Broken Arrow Public Schools shares safety tips, mental health assistance for families

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — It was a busy and action-packed day as the Broken Arrow Tigers went back to school Wednesday.

Broken Arrow Public Schools is the last large district to go back in Green Country.

Longtime educator and mother of five Crystal Barber, serving in her third year as high school principal, is thrilled to kick off the new school year. She told FOX23, “we’re just excited to see our kids back in person this morning.”

The district recently sent out an email to parents detailing its security plans for the new year. They include six more security guards for a total of 14. These guards are trained alongside Broken Arrow Police and join four BAPD school resource officers.

Students and staff will also find stickers on all exterior doors that read ‘Stop the Prop.’ Assistant Superintendent Steven Dunn explained, “it’s just to educate our school community whether it be a student, a teacher, an administrator, it might be a parent volunteer in the building, stop the prop and don’t prop a door open, let’s maintain our access control in the front entries and the more that we get that message out and we display those stickers by the doors, we think it’s going to have impact just on that behavior.”

In comparison to last year when the district had 135 staff positions open for the entire year, this year is already looking better. As of the end of August, there are about 15 certified openings, mostly for special educations jobs, and about 50 for support staff including about 10 bus drivers.

FOX23 reported in February 2022, last school year, when students protested over bullying concerns outside the Broken Arrow Freshman Academy. When asked about how the district plans to tackle this issue, this year, Dunn reassured families there are an abundance of mental health resources in schools at their disposal.

The district is also launching a daycare program specifically for staff members this year in an effort to keep staff at BAPS and bring more in. Tuition ranges in price from $650 to $800 dollars a month. Capacity is currently capped at 60 which the district hopes to grow in the future, but there are still spots available.

To sign-up, reach out to Before and After Care staff.