OKA+ News


Who Will Be the Next Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Winning Educator? Academic All-Stater?

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is accepting nominations for its 2017 Academic Awards. Medals for Excellence in Teaching & Administration honor five public-school educators (an elementary teacher, a secondary teacher, a regional university or community college teacher, a research university teacher, and an elementary or secondary administrator) with a $5,000 award and a glass sculpture. Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The Academic All-State award honors 100 public high-school seniors with a $1,000 scholarship. Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016. All nominationa must be submitted via OFE's online portal. For more information, call the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence at 405-236-0006, email info@ofe.org, or visit OFE's Academic Awards Program webpage.




New teachers in OKA+ network schools attended Mini-institutes on September 14 at UCO and September 15 at Tulsa Community College West Campus. These daylong workshops provided an introduction to the OKA+ essentials, philosophy, and whole-school model in a crash-course version of yearly OKA+ Summer Institutes for new network schools. New teachers are defined as those who have not attended any of their school’s OKA+ summer training(s) AND have never attended a new teacher mini-institute.


Three Schools added to the OKA+ Network

Edmond Doyle Elementary in McAlester, Holy Family Cathedral School of Tulsa, and Santa Fe South The Hills Elementary of OKC were selected to join the state's research-based whole-school network focusing on creativity and innovation for school improvement.

As they join a network of 70 OKA+ schools, the new schools will be recognized at a celebration at the State Capitol on April 27, 2016, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., with networking and refreshments offered from 3:45. 

OKA+ Executive Director Sandra Kent explained, "Being able to add new schools to our state network again this year is cause for celebration! The three schools joining our network represent diverse populations and areas of the state. I am pleased with their commitment to engage the curious minds of their students by working through the A+ framework to think, plan, and behave more creatively. In these difficult times for education, it is more important than ever to give educators the tools they need to help them in their important work. An education infused with creativity and innovation is one that will help students achieve at high levels in an environment of joy."

Since the organization was founded in 2002, research has provided strong evidence that students in OKA+ schools benefit greatly -- from remarkable social and academic outcomes, including statistically significant differences in standard measures of math and reading, to more joyful, creative, and collaborative school climates. In addition to reducing behavioral issues and improving students' attitudes, schools report more fulfilled teachers, more parent and community involvement, and higher attendance for both students and teachers.

OKA+@UCO provides its schools with regular training and professional development opportunities for teachers and principals, networking opportunities with other schools, and access to resource kits and materials, all at no cost to member schools. The OKA+ network includes early childhood through high school institutions across the state, in urban, suburban, and rural Oklahoma. A division of Academic Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, the organization is supported by a longstanding public-private partnership.

Please join us at the State Capitol on April 27, 2016,
to celebrate the OKA+ network of schools and our three new schools!
RSVP at https://goo.gl/itDVUI!


Love's Creative SPARKS! Submissions Due April 15

Oklahoma A+ Schools is proud to continue our partnership with Love's Creative SPARKS! This year's contest theme is Oklahoma Creative Communities. The contest challenges students to think creatively about possible solutions to problems in their classroom, school, or community. Submissions are due by April 15, 2016. Cash prizes will be awarded in elementary, middle-school, and high-school categories. Click here to learn more and find links to lesson plans and to the online entry form. For more information, email info@stateofcreativity.com.


Global Arts PD Module Demonstration - Thur., Jan. 14

We are pleased to announce the unveiling of a series of Global Arts Professional Development Modules which are being made available to all A+ Fellows, administrators and educators across the nation.

A+ Schools Program has partnered with VIF International Education (both located in North Carolina) to provide globally themed arts integrated professional development to teachers through the VIF Learning Center. The VIF Learning Center features professional development, digital badging, curricular resources and a social community of more than 16,000 educators from around the world.

As a result of this partnership, all A+ administrators and educators have access to the VIF learning center, which will provide access to the community, resources, lesson plans and professional development within the platform, including the A+ School professional development modules.

All A+ Fellows, Administrators and Educators are invited to join a webinar tutorial on Thursday, January 14th at 4pm CST. For more details, view this online flyer.  Directions on how to register are listed here.  


Why We Need Imagination, Creativity and Innovation in a Test-Driven World - Dec. 10

We're partnering with Creative Oklahoma and the UCO College of Education and Professional Studies to host a lecture by Scott Noppe-Brandon at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library Auditorium, 300 Park Ave., Oklahoma City.

The title of his presentation will be "Why We Need Imagination, Creativity and Innovation in a Test-Driven World." Scott Noppe-Brandon is known internationally as a speaker and author on the role of imagination, creativity and innovation (ICI) in commerce, culture and education. From 1987-2012 he served as executive director of Lincoln Center Institute and currently is Director and Co-Founder of Squiggle Consulting LLC. He also serves as Global Advisor to GEMS Education, Senior Advisor to Council on Competitiveness, Chairman of the Board of COMPASS Charter School, and Co-Producer and Writer for Newswire.fm and for Possibility's Place, a new media show for young children. His work is credited as having a deep impact on the intersection of commerce, education and culture. Scott was a K-12 and university educator, modern dancer, and consultant. Key recent career moments include startup of 12 public schools; directing a five-year national research project, and conducting 58 Imagination Conversations, networked via media to millions worldwide.

The event is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.


OKA+ Schools @ UCO and Harding Fine Arts Academy Present Erahm Christopher for 3 Events

Pre-release screening of the movie LISTEN Full-length feature rated PG-13. This film is about the moments in life that we miss when we do not listen. Every day someone is waiting for another person to notice they are broken or alone. LISTEN deals with real issues faced by our adolescents. Educators, students, parents, EVERYONE needs to see this! Filmmaker Erahm Christopher will be present and will address the audience following the film.

6PM Thursday, October 1, Q and A at 7:40PM

Cost: $5 Open to the Public; Pay at the Door of Harding Fine Arts Academy, 3333 N Shartel, OKC

Trailer  What are students saying after viewing Listen? Click here.

Student Master Class with Filmmaker Erahm Christopher, Senior High School & College Students

Harding Fine Arts Academy, 3333 N Shartel, OKC
8AM to 3:30PM Friday, October 2
$50 FREE, lunch provided

For more information, Description and Flyer

Register online at https://goo.gl/dGCqvp

Educators' Arts Integration Workshop with Erahm Christopher: Inspire Creative Storytelling Using Film

Center for Transformative Learning at UCO, Edmond
9AM to 3PM Saturday, October 3

For more information, Description and Flyer

Register online at https://goo.gl/TJmXGl



All are invited to an open house for Oklahoma A+ Schools!  We'll be hosting a come and go reception from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22.  This will be happening at the OKA+ Schools Building, located at 100 S. Baumann in Edmond.  There will be light refreshments.  For more information, please contact OKA+ Schools at 405-974-3779 or e-mail aplusmail@uco.edu.


OKA+ New Teacher Mini-Institutes

New teachers in OKA+ network schools are invited to attend one of the OKA+ Mini-institutes in September. These daylong workshops provide an introduction to the OKA+ essentials, philosophy, and whole-school model in a crash-course version of yearly OKA+ Summer Institutes for new network schools. New teachers are defined as those who have never attended any of their school’s OKA+ summer training(s) AND have never attended a new teacher mini-institute.

Dates and Locations:
September 16, 2015, New Teacher Mini-Institute for Elementary and Secondary Teachers, UCO-Edmond
September 17, 2015, New Teacher Mini-Institutes for Elementary Teachers, NSU-Broken Arrow

Please contact your principal for registration information or email cspringall@uco.edu.


America Recycles Day November 14th

OKA+ would like you to help celebrate America Recycles Day in your classrooms on Friday, November 14th! We're sharing creative lesson plans & activities on our Facebook & Twitter to share with your students.  The national initiative is from Keep America Beautiful and many great resources can also be found on the America Recycles Day website.  On Friday, November 14th, please email us your exciting photos & stories so we can share it with the entire Oklahoma A+ Network!


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