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Morning Bell: Info mostly restored at districts following cyber attacks

Good Wednesday morning!

TODAY: Access to online student information has been mostly restored in three of Oklahoma's largest school districts following a cyber attack, officials said Tuesday.

Oklahoma City Public Schools, Edmond Public Schools and Moore Public Schools were affected to varying degrees by the attack, which made it difficult if not impossible for parents, teachers and school administrators to obtain the information.

On Sunday, the Oklahoma City district reported a "denial of service" attack on Infinite Campus, which houses the district's parent portal.

OKC's top readers recognized

Oklahoma City Public Schools' top summer readers took center stage during a ceremony Monday at Hawthorne Elementary.

Twelve children received Amazon Kindles for compiling the most reading minutes during ReadOKC's annual "Get in the Game" summer reading program.

The program challenges students to read 20 minutes a day, for a total of 1,200 minutes over the summer.

The Top 12 read a combined 90,000 minutes, district officials said.

"Developing a love of reading is the first step toward success in school and in life," said Mary Melon, president and chief executive officer of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

INBOX: Oklahoma's 2018 Teacher of the Year will officially launch her yearlong tour of Oklahoma this week, vowing to visit schools in all 77 counties by June 30.

“This is the ‘Year of the Teacher’ in Oklahoma,” Gradel said. “Despite a shortage of funds for over a decade, there are so many tremendous teachers in Oklahoma who remain devoted to providing the best possible learning opportunities for their students. They deserve to be recognized and respected for their hard work and commitment to excellence, and we must acknowledge the power of teaching and the positive impact our teachers are having across the state.” More from the State Department of Education.

McAlester launches chronic absence program

McAlester Public Schools implemented a new program this year called the Chronic Absentee Team to help combat chronic absentees among students, reports the McAlester News-Capital.  

During a recent interview with the News-Capital, MPS Superintendent Randy Hughes said he believes the program will help students reach their academic goals.

“We want all possible resources available for these kids,” Hughes said. “If a student is falling behind in math, then let’s get them some tutoring.”

The primary function of the CAT program is going to students homes, meeting with the parents and establishing a plan on how to assist the student in allowing the learners to be academically successful.

School officials said the CAT team would begin the year contacting all “no shows” on the current enrollment roster of the school.

According to MPS, 139 students from sixth grade to seniors at the high school were absent during the 2017-2018 school year.

Federal juvenile justice agency drops data collection

Under new administrator Caren Harp, who took office in January, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is essentially dissolving its research arm—which had been the only federal team regularly compiling information on racial patterns in juvenile arrests and incarceration, reports the Marshall Project

And starting next month, the office will sharply cut back on its oversight of states’ attempts to reduce what is called “disproportionate minority contact” with the criminal justice system, largely by slashing the kinds of data that local agencies must collect. It has also rescinded multiple training manuals that juvenile justice officials around the country had been using to improve racial disparities, in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said was a correction of unnecessary regulation.

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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 ›