The 12 Days Of Christmas ~ Tiger Valley

We are very fortunate to be able to offer so many learning opportunities and experiences for our students.  In the 12 days leading up to Christmas break, we would like to take time to remember our blessings and countdown just some of the opportunities students, families, staff and the community have by being a part of CPS.

Day 7 ~  Tiger Valley

Four years ago, Cleveland Middle School implemented a program to help show students what it takes to make a community work.   The Tiger Valley Micro Society covers many aspects of community such as running a government, banking, the court system and police, paying taxes, buying supplies, developing and running a business, or being an employee.

The orderly running of Tiger Valley starts in the government where students are learning to communicate with citizens to find out their concerns and make laws that positively impact their society.  The court system and police officers are learning what it means to uphold those laws and how to implement them through the perspective to keep peace in the community as a whole.

Economic development begins with the central bank.  The bank is in charge of approving  business loans, cashing checks, exchanging Tiger Valley money, and establishing criteria for allowing citizens to take out personal loans.  Business owners are required to put together business plans describing what their goals are and to establish a startup budget to request from the bank.   Once funded the owners can begin ordering supplies, hiring employees, and setting up a store in the marketplace.   Employees learn the steps to applying for a job and following up the hiring process with a good work ethic, diligence, and responsibility.  

We are thankful for all the life skills our Middle school students are learning while they are in Tiger Valley.  We believe the students will be able to look back and see what a difference it has made in their lives and be thankful as well.

The 12 Days Of Christmas ~ Tiger Club

We are very fortunate to be able to offer so many learning opportunities and experiences for our students.  In the 12 days leading up to Christmas break, we would like to take time to remember our blessings and countdown just some of the opportunities students, families, staff and the community have by being a part of CPS.

Day 7 ~  Tiger Club

On October 29, 2018 CPS launched a new program for 3rd through 8th grade students to provide academic enrichment for students after the regular school day has ended through homework help, interest clubs, special guests speakers, summer school, and field trips.  It is called Tiger Club and it’s held from 3:30-5:15, Monday-Thursdays at the Cleveland Intermediate School and staffed by certified teachers.  Tiger Club is made possible by a 21st Century Grant that our school district received in August of this year.  

Each session starts with the students getting a snack and a few minutes of active play until they divide into their individual groups for study time.  This time is designated for students to complete their daily homework, receive assistance if needed, and receive additional instruction in math and literacy content.

Once the study time concludes, students are allowed to participate in interest “clubs.”  The clubs are designed to allow students to investigate areas of interest, to stir their curiosity, and provide fun learning experiences that challenge them academically and intellectually.  So far, the students have participated in: Chess Club, Speed Cup-Stacking Club, Archery Club, Lego Club, Art Club, Board Games Club, Technology Club, and Flight Club.   New club activities will be introduced about every 6 weeks.

Tiger club programing
Archery Club has been a special activity, and is just one of the many activities available during the Tiger Club after school program

In October, students created paper airplanes and competed in a flight competition following a presentation by Dr. Mallory Casebolt, Asst. Professor of Aviation, OSU.  On another occasion, students were excited to interact with the high school FFA students when they shared their land projects.

We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our students and their families by providing this service.  The Tiger Club is free for all students enrolled and we encourage any students interested to sign up. Registration forms can be picked up from the Cleveland Intermediate School’s office.

The 12 Days Of Christmas ~ STEM

  • We are very fortunate to be able to offer so many learning opportunities and experiences for our students.  In the 12 days leading up to Christmas break, we would like to take time to remember our blessings and countdown just some of the opportunities students, families, staff and the community have by being a part of CPS.

Day 8 ~  STEMScience, Technology, Engineering and Math  

A couple of years ago we began exploring the possibility of incorporating more hands on learning at the Middle School.  What started with a single 3D printer has grown into a program covering basic coding skills, circuitry modeling, robotics, and 3D design to help support and improve the students ability to think critically and solve problems.

Replicating patterns
The 3D design class created and printed an experiment in replicating patterns

STEM related careers are growing fast in today’s economy and CMS is excited to give students the opportunity to explore those possibilities for their future.  Sixth-grade students investigate various types of engineering, testing their creations and analyzing data.  Seventh and eighth graders are able to build on their previous experiences in a couple of different ways.  One course uses computer aided design software, to create three dimensional models, prototypes and scaled figures that can be printed on 3D printers in the classroom and another experiments in coding (programming) with micro-controllers and robotics.

Through the coursework and the newly created STEM Club, students also have opportunities to enter projects in various competitions against students from other districts held throughout the area.  

The building blocks of interest in STEM are being set by the teachers in the Primary and Intermediate Schools as well. With the inclusion of technology and specific STEM projects into their existing curriculum, the teachers are opening the doors of creativity and discovery for their students.

The 12 Days Of Christmas ~ Small Class Sizes

  • We are very fortunate to be able to offer so many learning opportunities and experiences for our students.  In the 12 days leading up to Christmas break, we would like to take time to remember our blessings and countdown just some of the opportunities students, families, staff and the community have by being a part of CPS.

Day 9 ~ Small Class Sizes

Maintaining small class sizes over the last several years has been a challenge but one we are happy we we were able to accomplish.   Since 2008, Oklahoma school funding has decreased by 28%, meaning the state is spending about $1000 per child less today than it was ten years ago.  During this same period, state enrollment has increased by over 50,000 students. Adding to this issue has been the teacher shortage which has affected all schools throughout the state.  These three factors have caused class sizes to increase in many of our neighboring districts.

5th graders seated in a creative writing class.
Mrs. Hays delivering a creative writing lesson to a group of 5th graders.

Although these factors have been difficult to navigate, we have continued to make it a priority to keep our teacher-to-student ratio small.  Our Pre-K through 5th grade classes have consistently averaged 21-22 students per class, while our 6th – 12th grade classes generally average 22-23 students per class. Neighboring districts at times have seen some of their class sizes reach 30 – 35 students per class.  The ability to keep these teacher-to-student ratios at  a low number is a great benefit to our students.

Many factors have come into play to allow us to continue to accomplish this goal.  The community’s support of our latest bond project, Tiger Vision 2016, has played a large role in lowered class sizes.  This bond provided money to fund new roofs and air conditioners for our middle and high school, new buses, and an energy management system throughout the district.  These things have significantly reduced our yearly maintenance costs and helped regulate our utilities expenditures giving us the ability to use those funds for other things, taking some of the strain off of our building and general funds budget.  

Additionally, building staff members have pulled together, looking for areas they could help save money without losing programs.  Although we still provide teachers a substitute when needed, building staff often cover classes for each other to save money in this area.  Partnerships with our community and our teacher driven CPIE organization provide grants to teachers, allowing them to purchase supplies for supplemental educational ideas they want to use in their classrooms.  Building administrators pour over student numbers each spring, looking for subject areas that can be consolidated to make better use of our staff and resources. Each of these examples play a role in continuing our small class sizes.

Small teacher-to-student ratios have been a priority and will remain so for us.  As we make our decisions based on what is best for our students, this is an area that we have refused to compromise, and we are very proud of the fact we have continued to accomplish this goal during difficult financial times.   

The 12 Days Of Christmas ~ Compassionate Staff

  • We are very fortunate to be able to offer so many learning opportunities and experiences for our students.  In the 12 days leading up to Christmas break, we would like to take time to remember our blessings and countdown just some of the opportunities students, families, staff and the community have by being a part of CPS.

Day 10 ~ Compassionate Staff

We are incredibly grateful  today for our compassionate staff!  For the staff, the opportunity to interact with our students daily and play a role in their lives is truly an honor and privilege. 

Mr. Reeves
Mr. Reeves is just one of the many compassionate members of the CPS staff.

Many of our staff members grew up in Cleveland and returned after college, looking for an opportunity to add to the education and tradition that they experienced while in school.  Many others came to Cleveland as a first job after college and have chosen to make Cleveland their home. With a number of Cleveland staff spending many years at Cleveland, teachers often find they have taught the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, and in some cases, even the grandparents of their current students.  This longevity and stability from the core of our staff allow for a deeper sense of family and continuity between our staff and students. It also plays a great role in making our staff truly cognizant and compassionate of not only the needs but the interests of their students allowing them to be able to provide them with the supports they need.

We also have many dedicated individuals working in support staff positions throughout the district.  From the secretaries that greet our students and visitors each day, to the custodians that keep our facilities looking new, and to the bus drivers that arrive early each day to transport our students safely from home to school and then back again, each of these employees understand that our students are the reason for what we do.

Our cafeteria staff take great pride in serving our students breakfast and lunch each day with a smile, while our teaching assistants who work with our students serve as a second set of ears and ideas for students who need extra help.  Each of these people bring unique abilities and personalities to our district that are vital to the education of our students.

Education is a calling for our staff, not just a job.  Teachers, support staff, and administrators alike, look to base their decisions on what is best for our students.   We take this calling to heart and are privileged to play such an active role in the growth of our students.