Dear Parents and Guardians:
Duncan Public Schools will be offering an alternate test to all 3rd grade students who did not score above unsatisfactory on the Reading OCCT. Below are the dates that testing will be available. You will need to contact Allison Lovett to make arrangements to take the test on one of the testing dates. The deadline to call is the Monday before each testing date; this ensures that all preparations can be made before testing.
Testing will be at 10:00 AM on the following dates:
State law indicates that a child may take an alternate test every 20 days. The test is divided into 2 parts, each about 30 minutes. A short break will be taken between the two testing sessions. Please plan to pick your child up at 11:30 on the day of the test. Oklahoma State law states that a student must score at or above the 45 percentile to be considered for promotion to 4th grade.
Students will take the test at Horace Mann, they will need to be at the school at 9:45 to check in and get set up in the testing room. The address for Horace Mann is 1201 Whisenant in Duncan.
You can make arrangements with Allison Lovett by calling 580-255-0686 or emailing
On the two dates marked with ***** you will need to contact Stacey Harris by calling 580-255-0686 or emailing
Allison LovettCurriculum Coordinator
Duncan Public Schools
DUNCAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Dr. Sherry L. Labyer, Superintendent
P.O. Box 1548
Duncan, OK 73534-1548
May 12, 2014
Thank you for your patience as we work through the parameters of the Reading Sufficiency Act/Third Grade Retention law. On Friday, May 9, 2014, we received the number of students, as well as the students identified that scored unsatisfactory on the third grade reading test. The list only included the students that scored unsatisfactory; it did not include the students that qualify for the good cause exemptions. We are spending time going over each student’s records and ensuring that we provide parents accurate information regarding their child’s promotion or no promotion to fourth grade.
If your child scored unsatisfactory, our plan is to call each parent by the end of the day on Monday, May 12th. We will discuss your child’s unsatisfactory test score and their grade level for the 2014-2015 school year.
One other valuable piece of information is that HB 2625 is currently being heard on the House floor today. This particular bill addresses and amends the Third Grade Retention law and we are watching this closely and will keep you informed.
If you have questions regarding your child’s third grade reading test scores or their good cause exemptions, please do not hesitate to contact your building principal.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Sherry Labyer, Ed.D.
Discover the promise of FREE college tuition!
Duncan students in the 8th, 9th and 10th grade and their familiesare invited to join us on April 21 or May 5 to learn how theycan earn money for college through the Oklahoma’s Promisescholarship program. Snacks will be served.
Oklahomans want to see deserving students succeed – studentswho study and work hard, but whose families find it difficult toafford college. If your child dreams of going to college and worksto achieve it, then Oklahoma’s Promise can help make it a reality!Requirements for the program include:
• Students’ parents earn $50,000 or less per year• Students make a 2.5 GPA or better in required courses• Students promise to stay out of trouble
Monday, April 21 • 5:30 to 7 p.m.Duncan Middle School
Monday, May 5 • 5:30 to 7 p.m.Duncan Middle School
Questions? Contact DPS Curriculum Coordinator Allison Lovett at
or 580.255.0686 x116.
Read to Succeed
The Oklahoma State Department of Education has provided the following brochure for parents of 3rd graders. This brochure was made available to better inform parents about this years full implementation for the third-grade retention portion of the Reading Sufficiency Act.
Read to Succeed (English) Read to Succeed (Spanish)
P.O. Box 1548
Accountability in Duncan Schools has always been a priority and transparency is one of the cornerstones for doing business in our district. In May of 2011, the Oklahoma Legislature passed H. B. 1456 to grade school performance on an A through F scale. At the time the law was passed, we did not completely understand the details of the grading system but fully intended to follow the law and embrace the evaluation model to improve student achievement. H.B. 1456 was intended to provide a system that would be useful to parents, educators, and students. It was to be a fair and equitable model that fairly assesses students through high stakes testing in grades 3 through 12. Unfortunately, the A-F grading system has failed to meet the intentions of the legislators responsible for the passage of HB 1456.
A testing debacle occurred in the spring of 2013 that negatively impacted our students testing experience. The testing company servers crashed, and students were “kicked off” the testing sites. The crash forced some students to completely start over while others were interrupted as long as three hours.
Because A-F grades are based on spring testing, educators and other professionals became frustrated and concerned about the affect this would have on overall school performance. Researchers from Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University issued the following statement, “This year has borne witness to numerous testing protocol failures that corrupted the limited data used to calculate a grade for schools.” They further stated, “The data we have analyzed demonstrates quite dramatically that the letter grade system for school evaluation has very little meaning and certainly cannot be used to legitimately inform high-stakes decisions.”
On October 16th, Duncan Schools’ letter grades were issued. Since that time, our letter grades at each site have changed nine times. Some additional challenges we experienced include: cut scores in science and writing were changed after our students took the test, some students writing assessments have been re-graded, incorrect demographic information has been discovered, several reporting deadlines have been altered, and multiple testing messages from the Oklahoma State Department of Education have changed. In addition, OSDE informed districts they may send disputed writing tests back to the testing company to be graded a second time at a possible cost of $125/test.
Until research proves otherwise, I, as superintendent of Duncan Schools, will stand with OU/OSU researchers, professional organizations such as the Cooperative Council of School Administrators, and highly respected educators in our state and agree that the present accountability system is invalid, unreliable, and not relevant in assessing our students.
Duncan Public SchoolsInformation Sheet for Affordable Care Act
To be in compliance with the new federal legislation of affordable health care, Duncan Public Schools strives to keep their employees informed of the changes and requirements of the legislation.
The following information was provided by OSSBA on 8-2013:
The Affordable Care Act ("ACA") was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The ACA creates "American Health Benefit Exchanges," or Health Insurance Marketplaces, by 2014. All states are mandated to create a Marketplace. If a state fails to create a Marketplace, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services ("HHS") will create a Marketplace in that state. Oklahoma's leadership has decided not to create a Marketplace. As a result, the Marketplace in Oklahoma will be set up by the federal government. The Marketplace is not an insurer but will provide individuals with access to insurers' plans in a comparable manner. Enrollment through the Marketplace is scheduled to begin October 1, 2013 for insurance coverage that will be effective January 1, 2014. Any person may enroll in insurance through the Marketplace, so long as the person is a lawful resident of the state and is not incarcerated. Based upon this language, even if a school district offers insurance to an employee, that employee may choose to obtain health insurance through the Marketplace. The ACA requires individuals to maintain minimum health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents. Unless an individual is exempt, the individual is subject to a penalty for every month that the individual fails to maintain health insurance coverage on the individual and any dependents. This will go into effect on January 1, 2014. Exemptions on affordability grounds include:
• Individuals whom HHS has determined to have suffered hardships with respect to the capacity to obtain coverage under a qualified health plan.• Individuals (and their dependents) whose household income is less than the filing threshold for federal income taxes for the applicable tax year.• Individuals whose required contribution for self-only coverage for a calendar year exceeds 8% of household income.
26 C.F.R. § 1.5000A-3(e), (f), (h). The categories of individuals who will be exempt from the individual mandate include:
o Those with a qualifying religious exemptionso Those in a health care sharing ministryo Individuals not lawfully present in the United Stateso Incarcerated individualso Those without coverage for less than three monthso Members of Indian tribeso Those residing outside of the United Stateso Bona fide residents of any possession of the United Stateso 26 C.F.R. § 1.5000A-3(b)-(d), (g), (j). Any individual, who is not exempt from the above, must pay a penalty. The penalty will be assed for each month the individual (or dependents) are without coverage. Any penalty that taxpayers are required to pay must be included in their tax returns for the taxable year.All employers are required to provide each employee, with written notice of the following: 1. State Marketplace. A description of the services provided by the State Marketplace and contract information for the Marketplace. 2. Premium Credit. If the employer's plan does not provide minimum value, notice that the employee may be eligible for a premium credit. 3. Loss of Employer Contribution. Notice that the employee may lose some or all of the district's contribution to health insurance benefits if the employee purchases health insurance through the Marketplace.
The written notice above must be provided to new employees within fourteen (14) days of hire, effective October 1, 2013. Notice must be provided to existing employees by October 1, 2013. The notice must be provided to all employees, including those who are not eligible for health insurance coverage through the district. The notice must be provided in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee. The notice may be provided electronically if the requirements of the Department of Labor's electronic disclosure safe harbor are met as per 29 C.F.R. § 2520.104b-1(c).
The website for the Affordable Care Act is: U.S. Depart of Health and Human Services
In meeting the requirements of the law, Duncan Public Schools has put in place the following procedures: In the hiring in process new employees are given a booklet with a uniform summary of benefits, this may also be accessed at OMES: Employees Group Insurance Division (EGID)
This information is also available each year at Open Enrollment for the following year.
1. Report the aggregate cost of employer sponsored coverage on Form W-2 (employers with 250 or more employees). This was in the January 2013 W-2 forms mailed to employees and will continue in the W-2 forms on a yearly basis.2. Provide new employees with information about the existence of the Marketplace: You will find this information in the Written Notice attached information, and also at this website: https://www.healthcare.gov/3. Information about health insurance plans and employee enrollment. This is not required until 2014.4. Certify to the IRS that all full-time employees were offered health care coverage, including length of waiting period, premiums, and employer’s share of the cost. Employers must also provide data on the number of full-time employees. This is delayed until 2015.
If you have further questions please contact:
Angela WolfeDuncan Public Schools1706 West SpruceDuncan OK, 73533
Please click here to read the following article:
ANNUAL NOTICES REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW 2013
Please click here to read the following artice:
NOTICE OF RIGHTS UNDER THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND RPIVACY ACT ("FERPA") AND SCHOOL POLICY
Cover Our Kids Campaign
Help us keep our kids safer with an extra Layer of protection.
Our Goal: A safety helmet and blanket for every child
in the Duncan Public School system.
Our Need: $25 protects one child
$500 protects an entire classroom
Any amount is appreciated!
To Donate: Cash or Check payable to
Cover Our Kids Campaign/Duncan Public School.
All Contributions are Tax Deductible
Cover Our Kids FAQ's
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