Every week, EPIC Superintendent Bart Banfield explores topics related to education, learning, leadership and more. Be sure to check back each week for the latest.
Behind the Scenes of Back to School
As the son of an educator, the husband of an educator and an educator myself, the back-to-school time of year 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. The 2019-2020 back-to-school season holds all these things in abundance for me, as it marks my first full school year as EPIC’s superintendent.
Every new school year presents each of us with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. For me, stepping into a new role of leading the state’s largest virtual charter school system is a challenge, one I am honored and excited to undertake. Making sure that our population of nearly 30,000 students has the instructional, curricular and physical resources needed to succeed is a big task. Fortunately, I have a remarkable leadership team of highly skilled education professionals to support me in my efforts. Though you may never meet them or know their names, they are responsible for executing the various policies and decisions that go into running the state’s third-largest school system. Put simply, I could not do my job without them.
Beyond the roles of teacher and principal, 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. As the new school year gets underway, I’d like to take a moment to shed some light on some of these crucial positions that are the backbone of EPIC. These are just some of the very talented groups that play a role in the education of our students and by no means represents everyone.
Directors of Teacher Development
This group oversees the onboarding of new teaching talent and, essentially, teaches teachers how to be EPIC teachers. Coming from a traditional school setting to instructing students in a virtual online environment can be a big change. This group helps make that process smooth so new teachers are ready to instruct kids in the most effective way on day one.
Graduation Support Managers
Every EPIC student who is on deck to graduate will be put in touch with a GSM, who will ensure they have met all graduation requirements and help them prepare for post-secondary education choices, such as a college degree or a career.
Talent Acquisition Managers
These are the people who recruit teachers to join the EPIC teaching staff. They are highly trained and are on the lookout for talented educators across the state who believe, as we say at EPIC, school can be different.
Managing Directors of Instruction
This group of administrative professionals oversees the EPIC principal staff, ensuring instruction models and parent/teacher relationships run smoothly. They also identify trends and report them to leadership.
The EPIC Charter Schools educational model is singularly unique. Our unprecedented student growth is proof that Oklahoma families welcome the idea that school can be different and that every child has the right to learn and grow in an environment that works for them. But none of that can happen when we work only as individuals. By working together, we come one step closer to realizing the dream of every child in this state graduating and going on to be productive members of society.