Growing pains for Deer Creek Schools

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DEER CREEK, Okla. -- School is back in session for a number of districts around the state.

It was a hectic start for one of the state's fastest-growing districts, Deer Creek.

Administrators are sending home a letter to parents Tuesday asking for patience and offering tips about getting students to school safely and on time.

There were a number of delays for students on the first day of school.

Buses ran late, stops were skipped, routes were re-routed.

According to district officials, many of the troubles started last week during a summer storm which knocked out power to a portion of the district.

The storm brought down power poles near Deer Creek Elementary at N.W. 164th St. and MacArthur Ave.

OG&E crews are still working in the area; they expect to be finished on Thursday.

The storm also fried the transportation computer system.

Administrators have been re-building bus routes frantically since last week.

Hundreds of students were late to school because of drop-off trouble and late buses.

District officials are working with principals and parents to help families find the fastest, safest way to school.

In the meantime, students will not be counted tardy during this first week of school.

Also, there are five major areas of school construction district-wide, including four large projects at the main Deer Creek campus near N.W. 206th St. and MacArthur Ave.

Those construction projects are expected to be complete by March 2013.

However, the district's biggest project to date is complete.

The brand new Deer Creek Middle School opened to students with much excitement for the first time Tuesday.

"We have the finest students in the state and now we have the finest facility for those students," Principal Reuben Bellows said. "It has been nothing but excitement from the students."

Deer Creek has about 4,700 students enrolled currently, 400 more than last spring.

The district as grown by 1,000 students in just two years.

"We are excited about getting all of this construction completed and to move on down the road so we can welcome as many kids as possible into Deer Creek Schools," district spokesperson Lenis DeRieux said.

Growing pains are never as intense as on the very first day of school.

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