Freedom juniors to join seniors on senior trip this year

Burgess on finances: 'It's going to be a tough year'


August 17, 2022

The Freedom school board meeting Monday evening had a staccato beginning. Once a quorum was established (of Kyle Rhode, Robert Babcock and Shane Wilson) and the meeting officially opened, the board immediately adjourned to an executive session to discuss employment-related issues.

After returning, they quickly approved the consent agenda, consisting of the last meeting's minutes; the treasurer's report; encumbrances and warrants for general, building and child nutrition funds; the activity fund report and the class schedule.

Then the board members settled in to hear reports from the superintendent and principal.

DCP Midstream Troubles the Waters

“We carried over $120,000 and got more than $20,000 after July 1st, so we did a little better,” Superintendent Freida Burgess told the board, but it definitely wasn't all good news.

“We haven't gotten our allocations yet for title programs,” she said, then: “It's going to be a tough year. I went to the DCP hearing in Guymon; they protested everything everywhere.”

Board members groaned. DCP Midstream is a natural gas company headquartered in Oklahoma City.

“They think they are overtaxed by 75 percent,” Burgess continued. “That will be going to court.”

Burgess then went over the financial reports. The budget's year-over-year comparison showed that, overall, $413,935 less was appropriated and $1 million less encumbered in the 2022-23 school year than in 2021-2022.

The purchase order register showed general fund expenses this past month of $12,580.43. The majority of that was the $8,100 paid for a 2009 Ford E150 van, $900 for a seat for the van, and $1,000 in repairs to it. Other smaller expenditures related to maintenance for all of the school's vehicles, and $57 for fingerprinting a new hire. Also listed was $540 spent on staff supplies for the year.

Child Nutrition Fund expenses totaled $7,500: $6,000 for food for the cafeteria, $500 for juice and milk for meals, and $1,000 for cafeteria supplies.

In other cafeteria news, later in the meeting the board approved raising the prices of meals, a move required by the state's child nutrition program. This year, breakfast will cost students $1.10 (reduced cost: .35) and lunch $1.90 (reduced: .50).

Students may qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches if they meet eligibility criteria. Generally, a family of four making less than $51,338 a year will qualify. Application forms were included in each student's school packet, and should be returned to the school once filled out. Visit for more information and online forms.

Open House Held Tuesday

Principal Michelle Shelite told the board about the school's open house scheduled for the next day, Tuesday, Aug. 16.

The open house gave students and their families an opportunity to meet their new teachers and learn about the Freedom Booster Club and upcoming school activities. Families could gather Title I information and materials on “Oklahoma's Promise” scholarships for higher education.

Junior/Senior Trips; Fundraisers

The board voted to make a change to the way senior trips are done. At Burgess’ recommendation, those trips will now consist of not only seniors but also juniors. The reason for the change is this year Freedom only has one senior; putting all the work of raising money for the trip on one student is not realistic, Burgess said. So, this year the school's five juniors will join the senior on a combined junior/senior trip. Next year there will not be a senior trip, because the juniors already had one the year before.

If the school has a large class come along, they can always choose to go back to only having seniors go on the trip, she suggested. The board approved the change.

A long list of fundraisers was also approved, starting with the Red Bluff Classic, which benefits the activity fund. Class-specific fundraisers include car washes, bake sales, dinners with bingo and auction, Carnival (sixth grade through 12th grade), RADA cutlery and cheese sale, nuts and popcorn sales, rifle raffle, Red Wheel (frozen foods), concessions at rodeo and other events, and butter braids. FFA fundraisers include plant sales, Blue & Gold sausage sales, and concessions at the local stock show, the rodeo and other events.


Several people resigned this month: Ethan Kennedy (Physical Education), Samantha Wilson (third and fourth grades), Regan Dawson (secretary), and Dalen Dauphin (teacher's aide).

The board approved Principal Shelite's contract. Burgess noted that Shelite will be teaching this next year as well as her usual duties, so Burgess had recommended adjusting her pay accordingly.

23 Surplus CPUs, Other Items

The board voted to make the following items surplus; those interested in any of these items may bid on them. Contact the school for more information.

• 11 17-inch used tires

• 2 interactive screens

• 1 John Deere mower tractor without deck

• 1 water band saw

• 6 gym/ag shop ceiling lights

• a variety of used pipe ¾ inch to 1 ½ inch

• 23 desktop monitors and CPUs

Other Board Business

The board also approved moving money from the sinking fund into the general fund “where it can be used,” Burgess said. And finally, the September board meeting was changed to Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.


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