Region: Oklahoma
Education

Help Keep Our Kids Safe: Save the Classen SAS Theater Tech Teacher!

Petition is directed to
The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board
106 supporters
106% achieved 100 for collection target
106 supporters
106% achieved 100 for collection target
  1. Launched 21/05/2024
  2. Time remaining > 8 weeks
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Request:
We urge the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education to retain the position of the dedicated technical theater teacher at Classen School of Advanced Studies Middle School, who also serves as the Technical Director of our theater program. This role is pivotal not only for the education and safety of our students but also for the integrity of the school's drama and theater productions.

Achievement Goals:

  1. Ensure Safety: Maintain a safe learning environment for students, particularly in handling technical theater equipment and managing the unique challenges posed by ongoing school renovations.
  2. Preserve Educational Quality: Continue providing specialized, hands-on technical education in theater arts, which is crucial for the holistic development of our students.
  3. Support Theater Operations: Sustain the operational excellence of our school’s theater productions by keeping a role that expertly manages the complex logistics and technical demands of modern theater.

Implementation:

  • Community Engagement: Involve parents, teachers, and local arts organizations in discussions with the school board to highlight the community’s strong support for this position.
  • Financial Considerations: Explore potential funding options, including local arts grants and partnerships with community theaters, to financially support the retention of this role.
  • Awareness Campaigns: Conduct information sessions and demonstrations for school board members to showcase the impact and importance of the technical theater teacher in enhancing student learning and safety.

By retaining this essential position, Classen SAS Middle School will not only uphold the safety and quality of its drama program but also continue to nurture the talents and passions of its students in the performing arts.

Reason

Importance of the Petition:

The role of the technical theater teacher at Classen SAS Middle School is foundational to both the safety and enrichment of our educational environment. This position is crucial for:

  1. Student Safety: Ensuring that students handle complex stage equipment safely, which is particularly critical during the current extensive school renovations.
  2. Educational Excellence: Providing irreplaceable technical training that enriches students’ arts education and prepares them for diverse career paths.
  3. Community and Cultural Development: Enhancing community engagement and supporting the growth of local cultural initiatives through our thriving theater program.

Concerns Over Recent Developments:
Recently, our community was dismayed to learn that the board decided to terminate the technical theater teacher’s position without proper discussion or transparency. This decision was communicated to the teacher quietly on the day before the last day of school, amidst the chaos of deconstructing the entire theater for renovations. Shockingly, this action was taken without informing the Department or considering the potential impact on the well-being of our students and the integrity of the department.

Urgency for Action:

Immediate action is necessary:

  1. Lack of Transparency: The manner in which the decision was made—without input from educators or the community—highlights a significant disregard for the stakeholders it affects most.
  2. Safety and Continuity Risks: With ongoing renovations and the upcoming school year, it is critical to maintain continuity and safety standards in our theater program, which are jeopardized by this abrupt staffing change.
  3. Community Response: There is substantial community and parental concern over this decision, necessitating urgent reconsideration by the board to address these grievances and restore trust.

The retention of the technical theater teacher is critical not only for maintaining educational quality and safety but also for upholding the values of transparency and community engagement in school governance. We must act now to ensure that our children continue to receive the best possible education in a safe and supportive environment.

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News

  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
    615 N Classen Blvd,
    Oklahoma City, OK 73106

    Dear Chair Paula Lewis and the OKCPS Board,

    This letter is to express our urgent concern regarding the proposed elimination of the dedicated technical theater teacher position at Classen School of Advanced Studies Middle School.

    Not only would the loss of this position negatively impact the school’s ability to educate and effectively execute theater productions, but there is also a significant safety concern that should be considered.

    The school’s theater program is a vital part of the Classen SAS Middle School community and parents have stepped up to ensure its success. This past school year, parents collectively volunteered over 350 hours to support its... further

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Why people sign

I am a Classen SAS alumni. That entire arts division is still very close to my heart, even 20+ years after graduation. Please don't take this away from these young teens. We urge you to reconsider and perhaps another solution can be reached that is more amicable. Thank you for your time.

I am a Classen alumni, 1998 and active supporter of our regional art community. The safety of those young students is worth more than the wage of this position. I am appalled at the narrow perspective of the administration who manage these programs.

Give the students what they need! Why always invest in programs that only benefit admin?!! These students NEED this Theater Tech teacher for them to have a well-rounded future. OKC is known for producing talented people who end up as superstars in this world. Don't handicap them by denying the money for this crucial position!

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