Oklahoma Spelling Bee

For participant information specific to the 2020 Regional or Central Oklahoma Spelling Bee, CLICK HERE.

Registration for the 2020 Oklahoma spelling bee is open. The information on this page will help you with questions about registering for and participating in the spelling bee.

What areas does the spelling bee cover?
The Central Oklahoma bee encompasses 50 counties. See below for an exact list of counties according to their regions.
Who can participate in the spelling bee?
The Central Oklahoma bee includes students in grades four through eight. Students may be enrolled in a public or private school, or be homeschooled.
Can’t younger students participate in a different spelling bee?
The Oklahoman is no longer sponsoring a Pee Wee Spelling Bee. Students may begin participating in the spelling bee once they reach the fourth grade.
What steps are there in the spelling bee?
The first step of the spelling bee is the school-level bee. The winner and runner-up from each school-level bee advance to a regional bee, which is the second step of the competition. The 20 regions are outlined below. Then, the winner and runner-up from each regional bee advance to the Central Oklahoma Scripps Spelling Bee, the third step of the competition. The champion of this bee advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
What important dates should I be aware of?

  • REGISTRATION: Early bird registration with Scripps is from May 1, 2019 – October 15, 2019. Regular registration is October 16, 2019 – December 20, 2019, the regular registration fee is $240.
  • SCHOOL-LEVEL BEES: School-level bees will need to be scheduled to take place before January 17, 2020. Please make sure the date is on your calendar, as well as a make-up date in case you have to cancel your bee due to inclement weather. The Oklahoman reserves the right not to grant extensions due to weather for schools that do not plan ahead for the possibility of inclement weather closures.
  • REGIONAL-LEVEL BEES: Regional-level bees will be conducted from January 27 through February 15, 2020.
  • CENTRAL OKLAHOMA STATE BEE: The Central Oklahoma Bee will take place on February 29, 2020 at Children’s Hospital at OU, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Registration will begin at noon and the bee will begin at 1:00pm.
  • NATIONAL BEE: The Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place in May or June, 2020.
  • Is there a cost to participate? Scripps requires schools to pay a $165 fee to help cover operational costs. All payment goes through Scripps. Scripps is also implementing a fee of $75 for schools that register after October 15. The Oklahoman does not require any payment or fees beyond what is required to register with Scripps.
  • What region will we compete in?
  • Region 1: Oklahoma County ZIP Codes 73003, 73007, 73012, 73013, 73025, 73034, 73049, 73054, 73083, 73114, 73116, 73120, 73131, 73151
  • Region 2: Oklahoma County ZIP Codes 73008, 73101, 73102, 73103, 73104, 73105, 73106, 73107, 73108, 73109, 73111, 73112, 73113, 73117, 73118, 73121, 73122, 73123, 73124, 73125, 73126, 73127, 73128, 73132, 73134, 73136, 73137, 73140, 73141, 73142, 73143, 73144, 73146, 73147, 73148, 73152, 73153, 73154, 73155, 73156, 73157, 73162, 73163, 73164, 73167, 73172, 73178, 73184, 73185, 73190, 73194, 73195, 73196, 73198
  • Region 3: Oklahoma County ZIP Codes 73020, 73045, 73066, 73084, 73110, 73115, 73129, 73130, 73135, 73145, 73150, 74857
  • Region 4: Oklahoma County ZIP Codes 73097, 73119, 73139, 73149, 73159, 73169, 73173, 73179 and Cleveland County ZIP Codes 73135, 73139, 73150, 73153, 73159, 73160, 73165, 73169, 73170, 73173, 73189, 74851, 74852, 74857
  • Region 5: Cleveland County ZIP Codes 73019, 73026, 73051, 73068, 73069, 73070, 73071, 73072 and all of McClain County
  • Region 6: Alfalfa, Grant, Kay and Woods Counties
  • Region 7: Blaine, Garfield, Kingfisher, Logan and Noble Counties
  • Region 8: Custer, Dewey, Major and Roger Mills Counties
  • Region 9: Canadian County
  • Region 10: Lincoln and Payne Counties
  • Region 11: Beckham, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Washita Counties
  • Region 12: Caddo and Grady County
  • Region 13: Hughes, Okfuskee, Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties
  • Region 14: Comanche County schools in the Lawton Public Schools district
  • Region 15: Comanche County schools not in the Lawton Public Schools district and all of Stephens County
  • Region 16: Garvin, Murray and Pontotoc Counties
  • Region 17: Cotton, Jefferson, Love and Tillman Counties
  • Region 18: Carter and Marshall Counties
  • Region 19: Atoka, Bryan, Coal and Johnston Counties
  • Region 20: Choctaw, Latimer, McCurtain and Pushmataha Counties

What will the students receive?
The students, first and foremost, will receive a unique opportunity to use their spelling skills to earn a trip to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., including expenses for airfare and hotel. Even students who do not advance past each level of the competition will still receive an opportunity to take part in a fun, educationally stimulating and nationally recognized academic competition.

In addition, students who compete in a school-level bee will receive certificates of participation, students who compete in a regional-level bee will receive individual prizes, and students who compete in the Central Oklahoma state-level bee will receive trophies for their tremendous efforts. There are hundreds of dollars’ worth of additional cash and prize rewards for the Central Oklahoma champion and runner-up.

Are there any school-wide incentives to participate?
Besides giving your students the chance to showcase and reap rewards from their spelling abilities, yes, there is yet another school-wide incentive! Schools that register for the bee are eligible to participate in the Great American SpellCheck. This is a minimal-effort fundraiser rooted in academics. Schools keep 100% of the profits, and students don’t have to sell candy or magazines, or knock on strangers’ doors.

Students simply study grade-specific word lists and collect pledges from family and friends for every word they spell correctly in the Great American SpellCheck test, which is made available to every school that signs up for the spelling bee.

The following chart shows you estimates of how much money your school could raise. Remember that to raise $6,000 through Great American SpellCheck, you would need – as an example – 300 students to receive $20 each in pledges that encourage them to become more proficient spellers. Your students would have to sell more than $12,000 worth of candy to raise the same amount!

Visit spellingbee.com/great-american-spellcheck for more information about this fundraising opportunity tied to the spelling bee. Schools are NOT required to participate in Great American SpellCheck in order to have your students participate in the Central Oklahoma Scripps Spelling Bee.

Your School’s Estimated Fundraising Potential

# of ParticipantsAverage Total Pledge Per Participant
What payment options are available?
If you need an address and phone number for a Purchase Order request, the Scripps address is 312 Walnut Street, 28th Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202. The contact email is bee@scripps.com. You will also need to know the following information from Scripps:

“The Scripps National Spelling Bee does not accept POs and has not for many years. You are welcome to select the Pay By Check method during the enrollment process. This will create a pending enrollment for you and generate an invoice. You can submit this invoice to your accounts payable department and have a check cut for the enrollment fee.”

Is there a list of words for the students to study for the spelling bee?
Yes. All official study guides are available for download from the Scripps website at www.spellingbee.com. Leading up to your school bee, you should only distribute to your students the “Word Lists for Classroom and School Spelling Bees.” The word lists are not comprehensive of all words that students may encounter during the bees. This is intentional so that the bees will challenge students’ spelling competency in roots, origins, phonetics, etc.

After your school bee, you may give copies of the “Spell-It” study guide to your winner, runner-up and alternate to prepare for the regional bee.

You may provide students with any outside spelling materials you want, but those are the only Scripps lists you can give your students. See the next question for other recommended study resources.

Be sure NOT to distribute to students the Pronouncer Guides at all, or the 2020 Spell-It list except to your students advancing to the regional level. Intentional or unintentional improper distribution of these word lists may be grounds for disqualification.

How will I be able to receive extra certificates for our school bee?
The Oklahoman will mail champion, runner-up and participation certificates to schools based on the number of students you indicate will be participating on the online registration form. If you have not listed the number of participating students by October 30th, there will be no certificates mailed to your school. However, schools that need additional certificates after they are mailed or who miss the deadline will be able to download certificates for printing via PDF.
How do we submit the names of our winners?
After your school-level bee, you will submit information about your winner and runner-up through Scripps at www.spellingbee.com. Both of the top two students from your school will advance to a regional bee. You should also determine an alternate but do not need to turn in the alternate’s name. Please do not send the information about your top students directly to The Oklahoman.
To enter your winner and runner-up, log in to the Scripps site and click “Champion Registration” on the menu bar. If you have any difficulties accessing this part of the site, please contact Scripps for help at spellingbee.com/contact .
When and where is each regional spelling bee taking place?
The locations and times of the regional spelling bees are communicated directly by email. Remember you will send your winner AND runner-up to the regional bee, and should make sure your alternate is prepared to attend in case one of the top two students is sick or otherwise unable to attend at the last minute. Any questions about the regional bee should be directed to The Oklahoman, not to the host school.

A make-up date is scheduled for each region in case inclement weather makes travel to the set bee time unsafe. Following is our policy for cancelling regional bees due to inclement weather:

  • If the weather appears threatening, the coordinator of the regional bee and The Oklahoman will make a joint decision about whether to cancel the bee and use the make-up date. We will make this decision at least 6 hours before the start of the bee, or by 4 p.m. Friday if the bee is scheduled for a Saturday morning.
  • If the bee is postponed due to inclement weather, this information will be communicated via email and on the homepage of this Newspapers In Education website. If the weather conditions are potentially hazardous, please be sure to check your email and/or the website for cancellation information.

What additional information is important for homeschooled students?

Students who are not participating through an accredited public or private school may participate in the spelling bee, but must be sure to compete in a “school-level” bee first, in order to be eligible to advance to a regional competition. The school-level bee each homeschooled student competes in must have a minimum of 10 eligible students. The Oklahoman will require a representative of each participating group to sign an affidavit indicating the number of students that took part in each school-level bee.

>The affidavit form is now available by request on the CONTACT US page by selecting SPELLING BEE.<

The Oklahoman suggests homeschooling families contact one of the organizations named at oklahomahomeschool.com/supportgroups.html  to initiate or join in a school-level (pre-regional) bee. These groups may or may not choose to sponsor a school-level bee; they are not obligated to do so. Homeschooled students that are in or that form groups not on this list may participate independent of any associations on this list. The Oklahoman will not be responsible for placing or connecting homeschooled students with a group hosting a school-level bee beyond providing the link to the aforementioned list. The posting of this list does not correlate to any endorsement of said associations. Students are not required to have nor are assumed to have membership status within any participating homeschool groups.

Homeschoolers may enroll as groups through Scripps and pay $165 (early bird) or $240 (regular) OR homeschoolers may enroll as families through Scripps and pay the family fee ($115). Those that enroll as families are still responsible for ensuring their participation in a school-level competition that consists of at least 10 eligible students in order to be eligible to advance to a regional competition.

The Oklahoman will not be responsible for monitoring any financial interactions between homeschool associations or groups and individual students and their families.

Winners and runners-up of participating groups of homeschool students will compete in regional bees according to the geographic location of the entity’s operational base as submitted to Scripps during the registration process.

Where can I find additional eligibility and contest rules?

Scripps’ official contest rules may be found at http://www.spellingbee.com/contest-rules.

I want my students to have this opportunity! How do I register?
All schools and homeschool groups must register through Scripps at www.spellingbee.com. Please note that school-level bee coordinators will be asked to provide one or more valid, reliable email addresses for ongoing communications about the bee. Communications about the bee will be managed via email, making the email address(es) you choose to submit particularly important.

I still have a question. Who do I ask?

You can check out the FAQs and if you don’t find the answer there,
please use our contact form to contact us with your questions.

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