When the 2006-’07 school year rolls around, Sequoyah High School’s attendance rolls will be expanded to include many seventh- and eighth-graders.

“We are going to start off with very small classes,” said Gina Stanley, SHS superintendent. “We are only going to accept 25 students in each new grade.”

Stanley said the moment applications were available, parents responded by taking the them, filling them out and turning them back in to admissions. That’s a good response for the school’s plan of extension.

Because of that response, Stanley said it is possible Sequoyah will receive more than the allotted 25 applications per grade-level addition.

“Once we have all of the applications, we have to go off of first-come first-serve,” she said.

Dion Frances was the first parent to take an application from the school. He’s extremely anxious to see if his son, Logan, will be admitted.

“We look for the best possible opportunity for our children. There are some exceptional schools in Cherokee County; Sequoyah has a staff that will bend over backward for their kids,” said Frances.

Frances’ older son is currently a sophomore at Sequoyah, and it’s because of his educational experience at Sequoyah that Frances wants Logan to share in that opportunity.

“I have life-long friends who are educators at Sequoyah, and I know the Cherokee Nation has really emphasized the educational development of children in this area. It’s really exciting,” said Frances.

Administrators at SHS decided to expand the high school to include seventh and eighth grades after parents and community members expressed a desire to send their children to SHS at a younger age.

Seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms will be housed in the new multipurpose center, which is slated for completion this spring, and students will have the opportunity to participate in athletic competitions against area middle schools. Seventh- and eighth-graders will be admitted as day students only, and won’t have access to the dormitories.

“We were getting calls daily,” Stanley said. “That was when we knew there was definitely a need for the type of education Sequoyah has to offer for the younger kids.”

To meet the requirements of expansion, Sequoyah is interviewing applicants to fill a new English and social studies position, a fine arts and leadership position and a slot being vacated by a current high school teacher who will take the science and math class for the new grades.

To apply, students must have a physical examination; a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card; a minimum grade-point average of 2.25, as verified by a school transcript with Achievement Test scores; reference forms from an administrator, a teacher and a counselor from previous school sent directly to SHS; recent photograph; immunization record; birth certificate; and Social Security card.

What’s next?

“I’d like to see us eventually expand to have elementary classes,” said Amon Baker, chairman of the SHS school board. “It’s a good time for the school to grow. I’d like to see that.”

Frances believes the idea sounds good, “but only as long as they can maintain the educational standards they have today.”

Sequoyah High School is regionally and state-accredited for grades 9-12 and has become the school of choice for more than 300 high school students every year. From its beginning as a school with one building and 40 acres of land, SHS has grown into a modern institution covering more than 90 acres with a dozen major buildings on a campus five miles southwest of Tahlequah.

Learn more

Applications for seventh and eighth grades are available at the SHS office or by calling (918) 453-5400.


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