Path Home News Director's Weekly Memo 2014 Monday Memo 2014-06-09
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Monday Memo 2014-06-09

Status of vacant positions within the agency; forum to focus on digital education options; FCCLA chapters excel; a new concept in postsecondary pricing; Oklahoma CareerTech Summer Conference registration now open; Continuous School Improvement Workshop registration now open; PLAN and EXPLORE changes; and my schedule for the week.
Monday Memo 2014-06-09

"Digital Forum: Educating for Global Competitiveness" June 13

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over." – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Status of vacant positions within the agency

There are eight vacancies within the agency. We have delayed filling them as we worked through two budget threats. First, there was some fear our overall budget would be cut one percent because of state revenue shortfalls. This would have required a $1.35 million cut in the last two months of the year. These open positions would have buffered some of that loss had it materialized. It appears this threat is now past.

The second threat was the agency’s past practice of using carry-over to balance annual budgets. The decision to do so was warranted given the size of some of our carry-over amounts. These amounts are now down to prudent levels and must not be tapped moving forward. Senior leadership is weighing all priorities as we come to a truly balanced budget. The open positions are a part of the overall discussion. Anyone suggesting we were in a hiring freeze or were planning to cut these positions was grossly misrepresenting all communications provided on this issue. All affected areas were well aware of the process we were undertaking on this issue.

We anticipate finalizing all budget decisions within the next few days. A balanced budget will be presented to the board at the June board meeting. While we know we won’t be able to move forward with several of our key improvements, the budget is coming together well to assure schools receive anticipated funding and the agency will be able to continue to move forward with critical work.

Forum to focus on digital education options

On June 13, CareerTech and OSU will co-host “Digital Forum: Educating for Global Competitiveness.” National experts in the field of digital delivery will brief key education leaders on trends in digital education around the country and how digital education can be implemented. The keynote speakers will be Tom Vander Ark, CEO of education advocacy firm Getting Smart and author of “Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the Word,” and David Cillay, vice president of Washington State University’s Global Campus.Vander Ark will speak on “The Future of Learning,” providing an overview of the possibilities of blended and personalized learning and innovations from around the country. Vander Ark served as the first executive director of education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has become a respected expert in the area of online and digital learning.

Cillay will address the topic of “Building a Global Campus: Lessons Learned and Problems Solved -- For Now,” as he overviews the establishment of the Global Campus at Washington State University. The forum is invitation-only, but because of the quality of the speakers, Dr. Robert Sommers and OSU President Burns Hargis want to share access to the forum with a wider audience. A livestream of the event has been established and can be watched during or after the forum. Visit the livestream link at Hash tag for the Twitter feed is #DLFTalk.

FCCLA chapters excel

Congratulations to Timberlake FCCLA for being chosen as the runner-up winner for the National Families First Program. The chapter’s Families First project focused on tornado safety. The chapter will be recognized at the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio in July. The chapter will also receive $500 for its winning project.

Pauls Valley FCCLA was chosen as the National iRecruit chapter award winner. This award is given to the chapter that has the largest percentage increase in chapter membership. The chapter will be highlighted in the National FCCLA magazine “Teen Times” and will receive a VIP Pass to the National Leadership Conference. Paige Hines is the chapter adviser and is a first-year teacher. As always, Oklahoma FCCLA is at the top. (contributed by Denise Morris)

A new concept in postsecondary pricing

Here is a new concept in higher education degree pricing that will influence all postsecondary pricing for tuition: Get a bachelor's degree for $10,000, Note this is one price for a result, not a per-course price for tuition. Consider the impact on adult CareerTech.

Oklahoma CareerTech Summer Conference registration now open

Summer Conference registration is now open. To register for the conference, go to If you have any questions regarding registration or need technical assistance while registering, please contact the OkACTE office at 405-525-8906 or email

Continuous School Improvement Workshop registration now open

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education will host a Continuous School Improvement Workshop Aug. 6 at Tulsa Cox Convention Center. The workshop will reinforce the key requirements and major processes that support Oklahoma CareerTech’s strategic purposes. A post-CareerTech Summer Conference activity, the CSI workshop has a separate registration with a fee of $50 per person. Space is limited, so registration for the workshop is on a first come, first served basis. Please see the website for more details. Questions may be directed to LaMecia Stidham or Gina Hubbard.

PLAN and EXPLORE changes

This coming school year (2014-2015) will be the last year the PLAN and EXPLORE assessments will be offered in Oklahoma. ACT is changing its assessment offerings. To hear more about these changes, plan to attend one of the six workshops the Oklahoma EPAS team will offer in early fall. The flier is attached and registration is open at (contributed by Becki Foster)

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:

Non-work day

Personal day

Meeting with Senator Mazzei and others
Conversation with Georgene Dwyer, co-host of Internet radio show “This Life Matters.”
Tour of Bama Company
General office work

Meeting with selected tech center superintendents
Planning meeting for the Oklahoma STEM Summit
Commission on Educational Quality and Accountability
Digital Forum preconference event

CareerTech/OSU Digital Forum

See you around!

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