Alva Review-Courier -

New teachers, staff hired for Alva Schools

 

August 7, 2019

From left: Rebecca Buckley, Ashley Brinkley, Ty Hooper and Taylor Johnson.

Monday the Alva Board of Education approved hiring of several certified and non-certified employees for this school year. Alisha Beleele was rehired on a one year contract to teach high school and middle school vocal music. Taylor Johnson was hired to teach sixth grade social studies and sixth grade science at the middle school. Ty Hooper was hired for two-sevenths of a day to fill some coaching spots at the Alva Middle School. He is also certified to teach physical education.

Four non-certified staff members were hired. Ashley Brinkley was hired as a librarian at Washington Elementary, and Rebecca Buckley was hired as a pre-K teacher's aide at Washington. Courtney Knight and Ashley Ryel were hired as paraprofessionals with Knight going to Longfellow Elementary and Ryel to Lincoln Elementary.

The board approved the employment of four bus drivers: Scott Baugh, Steve Gale, Cody Hooper and Terry Chapman. All are also certified teachers and have been driving buses for the district in the past.

The board accepted two resignations. Terri Parsons resigned as Washington Elementary librarian where she also oversaw the mentoring program. In addition, Parsons was the high school academic coach. Jeanine Cloyd resigned as a paraprofessional.

Three adjunct instructors were approved. Brooke Meyer will teach anatomy and physiology through Northwest Technology for high school credit. Dixie Meyer will use her training as a nurse to teach two hours of chemistry. Mary Tyree will teach an hour of life science.

The board also approved a library media specialist statutory waiver application for Cara Bradt. She will be the high school librarian and is enrolled in classes at the University of Central Oklahoma to earn her degree in library science.

Jane McDermott, school board president, was absent so Tiffany Slater, vice president, conducted the meeting. Other board members present were Larry Parker, Karen Koehn and Shane Hansen.

Finances

Superintendent Tim Argo went over the financial report. He noted that revenue from gross production tax was $33,000 less for July 2019 compared to the same month last year. He attributed this revenue loss to the drop in oil prices.

The only change in the activity funds was money taken in for the speech account from their July fireworks sales. Fundraisers were approved for the junior class to operate the concessions for games. The sophomore class received approval for three fundraisers.

The board approved declaring a list of items as surplus. The list from Alva Middle School included a variety of outdated and replaced items. Longfellow items were mostly technology that is no longer used.

Superintendent Argo noted several items on the purchase order encumbrances list. Copies of the school's strategic plan have been printed and will be available at the schools for those who would like them. Thirty Chromebooks were purchased for Alva High School. A 3-D printer was purchased for the new aerospace class at Alva High School. In the gift fund account, 35 graduates received Share Trust scholarships.

Strategic Plan

Teresa Rader, first grade teacher at Washington, and Steve Ward, a community member, gave a report on the implementation of the school's strategic plan.

Rader said teachers will be learning to implement the plan during the teacher training taking place during the days prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Classes begin Aug. 14. She said the MAPS testing program has been implemented in the lower grades and will begin this year at the high school.

Ward mentioned the new production and aerospace classes as well as more concurrent college offerings to high school students.

Koehn asked the two how many days they devoted to strategic planning meetings during the past year, and they said five full days. She thanked them and the others who were involved in the extensive planning.

Superintendent's Report

In addition to the personnel matters, Argo reported that Steve Ellis and Richard Burton went to Dallas to look at activity buses available. The school plans to buy two new buses at a cost of $300,000.

The superintendent also noted some changes to the extra duty assignment list, adding two mentor teachers and Chance Davis who was inadvertently left off the list of coaching staff earlier.

Argo said he's excited about changes in classes being offered. In cooperation with Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva High will be offering some concurrent college classes on site this year. He noted the biomedical classes at Northwest Technology will count as honors classes for the high school.

He thanked all the principals who helped in updating the school handbooks. These handbooks will be distributed to students.

Blended/Virtual Learning

Washington Principal Shane Feely, who is also curriculum director for the school system, told the board about the CCOSA Blended/Virtual Learning Framework. The program includes standards for high quality blended and virtual education.

Feely said the purpose of this program is to meet the needs of students who struggle in the regular classroom. While the program uses virtual computer-based learning, it also calls for daily face-to-face meetings with teachers. He said research shows the face-to-face element helps to keep students on task so they don't fall behind and it just works better.

Currently Feely said the school is looking at locations either on the school campus or off site. Koehn asked if classroom teachers would be doing the face-to-face meetings with virtual learners. Feely said they haven't worked out the staffing yet. Plans are still in an early stage. Koehn expressed concern about adding to the burden of teachers who are already handling a full classroom load.

Slater asked exactly what the board was being asked to approve. Argo said a favorable vote would show support of the framework CCOSA has developed. The board voted to adopt the resolution endorsing the CCOSA framework standards and tenets.

Contracts Approved

School board members approved a number of contracts for the school year. The American Fidelity Service Contract is for employees of the district. The City of Alva School Resource Officer contract is the same as preceding years except for a slight adjustment in the hourly wage. The Career Tech contract approval will provide the school district with some program assistance money. The Big Five contract will provide services for students who need them. The Educational Based Services contract provides psychological services as required in the IEP (individual education plan) process. The US Foods agreement includes about 25 other school districts who have joined together for purchasing food for meals.

The board also approved the only bid received for milk and related products from Hiland Dairy.

An increase in school meal prices of 10 cents was approved. Argo said the school uses a paid equity tool to determine the meal prices, a requirement for receiving federal funds.

 

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