive VR options are VR classroom kits. These kits include a class set of VR headsets that can be connected to a teacher tablet. From the tablet, the teacher can guide the VR experience and integrate content and questions throughout the exploration. While some kits come with the wireless connection, router, and mobile devices, other VR kits require an additional purchase of a device such as an iPod. For an extension of learning, teachers and students can create their own VR experiences using a 360° camera or Google Street View. With all options, implementing VR may require adjustment to the settings on your district network so it is recommended that you include your technology department in the conversation about adopting VR.

Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most popular new educational tools available for districts and schools. As equipment costs have decreased (a 30-pack of Google Expeditions runs $10,000), and content has become increasingly available through free online applications, more and more classrooms are integrating VR into lessons. In fact, it is estimated that the use of VR in classrooms will double in the next five years (Bolkan, 2017).

Numerous resources are available to districts and schools interested in learning more about VR. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has published a list of resources for using VR in the classroom and a book, Learning Transported: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality for All Classrooms, with practical applications and examples to assist educators in implementing cost-effective VR that is focused on instruction. You can also visit the K20 Center’s website and social media for upcoming web-based professional development opportunities on VR and other educational technologies.

VR creates a realistic, fully immersive 3D experience for students. When the students put on a headset, VR transports them nearly anywhere. With VR, teachers are no longer limited by the space of the classroom. Students can take virtual field trips to museums and famous landmarks, walk through the setting of a book, swim through a coral reef, and explore the solar system. Students can even become time travelers, witnessing key historical events firsthand. The best part—students can participate in these learning experiences without missing a day of school, and schools do not incur costs for buses or plane tickets.

Even though virtual reality is still considered an emerging technology in education, it has the potential to open the world for students, particularly those who would not otherwise have access to these experiences in real life. With the right equipment and a focus on instruction, teachers can use VR to transform learning for students.

There are several ways to implement VR in schools. For schools that do not have access to VR equipment, 360° videos are a no-cost alternative that provides an experience closely related to VR. Teachers can access 360° videos in a variety of content areas on YouTube and share the video with the class on an interactive board or screen. 360° videos can be manipulated; moving the video up, down, right, or left changes the view and experience. The most cost-effective VR option is Google Cardboard. At about $25 each, Google Bolkan, J. (2017, December 04). Virtual and Augmented Reality to Nearly Double Each Year Through 2021. The Journal. Retrieved from articles/2017/12/04/virtual-and-augmented-reality-to-nearly-double-each-year-through-2021.aspx Snelling, J. (2018). 25 resources for bringing AR and VR to the classroom. ISTE BLOG. Retrieved from TeachThought (2018, November 26). 10 Reasons To Use Virtual Reality In The Classroom. Retrieved from


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The Basics of Impact Aid

Hilary Goldmann, Executive Director & Anne O’Brien, Director of Communications, National Association of Federally Impacted Schools

Does your school district serve military-connected students or children living on Indian land? Or does the Federal government own land in your district – maybe a national grassland, Federal prison, VA hospital or Federal dam? If so, your district may be receiving – or may qualify for – Impact Aid. School districts that receive Impact Aid get payments each year ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on their individual context. In FY 2018 (the most recent year for which data is available) 220 school districts in Oklahoma, the most of any state in the country, received these funds. More could be eligible. What is Impact Aid? Impact Aid is a Federal education program that partially reimburses school districts for the lost local revenue and additional costs associated with the presence of nontaxable Federal property, including military installations; Indian Trust, Treaty and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act lands; Federal low-rent housing facilities; and national parks, national laboratories and other Federal buildings and property. Because most school districts are funded largely through local taxes and fees, and because Federal land is exempt from taxation, districts containing Federal property are at a financial disadvantage in funding schools. Impact Aid (now Title VII of the Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA) was created in 1950 in recognition of the Federal government’s obligation to help finance public education and support students in areas where it holds land. These funds flow directly from the Federal government to the school district. They are not earmarked for any purpose, and all decisions on how they are spent are made locally.

“Impact Aid is a critical source of funding for many school districts in Oklahoma and across the country, helping pay for teacher salaries, student transportation, instructional materials, social emotional supports and other programs and services,” says Hilary Goldmann, Executive Director of the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS). “Districts depend on Impact Aid to give all students access to a quality education.” How do you qualify? To receive Impact Aid, property in or near a school district must be verified by the US Department of Education as federally owned. There are two main types of Impact Aid, each with its own eligibility requirements. Both require an annual application, usually due on January 31. Section 7002 – Federal Property reimburses school districts for loss of significant local revenue due to Federal ownership of land within district boundaries, such as national parks and grasslands, Federal dams and reservoirs, Army Corps of Engineers projects and more. To be eligible, the property must be: • Acquired by the Federal government after 1938 • 10% or more of the assessed value of taxable property in the district when it was acquired • Not exchanged for other Federal property • Not generating substantial compensation for the school district from other Federal activities (example: timber fees) • Verifying property is eligible requires working with the US Department of Education, local tax assessors and other stakeholders to find original documents on the acquisition of the land and its value. Just 198 school districts – including 32 in Oklahoma – received Section 7002 funding in FY 2018.

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Section 7003 – Basic Support compensates school districts for educating students whose parents or legal guardians reside and/or work on Federal property. To be eligible, the school district must educate at least 400 federally connected students in average daily attendance (ADA), or such students must represent at least three percent of the school district’s ADA. Districts that want to receive Section 7003 funds must count their federally connected students every year. These are students who: • Reside on Federal property with a parent on active military duty or employed on Federal property • Reside on Indian land • Reside in Federal low-income housing (not Section 8) • Reside with a parent who is on active military duty but does not live on Federal property • Reside with a parent who either live OR works on Federal property (there is a higher eligibility threshold for these students – they are only counted for Impact Aid if there are 1,000 in ADA or if they make up 10% of the school district’s ADA) School districts that educate children residing on Indian land must also establish Indian Policies and Procedures (IPP) to ensure that they meet certain education and tribal consultation requirements (tribes may waive the IPP requirement)


Section 7003 also includes funds to support militaryconnected and Indian land students with an Individual Education Program (IEP). These funds must be spent on Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)-eligible activities. The Oklahoma context In FY 2018, 220 Oklahoma school districts received approximately $36 million in Impact Aid – $32 million in Basic Support, $2.5 million in Impact Aid Children with Disabilities and $1.6 million in Federal Property. Together, these districts serve more than 200,000 students, all of whom benefit from the funds. Nationally, $1.4 billion supported 1,253 school districts serving around 10 million students. The amount of Impact Aid funding is determined by Congress each year – and the program hasn’t been fully funded since 1969. If it were, Oklahoma schools would have received an additional $64 million in FY 2018 (approximately $49.5 million more in Basic Support and $14.5 million more in Federal Property). Want to learn more? Visit or the NAFIS website at For more information on Impact Aid in Oklahoma, contact OASIS Executive Director, Billie Jordan at The application deadline is the end of January 2020. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to apply for Impact Aid!

The Basics of Impact Aid


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Navigating School Board Elections

Julie L. Miller, OSSBA Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel

School board elections are coming up quickly. Changes have been made in the past few years to both the timeline for all school board elections as well as providing local choices regarding nepotism laws for those school districts serving less than 400 students. This information is provided for your consideration regarding many of the issues that may develop prior to the election date. When will elections be held and when will someone take office? Election dates for school board members were modified during the 2017 legislative session. School board election dates are now contingent upon how many people file during the candidate filing window. The school board member candidate filing window takes place the first Monday through the first Wednesday in December each year. What if no one files for office? If no one files for office, the board of education may appoint someone to the position. The seat is not vacant until the election date of April 7, 2020. At that time the remaining board members would have sixty days to appoint someone who otherwise meets all eligibility requirements for the position to the seat. Oklahoma law does provide an option that districts who have election wards that do not have anyone file during filing window may choose someone to fill the vacant position with someone who resides in the district but not in that particular ward for a full term of office. This is a one-time appointment and does not render that person eligible to serve additional terms of office. If only one person files, the “new” or “incumbent” person begins their new term of office at the first meeting held following April 7, 2020. The filing window doesn’t determine the board seat, the actual election date does. So, even if one person filed and the results are certified by the county election board, the election date must pass for the term of office to begin. If two people file as candidates, an election will be held on April 7, 2020. The results of that election will be certified no later than the close of business for the county election board on April 9, 2020. When the election results are certified, the person certified as elected will take office at the first meeting held

following April 9, 2020. If three or more people file as candidates, a primary election will be held on February 11, 2020. If one person wins more than 50% of the vote, they will be seated at the very first meeting held following the certification of the February 11 election results. If none of the candidates receive more than 50% of the vote, a general election between the two top vote getters will be held on April 7, 2020. The results of that election will be certified no later than the close of business for the county election board on April 9, 2020. When the election results are certified, the person certified as elected will take office at the first meeting held following April 9, 2020. Once someone is certified as winning an election, the board of education must legally seat that person. There is no legal authority that would allow a board of education to decide “not” to seat someone who has been lawfully elected. What happens if someone is a candidate who is not eligible to serve? Oklahoma law provides a set window of time to challenge a person’s candidacy. That window closed on Friday, December 6 at the close of business for the county election board. There is no legal process to remove someone from candidacy after that deadline passes. Do I get an opinion on who to vote for? If you are a registered voter in the community in which you are employed, you may get to vote on who serves as a board member. However, if you are a superintendent it is probably not wise to be actively involved in campaigning for/or against someone who is running for school board. If the person you oppose is elected, that person still becomes “your boss” and a strained working relationship is not helpful. Maintaining neutrality in races creates a stronger possibility of longevity in employment.

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What are the laws regarding nepotism? Oklahoma law was modified in 2018 to allow school districts with less than 400 students the ability to modify nepotism requirements via policy. This is a local control decision and districts with less than 400 students have the choice to modify nepotism prohibitions. Some eligible school boards have voted to adopt policy eliminating all nepotism prohibitions. Some have adopted policies which remove nepotism restrictions for listed employment positions. To determine what your board has adopted, you will need to view the existing nepotism policy. Nepotism restrictions must be listed in the election resolution, so changing the existing policy after the November 15, 2019 deadline for election resolutions would not impact the current election cycle. Districts with more than 400 students do not have any option and seconddegree relatives of board members or employees of the school district are ineligible to file for office or be appointed to the board of education. What if someone is elected who didn’t have the appropriate new or continuing education credits? An Attorney General Opinion issued in the summer of 2018 provides that the person cannot legally hold office if they were ineligible to hold office. This is going to be an issue that will need to be handled on a case-by-case basis as the board member must have been provided a sixty-day window of time following a certified letter by the SDE to cure any credit deficiencies prior to removal from office. We would recommend you consult your school district’s retained counsel if this circumstance exists in your school district. After election or appointment, what are board member training requirements? Oklahoma law provides for three types of training for school board members: new, incumbent and continuing education credits. 1. New board member credits. In the first fifteen (15) months following election or appointment, school board members are required to earn twelve (12) new board member credits. Three of these credits are mandated by statute as follows: • 1 hour of Open Meeting Act/Open Records Act • 1 hour of ethics • 1 hour of school finance The remaining nine (9) hours can be in any of the previously identified “new” board member credit categories: • School finance


• Open Meeting Act/Open Records Act • New laws • Ethics, duties, and responsibilities • Legal issues • School employment/due process • IDEA (special education law) • Educational issues 2. Incumbent board member credits. In the first fifteen (15) months following reelection, an incumbent board member is required to earn six (6) incumbent member credits. Three of these credits are mandated as follows: • 1 hour of Open Meeting Act/Open Records Act • 1 hour of ethics • 1 hour of school finance The remaining three (3) incumbent credits can come from any of the “new” board member credit categories. 3. Continuing education credits. Prior to filing for reelection, a board member is required to earn a set number of continuing education credits. Those serving on a three-member board are required to earn nine (9) credits. Those serving on a seven-member board are required to earn twelve (12) credits. Those serving on a five-member board are required to earn fifteen (15) credits. These “A few years ago, a current board continuing education credits are in member was up for re-election in a addition to new/incumbent credits. heated board race. I had only been in When board members file for office they sign a declaration of candidacy that requires the candidate to affirm, under oath, that they will obtain school board member training as required by law if elected. This is the only formal notice that potential school board members receive regarding training requirements. School board elections require superintendents to be aware of the many ins and outs of the election process. If you need help or have questions, feel free to contact me at

the position of superintendent for a few months, and I was not as familiar as I should have been with the process. In addition, based on board election history in the district I was naïve in thinking that the incumbent would win re-election, so I never considered that this would not be the case. Our incumbent was beaten by a very narrow margin, and in my mind we were ready to move on with school business. We had only one more board meeting with the incumbent, and it went quite smoothly. However, two months later, another board member scheduled time to talk and was visibly upset that we had not recognized the incumbent at all before the departure from the board. I was mortified by my ignorance and insensitivity, and tried to find a way to rectify the mistake, but it was already too late. I had damaged my relationship with a former board member and a current board member by my ignorance.” - Janet Dunlop, Superintendent, Broken Arrow Public Schools

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Innovation Success Story: Union Public Schools

John Federline, Executive Director of Secondary Education, Union Public Schools It is an exciting time to be an educator in Oklahoma. Between challenges to adequate funding, an ongoing teacher shortage, and rapid changes in technology, public schools are in a moment of great challenge and great opportunity. Districts across the state are scrambling to provide a rigorous, traditional school experience while at the same time providing an extensive menu of educational choices. At Union High School in Tulsa, leaders have responded to the community’s desire for more choices by creating more ways than ever for students to create a customized educational experience. The district’s mission of 100 percent graduation and 100 percent college and career readiness is the heart of an array of programs that serve an incredibly diverse student population of over 4,400 students in grades 9-12. Student Choice: Students at Union High School have always had choices such as AP classes, athletics, fine arts, and almost 100 different clubs and activities, but in recent years programs have been added to fill some unmet needs. As the demand for technology increased, Union added a variety of virtual classes in 2010. These classes were based on a blended virtual model in which students would come to class once or twice a week and work on their own for the rest of the time. In 2019 the district created the Union Virtual Program in which students can take all of their classes from home on their computer if they so choose. Students have two opportunities to apply each year and are able to take all of their core classes and electives through the district’s Learning Management System. The unique thing about this program is that even if students choose to take all of their classes online, they are still able to participate in cocurricular activities such as athletics, band, or drama as well as attend traditional high school events such as homecoming and prom. College/Career Readiness: Union’s commitment to college readiness is evident in the high school’s College and Career Center where a team of counselors is available every day to assist students with applications, scholarships, FAFSA information and more. In addition, Union juniors and seniors are able to enroll in concurrent enrollment classes in which they can earn high school and college credit at the same time. Two years ago, district leaders developed and launched an Early College High School program, the first of its kind in the state. Through a powerful partnership with Tulsa Community College,

Early College High School allows students to earn up to 60 hours while they are still pursuing their traditional high school diploma. Offering dual credit for college courses allows students to acquire two degrees in seven semesters—a high school diploma and an Associate Degree. This program is particularly impactful because many students recruited are firstgeneration college students and face socioeconomic barriers to traditional post-secondary opportunities. Career Connect Internships For students who may be going directly from high school to the job market, the Career Connect program has leveraged community business partnerships to offer Union students the opportunity to do internships during the school year and earn industry certifications along the way. Union’s long-standing partnership with Tulsa Tech furthers these opportunities by offering classes in pre-engineering, biomedical sciences, and a variety of vocational programs. The Union district works hard to ensure that there are programs, classes, and activities for every interest. Union has created a proven track record of responding to the growing demands for flexible scheduling, virtual curriculum, and collegiate readiness. Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade experience a rigorous and dynamic curriculum with an emphasis on literacy, STEM, and college and career preparation. With new and exciting programs such as the E-Sports league, Union continues to offer the very best in cocurricular activities that increase student engagement at every level. Innovation and transparency are hallmarks of a district that strives to provide the best choices and the best educational opportunities for all students.

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Why We Need To Get Out the Count- 2020 Census Nora Gordon

This article was republished from the October 2019 AASA School Administrator magazine.

I remember clearly the first time I filled out my own census form. It was for the 2000 census, and I was an economics graduate student. Completing the form represented adulthood to me. I also was a fond user of census data for research, so it was thrilling to think of myself as a data point supporting social science for generations to come. I realize this is a weird view. My roommate then, an architecture student, didn’t share my excitement so I got to fill out the form on behalf of our household. Twenty years later, with plenty of forms to fill out at all times, the decennial census no longer makes me feel adult, but it does make me feel like an active participant in our democracy. The census will be different this year, but it still is critically important — and under appreciated — for democracy and public schools. New for 2020 Census Day will be April 1. By then, households will have received invitations to respond. For the first time, an online response is an option, though everyone also can choose to respond by mail or by phone. While you can’t respond until March 2020, you can go to 2020census. gov and sign up for an e-mail reminder now. AASA joined other professional education organizations in filing an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case, emphasizing the importance of accurate census data in ensuring federal dollars are distributed as intended. The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s justification for adding a citizenship question was inadequate. Ultimately, the administration ordered the Census Bureau to proceed with the printing process without a citizenship question. What’s the Same The census basics haven’t changed. Governance relies on the decennial census at the federal, state and local levels, and it only works with participation. The census is the engine of our representative democracy. The U.S. Constitution calls for a decennial “actual enumeration” of the entire population. All people must be counted. This is how we determine how many seats in the House of Representatives — and how much representation in the electoral college — each state gets.

The population counts from the decennial census, at the state and local levels, also are used to determine the allocation of federal funds from many programs across policy areas as diverse as education, health and transportation. Within K-12 education, Title I and IDEA funding both depend on school district counts of the school-aged population. And because these programs aren’t fully funded by the Congress, some of the federal funds flowing to school communities that effectively get out the count will come from other districts that were less successful at getting their residents counted. In other words, you need to get out the count just to protect the federal money you have. Participation is mandatory. It is illegal not to respond. Privacy is protected. Respondents must understand that other agencies, including immigration authorities, cannot access information provided to the census. It is a felony for census employees to share information. Educators’ Steps Much discussion centers on the political issues related to the 2020 census, ranging from immigration to gerrymandering. But getting your community’s adults and children counted so your public schools can receive their fair share of federal money is not a political statement. It’s simply responsible leadership. Share this information to help get out the census count early this year and encourage residents of your school communities to organize. has lots of information, including how to join a local Complete Count Committee or form a school partnership with the Census Bureau. NORA GORDON is associate professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Twitter: @noraegordon

The U.S. Census Bureau has released free resources for K–12 classrooms. The focus is on encouraging students to make sure their families participate in the upcoming 2020 Census, which influences the federal funding given to states and communities for classroom technology, teacher training, special education, after-school programs and school lunch assistance, among other programs. Materials include teacher and student content. You can access the K–12 curriculum at


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Julie Bloss, Principal, Grove Elementary, Grove Public Schools Celebrations are an important part of the school climate at Grove Early Childhood Center. Each time a student loses a tooth, the event is celebrated on our YouTube channel. In addition, the tooth is gently put in a special tooth shaped box and sent home to the family in preparation for the Tooth Fairy. Over the years, we’ve included pictures, certificates and so forth turning a sometimes scary moment into a fun milestone. I will never forget the time a student was bringing a tooth down to my office and lost it in the hall. With a gut wrenching cry, the student was crawling all over the white tiled floor looking for the tooth. Have you ever tried to find a tooth on a white tiled floor? Almost impossible. After sweeping the area with a broom, crawling on my hands and knees and using a Swiffer mop, I came to the realization that creativity was the only answer. I ran to the store and bought a can of white shoepeg corn. Later in the day, I sent the corn replacement tooth to the Tooth Fairy with a note of explanation! To this day, I keep corn on hand for such emergencies. Principals must be innovative, problem solvers. We do the best each day with the resources we have. And sometimes, those resources cost .98 at the local grocery store...if only all problems were that simple!

Want to share an E(d)xperience you’ve had? Email us at to be featured in the next issue!

What We’re Reading

Hope Rising: How the Science of HOPE Can Change Your Life Book reviewed by Kristin Atchley

The book Hope Rising seeks to engage an optimistic audience with new ideas centered around current educational topics. While the topic of trauma, mental health, and social/emotional learning pervades the educational community, the importance of recognizing evidence-based content and research needs to be recognized. Casey Gwinn and Chan Hellman achieve this goal by providing a well-written and clearly defined research-based book on understanding hope, navigating the theories therein, and proving relative information to allowing hope to rise in one’s life. In a world of fear and vulnerability, the authors gallantly address the topic by telling parts of their personal stories to expand the importance of understanding trauma, coupled with the idea of finding hope. The reader gains a clear perspective on why hope can be so critical through the authors’ clearly presented research. After setting this foundation, Gwinn and Hellman connect the idea of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), in relation to creating a hope-centered life. They emphasize how trauma can alter the brain’s development yet creating pathways to hope can redefine the trauma effects. In the latter part of the book, the reader will learn more about the hope score index and the research indications that can provide hopeful predictions. Gwinn and Chellman even address the hope-centered workplace while giving application using goal setting strategies for personal and professional use. Overall, readers will find this book to be highly engaging, paired with challenges to connect experiences in one’s own life, with a strong mode of inspiration. Want to share what you’re reading in the next Better Schools? Email us at



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OASA Dr. Pam Deering, CCOSA/OASA Executive Director Derald Glover, OASA Assistant Executive Director In September, OASA was well represented at Legislative Interim Studies. Members presented on topics that included Advanced Placement Programs, Blended Virtual Learning, Professional Development, and Arts Education. We are very proud of their expertise and innovative work for students in their districts. Legislative Session Looking ahead to the 2020 Legislative Session, the OASA Legislative Committee made recommendations to the OASA Executive Committee for 2020 Legislative Goals. These goals can be found on the CCOSA website under the tab Legislative Services. Thanks to our Legislative Committee led by Scott Farmer, Ft. Gibson Schools and these committee members: Ed Kennedy, Grandview Schools; Dr. Jason James, Alex Schools; Dr. Janet Dunlop, Broken Arrow Schools; Bret Towne, Edmond Schools; Dr. Stacey Butterfield, Jenks Schools; Matt Holder, Sulphur Schools; Dr. Trice Butler, Wilburton Schools; and Megan Benn. Leadership Message OASA President, Dr. Don Raleigh, continues to lead the Executive Committee each month with a systems-based leadership message. These one-page messages are shared with the Executive Committee and with OASA members. If CCOSA members are interested in these messages, please contact McKenzie Lumry at

Professional Learning Professional learning continues to be a major focus for OASA. We are serving First Year Superintendents and former first year superintendents in a new cohort we are calling “early career” superintendent training. In addition, we continued our superintendent contract workshop and legal advisory services for superintendents in early winter. Quality School Frameworks We are excited to continue leading with quality school frameworks. Blended Learning training is happening throughout the state. An Energy Framework will be released with the goal of assisting schools with energy management. More details will be available with the release of the framework and how schools can utilize the tools to improve energy savings. OASA Legislative Conference The OASA Legislative Conference will be held January 22, 2020 at the Embassy Suites, Downtown Medical Center. You don’t want to miss the popular Legislative Panel, experts on school funding and equity issues, and the 2020 Legislative Outlook. Join OASA! OASA is the leader for school administration! Please encourage those who would be eligible members to join. Our benefits are great!

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OAESP Josh Pierce, OAESP Board President

Association Business The OAESP Executive Board met on November 7 to approve our 2020 Legislative Priorities. Also, be sure to save the date for Principals Day at the Capitol April 1, 2020! The search for the new OAESP Executive Director is complete. The interview team met on November 20 to interview 7 applicants (8 applied, one withdrew). A second round of interviews were conducted on the morning of December 4. We are excited to announce that Glen Abshere will be joining the CCOSA team as OAESP’s Executive Director. His first day will be January. 13. Lead Like Me We cannot thank Sherri Brown enough for her wonderful work as the interim Lead Like Me coordinator. We’ve had 12 Lead Like Me trainings, with over 60 schools and more than 400 students and 86 advisors participating. This has been such a success! Thank you Sherri, the OAESP Executive Board and Lynne White for making sure this program continued to run smoothly. It is because of you that more than 400 students are learning how to become future leaders! Conferences We are looking forward to many exciting upcoming conferences, including our own. Don’t miss out on the OAESP Mid-Winter Conference January 31, 2020. The theme is “The Heart of a Leader” and Dr. Brad Gustafson will be our keynote speaker. You can also find wonderful content at the OASSP/OMLEA Conference February 12 – 13. Other conferences we’ll have a presence at include the National Leader’s Conference March 22-25 in Arlington, VA and the NAESP Pre-K – 8 Principal’s Conference July 12 – 14 in Louisville.

Mentor Training The National Mentor Training and Certification Program is hosting its Leadership Immersion Institute (LII) at the CCOSA office February 6-7. This is the first step toward becoming a NAESP Certified Mentor. Learn more or register at National Distinguished Principal/ OAESP Admin of the Year Those who were nominated for National Distinguished Principal/OAESP Administrator of the Year will receive an application to complete and submit by February 3. The winner will be recognized at the CCOSA Summer Leadership Conference this June. Membership If you haven’t already, now is the time to renew your membership. You’ll want the opportunity to register for upcoming conferences at the discounted member rate. As always, please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. Looking forward to the new year!


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OASSP/OMLEA Will Parker, OASSP/OMLEA Executive Director

National Principals Month October was National Principals Month and was a great time to recognize Oklahoma school leaders. Governor Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister signed a proclamation recognizing Oklahoma Principals Month. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) hosted several meetings in Washington, D.C., highlighting the work of principals. On October 1, Dr. Scott Beck, Norman Public Schools, received the Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year award at a special ceremony for state award winners. On October 17, NASSP, NAESP, and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) convened a select number of principals for a joint Hill Day visit. Stephanie Williams, Longfellow Middle School Principal, Norman, and 2018 OASSP Assistant Principal of the Year participated in these visits to Senate and House staffers. Assistant Principal of the Year Award On Friday, November 22, OASSP announced Mr. Eric Fox, Associate Principal of Jenks High School as the 2019 Oklahoma Assistant Principal of the Year. Fox, who spent time as a teacher and a coach at Jenks High School before becoming a principal, has held his current position for eight years and leads efforts at JHS in increasing awareness of diversity, promoting safety and well-being, and improving learning outcomes. He shares resources with his staff through a weekly Podcast-of-the-Week (POW), facilitates staff and student book studies, has created a student internship course and helps connect seniors with local businesses as part of the ICAP (Individual Career Academic Plan) implementation at JHS.

Professional Learning OASSP & OAESP offered four sessions of the New Principal Assistance Program during the fall semester. 48 Elementary and Secondary Principals participated in sessions including improving school culture, understanding special populations, and organizational management. In addition, special guests provided hands-on experience and updates on accreditation, special education, and school safety. OASSP/OMLEA Regional Meetings Thank you to regional officers and school leaders who held regional meetings throughout the state in the fall semester, including meetings in Guymon, Woodward, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Tulsa Technology Center, Stillwater, Yukon, Guthrie, and Edmond. These meetings provided updates on advocacy issues, best practices for principals, and upcoming professional development offerings. Regional representatives can reach out to Mr. Parker and schedule meetings for principals in your area of the state.

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OMLEA/OASSP Combined Conference Mark your calendars for February 12-13, 2020, and join Oklahoma middle school and high school educators and school leaders for our 2nd combined Leadership & Learning Conference to be held at the Embassy Suites, Oklahoma City, Downtown Medical Center. These twodays will include breakouts on leadership, instructional, and teacher best practices. Keynote speakers will include Dr. Akil Ross, 2018 National Principal of the Year, and Kim Campbell, Middle School Educator and Nuts & Bolts Presenter. Breakout Sessions cover topics including, but not limited to, equity for all students; subject-area best-practices; utilizing technology; public perception/perspective; student achievement; branding your school; using social media; dealing with difficult people; mentoring; social-emotional learning; innovative practices; trauma-informed instruction; parent/community communication; school-safety/ threat assessments; and more. We would love to see your secondary and middle-level educators attend! Links for registration, Requests for Presentations or Hotel Accommodations are available on the CCOSA website.


AMLE National Conference Oklahoma educators Justin Mann, OMLEA President and Principal of Del Crest Middle School, Jonathan Atchley, OMLEA President-Elect and Principal of Irving Middle School, and Will Parker, OASSP/OMLEA Executive Director, attended the national conference for the Association for Middle Level Education in Nashville, Tennessee. This was the 46th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education with more than 300 sessions addressing issues vital to middle school educators.


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ODSS Andrea Kunkel, CCOSA General Counsel & ODSS Executive Director Attendees at the ODSS Best Practice Conference in October praised general session speaker Jessica Minahan’s practical, but entertaining presentation about addressing anxiety and oppositional behavior effectively in the classroom. They left the conference ready to implement the new evidence-based strategies Jessica provided. We’d love to have her back soon for a full-day presentation! Although our Conference is over, ODSS has many other ongoing projects. In this seventh year of the First-Year Special Education Directors Project with SDE’s Special Education Services section, we have 54 new directors participating. That number is consistent with most of our previous years. By the time this issue hits your inbox, we’ll have completed all four of our in-person training sessions with this group. Experienced director mentors will continue working with their new director mentees through the rest of the school year, and ODSS will present at least two webinars covering other issues critical to our new director colleagues. Turnover among directors is high, and this Project helps the new folks develop their skills and build a community of support. Finally, TeleSPED ECHO is building a steady following for its virtual learning sessions presented on the second and fourth Mondays of most months. Each one-hour session includes a didactic presentation of about 15 minutes connected to a behavior topic. The rest of the session focuses on a disability-related case study. Professional development attendance certificates are available. For more information, please contact Jessica Tucker at or ODSS Executive Director Andrea Kunkel@

Please join the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration & the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators for the

Women in School Leadership Forum 2020 Featuring Guest Speakers: Tina Boogren, author of Take Time for You: Self-Care Action Plans for Educators Lauren Sisler, ESPN Sideline Reporter This joint state leadership conference is for women of all ages who serve as or aspire to become school administrators. Enjoy networking with other women leaders in the Midwest, develop interview skills and take away tangible tips to implement in your day-to-day life. March 11-12, 2020 Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center 6808 S 107th E Ave Tulsa, OK 74133



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Oklahoma School Assurance Group The 2019 OSAG fall training seminars awarded new reflective crossing guard equipment kits for ten winners! Congratulations to the OSAG winning recipients! If you were unable to attend one of our FREE training seminars, and would like a material packet provided, please email and a packet will be shipped to you. The OSAG Board of Trustees unanimously approved to increase the annual OSAG scholarship awards for 2019-2020. OSAG will now award the following scholarships at the end of the 2019-2020 school year: 1 - $5,000 scholarship 4 - $2,500 scholarships The OSAG $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a qualifying, statewide Oklahoma graduate who is seeking a degree in education. The OSAG $2,500 scholarships are awarded to one qualifying student from each state quadrant meeting application criteria. Applications are overseen by the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, with the application process open from December 1, 2019 – March 1, 2020. Please visit the CCOSA website at to complete your application for the OSAG scholarship(s). As a reminder, OSAG begins preparation of renewal premium development in January of each year. Watch for requests from the OSAG marketing team, The Beckman Company, in January 2020. The requested information is highly important in the development of your annual workers’ compensation premium.

P.O. Box 18858, Oklahoma City, OK 73154 Phone: 800-699-5905 Facsimile: 405-842-0051 The Oklahoma School Assurance Group is an Interlocal Cooperation Act Agency of Schools Providing Workers’ Compensation

SNU Launches Doctoral Degree Designed for Educators After months of research and planning, Southern Nazarene University launched its first doctoral degree, a Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership. The curriculum and method of delivery were designed for educators, public service profession-

“If you are considering earning a doctorate, please think about more than the end goal. I ask you to consider the journey.” Stephoni Case, SNU Program Director

als, and leaders across multiple disciplines. With classes occurring one night per week and a dissertation embedded in the curriculum, it could be the program that makes getting a doctoral degree possible for working educators across the state. Dr. Stephoni Case, SNU’s EdD program director said, “If you are considering earning a doctorate, please think about more than the end goal. I ask you to consider the journey—the coursework, research and the networking that would be yours

if you choose SNU’s pathway to earning your doctorate.” At SNU, courses take place one night a week, and students focus on one class at a time. In addition, SNU has a full-time dissertation director to assist students in connecting with the ideal advisor for them and their research. This research is embedded within the curriculum, making it more manageable for working adults. Within the first term of the program, students begin work on their dissertation with the priceless benefit of a dissertation chairperson guiding you along the way. “Talk to others who have completed a doctorate,” Case said, “and they will confirm that your dissertation advisor is critical to the success of your research and dissertation completion.” Earning a doctoral degree requires a great deal of effort, but after 32 months, students will have a terminal degree that could change the trajectory of their entire career. “The time to begin fulfilling your educational dream is right now,” Case said. If you’re interested in learning more about earning a Doctorate of Education in Education, Administration and Leadership, visit

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Better School Winter Edition 2020  

Fundamental resources and editorials for school administrators.

Better School Winter Edition 2020  

Fundamental resources and editorials for school administrators.