Contact Info

OTAC
123 E. Broadway St.
Cushing, OK 74023

 Phone: 918-225-1882

In Oklahoma: 800-687-5730

Fax: 918-225-4711

Contact Email: otac@otac.info

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Alternative Education in Oklahoma

Since 1996, OTAC has assisted Oklahoma’s Alternative Education Programs with programming, professional development and evaluation activities.  It has been our goal to provide alternative educators with assistance and support as they address the needs of at-risk students. We understand that an educator’s time is limited and that you need access to up-to-date information, local resources, and strategies that work. We are always available to assist with any programming difficulties you may encounter. Contact us if you would like to speak with one of our Field Coordinators or schedule a site visit.

Saturday
Feb112017

AFT Guide: Immigrant and Refugee Children

Since immigrant children in Oklahoma's alternative education programs often share their fears with their teachers and counselors, we thought we would post this guide here. Thanks to AFT for putting this guide together.

http://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/im_uac-educators-guide_2016.pdf

Thursday
Feb022017

Attendance - What's Working

One of the most difficult issues for Oklahoma alternative education programs is student attendance. Indianapolis is trying a group of interventions aimed at finding students with chronic absenteeism and intervening to change that -- with rewards and communication, not by arresting the parents. The other half of the initiative is stressing the importance of attendance in every school; for example, teachers go over student attendance at all parent-teacher conferences.

Here's the link to an article about it: http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/in/2017/01/26/indianapolis-public-schools-are-using-new-ways-to-reduce-absenteeism-and-theyre-working/

Tuesday
Nov222016

Recent research: Dropout, dropin

The Regional Education Laboratory West recently conducted a study of dropouts in Utah, looking to see what happened to them over time. Using school records, they examined whether students who dropped out ever returned to school and, if they did, whether they graduated.

The findings won't surprise most Oklahoma alternative educators. The following bullet points are from the email that the US Dept of Education sent out to publicize the study:

• About one-fifth (19 percent) of students in Utah’s 2011 graduating cohort dropped out at some point during high school;

• 22 percent of those who dropped out had re-enrolled by 2011;

• Among those who re-enrolled by 2011, 26 percent graduated on time in 2011 and 30 percent graduated by 2013 (within six years of entering high school);

• The percentage of dropouts who returned to school decreased each year, and after returning to school most re-enrollees did not accumulate enough credits to graduate on time; and

• Black and English learner students were at greater risk of not graduating because of their higher dropout rates and lower re-enrollment rates.

You can read the entire report here: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/project.asp?projectID=4524

 

Tuesday
Nov012016

Think about it....

Wouldn't it be great if we had some Alternative Ed students on Supt. Hofmeister's Student Advisory Council?  We think so!

The SDE is currently accepting applications for the Council. They will select 25 students from across Oklahoma to participate. A district superintendent must recommend students; in addition, students will need to submit the names and contact information for two additional references. Applications are due by Nov. 11, 2016.

More info and the application form is available here: http://sde.ok.gov/sde/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/2016%20Supt%20Student%20Advisory%20Council%20Application.pdf

Thursday
Sep292016

OTAC Visits in 2016-17

You all know that your programs' funding was cut this year; you may not be aware that ours was cut as well. Consequently, we will not be able to visit every program this year. Our priorities are:

- Programs with new directors or those that have made major changes and

- Programs that had poor student outcomes last year.

Once we have visited those schools, we will try to visit others, such as schools that were making improvements last year that we'd like to follow up one, those who have asked us to come out to help them with changes they want to make, etc.

Even though we can't visit everyone, how your program is doing -- and especially how your students are doing -- is important to us. You are welcome to contact your Field Coordinator or the OTAC office at any time, by phone, text, or email.

When we visit, we want to spend as little time as possible collecting information so that we can spend more time providing assistance to you. We've revised the form we're going to use -- you can view it here

At the end of the school year, we will ask all programs to send in data -- we will be using the same End-Of-Year form as we used last year, only there will be 2 fewer questions! (There won't be any need to ask you about your students' performance on EOI tests, since we won't have any EOIs.  :)

Have a good year, and feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance.

 

Monday
Sep262016

Cutting Alternative Education is Shortsighted

David Blatt, the director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, has a weekly column in the Journal Record. Here is a link to his Journal Record column last week, in which he writes about why cutting Alt Ed is shortsighted:

http://journalrecord.com/2016/09/21/prosperity-policy-shortsighted-cuts-will-bring-long-term-costs-opinion/

Thank you, David, and OKPolicy.


We (OTAC) did cost-benefit studies during the years we were funded to conduct comprehensive evaluations, and they always showed that each dropout we can avoid/reclaim/rescue saves the state more than $200,000 over his/her lifetime in reduced costs and increased taxes paid. Cutting these programs is indeed shortsighted.

Tuesday
Sep202016

Evaluation rubric and End-of-Year Data Form

We have put a copy of this year's evaluation rubric. CLICK HERE to download this form. (It is in Microsoft Word. When you click, it will put the file in your Downloads folder -- or wherever you've told your computer to put downloads.) Ignore the colors -- they were just a guide to what changed last year. This year, the rubric is the same as it was last year.

We haven't changed the end-of-year data reporting form except to remove the 2 questions that addressed EOIs. We will send you a link near the end of the school year, but it you want to know what it is we will be asking for at the end of the school year, CLICK HERE to see or download a copy of the form.

(Note: I have posted last year's form because it's faster to get it up today. I will replace it with this year's form and update this post in the next few days. KM)

Reminder -- this isn't the actual form. The actual form will be an online Google Doc. We will send a link to each program director.

Tuesday
Sep202016

Forms!

We have collected a number of sample forms from Alternative Education programs across the state. These include intake forms, referral forms, student contracts, academy application forms, and complete enrollment packets. We have put 27 forms on our Google Drive -- you can find them by clicking this link: Link To Forms Folder

If you have any difficulty with this, contact Dr. Kathy McKean at the OTAC office.