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BOE Meeting passes yearbooks, STEM grant, Paypal account and more

Special attention was called to Sapulpa’s nurse shortage, of which for the suggested five full-time nurses, Sapulpa only has two, and one part-time.

Principal of Freedom Elementary Alison Owens, Freedom 5th-grader Quinn Steenson, Superintendent Rob Armstrong.

On Monday, March 11, 2019, the Sapulpa Board of Education met at the Washington Administrative Building for its monthly meeting. Present were board members Larry Hoover, Wayne Richards, and president of the board, Melinda Ryan. Board members Sarah Havenstrite and Steve McCormick were absent. 

Also present were Superintendent Rob Armstrong and Assistant Superintendent Johnny Bilby. 

5th-grade student Quinn Steenson from Freedom Elementary led the Pledge of Allegiance.

There were many items up for approval on the consent agenda. These included the General Fund purchase order, the Building Fund purchase order, the Child Nutrition Fund purchase order, the Bond Fund (Lease Revenue) purchase order, and the Bond Fund 36 purchase order. These orders covered a wide variety of items, including PowerSchool training, art supplies, elevator repair, plumbing supplies, the new high school coffee bar and furniture, a mural painting for The Commons, the new Esports hardware, and HVAC parts and service. 

Next was the approval of the monthly financial reports of the School Activity Funds account. This revenue and expenditure summary includes all school sports, organizations, clubs, grants, and scholarships, and miscellaneous items like the school nurse, local child welfare, and several other categories. 

Treasurer Kenda Terrones presented February 2019’s Treasurer’s Summary. The general fund and bond fund balance have both increased since January, which shows an overall large decrease, but Terrones explained that that is due to the ad valorem from county receipts coming in earlier than last year. She explained that this year’s ad valorem revenue continues to be slightly higher than last year’s, year-to-date. 

There was a declaration of surplus items which consisted of hundreds of old math and geography textbooks in very poor condition. President Ryan inquired as to whether it would be better to donate these books, but Donia Doudican (the district’s Director of Instructional Design) assured her that they are “falling apart” and extremely out-of-date.

Next was approval of yearbook contracts, a STEM grant of $2,500 from Muscogee Creek Nation, out-of-state activity trips, and fundraisers. All were approved. 

The out-of-state activity trips include a trip for the baseball team to go to Gulf Shores, Alabama over spring break for a tournament and for JROTC to go to a Marines orientation in Fort Worth in April. 

Sapulpa’s three hardworking school nurses were the special guests of the evening. Kristin Woolery, Lyn Bingman, and Lori Garden each had a chance to speak about what they love about the job and what could be improved. 

All three were in agreement that one or two additional full-time nurses would be the best and most responsible help they could receive. They cited a national guideline that says the suggested ratio is one nurse per 750 students, therefore, Sapulpa should have five full-time nurses. We currently only have two and a half, since Ms. Bingman is part-time. 

The nurses stay on their toes every day with dispensing medications, answering questions, traveling between schools, continuing education, teaching a multitude of classes to students and staff, and mostly, of course, caring for sick students. It is clear to see that we have three dedicated nurses who love what they do. 

The Board agreed to consider the possibility of hiring another full-time nurse sometime in the future depending on the budget. 

There was a “first read” for a new policy on purchasing procedures. The Board will read and review the amendments before they are made final. 

Kim Castaldi, the Director of Accountability, presented the A-F Report Cards for the schools in the district. Sapulpa did not show solid “As” across the board, as one would hope, but the report cards are comprised of many factors other than academic performance that skew the results. An example is “English Language Proficiency Progress” and “Postsecondary Progress.” 

Sapulpa High School received Cs for every indicator, including Academic Achievement, Graduation, ELP Progress, Chronic Absenteeism, and Postsecondary Progress. We scored higher than the state average in Academic Achievement, Graduation, and overall. 

If you would like to see the report card results yourself, visit www.oklaschools.com and search for Sapulpa. 

While the district seems to be performing well overall, chronic absenteeism is a problem in every school. One idea put forth to help would be for students to be able to log in to their classes and access their school work virtually via their Chromebooks so that they can still learn and participate, even if something like a fever keeps them at home. The Board said they will continue to discuss virtual options for sick and absent students. 

Next, Superintendent Armstrong called on Troy Witzansky, Director of Operations, to give an update on grounds, maintenance, and custodial issues. He and his department of over 40 personnel face a perpetual struggle to keep our schools looking and operating at their best. From the football field to the entrance of the administration building, they are always on the lookout for areas that need to be mended, repainted, mowed, or cleaned.

Mr. Witzansky is working on two big projects right now. He and his crew will be repainting the junior high school hallways during spring break, and they are in the planning stages of gutting and renovating several high school bathrooms. Cost, longevity, and ability to clean are the biggest factors with the latter. 

A motion to approve the opening of a PayPal business account for certain activities was passed. This will allow credit cards to be accepted for concessions, gate entrances, and t-shirt sales, among other things. 

A motion to approve the “Agreement to Subscribe to the OSSBA Superintendent Evaluation Tool” for the 2019-20 school year passed. 

All personnel changes were approved. 

The next meeting of the Sapulpa Board of Education will be Monday, April 8 at 6 p.m. in room 200 of the Washington Administration Building at 511 East Lee Avenue. 

About the Author

Born and raised in Sapulpa, Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and is a former banker. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown with her husband Michael and to be contributing to The Sapulpa Times.

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