The Woodward Board of Education met Monday evening for a regularly scheduled meeting.
Superintendent Kyle Reynolds highlighted a few upcoming events including the Teacher of the Year announcement scheduled for March 9 during the Woodward Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Woodward Conference Center beginning at 11:45 a.m. The announcement will be live streamed on Boomer TV for any teachers or students that cannot make it to the luncheon.
Reynolds spoke briefly about the start of the new legislative session and some concerns regarding funding.
“When we hear of level funding for education that on its surface sounds pretty good - the disconcerting part of that is, the level funding means the dollar stays the same and we continue to see an increase in the number of students in the state, and those dollars divided by the students, that number goes down,” Reynolds explained. “So our per pupil funding on a level funding here typically goes down. That’s a little concerning given that we’re a district that’s in decline (in numbers). In recent years, (we) lost a number of kids.”
The Superintendent went on to express concern over a few more comments made by Gov. Kevin Stitt in his State of the State address. There are talks of sending a group of teachers and parents to the state capitol four or five times per legislative session to advocate for education.
The marketing campaign for the upcoming school bond is working behind the scenes to gather materials and prepare for a marketing push during the month of March, according to Reynolds. There will be a kick off event featuring information and speakers where the public can ask questions about the bond issue. More information on the event will be announced at a later time.
Members of the board got to see a few photos of students enjoying two action-based learning labs where students can participate in physical activity while learning.
Board members approved a consent agenda containing some routine items including some updated policies and the school calendar for 2020-2021. The new calendar aligns Woodward’s start date with several area schools within a few days.
The $5,000 National Board Certified teacher stipends were approved for the 2019-2020 school year followed by the approval of a Boomer Kids Childcare Center and Boomer Kids Club Parents Handbook.
At the request of some parents, the idea for a Middle School Boomer Dance Team was proposed during the meeting. Members voted to table the item after some discussion until more detailed information could be presented.
The Board voted to extend the Dec., 9, 2019 emergency declaration regarding the Woodward High School Auditorium and the 300 hall roofs to encompass all roofs on the WHS campus, and amend the agreement with Coryell Roofing and Construction, Inc. accordingly, contingent upon completion of “Final Loss Report” from insurer.
“We have some folks here from Coryell Roofing that we’ve been working with for several months regarding hail damage from last June of 2019,” Reynolds explained. “We originally brought you, back in December, an emergency declaration for the 300 hall and the auditorium rooms of the high school, and then we’ve actually had a couple of precipitation events since then.”
Reynolds said the leaking has escalated and the high school ran out of trash cans and buckets to contain the water. WHS Principal Ron Sunderland confirmed and said there was leaking in the commons area during the busiest part of the day recently.
Reynolds said there is a verbal agreement with the insurance company that every roof on that campus will have to be replaced and this agenda item would help to expedite the process to “safeguard the contents and the people in that building as we continue to have water related issues.”
The Board entered into executive session to discuss the February District Personnel Report, which was then approved upon entering back into open session. According to Reynolds, the approval of the report leaves a support position vacancy which will not be filled as the school braces for yet another budget cut.
“We are looking at a number of positions that will not be filled for next year as we work to trim our general operating budget by $400,000,” Reynolds said. “The budget cut for us is a cut in state aid. Schools can use their highest student count (weighted average daily membership) in a three year window: current year, last, and year before last.
“The number we will use next year is 200 less, which means a projected loss of $400,000. We already lost $39,000 on our mid term adjustment in January.”