Excitement surrounds Mustang as new school year begins

MPS Three

By Kyle Salomon,

The 2014-2015 school year is under way for Mustang Public Schools, and more than 800 new students and a new elementary school provide the headlines for the new year.

The new school is Prairie View Elementary and will have grades kindergarten through fourth grade. It is the seventh elementary school in the Mustang school district. The new school is located on 59th Street and County Line Road.

Mustang Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel said there is a lot of excitement and several changes surrounding the new school year.

“The biggest single change is the number of new students that will attend Mustang schools. The number of new students has increased to over 800. We expect more to enroll in the next few days. This is not a ‘net’ total, rather just the new kids. We still aren’t sure of the total number of students who may have moved out of the district over the summer. By Oct. 1, which is the statewide official student count day, we will have a pretty good picture of our total enrollment.”

Even though this is the first day of school for the students, the teachers and other faculty have been at school all week preparing for the arrival of the children and the new year. Monday morning, faculty and staff kicked off the new school year together.

“We began the day with a country-style breakfast in the MHS Commons,” McDaniel said. “Administrators, varsity football team members and many high school students served more than 1,000 employees. The place was buzzing. People are excited for the new year. Great things are happening in Mustang. At 8 a.m., we all moved into the MHS auditorium for the celebration of students.”

McDaniel said several Mustang High School students provided entertainment for the teachers.

“MHS students Garrison Brown and Ashley Getz performed a couple of songs, the JROTC presented colors, Mustang Trails second-grader David Farnham led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and then read a poem, the MHS drum line performed, MHS student council president Heidi McDaniel addressed the crowd and thanked teachers for their influence they have had in her life and in the lives of all the students.

“Alyssa Moon and Hayley Bledsoe performed a theatrical poetry reading that also thanks teachers for making a difference. Faculty, staff and students are excited to be back at school. This is an exciting time of year.”

McDaniel said the goal for him, the school board and administration is for Mustang Public Schools to be the premier school district in the state of Oklahoma. He said adding more than 800 students to the Mustang school system is an example of how the district is heading in the right direction.

“Adding more than 800 students to our schools speaks volumes about our school district and our community. Our school board’s vision is to be the premier district in Oklahoma, combined with the vision our city has to be a hometown community, one that is service oriented and is very appealing to people. As a district, we are very excited to welcome new families to our schools. We are proud of the education we offer and believe we are a wonderfully unique district with the best teachers anywhere.”

There are numerous parents who are concerned with the number of students that will be roaming the halls in Mustang Public Schools. Their concerns focus on overcrowded classrooms that could impact the  learning that will take place.

McDaniel said with new schools coming online, that should not be a problem.

“With the addition of two new intermediate centers (fifth- and sixth-grade schools Canyon Ridge and Horizon) and the opening of a new elementary school this year, overcrowded schools won’t be a problem. Our constant challenge for the next couple of years will be to keep class sizes at a manageable level.”

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.