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Embattled elementary school holds back to school bash

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It’s a day that almost didn’t happen.

But, the embattled community of North Highland Elementary will live to see another year.

On Saturday, staff and community volunteers hosted a back to school bash.

It was organized by the North Highland Community for Accountability Group who partnered with several local churches and organizations.

Parents and students got tours of the school, and the new interim principal said it’s a changed place.

“We’re realizing that we have to change our mindset. We have to change the culture. We have to change the climate. And, it starts with us,” said Anjanette Sela.

The school narrowly avoided closure in June.

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent, Aurora Lora, said the school was in crisis and drastic changes were needed to improve the negative culture.

The district said they lacked qualified prospects for principals and the majority of the teacher positions remained vacant.

Office staff had resigned, and only four core teachers were slated to come back.

But, the public outcry was fierce and the district found a way to keep the doors open for the 360 students who attend.

“We’re grateful that the great minds had made the choice to say let’s keep North Highlands open because we know we can make it work,” Sela said.

Sela said part of her leadership philosophy is that it takes a village.

“Without the help, the consistent help from all of our community, our friends, our parents, our community leaders, our board leaders, we could not make any of this possible,” Sela said.

The school also revealed their new gym at the back to school bash.