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Morning Bell: First public Montessori school prepares to open

Good Thursday morning. Several schools start a new year today, including Edmond, Moore, Putnam City, Broken Arrow, Norman, Bartlesville, Muskogee, Ponca City, Shawnee, Stillwater, Owasso and Mustang. 

Oklahoma's first public Montessori school is getting ready to open in Tulsa. The first day of classes is next Wednesday at Emerson Elementary School, reports thee Tulsa World. Montessori uses a largely self-paced, individualized learning model that uses hands-on activities to build real-world skills and concentration.

“It’s everything. It’s respectful to kids. It’s tailored to each child. It’s hands-on, and it’s real life,” said Stephanie Jones, a prekindergarten and kindergarten teacher. “Sometimes when you use broad curriculum, like a math curriculum or a reading curriculum, you’re taking a one-size fits all approach that doesn’t respect where the child is."

Superintendent banned from driving school buses 

On Tuesday night, the Fort Towson Public School Board held a meeting to discuss punishment for Superintendent Charles Caughern, who will no longer be allowed to drive school buses after students caught him texting while driving. 

Students say the superintendent was texting and talking on the phone while driving a school bus to a softball game. One parent even said that she saw the bus swerving, reports KFOR

“It was a very scary experience. I don’t like when people text and drive. It was just really scary. I was really nervous,” said Keily Abney.

Enid schools announces new online payment program

All Enid Public Schools campuses will start accepting online payments with the use of credit and debit cards beginning this week, reports the Enid News & Eagle. The district said the program, InTouch, will provide a more convenient method for families. 

“We are very excited to offer online payments for parents,” said Sam Robinson, chief financial/operations officer. “Life is busy, and we know that every convenience matters. We have had many requests for this service in the past, and InTouch has provided us with a safe and secure way to offer it for our families.”

To use the program, parents have to create an account in the PowerSchool Parents Portal, which EPS said is the same system used by parents to view students' attendance, grades and more. Parents with an existing account should visist ok-enid.intouchreceipting.com and follow onscreen directions.

Yukon school receives ABL award

Parkland Elementary School was honored recently with the Action Based Learning School of the Year award by Healthy Schools Oklahoma.

Each year, the honor is awarded to one school that has displayed dedication and creativity to the Healthy Schools Oklahoma program, specifically with its Action Based Learning lab and adding movement for students throughout the school day.

Action Based Learning is based on the brain research that supports the link of movement and physical activity to increased academic performance.

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›