Marietta’s Superintendent Brandi Naylor is proud to announce that the district is fully staffed and ready for students to begin the school year.

The district is proud to have added some new positions for the upcoming year. The maintenance staff will increase by one in anticipation of the completion of some new facilities, but for now the newest member of the maintenance staff will split time between the primary and elementary buildings.

Another addition, Instructional Coach Tammy Sherfield, will actually have several jobs, acting as a resource to teachers and scheduling professional development among them. The last addition, a full- time, on-site HealthCorps coordinator, is being funded by the Chickasaw Nation. Health Corps is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth around wellness, driving positive health outcomes and empowering youth.

“We are thrilled to have full-time a HealthCorps coordinator on campus,” said Naylor, “and we’re beyond grateful to the Chickasaw Nation for providing this for us and for the many ways they invest in our system.”

Several projects were underway on campus this summer. The football bleachers are installed and awaiting the installation of the press box, which is expected to be in place by the end of the month. After electrical work and inspection by the Fire Marshal, that part of the facility will be complete. 

Other parts of a recent bond election include a renovation of the old field house, scheduled to begin next week, and the softball facility, where ground was broken last week. The track resurface, funded by donation, is scheduled to begin in mid-August.

Ground was also broken on the new STEM/Admin building last week. Administrators are expecting completion of that project and the softball facility at the beginning of 2020, pending no delays in construction.

The district has also upgraded camera systems in the primary, middle and high schools. This, in addition to routine summer maintenance of deep cleaning, painting, waxing floors, and replacing ceiling tiles, has the campus’s classrooms ready for kids.

As the campus was being spruced up, Marietta’s teachers participated in training over the summer to spruce up their skill sets and help prepare them for next year.

Elementary and primary teachers attended literacy training, and several of them also attended ENGAGE training provided by the State Department of Education. Middle school teachers attended mandatory training as a part of their K20 GEAR UP grant, while coaches attended their annual clinic.

STEM teacher Chris Dobbins attended extensive training in Project Lead the Way.

The district is entering the second full year of their Continuous Strategic Improvement plan. Initiatives for this year are to research and purchase a district-wide reading and writing program and language acquisition program for ELL students, publish materials highlighting the school and community, align professional development, work on a district attendance policy, and continue to promote a career and college-going culture.

Additionally, the state is piloting a program this year called Championing Excellence. The program is based on a set of rubrics in core academics, fine arts, world languages, and safe and healthy schools. Its goals are to identify areas of excellence as well as those where more attention is needed.

Championing Excellence is designed to reflect a department’s successes and outline goals for improvement.

“I think the safe and healthy schools area, in particular, can be of help to us,” said Naylor. “It should highlight areas where we can button up security and work on the overall health of our students and staff.”

The Champions of Excellence ratings will become visible in 2021, tied to digital school report cards.

Coming off its fourth district-wide enrollment day last Thursday, August 1, Marietta administrators report that they enrolled 58 new students.

“Enrollment went smoothly,” Naylor said. “We will be analyzing our numbers to make determinations on additional staff or services needed.”

Be that as it may, Thursday, August 15, students will enter buildings and find that all systems are go at Marietta for the 2019-20 school year.