Teachers, Students Return To Ever-Growing BA School District

Thursday, August 18th 2016, 6:02 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The Broken Arrow school district is growing, making the first day back to school more crowded than last year.

The superintendent says enrollment is up by about 300 students across the district.

We stopped by the attendance office at the Broken Arrow Freshman Academy and learned 1,138 students showed up for class Thursday, making some of the teachers just as nervous as the students.

Math teacher Brandi Brook said, "I think I get just as nervous as the kids. I couldn't sleep at all last night."

Brook has been with the district for 12 years; but on this first day back to school, it was the number of students in her classroom that caught her attention.

"I was really nervous when I saw my class sizes. I actually cried a little bit, but it's fine," Brook said.

Early in the day, 41 ninth graders squeezed into her classroom.

"We had to bring in a bunch of chairs for the students to sit in," she said.

Broken Arrow superintendent, Jarod Mendenhall, said the district is growing thanks to economic development in the city.

He also said the classrooms, likely, won't stay too crowded.

"The first few days is always a good time for us to really even the numbers. And what we do is, we'll look at class sizes and really evaluate kinda what we need to do. And if we have to hire a teacher, we will," he said.

So, while the number of students in her classroom changes, Brook's goals for the school year will remain the same.

"It doesn't matter if I have 25 or 40; I will get to know them all, I will spend time with each one of them," she said.

To put things in perspective, the superintendent said six years ago the Broken Arrow school district had 16,000 students, now it has about 19,000.