The Woodward News

Local News

November 8, 2012

School board hits on several topics

Woodward, Okla. — Reading plans, money and dropout rates were among the topics of discussion at Wednesday's special school board meeting.

The special meeting actually replaced the regular monthly meeting originally set for next Monday because Superintendent Tim Merchant was unavailable for that meeting.

Board members studied the district's reading Sufficiency Act Plan that was scheduled for revision.

This year the plan will be required to be submitted electronically, which will make it easier to process, school officials said. The plan will also call for parents to be alerted if their child is not meeting the standards for sufficient reading. In doing so the plan aims to keep parents more involved in their children's education.

Along with the passage of state questions 758 and 766, the district is expecting an 8.2 percent cut in funding across the board, according to Merchant. With these cuts hindering school's resources for children struggling with reading, the education system will look towards parent and volunteers in helping children meet sufficient reading standards.

"We'll be looking for volunteers to help kids struggling with reading, as well as providing mentors for kids. We'll be reaching out not only to parents, but grandparents and other family as well to help out," said Merchant.

Merchant doesn't expect the cuts to hit Woodward as hard as some rapidly growing areas like Tulsa, but he said the effects would still be felt.

Also discussed during the meeting was the annual dropout rate and college remediation rate for Woodward High School.

This school year WHS had 17 dropouts, but recovered 4 by the students attaining their GED through alternative means or by enrolling in a school elsewhere, bringing the total to only 13.

Said WHS principal Kirk Warnick, "That's about average, we typically see between 10 to 17 students dropout," said WHS principal Kirk Warnick.

Woodward's dropout rate in 2001, scored over a 4-year period, was 11.6 percent and the state average was 10.2 percent.

Merchant remains optimistic that dropout rates will fall however, stating "I think we can expect to see a decrease in dropout rates through steps we're taking such as the alternative education classes offered in Woodward as well as the implementation of Oddyseyware online curriculum provider."

Warnick said Woodward's college remediation rate for 2008 through 2010 was 37.7 percent, which fell below the state average of 39.2 percent.

Also approved during the meeting were field trips for 5th graders from Cedar Heights and Horace Mann to the Plains Indians and Pioneer Museum in Woodward.

The board also took into consideration requests for fundraising projects from Woodward High School's Key Club, FFA, and Band which will go towards relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy, FFA account operations, and a band trip.

Finally, the board approved the hiring of several new employees for the school district:

Kelli Burton School Nurse

Ivonne Lopez Highland Park Custodian

Martha Vera Cedar Heights Custodian

Ashlie Darnell District Payroll

Amy Hesser Early Childhood Center Special Ed Paraprofessional

Gina Smith Middle School Special Ed Paraprofessional

Heather Dunlap Middle School Custodian

Miriam Bolyard Middle School Counselor

Bridget Briggs BKC Worker

Lynn Nusser BKC Worker

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