Information Regarding Teacher Walk-Out

 

UPDATE April 15 @ 3:30pm

Oklahoma City Public Schools has announced that it will add one hour to the end of the school day beginning Monday, April 16 through May 31st. For information from Oklahoma City Public Schools CLICK HERE.

This has an obvious impact on El Sistema Oklahoma and we know you are wondering what will happen next. I will continue to post updates as we have them but here is where we are right now:

  1. El Sistema Oklahoma remains OPEN and operational during our regular hours, regardless of the school schedule. We are prepared to serve the students in our program whenever they are able to arrive on our campus.
  2. Program end time will remain at 6pm, as usual.
  3. We anticipate our usual bus and van routes will continue to run from our schools, just an hour later according to the new transportation schedule. We do not have the ability to schedule buses outside of the schedule the district will be using. Belle Isle students are welcome to join us directly after school if you have your own ride, otherwise, the ESO bus will be on the same schedule as all the other buses for the school. ASTEC will not experience any change to their schedule at all. We are waiting to hear about Dove but at this time the van will run as usual.
  4. We will keep the snack line open so that all students can eat when they arrive, regardless of the time. We think there will be many hungry kids coming in the door!
  5. Almost 100 students attend schools that will not be releasing until 5pm. We want these students to still attend ESO, even if it means that they arrive and only have time for a snack and to rest for a minute before it is time to leave. We believe it is important that they remain involved at our site and active members of our community. We are prepared to be flexible knowing this time change is a significant hardship for families. We know many of you count on us to care for your children while you are at work. We are prepared to continue to serve them, regardless of the time they arrive on our campus.
  6. We have revised the entire master schedule for the program to accommodate this new reality for all of us. Students will still have their instrumental classes, fundamentals classes and ensemble rehearsals. Things might look a bit different but we still have much learning and growing to do together!
  7. Your child might be worried about the concert scheduled for May 2. We are working out what this new plan might need to be so that we can have a strong end to the year and have a great celebration. Hang tight and don’t stress. Let’s get through this first round of changes before we start worrying about May.

The theme for this quarter is Music that Overcomes. When we chose this theme way back in July, we had no idea that we would have such a tangible example of how we all can pull together as a community to support each other. We know it is a stressful time for our families and we want you to know that we are here for you and that we really can make this work out, especially if we work together.

We are exciting to see the students on Monday. As always, you can call us at 405.505.1494 (text too). I’ll post additional updates as they are available.

Robyn Hilger, Executive Director

 

UPDATE April 13 for School Start April 16

Oklahoma City Public Schools has announced that it will resume classes on Monday, April 16. However, the District will be adding 1 hour to the school day. There are no additional details on school start/end times, bus schedules or other information. We will update as we have information and you can check the okapis website at www.okcps.org.

El Sistema Oklahoma will remain in session and will operate on our normal schedule and bus transportation will still run from our schools to ESO. We anticipate students arriving on our campus far later than usual. We will still serve snack but it is likely that there will be no homework time or guided practice sessions. Many students may arrive after first class is already in session. We will all work hard to meet the needs of the students in our classrooms each day. We continue our preparation for our May 2 Spring Concert. Even with the schedule disruption, it is important that we finish strong! Your child’s attendance is important and practicing at home will be even more important if they are missing classes due to the new school schedule. Together, we can make our last 20 days of program amazing!

Robyn Hilger, Executive Director

 

UPDATE April 9, 2018

Oklahoma City Public Schools remains closed on Monday and and already issued the school closing for Tuesday, April 10 due to the continued state-wide teacher walk-out. El Sistema Oklahoma WILL REMAIN OPEN even though OKCPS is closed.

Attendance at ESO has exceeded our expectations and we want to thank our families for making the extraordinary effort to transport your child to ESO every day. The Orquesta Alegria had a wildly successful performance yesterday (April 8) with the OKC Philharmonic Orchestra. Now, all ensembles are in full preparation for our final concert of the semester scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 at 6:30pm at Oklahoma City Community College. Also, next week (April 17-18) we will welcome 16 teachers and program leaders from around the country to observe for two days at our site. We are honored to be the first site for Carnegie Hall PlayUSA partners to visit and we know our teachers and children will be excited to showcase all they are learning to inspire these guests.

Enrollment packets for 2018-2019 will begin to be distributed this week. And, you’ll also receive information related to our on-going research project. Be on the lookout for forms coming home!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 405.505.1494 (call or text) or see Mrs. Jayme at the desk if you have any questions or concerns.

And, again, we are so thankful for your continued commitment to El Sistema Oklahoma during this difficult time for our schools.

Robyn Hilger, Executive Director

 

UPDATE April 3, 2018

Oklahoma City Public Schools remains closed on Tuesday and has already issued the school closing for Wednesday, April 4, 2018 due to the teacher walk-out. El Sistema Oklahoma WILL REMAIN OPEN even though OKCPS is closed.

The Orquesta Alegria performance scheduled for April 8, 2018 is still on as planned. Students should be dropped off on Sunday, April 8 between 9:30am-9:50am at El Sistema Oklahoma. Buses depart for the Civic Center at 10:00am. The performance is at 2pm and requires tickets. All participating students will be issued two tickets. These will be sent home with students on Friday and can also be picked up at ESO on Sunday morning when you drop your child off. Additional tickets can be purchased for $9.00 by calling the Oklahoma City Phil Harmonic Box Office at 842-5387 or at the door. Students should be picked up at the Civic Center between 3:00pm-3:15pm. If Mrs. Jayme calls you, please return her call as soon as you can. We are attempting to ensure that all students and families know what needs to be done for Sunday, while managing attendance challenges with the teacher walk-out in progress. As always, you can reach us at 405.505.1494 (you can text this number too).

Thank you for all the extra effort you are making to transport your child to El Sistema Oklahoma each day during the walk-out. We know it takes time and effort for each of our families and we appreciate your extra support during this challenging time.

Robyn Hilger, Executive Director

 

UPDATE March 30, 2018

Last night, Oklahoma City Public Schools announced that school will be closed on Monday due to the teacher walk-out. As previously announced, El Sistema Oklahoma WILL REMAIN OPEN even though OKCPS is closed.

The Orquesta Alegria performance scheduled for April 8, 2018 is still on as planned. Information about this trip went home via newsletters on 3/29/18.

Here are several other important reminders:

  1. Oklahoma City Public Schools will serve lunch to any child age 18-younger in the south parking lot of the El Sistema Oklahoma site at Trinity Baptist Church from 10:30am-11:30am every day during the teacher walk-out. This food service is provided by and coordinated through Oklahoma City Public Schools. El Sistema Oklahoma staff will not be present to supervise children during this time. You can access the most current OKCPS district information on their website at www.okcps.org.
  2. Transportation will not be available to transport your child to El Sistema Oklahoma during the walk-out. We utilize the district bus system and if the district is closed, we do not have bus service.
  3. You can drop your child off at El Sistema Oklahoma as early as 3pm but no later than 4:30pm. Snack will not be served after 4:15pm. Pick up time remains the same at 6:00pm.  
  4. Our plan is to be “business as usual” but we will remain flexible to ensure that we serve the children who do attend to the best of our ability. This may mean daily changes to class offerings and rehearsals. Your child should bring their instrument every day.
  5. We will update our Facebook page (El Sistema Oklahoma) and our website www.elsistemaok.org with information. You can call or text us at 405.505.1494 or email jayme@elsistemaok.org

This is the most current information I have right now and I will continue to send updates. Our schools and teachers are facing very difficult decisions. We will do our best to support our children and families during this critical time.

Robyn Hilger, Executive Director

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March 25, 2018

Information for El Sistema Oklahoma Families, Volunteers and Supporters–

I’m sure you have been seeing news about the planned state-wide public school teacher walk-out scheduled to begin on April 2. While it is our sincerest hope that the legislature will act to avoid the walk-out before April 2, I believe it is in our best interest to have a plan in place. Our entire community will be deeply impacted. 

There is no way for us to know in advance if a walk-out will occur. However, should a teacher walk-out begin on April 2, El Sistema Oklahoma will remain OPEN during the walk-out, even if OKCPS district is closed. We believe it is critical to our students’ overall well-being for us to remain open so that they can have access to the healthy food we serve during snack time, continued access to our supportive community, their teachers and friends, and to continue to be able to participate in an activity that brings them joy during a very uncertain time.

Here are several points of information for you:

  1. The OKCPS plans to close all schools and activities during the walk-out for an indefinite period of time. You can access the most current OKCPS district information on their website at www.okcps.org.
  2. Transportation will not be available to transport your child to El Sistema Oklahoma during the walk-out. We utilize the district bus system and if the district is closed, we do not have bus service.
  3. You can drop your child off at El Sistema Oklahoma as early as 3pm but no later than 4:30pm. Snack will not be served after 4:15pm. Pick up time remains the same at 6:00pm.  
  4. Our plan is to be “business as usual” but we will remain flexible to ensure that we serve the children who do attend to the best of our ability. This may mean daily changes to class offerings and rehearsals. Your child should bring their instrument every day.
  5. We will update our Facebook page (El Sistema Oklahoma) and our website www.elsistemaok.org with information. You can call or text us at 405.505.1494 or email jayme@elsistemaok.org

This is the most current information I have right now and I will continue to send updates as the date draws near. Our schools and teachers are facing very difficult decisions. We will do our best to support our children and families during this critical time.

Robyn Hilger, Executive Director