Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 12, 2013

TPS board members discuss state school report cards

TAHLEQUAH — State “letter grade” assessments that have drawn fire from administrators and educators across the state were a focal point during Monday’s monthly meeting of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education.

The letter grades from the Oklahoma Department of Education were based on Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests and End-of-Instruction testing. TPS ranked well in some areas, but in others showed some problems.

“In some areas, we were as high as 90 percent proficient in science and writing at the fifth- and eighth-grade levels,” said Anita Lightcap, special programs coordinator. “Changes in rigor and the cut scores dropped our scores. State averages dropped into the 50s in all areas. Our eighth-grade scores actually remained higher than the state averages.”

Tahlequah High School and Heritage Elementary School each received a B from the state. Tahlequah Middle School got a D, while Greenwood Elementary School received a D-plus. Cherokee elementary was given a C. Sequoyah Elementary, which is a pre-kindergarten facility, did not receive a mark.

Proficiency or pass rates on the OCCT among TPS third-graders were 74 percent for reading and 76 percent for math. The respective OMAAP scores were 56 and 38 percent.

Percentages for fourth grade were 69 in reading and 71 in math. OMAAP percentages were 69 in reading and 81 in math.

Fifth-graders tested in four areas. Proficiency rates were 66 percent in reading, 73 percent in math, 48 percent in science and 46 percent in writing. OMAAP rates were 34 percent for reading, 67 in math and 23 in science. There was no OMAAP assessment of writing for fifth grade.

Proficiency rates on the OCCT among sixth-graders were 69 percent for reading and 79 percent for math. Respective OMAAP scores were 38 and 69 percent.

Percentages for seventh grade were 76 in reading and 60 in math. OMAAP percentages were 62 in reading and 37 in math.

There were four testing areas for eighth-graders, who scored 86 percent in reading, 56 in math, 55 in science and 60 in writing. OMAAP rates were 81 percent for reading, 53 percent in math and 100 percent in science.

End-of-Instruction scores at THS surpassed the state averages in all subjects.

Drop-out rates were also addressed during the meeting. THS Principal Jeff Thorne reported 33 students dropped out during the previous academic year, and said Tahlequah graduated 85 percent of its students by end-of-instruction tests in 2012,  and that the final report for 2013 should show all THS students who took the exams passed.

TMS Principal Jaycie Smith discussed Achieving Classroom Excellence remediation plans, explaining that 175 students were eligible for remediation in math and 174 in language arts, which covered grades sixth through eight. Smith said efforts included focus periods in which teachers work with small groups of students, nine-week study skills classes, nine-week reading intervention tutoring classes, “power hour” tutoring sessions at the Boys & Girls Club, and summer school.

During her report, Superintendent Lisa Presley said TPS’ OCCT standings and DOE letter grades would be posted on the district’s website.

She also reported an online poll remains open until Nov. 17 for parents to give their opinions of the elementary school reconfiguration plans.

“People have told us they would like to see us retain neighborhood schools, and the committee is looking at a reconfiguration that will retain that,” Presley said. “The committee will meet again Nov. 19, and we hope to make a final recommendation in December.”

Presley mentioned to the board that the district could lose $80,000-$100,000 of funding at the midterm, based on anticipated availability of state revenues.

The board also unanimously approved the consent docket, which included a renewal of the school resource officer agreement with the city of Tahlequah; supplemental services contracts for lay coaches; out-of-state and overnight trips for TPS students; $500 each in district funds for TMS and THS pom to attend the National Dance Competition in Orlando; and the job description for a high school leadership teacher.

The district was presented a $15,000 check for the healthy schools program after meeting requirements set forth in the tobacco settlement endowment trust.

After executive session, the board was scheduled to approve four resignations, including teachers Edwyna Synar and Kim Steeley, and librarian Lori Owens.

The board was also to approve the hiring of five new support staff.


The next regular meeting of the TPS board is 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 19, in the conference room at the board office, 225 N. Water St.



Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case