The Altus Board of Education held a regular meeting, Monday, June 8. At the beginning of the meeting, Washington Elementary School was recognized for being named a Great Expectations Model School for 2014-15. This is the sixth year the school has been honored with this recognition. Also recognized at the meeting was the Altus High School Track Team State Placers. Of the 11 total students to make it to State, only four were able to be present yesterday.
“We’ve been very fortunate to recognize a lot of kids this year at the State level, both Fall and Spring,” said Coach Reed, Altus Athletic Director.
Superintendent Hill, took time to discuss school enrollment numbers, staffing needs and the future of the Altus Public School District. Enrollment numbers have dropped, and a trend is being seen yearly. There are also some unfilled positions and according to Hill, “as of today there will be a minimum of eight fewer teachers district wide, the pool of applicants for the open positions is very slim.”
“We’re a reflection of Jackson County’s declining population,” said Hill.
Hill brought up the idea of converting Altus’ elementary schools to grade centers. This option was take four elementary schools and downsize them to three. Rivers Elementary would not be affected, as is located on Altus Air Force Base. There are more details of such conversion to be hashed out and he suggested that the Board study the option and to form a committee of administrators, teachers and parents at the next meeting to gather feedback from all sides.
“Nobody’s job is in jeopardy. This is a reassignment of schools,” said Hill. “Grade Centers is only one option and is not the only option. This is from a proactive standpoint, we don’t want to be in the position that Lawton’s in.”
“I think it definitely need to be looked at. One pro would be that it could level out class sizes. A con would be for parents with multiple kids and I’m one of those parents. As long as it’s best for our district and students, I’m willing to make the sacrifice,” said Stephen Barnett, VP Altus Board of Education.
All members of the Board agreed to do research and study this alternative for Altus Public Schools.
Claims and the consent agenda was approved.
Some changes have been made to Board Policy 100.365- Executive Session due to new legislation. The Board accepted the change.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance Coverage quote for 2015-16 of $195,611 a jump from $167,645.55 last year was approved by the Board and the district will continue coverage with Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group. The District Liability and Property Insurance Insurance Coverage for 2015-16 took a decrease from last year, and was approved.
Request for the Jackson County Excise Board to approve temporary appropriations for the fiscal year 2016 was approved.
The Board approved the lease purchase agreement with Apple, Inc. for iPads for grades nine through twelve and also approved a ten dollar increase in the price of High School football season tickets, from $40 to $50.
Consideration and approval was granted to declare a 1999 Ford 3D pickup truck as surplus and authorized the solicitation for bids for a new vocational agricultural pickup truck and a used vehicle for the technology department. Also approved to be declared as surplus is the four portable buildings at Altus Jr High and will be sold to the public.
Approved Recommendations for the 2014-15 school year
Amanda Vesser Computer Tech @ District
Patricia Smith Music Teacher @ WR
Angela Wallace 1st Grade @ WR
Chris Hayes Computer Tech @ District
Andres Ortiz Grounds & Maintenance @ District
Approved Recommendations for the 2015-16 school year
Tamera Hughes Office Aide @ AHS
REASSIGNMENTS WITH CHANGE IN SALARY:
Krista Salafia From: 1st Grade @ WR
To: Librarian @ RO, WA & WR
Kaylee Thornbrough From: Librarian @ RO, WA & WR
To: Librarian @ AJH
Maria West From: Cafeteria Mgr @ WR
To: 7 hr Cook @ WR
NEW HIRES TO APPROVE:
Brooke Byrd 1st Grade @ RO
Denise Hobbs Kindergarten @ WA
Effective 8/5/15 (Pending Certification)
Beth McGurk Pre-K @ WA
Scott Randall Elementary @ WR
Kristin Stecklein Music @ WR
Donna Mortimer General Aide @ SU
Tommy Pride Grounds & Maintenance
Roberta Thompson Cafeteria Mgr @ WR
Amanda Vesser Technology Assistant @ District