Description of the school

Muldrow is a rural town located in eastern Oklahoma’s Sequoyah County on Interstate 40, just 10 miles west of Ft. Smith, AR with a population of 4,000 and a school district population of 8,000. The ethnic diversity consists of 62% Caucasian, 28% Native Americans, 8% Hispanic, and 1% Black. The highest education level of adults 25 and older is 14% with college degrees, 67% with high school diploma without a college degree, and 20% having less than a 12th grade education. The median household income is $50,268/year, with a poverty rate of 25%, an unemployment rate of 11%, and 38% being single-parent households. Many of the people in the district work in Ft. Smith; as such the school system is an important element helping to maintain the community’s sense of identity.

The school district enrollment is 1671, with the elementary consisting of 640 students, the middle school consisting of 489 students, and the high school with 542 students. The school district provides transportation for 1046 students daily, which include students participating in the afterschool program. The ethnic backgrounds of our students consists of 54% Caucasian, 37% Native American, 2% African American, 6% Hispanic and 1% Asian with 70% of the students qualify for free/reduced lunches. The faculty consists of 129 certified staff and 67 support staff. The average years of experience with certified staff is 15.3 years, with 36% holding advanced degrees, and ten National Board Certified teachers.

Muldrow Elementary consists of Pre-K - grade 4, with a head start program also located at this site. Students are taught core curricular areas and rotate a schedule introducing music, library skills, computers, Spanish/art, and physical education. Two Reading Specialists work collaboratively with all teachers to provide assistance with baseline testing and progress monitoring. The areas of math and reading are constantly assessed using DIBELS reading assessment, Star Reading, and Star Math. These assessments provide teachers and specialists with instruments to constantly examine and update curricular needs. The RtI (Response to Intervention) program is used to focus on early intervention for students not obtaining mastery of a skill.

The faculty at Muldrow Middle School works to offer a varied curriculum including electives such as Spanish, technology education, computer literacy, athletics, physical education, health, chorus, and band. Math and Language Arts are important components of the curriculum where students are offered the advantage of a number of Pre-AP/Honors and remediation classes. Algebra I for high school credit is offered as a Pre-AP course to 8th grade students. Pre-AP/Honors classes are offered in math in the remaining grades 5-7. Students in 5th grade take an additional Math Skills class to foster greater depth of knowledge. Students in the 6th and 7th grades, who do not achieve satisfactory on the previous year’s math test, take an additional Math Remediation class. There is also a strong emphasis on the language arts requiring students take both English and reading in the 5th – 7th grades and English/Reading only in the 8th grade. Pre-AP classes are offered in both Reading and English. Students in the 5th-7th grades, which do not achieve satisfactory the previous year’s reading test, also take a Reading Remediation class. Remediation progress is monitored using Star Reading and Star Math assessments.

Another method of remediation for the elementary and middle school students is a one-month summer school. Though not a requirement, students who have not shown mastery in core curricular areas are encouraged to take advantage of small classes and focus in deficient areas. Further, we offer students a before and after school program at the Elementary and Middle School level. The focus for the PAWS program (Providing Academics With Support) is to provide students with enrichment activities that enhance learning in a supportive environment. Students are engaged in hands on activities to reinforce concepts that are learned throughout the year.

Muldrow High School students are offered many advantages in the curriculum including remediation and Advanced Placement classes. When students enter high school, they choose their course of study as they opt to work toward a college preparatory or distinguished diploma. Differences in the college preparatory and distinguished diploma consist of the inclusion of one more credit in the area of social studies, a minimum GPA of 3.25, satisfactory or better on all required End-of-Instruction examinations, and credit for 8 Pre-AP or AP course which are offered in all four curricular areas. End of Instruction examinations are given in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, English II, English III, Biology, and U.S. History upon course completion. Students also have the benefit of attaining six college credits per semester on our campus offered through distance learning classes with Carl Albert State College.

Over the past three years our greatest challenge has been the transition to common core standards and preparing our students for the new approach to high stakes testing while staying abreast of the changes with state policy regarding these standards. Another challenge we faced was the incorporation of the P.A.W.S. before and after school program. Recruiting, scheduling, transportation, and the budget were all aspects that proved to be challenging, but most beneficial. Lastly, technology plays an important role in the education of our students, changing the way our teachers teach, offering effective ways to reach different types of learners, and assessing student understanding. Many of our students live in rural areas with limited or no internet access limiting the types of assignments that can be made for outside work and using class time for research and preparation of projects.