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Update to School Cancellation Alert
Linda Ricks
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Update to School Cancellation Alert:  

Spartans families - I want to provide you with some additional information about the potential flooding event in Bixby tomorrow.

We were advised by the City of Bixby this afternoon that the Corps of Engineers were increasing the flow rate from Keystone Dam to 160,000 cubic feet per second starting at 6:00 pm tonight. They estimate it will take about eight hours (about 2:00 am tomorrow morning) for this increased volume of discharge to reach Bixby. This was the reason for the decision to cancel school tomorrow.

Given the predictive models developed by the city, it is likely this will cause serious flooding in several areas of Bixby, particularly south of the Arkansas River. The city does not anticipate an event on the scale of the 1986 flood, but are warning residents to prepare for high water. We anticipate numerous road closings and possible standing water around the high school, middle school, Central Elementary, and Central Intermediate School. The event may last between three and five days. We hope that the flooding falls below predicted levels, yet must reasonably plan for the worst case.

As a result, classes for all Bixby Schools are cancelled. The missed days will not be rescheduled. This is regrettable and we wish we had better options. We believe this is the best decision to ensure the safety of our students and staff while devoting our energy to protecting our school buildings and facilities.

Relative to scheduled final exams and activities at various schools, they are cancelled as well. The logistics to reschedule these activities after Memorial Day are simply too challenging to accomplish on such short notice. Teachers will be asked to determine final grades based on each student's full body of work for this semester. Final grades will be turned in by teachers by May 31. We will have a process for requesting administrative review of any student's grades after that date if necessary.

For Tulsa Tech students, we will not be able to provide transportation to your Tech campuses tomorrow. The administration at Tech wanted us to inform you that they trust students and families to exercise good judgment in deciding whether or not to attend classes. Students and families will be excused from Tulsa Tech classes if they cannot secure safe travel.

We are asking elementary teachers to report to their respective schools on Tuesday, May 28. They will collect student personal belongings and have them ready for parent pickup. We would like parents to plan to go to their school to pick up their child's materials on Wednesday, May 29, or Thursday, May 30, between 8 am and noon or from 1 to 4 pm. You will also be able to pick up any additional items due to your child, like yearbooks, at that time.

For secondary age students, we would also like to have them come to their school next Wednesday or Thursday to finish cleaning out their lockers and turn in textbooks to their teachers' classroom. Secondary teachers will report on Friday, May 31 to inventory textbooks, submit final grades, and complete checkout.

School support staff are asked to coordinate with their principal or director to determine when they are needed to complete their contracted work days.

Again, I know this information is unsettling. This is not the way anyone wanted the school year to conclude. However, our primary concern must always be preserving the safety and security of students and employees.

We also know this flooding event will likely adversely affect numerous families in our community. A few hours ago, I was overwhelmed by the large number of students and parents who showed up at the high school to assist with placing sandbags and help prepare some of our buildings for possible flooding. Thank you! The Bixby community is very strong and has always come together in difficult times. We are very grateful to you for the strong support of our schools.

The next few days may be difficult and unpredictable. We will continue to coordinate closely with the city to mitigate this event and reduce the potential impact on families and school property. If you are in need of support, please don't hesitate to contact our district office at 918.366.2200. We will help where we can.

We will provide additional updates as things develop. Stay safe in the coming days.

Rob Miller Superintendent