Superintendent's Notes May 24, 2021

We have finally made it to the last week of school. An incredibly challenging journey it has been! Our determination and tenacity to make this the best year for our students despite the obstacles is nothing less than amazing! I am proud of US, our Sandite team, our community, and our students. Mr. Trout, in his graduation speech each year, talks about our beginnings as a community and how we are grounded next to the Arkansas River with its sandy shores and beaches. I won't spoil his message, but suffice it to say the sand of the river by which we live, is gritty. I went straight to a source for the definition of grit (Google, of course) and it means "firmness of character" or "impossible to defeat." What a perfect description of Sandites, PEOPLE who are committed to overcoming adversity. It certainly describes the characteristics of our staff as we traversed through the 2020-21 school year! I am truly proud you are my colleages. Thank you for a brilliant year! #inspiteof #gritequalscharacter

End of the year activities really began with PROM. Our CPHS team made it a night to remember "Under the Stars!" #inspiteof

Graduation was utter perfection as we entered into the month of May. No rain, but an overcast day made a beautiful setting with just the right amount of warmth. Meeting the expectations of students, we delivered one graduation ALL TOGETHER! So many to thank for pulling this off, so I would not dare to begin naming people. However, the students stole the show, as it should be! Congrats to the Seniors of 2021!

Big THANK YOU to Advanced Orthopedics. This group pays the salary of our Athletic Trainer, Mr. Bernard Aguillard. They also donate their time to perform student physicals, the money of which they collect is donated back to our Athletic Department. They prioritize our injured athletes by providing next day appointment after an injury. AND, they have just donated $12,000 to our Athletic Department to remodel our training room! Below, they received two Sandite jerseys as a small token of appreciation. We are so thankful to have a community partner committed to the safety and health of student athletes!

A new tradition began a few years ago in our elementary sites. Our Seniors who had their Sandite beginnings at our elementary sites pay a visit and participate in a Senior Walk down the halls of the schools, inspiring so many of our youngest Sandites! Below are the Seniors from the Class of 2021 who attended Pratt Elementary. Bonus - they were treated to a surprise visit from Mr. Roberts who served as their Pratt principal during their elementary years!

This year's Page Academy Graduation was held at Harvest Church. THANK YOU Harvest Church for the hospitality. Dinner was provided to our students, families, and staff by Olivet Baptist Church, yet another phenomenal partner who actively serves the students at Page Academy throughout the year! If you have never experienced this event, it is definitely one that will fill your heart! Congratulations to our Page Academy graduates!

As you know, one of the highlights at every school site in May is the delivery of awards to some very deserving students. Below are just a few from the last couple of weeks. This year has been no different than any other in terms of the successes of our students. They continue to achieve and dream in the midst of any and all challenges.

The end of the year brought capstone projects, complete with presentations, from our Engineering students at CPHS. The students planned, designed, and built proto-types of chair redesigns. Each design was different, but all solved a problem presented to them. The students developed consumer surveys to collect data and studied possible solutions before collaboratively finishing their projects. Thank you to Ms. Jessica Sprague for the invitation to listen and learn!

Finding normalcy at each site has been a pleasure throughout the year. These two precious students at Limestone Technology Academy are helping Ms. Terri Lee deliver morning announcements.

Please consider child care at Sand Springs Public Schools if you have a small child, under the age of 4, needing care during the 2021-22 school year. The is open to all Sand Springs Public Schools employees at a reasonable cost. Please contact Denys Gilman at denys.gilman@sandites.org for more information.

Have I mentioned our Child Nutrition Department lately? This group is finishing strong this year, continuing to provide not only nutritious meals to students, but a caring and safe environment for our students to thrive. They truly have hearts of GOLD! This year, the CN staff at CPHS even provided a scholarship to one of our seniors. Thank you to these HEROES at each of our sites!

REMINDER: Our End of the Year Assembly will be Wednesday, May 26, at 4:00. There has been a LOCATION CHANGE. The assembly will be held in the auditorium at Charles Page High School. Please make it a priority to come. We will be celebrating our Retirees, giving our Years of Service pins, and giving our "Think Beyond" awards.

We have ACHEIVED so much this year with Sandite grit. Our success equals the PEARL at the end of this year.

Have a great summer everyone! Go get renewed and refreshed! I do love our Sandite TEAM! #sanditestrong