ELEVATE: Health Emphasis at Maryetta School

Students at Maryetta Public School play gaga ball, a variation of dodgeball. The school in Stilwell is expected to earn a safe and healthy distinction next year with the new Programs of Excellence.

ELEVATE: Health Emphasis Transforms School

Maryetta expected to receive safe, healthy schools distinction

STILWELL (Nov. 6, 2019) – The center of Maryetta Public School reverberates with cheering and splashing as children swim a relay race in the indoor pool. Every Thursday during her physical education class, Harlie Smith hopes for a turn at the diving board. This is her happy place.


“I’m not as bored after recess or P.E., so I pay more attention in class instead of being tired. It makes being in class more fun,” the seventh-grader said.

Every Thursday, Harlie waits to take that leap off the diving board. The steps taken to get her to that point have been no less a leap for the community. 

Maryetta Public Schools, a small district in Stilwell, is a leader in offering healthy opportunities to its students. Its initiatives are of particular urgency, given the grim statistics the county faces. Rates of poverty and crime are high in the town. Nearly a third of Adair County residents live in a food desert, areas that lack affordable fresh produce, and 40% qualify as obese.


Now a Certified Healthy School with an excellent rating from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Maryetta is expected to add another safe and healthy school distinction next year with the new Programs of Excellence. The aim of the OSDE initiative is to highlight areas of focus and celebrate exceptional school programs that foster a well-rounded education. Beginning in 2020-21, a school’s distinction as bronze, silver or gold in a variety of programs will be visible on its report card, which can be found at www.oklaschools.com. In addition to safe and healthy, areas of distinction include fine arts, computer science, English language arts, math, science, social studies and world languages.