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Superintendent’s Transition Letter

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Dear Bixby Families,

It has been a great joy and privilege to serve as your interim superintendent over the past six months. I greatly appreciate your support and encouragement during this time. I am also pleased to welcome Rob Miller as our new district superintendent on June 1. After completing my responsibilities as principal of Central Elementary next month, I will be joining Mr. Miller as the district assistant superintendent in July. Mr. Miller and I have already spent many hours working together in May and we look forward to working together to serve our district and continue our positive growth.

As we wrap up the 2017-18 school year, we would like to review a few steps the district has taken relative to student and staff safety this year. We believe it is critical that every child feels safe and comfortable at school and will continue to work tirelessly to develop and implement programs and policies to support this aim. As part of that growth, we have been very active this semester.

Relative to developing character and positive culture in our athletic and extracurricular programs, we have worked with site, district and departmental leadership to:
● Partnered with Shawn Jackson of Tulsa Domestic Violence Intervention Services to implement the program, “Coaching Boys Into Men.”
● Implemented a variety of training programs and conversations as strategic means to promote a safe and positive school culture. This includes work by high school counselor, Jessi Whetsel, who has met with athletic coaches to share information about recognizing and preventing bullying.
● Conducted interviews with students and staff members and designed responses to specific needs.
● Implemented stories from (and participated in) a book study of “Culture Defeats Strategy” and held regular staff meetings that integrated the study.
● Involved our coaches in student leadership council meetings and encouraged students to participate in a wide range of community service projects. Many of these activities are viewable at #Team 21 on social media.
● Worked extensively with the NFHS (National Federation of State High Schools Association). One of their national experts/trainers in the development of anti-hazing/anti-bullying environments, Elliot Hopkins, is scheduled to meet with coaches and staff this summer.
● Adopted a new district-wide policy regarding our athletic & activity student conduct. Training and publicity of this policy will be underway soon.

Additional safety initiatives taking place across the district included:
● The development of an anonymous tip line that will be open to secondary students next school year.
● A comprehensive review from the Oklahoma School Security Institute to assess our practices and facilities related to safety, school response to threats, and reduction of risk.
● Members of our admin team and crisis response coordinator meeting to review and revise our Emergency Response Handbook (aka “the flip chart”).
● Continued training with the Crisis Prevention Institute, a review of our training with ALICE (Alert.Lockdown.Inform.Counter.Evacuate), and discussion of possible training of students in the Run.Hide.Fight protocol through the Department of Homeland Security. We will pursue further training for staff next year as well.
● Sending a delegation (including our School Resource Officers) to training with “Response Law, LLC” by Dr. John Moore at Tulsa Technology Center in Owasso. We will also bring Dr. Moore to our district this summer for whole-team training.
● Continuing our work in our local community prevention efforts through the Bixby PASS Coalition. If you are interested, you are welcome to join and participate, with more info available at this link: ​Bixby PASS Coalition

The district continues to enjoy tremendous success relative to student academic outcomes and the success of all students will always remain a high priority. Bixby Public Schools has much to be proud of as our students continue to achieve great results in many areas. In this regard, we continue to expand our training and supports for teachers, including initial training for new staff with Great Expectations upon hire. This year, all BPS schools made progress in the implementation of Great Expectation practices. We achieved “model status” in 7 schools and “progressive status” in another school, with remaining programs showing solid progress, too. We will also begin our 2018-19 year in August with Dr. Marcia Tate providing training for teachers regarding strategies to increase student engagement and learning outcomes.

We would like to welcome a few new members (and those in new roles) to our administrative team for next year:
● Kelly Mears – principal at North Elementary from Elliot Elementary in TPS
● Richard Dilbeck – assistant principal at North Elementary, formerly teaching at North Intermediate
● Leslie Haynes – principal at Central Elementary, formerly assistant principal at CE
● Libby VanDolah – principal at Northeast Intermediate, formerly assistant principal at NEE/I

It has been a very busy semester and it has been an honor to serve you and our school district during that time. We sincerely appreciate all of the hard work and efforts of teachers, support staff, administrators, families, and community members (including those who served our students during walkout). We can consider the year a great success because of those incredible efforts and the diligent work of our students. We look forward to working with you to make the 2018-19 school year the best ever!

Hope you have a happy and safe summer! See you in August.
Lydia Wilson
Interim Superintendent
[email protected]

Rob Miller
Incoming Superintendent
[email protected]

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Superintendent’s Transition Letter