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Bart's Blog, August 2023

Back to School the Epic Way!

As the son of an educator, the husband of an educator and an educator myself, the back-to-school season holds a very special meaning for me. It’s a time of renewed hope and promise for things to come, when the school year is new and the spirit of possibility permeates the air – a clean slate, if you will. At Epic, we’ve experienced our own clean slate. Recently, the Oklahoma State Board of Education fully restored Epic’s accreditation status without deficiencies. This is a momentous occasion for our school and allows us, for the first time in several years, to, without distraction, focus on our primary mission: to prepare our students for a successful life after high school. As superintendent, I would like to take this opportunity to extend an enthusiastic “Welcome back!” to all of our returning students and families. If this is your first year at Epic, I’m so grateful for your trust and for the chance for us to show you that school can, indeed, be different. Every new school year presents each of us with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Making sure our approximately 30,000 students have the instructional, curricular and physical resources, and services needed to succeed is a big task. Fortunately, Epic has a tremendous and dedicated team of highly skilled education professionals to support you. Though you may never meet most of them or know their names, they are responsible for executing the various policies and decisions that go into running the state’s third-largest public school system. Put simply, we could not do our job without them. Beyond teachers and principals, there is an entire legion of behind-the-scenes EPIC staff that play a vital role in making sure our families and students have everything they need to be successful. These exceptional people run a myriad of departments and services that support our school’s whole-child approach. Before school begins, I’d like to highlight just a few of these to let you know what’s available to you here at Epic, whether you’re returning for another year or this is your first. Epic’s Suite of Wrap-Around Services I’ve said before that Epic is a microcosm of Oklahoma, serving every financial and social group statewide. We believe that a student cannot learn if their basic human needs aren’t being met. That’s why we have a series of social services available to make sure every child in our care can focus on learning. With everything from free counseling to help with housing, food and medical services, Epic is committed to making sure our students and families have help when and if they need it. Extracurricular Activities One of the realities of being an Epic student is that you may not go to a classroom every day. Because we understand socializing and making human connections is important, we offer an array of extracurricular activities such as esports, field trips and more. Epic’s Family Engagement Department Our Family Engagement team does an excellent job of bringing students and families together, providing community outreach projects and a score of other events. They also offer tutoring and regular expos designed to educate in a fun and engaging way. The Epic 2023-24 school year begins on August 21. Before then, I would encourage you to visit and explore the variety of academic, cultural and assistive services available. Thanks again for choosing Epic and let’s have the best school year yet! Until next time, Bart

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