Frequently
Asked Questions

What is Western Gateway Elementary School’s mission?

Western Gateway creates a learning experience that values children, language, culture, and community. We challenge our students to learn, grow, give back to our world and be confident explorers in life. We invite your family to be a part of our school!

What makes Western Gateway unique?

Western Gateway is a neighborhood school and a new kind of learning experience. Our students learn through a bilingual curriculum and become part of a welcoming community. They grow into more culturally well-rounded learners, who are equipped to take on all the opportunities of life. Everyone in the community is welcome to share in this experience – students, teachers, siblings, parents, grandparents, and neighbors. Our school is a community space for gathering, volunteering, celebration, learning, and fun.

Who can attend Western Gateway Elementary School?

  • Western Gateway Elementary is a school that serves portions of the surrounding neighborhoods of College Hill, Higgins Heights, Jones Grove, Wheeler District and Will Rogers Courts. If you live within the school’s neighborhood boundary, all you have to do is enroll!
  • If you live outside the neighborhood boundaries, you can apply to our lottery. We will hold a public lottery in May.
  • Our application process is easy and all online. It will be available in April!

What is the school’s attendance boundary?

school boundary map

What grades does Western Gateway Elementary School offer?

2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25
We’ll start with Pre-K, Kindergarten, & 1st grade The following year, we’ll add 2nd grade Next, we’ll add 3rd grade And finally, WGES will be complete by adding 4th grade

Is my student required to wear a mask?

While masks are not required, students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask over their nose and mouth throughout the school day. Teachers and staff will be wearing masks as well. Review our Return to Learn plan for more information about COVID-19 protocols.

Will Western Gateway students wear uniforms?

Students at Western Gateway will be given the option to purchase a uniform shirt from the school or can wear solid gray, black, white, or navy for the top.  Bottoms are the parent choice of jeans, or the following colors: khaki, black, gray, navy, white, or school plaid in any of the listed colors.

Clothing worn to school shall not be torn, cut-up or slit and must be appropriately sized. 

Hemlines must be of modest length (eg., not above the fingertip of the wearer with the arm).

Generally, students should regard neatness and cleanliness in grooming and clothing as important. Dress or grooming which is in any way disruptive to the operation of the school will not be permitted.

What happens to students who reside within the Western Gateway Elementary School neighborhood boundary and are in a grade that is not yet offered?

Students who reside within the WGES neighborhood boundary who are in a grade not yet offered at the School can attend their assigned school according to the boundaries set by the Oklahoma City Public School District. Please use this link to locate your child’s assigned school. School Locator Tool

Where is the school located?

Western Gateway Elementary School is located at 1300 SW 15th St. Oklahoma City, OK, 73108. The nearest major intersection is Southwest 15th Street and South Douglas Avenue.

When will the school open?

Western Gateway Elementary School is scheduled to open in August 2021.

Will transportation be provided?

All students living in the attendance area will be able to walk or bike to school. Families attending WGES who live outside of the attendance area will need to provide their own transportation.

Will on- or offsite after-school-care options be offered?

WGES is partnering with the YMCA to provide before and after-school care for our students. More information about how to enroll in before and after school care will be provided upon request.

What happens if a special needs child with an existing IEP applies to Western Gateway Elementary School?

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Western Gateway Elementary School will ensure identification, evaluation, placement, and the provision of education and related services to students with disabilities to be determined by a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team and the IEP, respectively. Placement will be in the least restrictive environment in which the student can receive a free appropriate public education. Should modifications, supplementary aids and services, and/or accommodations be necessary as determined by the student’s IEP team, such accommodations will be provided in accordance with IDEA and Oklahoma law.

Who created the school’s vision?

The vision for Western Gateway Elementary School began in the summer of 2015, with a Dual Immersion Ad Hoc Steering Committee of local public school advocates, south Oklahoma City community leaders, and leaders from the Latino community. You can read the Committee’s recommendations in the Memorandum of Understanding here.

Is Western Gateway a charter school?

Yes. As a public charter school, we operate independently of the traditional public school district and are governed by our Board of Directors. More information about public charter schools can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s website.

Who is on the school’s Board of Directors?

    Visit our Board of Directors page here to learn more.

    When was the school approved by OKCPS?

    Western Gateway Elementary School’s application was approved by the Oklahoma City Public School Board (OKCPS) of Education on August 12, 2019. The contract was completed on June 8, 2020.

    What is the best way to get in contact with the school?

    The school is still in progress! Head of School, Heather Zacarias, is eager to talk with interested community members or families, answer questions, collaborate, and more. She can be reached at hzacarias@westerngateway.school or 405.503.4397

    How was the school name selected?

    When naming the school, it seemed only natural to highlight the school’s location near south Western Avenue, an area Oklahoma City officials commonly refer to as “Western Gateway,” as it is an access point to the nearby communities. The school serves as a “gateway” to connect communities through language and culture.