BA Schools Asking For Community Input On Handling Overcrowding

Tuesday, October 4th 2016, 10:18 pm
By: News On 6

Overcrowding at a Green Country district has school leaders asking the community what to do.

Broken Arrow held its first of three public forums Tuesday night to talk about its growing student population.

When you look at ninth through twelfth grade - Broken Arrow has the largest high school in the state of Oklahoma, and it’s growing every year.

The question now is what to do about it.

Katrina Johnson has three kids in Broken Arrow Schools, she says it's no secret the high school just isn't big enough.

"The school is getting very overcrowded these days. My children are in eighth grade, six grade and fourth grade; we're all wanting a change," Johnson said.

Splitting off into multiple high schools is actually one of three options the district is offering.

There's also the idea of branching off into academies, each of which would have a different focus, like engineering or liberal arts.

Finally, in the third option, ninth and tenth graders would each get their own buildings.

The district wants families to weigh in.

Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall said, “I think it's really important for people to come and have their voice heard because, as that decision is made, it's really going to affect their students going into the future."

The change won't be immediate, he said; these forums will result in a 10- to 15-year plan.

It's an undertaking, but a positive one.

“If I were at a school district or community that wasn't thriving or growing, it would be the opposite. You'd be dealing with different kinds of problems. So this is a good problem to have,” Mendenhall said.

Johnson said, "You can look around and tell Broken Arrow is growing, for the good, for the good."

The district will hold the following public forums this week:

  • Wednesday, October 5th at the Broken Arrow PAC from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 at Childers Middle School from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The district will also put a community survey online at starting October 13.