Change is coming to school district

November 18, 2018

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The definition of a process is a systematic series of actions directed to some end.

The process underway through Oklahoma City Public Schools' "Pathway to Greatness" is exactly that. Our end result will be a redefining and reshaping of our school district.

This is a huge undertaking and will not come without anxiety, as has already been proven at the five community meetings OKCPS hosted in the past few weeks. Members of the community have every right to voice concerns and they deserve to be heard. Superintendent Sean McDaniel described the "Pathway to Greatness" process and then listened and responded to every person and every question that came from the nearly 800 people who attended the meetings.

The teams charged with reviewing the facilities assessment data represent all parts of the school district; a piece of the process that was thoughtfully derived and planned. The Navigators are made up of community members and the Trailblazers are members of the Oklahoma City Public Schools staff. Both groups are spending a great deal of time reviewing specific pieces of data on every school in OKCPS.

This thorough review will guide informed and detailed recommendations regarding facilities usage and supports for our kids that will ultimately be used by Superintendent McDaniel and voted on by the Board of Education.

Part of the process for the recommendations are innovative looks at how schools can be used in different ways, whether through the community school model (combining wrap around services into a school setting with kids in place) or repurposing buildings to bring partners together that offer services to families and kids (think health clinics, feeding sites and after-school programs).

When this is done, students may be going to a different building for school, but will have the opportunity for expanded class offerings. These students are the ultimate beneficiary.

The decisions that are ultimately made will require change and change is never easy. What we all must remember is that what is currently happening for our kids isn't good enough. Continuing to do things the same way and expecting different results is not an effective strategy.

Let's let the process work and support the change that is coming. Our kids deserve it and they are our best investment.

Read Mary Mélon's original NewsOK editorial.