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Okmulgee Board of Education Ends Year with Highly Qualified Teacher Status

It is “Paw”sitive

The December Okmulgee Board of Education Board meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
President, Rod Weimer, asked for approval of minutes of the November meeting and the approval of monthly encumbrances / expenditures. Both items were approved.

Weimer then reported on the Consideration of School Rental Requests, namely:

• Oklahoma Chargers Football team rental request to use Harmon Field on December 12, 2015
• Brock Gym by Wolfe’s Production on January 30, 2016
• Okmulgee Middle School by Martin Luther King Jr. Committee on January 16, 2016
• Okmulgee Middle School by Missionary Baptist Alliance on December 6, 2015

All rental requests were approved.

Renee Dove opened her Superintendent’s Report saying “We have many, many positive things going on with Okmulgee Public Schools this month.” Her report started with a Power Point presentation of all the “Paw”sitive and great things they have accomplished beginning with Starla Walters, Computer Science Teacher.

Walters spoke about the PLC (Professional Learning Communities) training where she was instructed on how to do protocol correctly in classrooms. Her group of teachers meets once a month. She said, “It has been a wonderful experience. It is a way for us to be able to grow professionally.” They fine tune lesson plans and set up rules to abide by. Among other things, they talk about: Comfort zones, risk zones, danger zones and where they need to keep themselves and the kids.

Dove reported on the David Jakes 21st Century Learning event. (see related article)

Dove introduced LuVona Copeland, Instructional Technology Coach at Okmulgee High School, who spoke on Personalized Education and Ken Grover’s Innovations Early College High School and the trip to Utah. (See related article)

Diane Humphreys, Okmulgee Public High School Teacher spoke about the 3rd annual Door Decorating Contest and National Gear-Up Week with the theme “Always College.” In correlation, Mariah Price, Okmulgee High School Physical Science Teacher spoke about the student’s OSUIT Tour and Local Business Tour. (see related article)

Ms. Dove is meeting with the Economic Development Team in our community namely, Bob Klabenes, Economic Development Director of the Okmulgee area, Mr. Larry Killebrew, Superintendent of Green Country Vo-Tec and Sheryl Hale, at Oklahoma Department of Career and Technical Education at OSUIT. They will be taking a trip to Pryor to look at the huge STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program that they wrote a grant for. We are going to look at putting that into Okmulgee Public Schools. It is in the planning stages but things are beginning to happen and introducing our students to manufacturing.2015 12 08 Renee Dove

Superintendent Tod Williams made announcements:

• Tomorrow is the deadline to register to run for Okmulgee School Board Office if you intend to run again. This announcement goes out to anyone and everyone in the community.

• Pat LeGrand and the Okmulgee Police Department are conducting an active shooter mock up practice and will be using the 9th grade building while it is empty. They will be doing their drills.
• One new Bus and the Forklift arrived last week; the Scissor Lift will be in next week. The Yellow Buses will arrive while on Christmas break and drivers are being sent to get the Coach Buses from Dallas to give them experience in driving them.
• Reported on building projects for the school district. (see related article)
• Regarding recent purchases, he stated that one bus and the forklift arrived last week, the scissor lift will be here next week and the two (2) yellow buses will be here after Christmas break. He further announced that they are sending the bus drivers to Dallas over Christmas break to pick up the two Coach buses where they will get training and experience driving them back.
Site report by Ginger James, Okmulgee Primary School Principle, was given:
• She stated that she would like to piggy back off of the 1:1 initiative, in that, currently at her building all Benchmark Testing for SRA reading test and math, Pre-K through 2nd grade are all testing on the computers now. The teachers have worked with them showing how to navigate through them and work the mouse. They now go up to the lab and take their tests on the computers.
• She has been looking into available grants for some computers that might require a partial contribution from the school district and she turned it over to Superintendent Williams and Deputy Superintendent Dove to investigate and work with her on the project.
• Enrollment is down 19 Students from last year; however, she feels it will correct itself during the year.
• Another change is with the exciting additions to their garden. She discussed the $5,000.00 grant that they got for the bridge replacement and additional bridge, picnic tables and additions of pavilions over them; two running water fountains (donated by Rex Jones), work tables for teachers, expanded bleachers and they moved a carport that will now be very useful. Mr. Williams coordinated it all with Green country Technology center.
• Currently right now first and second grade just finished Benchmark Testing for SRA Reading Test. 58% of the students have been Benchmarked; normally it is in the 30%. She stated, “Hugh gains.” Teachers are working very hard and they have 72 kids going to tutoring 2 days a week.
• James reported that she meets with her teachers each week in their PLC room. Our teachers track data from all testing. This year she implemented a DATA Room from all tests done, which are updated monthly. They show all growth or decreases. In January our PLC’s are focusing on going through each domain of the TLE program. Teachers will be teaching each other.
• Boots and Badges and Creek Nation are continuing to come to our school and they now come for all 4 grades and the kids love the interaction with the firemen.
• She invited the Board to the Pre-K Christmas Program which will be on Tuesday, December 15, at 1:00 pm and to the Christmas Dinner which will be on the Wednesday, December 16, at either 10:30am or 12:00pm.

The Action Agenda had two (2) items to discuss:

1. Approved declaring items as surplus / junk; certain kitchen equipment, specifically two (2) air milk boxes.

2. Report was given by Rene Dove advising that they had gotten their Accreditation report. Their RAO came in and looked at the books and they received a letter stating, “Congratulations, Okmulgee Public Schools is in compliance with the Highly Qualified Teacher Report and Status and we are verified that every teacher in the district are Highly Qualified and are teaching exactly what they are supposed to be teaching in those core subject areas.” Dove said, “He will be meeting with them on Monday discussing the way we coded some of the courses at the high school. He is excited about the work we are doing in getting things corrected. His is going to work with us very closely at taking care of that and getting it done; but 100% Highly Qualified.”

The Board then went to executive session for discussion regarding employment, contract, duties, responsibilities and assignments for FY16 and FY 17.

1. The action that came out of the session was that the Athletic Director has to be a Certified Administrator.

Action taken regarding the employment of Certified and/ or Support Staff for 2015-2016 was:

1. William Padfield will be over ISS (in school suspension) at Okmulgee Elementary School.

2. Paula Delso and Diane Penn will be substitute cooks

3. Elementary Basketball Coaches:

• 3rd grade girls – Kevin Rucker
• 3rd grade boys – Shane Bevan
• 4th grade girls – Kevin Rucker
• 4th grade boys – Shane Bevan
• 5th grade girls – Joy Jackson
• 5th grade boys – Kevin Rucker
• 6th grade girls – Michelle Walker
• 6th grade boys – Shane Bevan