The Board of Education of the Altus Public School District approved to enter into a $1,665,600 construction contract with Pope Contracting of Oklahoma City, during their regular meeting on Monday, April 14. The Board discussed the joint payment of the project stating about $500,000 should be available in remaining MAPS Funds for renovations at the High School campus and the rest of the funding would come from the District’s building funds.
A question was raised by Board Member Dr. John Thomas on how MAPS Funds are shared when collected between the City of Altus and Altus Schools stating that the City is “going to want it all.” Board Clerk Karen Sanchez stated that according to the wording of the ballot for the MAPS Fund, the School District would receive 50 percent of the proceeds once the initial bond for the High School and Altus Municipal Complex building projects bonds were paid off.
“Once those bonds are gone, then anything that is collected beyond that should be split fifty-fifty,” Sanchez said.
Dr. Thomas directed a question to attorney and City Councilman Michael Beason who attended the meeting as a member of the audience. “If we don’t watch for it, we’re not going to get it will we Counselor?” Thomas asked.
“I do believe that what you’re saying, Sir, is correct,” Councilman Beason said. “If you leave it out there the bear will eat it. I’ve been fighting that for over a year, so I recommend to you that you be very diligent to get what is coming to you.”
Superintendent Roger Hill commented, “Our relationship with the City has been a partnership and I feel very good about that, and I think there is a high level of trust there that exists and we will work together.”
The scope of construction work in the contract includes exterior renovations to the Vo-Ag building, a new high school cafeteria corridor connector, and a new standing seam retrofit roof installation with HVAC upgrades and retrofits at Will Rogers Elementary School.
Also during the school board meeting, a motion was made by Board member Stephen Barnett to table the item regarding approval for That Altus Band to perform in the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Parade in Waikiki, Hawaii, in November 2016.
In discussion, That Altus Band Director Mary Runyan estimated 140 Altus students would likely perform, which could cost nearly $400,000, and that other schools have attended in previous years through fundraisers and donations received throughout the state.
Barnett said that he would like to see how the money would be raised through fundraisers and the impact it would have on the community and other school fundraisers.
“As a business owner we get hit up daily for different fundraisers and we support everything we can,” Barnett said. “That just is a phenomenal amount of money for me. I’m just having a hard time getting that into my head for one trip.”
Barnett also asked to have an item on the next meeting’s agenda regarding fund raising that takes place at school sporting events.
Superintendent Hill proposed a scenario where only $300,000 was raised and funding was $100,000 short asking, “What would you do? Would you just say no? And what would you do with the $300,000 that you raised? I’m just curious as to how that would play out.”
Runyan informed that there is usually a cut-off point where students would have to make a commitment to continue fund raising or cancel the reservation and have the money returned. The item was postponed until the next May monthly meeting or Special Meeting to allow for further planning.
At the beginning of the Board meeting, Altus High School senior Savannah Phillips donated a $1,704.40 check to the AHS Choir, accepted by Choir Director Stephanie Wall. Phillips raised the money through her annual fundraiser event “Savannah’s SONG.”
“Being active in music and always being in choir, I wanted to do something that benefited music,” Phillips said. “This year we raised money to go toward the school musical.”
Other items approved by the Board include claims, the consent agenda, and revised school policies to comply with State Statutes and USDA Federal School guidance. Revised Policies include Policy 200.065 - Wellness Policy and 200.100 - Tobacco Use in Schools Policy, revising the definition of “tobacco” to includes e-cigarettes, vapor devices, or any product packaged for smoking on insinuation of smoking.
The Board approved retirements of certified personnel including Dr. Mark Haught - Principal at Altus High School, effective June 15, and Rhonda Mills Kindergarten at Rivers Elementary, effective May 23.
Board President Keith Phillips addressed the Dr. Haught on accepting his retirement saying, “I know you’ve been here for a while and I appreciate everything you’ve done and have enjoyed working with you and wish you all the success in the future.”
The Board approved resignation of certified personnel including Julie Harris - Title I Teacher at Will Rogers Elementary, Ally Hughes - 1st Grade Teacher at Rivers, Pamela Powell - 4th Grade Teacher at Washington, Tim Rincker - Science Teacher at Altus Junior High School, and Stacey Valdez - 2nd Grade Teacher at Sunset, all effective May 23. They also approved resignations of non-certified personnel from Denise Hobbs - Pre-K Aide at Sunset, effective Feb. 26, De Jones - Bus Driver for the District, effective March 27, Yolanda Moreno - 4 hour Cook at Rivers, effective May 23, Amber Raver - Teacher’s Aide at Will Rogers, effective May 23, and Sherry St. Clair - Teacher’s Aide at Roosevelt Elementary, effective May 23.
The Board approved reassignments of certified personnel with a change in salary including Roe Worbes, from Principal at Altus Junior High to District’s Asst. Superintendent, Rita Beisel from Principal at Will Rogers to Principal at AHS, Todd Ware from Principal at Sunset to Asst. Principal at AHS, and Chuck Martin from Asst. Principal at Altus Intermediate School to Principal at AJH. They also approved reassignment with no change in salary for Renee Long from Principal at Washington to Principal at Sunset. All reassignments are effective July 1.
The Board approved a list of volunteers to repaint areas of the Altus Athletic Stadium including railings, flag pole, goal posts, score board, and other buildings inside the stadium.
The Board also approved new hires including Ginny Calhoun - Speech Pathologist for the District, Elisabeth Kincannon Elementary Teacher for the District, Linn Marshall - Alternative Ed. Teacher at AJH, Victoria Marshall - Elementary Teacher for the District, and Jennifer McIntyre Sp. Ed. Teacher for the District, all effective August 8. They also approved School Year 2014-15 regular contracts for certified career staff, temporary contracts for retired certified staff, and temporary contracts for certified staff to be hired on a 1st or 2nd year.
Other approved items include the Summer food service program, non-program adult meal charge rate, and list of summer food service program workers; Supt. Hill to attend the AASA Leadership Conference in San Diego, Calif., on May 1-3 to be paid by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators; Kelly Wutzke to attend the Summer seminar for the Barton Reading and Spelling System in Pheonix, Ariz., June 23-28.