The Proud Yarbrough History
Yarbrough Public School
Home of the Lobos!
Our Proud History
Yarbrough School started in the fall of 1950 with the consolidation of three complete grade school districts and parts of other grade school and high school districts. The three grade school districts were: Whitehall, Sandy Hook, and Cosmos. At this time there was a deadline on consolidation of schools and county superintendent, Theo Yarbrough, who was born and raised in the present Yarbrough school district, was instrumental in helping get the paperwork submitted in time to meet the deadline. There was much discussion about the school's location. Finally, Mr. Emery Addington agreed to sell the land, where the present school is located, to the district.
Architects, Hudgens, Thompson, and Ball, in Oklahoma City were contracted to draw up plans for the school. Part of the building was built by a contractor and part was finished by local community labor. When school started in the fall of 1950 the gym floor wasn't finished and the concrete hallways of the school building were not poured. This was finished by local volunteer labor in time to play basketball.
Paul (Prof) Smith was hired as the first superintendent and all grade school classes were doubled up: first-second, third-fourth, fifth-sixth. There were four seniors in the graduating class of 1951. The lunchroom from Whitehall was used to house some of the teachers and four families lived in the Cosmos School that was moved to the property. The first Board of Education consisted of Melvin Steinkuehler, Harold Predmore, and Charlie Ferguson.
In 1963, the cafeteria was built and a shop building was added south of the original building. Five new classrooms and a restroom facility were added in 1966 to the north end of the then elementary addition. The high school moved to the north end of the building and the grade school to the south end. At this time, six brand new, three bedroom, two bath, brick teacherages were built and a second well was drilled. A sewer lagoon was added in 1968 to the west end of the present property. In 1972, a kindergarten building was added south of the cafeteria. A second gym, a library, two classrooms, and a music complex, along with some remodeling were approved by the people and built in 1973.
In the middle 1980's satellite courses were added to the curriculum. In 1994, fiber optic classes were made available to the students. The tax payers of the community approved a bond issue in 1992 that allowed the school to purchase and furnish software and a computer lab where each student was enabled to perform at least twenty minutes per day of controlled drill and practice to enhance their educational ability. In the late 1990’s a new centralized library was built for EC-12 students. The library is fully automated with computers available for online research. The Accelerated Reader program was added to the curriculum and many new books added to the library.
Yarbrough was one of the first schools in the Panhandle to have the Internet available to students. In January of 2000, the school purchased the Netschool solution. This allowed every student in grades Early Childhood through 12th grade to have a laptop computer (Studypro) to use for educational purposes at home as well as in school. The classrooms were wired with IR (infrared) which allowed the students to connect to email and the Internet in every classroom. A printer was added to every classroom, and each teacher was issued a laptop computer.
For the 2003 school year, Yarbrough received the federal Reading First grant for grades K-3. Over a 6 year period, this grant brought over $700,000.00 to the district to be used expressly for reading in grades K-3. The grant funded a full time reading coach and allowed the district to keep the elementary grades uncombined. This program was and continues to be a great benefit to the district.
2004 brought new computers to the “Success Maker” computer lab as well as the business room and library. Around this time, SmartBoard interactive whiteboards and projection systems began being installed in the classrooms. During 2007 a new online grade book program was introduced which allowed students and parents to check grades from home over the Internet. 2008 brought new online Accelerated Reader, Click-and-Learn, Head Sprout, V-Math Live and Ticket to Read software programs.
A bond issue passed by the people in 2008 once again brought new computers to the computer labs. The computers that were purchased back in 2004 were then moved out into the classrooms. The 2008 bond issue also provided for the purchase of an activity bus, 3 school vehicles, a covering for the vehicles, new playground equipment and replacement windows for the brick teacherages. Future technology plans include the upgrade of servers, installation of two mobile ITV units to compliment the two ITV classrooms, and a new wireless network.
The fall of 2008 brought a new innovation to Yarbrough School. After almost 2 years of research, including the collection of on-site wind data since September of 2006, through a partnership with the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative, Yarbrough School District made the decision to purchase and have installed a 50KW small wind system turbine. The Entegrity EW15 turbine was placed on the south-east corner of the school property and was put into production on September 30, 2008. Yarbrough School was the first school district in the state to install a small wind system turbine in an effort to reduce utility costs.
In December of 2009, Yarbrough school applied for a grant opportunity through the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title II, Part D Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Oklahoma’s 1 to 1 Digital Classroom Project (1:1 DCP). On Thursday, March 25, the school was notified by the Oklahoma State Department of Education that of 77 applicants, Yarbrough was 1 of 19 to receive grant funding. This grant brought almost $170,000 to Yarbrough Elementary School for the 2010-2011 school year!
In preparation for the technology grant, E-rate funds were used to purchase 2 new servers, a router, a firewall, 3 switches, and a school-wide wireless network. During the summer of 2010, all of the new equipment was installed and the laptops funded by the technology grant were ordered, received and configured. The school ordered each teacher a new laptop and each student a new netbook. The computers will be used at school as well as at home. The complete list of grant funded items is as follows.
- A “Netbook” laptop computer with 802.11N Wi-Fi capability for each student.
- A laptop computer for each teacher, also with 802.11N Wi-Fi capability.
- 2 16-bay battery recharging stations for extra batteries.
- 32 extra batteries for student “Netbooks”.
- 3 laptop storage carts with the necessary power adapters to charge “Netbooks”.
- Lightspeed Guide Mobile Filter to provide off campus Internet filtering.
- Discover Learning Streaming Video Series.
- Microsoft Office Academic Professional 2007.
- SMART Classroom Suite to integrate with existing SMART interactive whiteboards.
- SMART Notebook Teacher and Student Edition
- SMART Sync & SMART Response
- TechSteps online technology curriculum program by SchoolKit.
- TechSteps online technology literacy assessment program by SchoolKit.
- Pd21 online technology professional development for teachers.
- Webinar trainings and onsite technology workshops for teachers.
- OK-ACTS training for principal and superintendent.
- Full-time Educational Technology Integration Specialist AKA “The Tech Coach”!
The school district named the 1 to 1 laptop program PowerUp! and decided on the following program goals.
- Create a technology-immersed school by providing each elementary student in grades PK-8 with a wireless mobile computing device that effectively integrates software, online resources, and other appropriate learning technologies that have been shown to improve student achievement.
- Help teachers integrate technology into their teaching practice by providing personnel, resources, and access (such as equipment and infrastructure) necessary to implement the PowerUp! digital program.
- Provide the necessary personnel, resources, access, professional development, and student instruction to produce technologically literate students by the eighth grade, to continue to assist students in the acquisition and application of technology skills, and to have a significant impact on the academic achievement of our school’s students.
- Ensure that students are technology literate by the end of eighth grade.
A decade after Yarbrough was the first school in Oklahoma to have take-home laptops for all students in grades PK-12, we once again have been blessed and are fortunate to have a 1 to 1 laptop environment. With SmartBoards in most all educational areas, sound systems, printers, teacher & student laptops, a wireless network, and a variety of software applications, Yarbrough is as technologically advanced as any school in the state.
Also new for the 2010-2011 school year is new library automation software. Yarbrough will be moving to the Follett online Destiny program. Students will be able to browse the school collection from any Internet connection as well as have access to e-books which can be downloaded and viewed on the student netbook computers.
One final technology note for the upcoming school year, an increase in Internet bandwidth is coming. The school district will be moving from its current 3mbs connection to a 10mbs connection. This increase will insure adequate bandwidth to support the 1 to 1 laptop program.
In March of 2011 the Yarbrough school community passed two bond issues with over a 90% approval rating. The bond will allow the school to complete the following projects.
- Yellow Route Bus
(To replace 1996 Blue Bird route bus with over 170,000 miles & maintain dependable yellow route bus fleet.)
- Remodel School Restrooms
(Includes removal of asbestos material in plumbing access areas.)
- Two Van Type Vehicles
(Vehicles for student transportation to replace existing vans, both with well over 100,000 miles each.)
- Concrete Work in Front of the School
(Includes sidewalk & porch areas.)
- Classroom Furniture & Fixtures
(Includes teacher & student desks, chairs, shelves & cabinets.)
- Efficient Heating/Air Units for Brick Teacherages
- Brick Cleaning & Grout Repair for School Building
- Carpeting & Flooring
(Includes elementary lab, south gym bleachers & 1st/2nd grade classroom.)
- Music Department
(Includes risers, stands, chairs & sound equipment.)
- Science Department
(Includes lab equipment, supplies, repairs & furniture.)
(Includes items as needed to maintain PowerUp! computer program.)
- Phone/Intercom System
(Includes digital phones & speakers.)
(Includes vinyl fencing in front of the school & chain link fencing for wind turbine area.)
We are very thankful for the support of our community!
2011-2012…What is on the horizon?
E-rate funds for this year will be used to increase bandwidth from 10mbs to 100mbs, purchase and install a new phone system, and add fiber optic runs to increase network stability. E-rate funds will all be used to purchase new distance learning equipment and a video distribution system. For the 2011-2012 school year, Yarbrough will receive approximately $300,000 in E-rate eligible services and equipment with the school’s portion being around $20,000. This is a huge benefit for the school!
Also new for the 2011-2012 school year, Yarbrough was selected as a recipient of an Oklahoma Education Technology Trust grant in the amount of $65,000. The grant will provide the school with a video production/broadcast studio. Equipment will include an iMac lab, Apple server, Adobe Creative software, cameras, and green screen technology. In addition to the equipment, $25,000 of the grant funds will be used for professional development provided by the K20 Center from the University of Oklahoma.
Current activities include football, softball, cross-country, track, basketball, golf, speech & debate, academic team, cheerleading, band, choir, 4-H, NHS, FCA and student council. Academically speaking, Yarbrough takes a backseat to no one. State test scores are high. Yarbrough Elementary earned a perfect 1,500 Academic Performance Index in the Spring of 2009. A student can graduate from Yarbrough with 4 language arts units, 5 or 6 math units, 5 or 6 science units, 5 history units, 24 credit hours of concurrent enrollment with OPSU, as well as computer and foreign language credits. Foreign languages offered include 2 years of Spanish or 2 years of German. With classes in instrumental, vocal, art and the humanities, the arts credits are also covered. Students definitely have access to a rigorous curriculum.
Our rural location, small class size, and fantastic personnel offer our students an excellent opportunity for a superb educational experience. Yarbrough is poised to offer its students a great learning environment well into the 21st century. We have the patrons of our school district to thank for their local financial and moral support over these past 60 years.