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Tahlequah Public Schools



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Back to School!!

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July 2017

Dear TPS Stakeholders:

It is with sincere enthusiasm that I welcome back to school all of those who play such an important role in the educational process of the 3600 students in Tahlequah Public Schools!   I look forward to another successful year for our students as the 2017-18 school year begins on August 10. 

Tahlequah Public Schools (TPS) will be experiencing a few changes in the upcoming school year that I would like to share here with our students, staff and important partners.  Together, we will build a partnership that ensures our children will achieve at their highest potential. 

One key change for the 2017-18 school year will be the implementation of Late Start Mondays.  TPS will begin Late Start Mondays on August 14 and continue throughout the school year to provide staff an opportunity to collaborate in their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).  Stakeholder and staff survey results indicated that Monday was the preferred choice for a late start and that supervision of children was a concern. 

Our goal is to provide a structure that does not adversely affect families.  Supervision will be provided in the morning, which should accommodate working parents so that they are not affected by the delayed start.   A letter addressed specifically to Late Start Mondays is also included here

Students will notice a modification to the child nutrition program this school year.   The district has entered into an agreement with Sodexo to manage the child nutrition program.   The cafeteria environment will have a new, appealing appearance with additional entree options (up to four except at Sequoyah PK); a la carte options; and a supper program offered to children staying in the B&G Club After School Program at no cost.   Meal prices will remain the same and are as follows:

Elementary Secondary
Student Breakfast:  $1.50  Student Breakfast:  $1.50
Student Lunch:  $2.50 Student Lunch:  $2.75
Adult Breakfast: $2.00 Adult Breakfast: $2.00
Adult Lunch: $3.50 Adult Lunch: $3.50

The Cherokee Elementary cafetorium will soon be completed and functional after school begins.  This new addition to Cherokee Elementary is a beautiful enhancement to the school site that includes a cafeteria, stage and music room along with an additional classroom.   Bus drop off will be in front of the new cafetorium and parent drop off will remain on the west side of the current front of the school.

TPS will continue to provide an after school program in collaboration with B&G Club.   Although TPS charged for the after school program last year as a component of our comprehensive cost-cutting measures, there will be no charge for the program except for PK and Kindergarten students for the 2017-18 school year.   As previously mentioned, the supper program will be implemented for after school students instead of a snack, which should greatly benefit our students.

TPS is always committed to providing a quality education within a safe and caring learning environment.   The district is now in the second year of the implementation of one-to-one technology for our students beginning with grades 3 and 6 last year and progressing to grades 4 and 7 in the 2017-18 school year.   Instructional technology, STEM activities and labs, Robotics, courses that include Medical Detectives at the middle school, Pre-Engineering, and Biomed at the high school, along with instructional technology coaches are all strategies to reach and engage our students in this ever-changing technological age. 

With this in mind, our 2017-18 academic focus will include:  (1) imbedding instructional technology; (2) utilizing practices that increase students’ levels of engagement; (3) creating strong professional learning communities; and (4) creating an engaging school culture for our stakeholders.  

Whether you are an employee, student, parent or community member, you play an important role in TPS.   The district is incredibly appreciative of the support of this beautiful community as we prepare our students for a productive future together.

The Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation and the school’s PTO are both direct avenues to support TPS.  Visit the TPS Foundation’s website at www.tahlequahpublicschoolsfoundation.org or inquire with your school’s administration about joining PTO.  Stakeholder support is essential to school effectiveness!

TPS is an outstanding 5A school district with a highly qualified faculty and staff that care about children and learning.  Our district is dedicated to creating a dynamic learning environment and opportunities for students and look forward to the 2017-18 school year!




Lisa M. Presley