The Woodward News

Local News

September 10, 2013

Education, United Fund highlight chamber event

Woodward, Okla. — Progress in education was the focus of the monthly Woodward Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Monday, Sept. 9.

To begin the meeting Tim Merchant, superintendent of Woodward Public Schools, discussed the need to continue opportunities for progress in common education through the upcoming bond election.  Then as the guest speaker Dr. Janet Cunningham, president of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, discussed the current signs of progress being seen throughout her institution.

MERCHANT ON BOND ELECTION

Woodward voters will go to the polls on Oct. 8 to decide on a proposed $29 million school bond issue.

Merchant said the biggest thing people should know about the school bond proposal is that it involves "no new taxes."

Instead, the superintendent said the district wants to keep the current property tax millage structure, which has been in place since the passage of a previous bond issue in 2008.

This means that property owners won't see an increase in their yearly taxes, and yet Merchant said the school district will still "get a lot of bang for our buck."

The proposed $29 million bond "will meet all priority needs as identified by our long-range planning committee," he said.

He said those priority needs fall within 5 areas: safety, security, overcrowding, transportation, and technology.

The safety and overcrowding needs are related because in order to address issues from lack of space, Merchant said the district is proposing the construction of 5 additional classrooms at each elementary school, with 2 of those rooms also serving as safe rooms in case of storms.

There are also proposals to build on at the middle school and high school to include large safe rooms for the students at those facilities.  (The Early Childhood Center, which was built using funds from the 2008 bond, was constructed with safe rooms built in.)

As far as security, Merchant said the bond proposal includes measures to reconfigure entry ways into the schools using a double-door buzzer system and adding more security cameras.

To meet transportation needs, he said the bond includes "a 5-year plan to refresh the fleet" by purchasing a certain number of new Boomer buses, route buses and passenger vehicles each year until the whole fleet is updated.

And for technology, he said the goal is "putting an iPad in the hands of each of our students and using them for educational purposes."  Along with this he said the district's computer networks and systems will need upgrading as well.

Merchant said these priority areas need to be addressed soon because of Woodward's current growth and to look toward the future.

"As a city we have adopted the saying 'Woodward moving forward,'" Merchant said.  "In order for us to keep Woodward moving forward, we have to keep our schools moving forward."

Text Only
Local News
  • Commissioners to act on agreements

    Lawn care will be the focus of action at the Woodward City Commission meeting Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

    April 20, 2014

  • Disaster assistance charity organizing

    The 2012 Woodward tornado did more than just destroy a significant part of Woodward, in an ironic way it helped create a springboard for some who recognized a need for a different kind of disaster assistance.

    April 20, 2014

  • Area school calendars

    School activities for April 21-26

    April 20, 2014

  • Several blood drives coming up

    Local blood donors will have a number of opportunities in the coming weeks to make a life saving donation of blood.

    April 20, 2014

  • Free Financial Fitness Kits available from OSCPA

    April is National Financial Capability Month and the Oklahoma Jump$tart Coalition is observing it's 10th annual Jump$tart Your Money Week, April 20-26.

    April 20, 2014

  • Filing period set for conservation boards

    Woodward County agricultural producer Jerry Hunter is mainly a cattleman.

    April 18, 2014

  • Policy amendment on county agenda

    County Commissioners will approve a new amendment to the Woodward County Employees Personnel Policy Book Monday at the regularly scheduled meeting.

    April 18, 2014

  • Easter services

    A roundup of Easter programs being held by local churches.

    April 17, 2014

  • Western Plains recognized as Certified Healthy Business

    Western Plains Youth and Family Services in Woodward is one of the organizations selected by the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program as a Certified Healthy Business.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sod House Museum hosting program

    Dr. Eric J. Schmaltz, associate history professor at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, will be at the Sod House Museum Saturday, April 26 to present an overview and presentation on “Germans from Russia in South America: New Research Frontiers."

    April 17, 2014