Today we submitted two BCSI applications–one for Tulsa County and one for Rogers County. We spent quite a bit of time discussing if we should submit one over the other but after consulting with the leaders of other BCSI schools who have been through the BCSI process, we decided that we would send both applications to BCSI and let them decide. Tulsa County has the advantage of having a larger population and a clearer path to authorization but it also requires a larger building, more staff, etc. Meanwhile, Rogers County could start much smaller and have a chance to get its footing outside of the limelight of Tulsa. Ultimately, we trust BCSI to make a wise decision.
Of course, we can’t get ahead of ourselves. While we believe we have produced two excellent BCSI applications, it is important to understand how competitive this process is. We have spoken to a number of groups in other states who were not selected when they applied. We also must acknowledge that factors beyond our control may lesson our chances–Oklahoma’s per pupil appropriations for public education are among the lowest in the nation so there are bound to be financial concerns. There are also no BCSI-affiliated schools in Oklahoma so that is a risk in and of itself.
Regardless of the outcome, we feel we put everything we could into those two applications and left it all on the field. We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll get to the next stage of the process (onsite interviews) with at least one proposal. We should know more in August.