November 29, 2023

Posted by Uwe Gordon on 11/29/2023

SPS Staff and Families,


It’s always an adjustment coming back from breaks, especially during the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please bear with us as we all work to finish out the calendar year. Check your child’s grades via the portal and talk to your kids about end of semester assignments and anything else they need to complete. With holiday activities, assemblies and concerts,  early family festivities, and the end of semester these weeks can be challenging. Let’s finish out the year strong!





Football Championship 

As you’ve no doubt heard, Pioneer Football takes on the Muskogee Roughers for the state championship this Friday at 1pm at UCO.  Mukogee is also out of school on Friday due to the logistical challenge the game’s time presents, so we’d love to see as many Pioneer fans in the stands as can make it. In games like these, fan support and crowd noise can really make a difference.  Get your tickets and find parking information at


Show your support

  • Wear blue and gold on Thursday!

  • Post on social media to support the Pioneers

  • Show your support on your business’s marquee if you have one

  • Attend the send off Friday, Dec 1 @ 9:30am in the SHS - North Parking Lot 

  • Line the streets (Scheduled departure time from SHS is 9:45am. The team will travel south on Main, then west on 6th) and cheer on the Pioneers!

  • Go to the game! 


I’ll also take this opportunity to ask that you turn up at SPS winter and spring sports, concerts, robotics tournaments, winter guard competitions, and stage productions with the same level of enthusiasm. They would all love to have more blue and gold in the stands cheering them on too, plus SPS events are a  fun way to be entertained, learn more about the amazing things our kids do, get to know teachers and staff, and really connect with others in the community.  We’ve got great students in all our activities and they all deserve our support! 




I Love Stillwater - Special Services

This Saturday is Special Education Day, which celebrates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) being signed into law on December 2, 1975. IDEA guaranteed children with special needs access to free and quality public education. Seems like a great time to highlight how much I love and value special education services in Stillwater.


First, there’s SPS Special Services, a dedicated administrative team, Executive Director Melissa Kifer and Director and Behavior Analyst Austin Hula and their steadfast assistant Julie Thibodeau who support:

  • 40 SPED Teachers

  • 110 Paraprofessionals (full and part-time)

  • 24 Related Services Professionals (adaptive PE teachers, speech therapists, etc.)


Together they provide vital services to 1,100 on IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) and 450 students on 504 plans.


A few things we’re able to offer that many districts can’t: 

  • a certified Behavior Analyst, 

  • recreational equine therapy through Turning Point Ranch, 

  • Warm Water Therapy at OSU, and 

  • last but certainly not least, the outstanding Pathfinder Academy.  This is a program that helps students with disabilities grow into successful, independent members of our community through experiences in catering, embroidery, craft and food sales, and more.


An additional service that most people don’t know that many public schools provide to the community, SPS included, is supporting students with disabilities who attend private schools. SPS currently provides speech therapy to students at both Covenant Community and Stillwater Christian Schools. Our district also assists these area private schools in the expenditure of federal funds designated under IDEA to  support students with disabilities enrolled in private schools. 


OSU’s Opportunity Orange Scholars Program, MPower, the state’s annual Special Olympics, and more provide opportunities for those with disabilities to be seen, contribute, compete, and thrive. Stillwater’s support of individuals with special needs is one of the many reasons I love this community.





Protect OK App

The State of Oklahoma and Oklahoma School Security Institute have launched the Protect OK app, which allows users to report suspicious activity anonymously to one central point.  We’ve had the opportunity to visit with a representative from the Oklahoma Counter Terrorism Intelligence Center to learn more about how the app can be used to report suspicious behavior and threats to help keep schools and communities safe. We’ll be introducing flyers in the coming weeks to help inform our students and staff about this new initiative.


You can download the app via:

Hopefully, you never need to use it, but…if you see something, say something. We can all work together to keep everyone safe.






Of Note…

  • Holiday Concerts are here!

    • Thurs, Nov 30 - SMS & SHS Orchestra

    • Tues, Dec 5 - SMS & SJHS Band 

    • Thurs, Dec 7 - SMS & SJHS Orchestra

    • Fri, Dec 8 - SMS Holiday Choir 

    • Thurs, Dec 14 - SHS Band 

    • Tues, Dec 12 - SHS & SJHS Choir

  • Stillwater Parade of Lights - Dec 7 - 6:30pm - Downtown.

  • School board and City of Stillwater counselor seat filing will be Dec 4-6 from 8am-5pm at the Payne County Election Board.


  • Catch more holiday tunes at the Stillwater Community Band Holiday Concert - Friday,  Dec 15, 7pm at the Community Center. Support our numerous alumni who are members of the band.

  • Payne County Youth Services Annual Adopt-a-Family Program is seeking donations for much-needed Christmas items by Dec 18. For more information contact [email protected] or call 405-377-3380. PCYS supports many students in a wide variety of ways. If you are able, please consider donating.  And if you know of someone in need of their services, don’t hesitate to recommend they contact PCYS.

  • Last day before break is December 19. Staff returns on Jan 3 (Teacher PD day), and students return to school on January 4. 


I love Stillwater,


Uwe Gordon

Stillwater Public Schools