Board meeting

Horace Mann students Paislea Morales (3rd grade) and Preslea Morales (4th grade) opened the Woodward Board of Education meeting leading the Pledge of Allegiance on Monday evening. (Photo by Dawnita Fogleman)

The Woodward Board of Education had several recognitions and a presentation about the Accountability Report Card website on Monday during their regular monthly meeting.

The Woodward High School Shooting Sports State Champions, Dalton Baggs, Tell Dixon, Gavon Fuqua and Drake Parker were recognized.

“The shooting sports program has had a lot of success in the Woodward community the last five six years, and that success, involves a lot of people and I've got the great opportunity to be there,” Ag Instructor and Team Coach Robert Laubach said. “Our NRA group here in Woodward has been very successful in funding our program. We've received grants anywhere between $6,000 up to $12,000.”

All State Choir Student Krystal vonBiedenfeld was recognized at the meeting as well.

“It's a really tough process to get there,” Choir Director Joy Ware said. “It's very difficult to make it she had to go do an audition in Enid. And then we had to go two weeks later and do an audition in Edmond. And then, now she has new music they've given her that she'll have to do a third audition, when she gets to Tulsa in January.”

Superintendent Kyle Reynolds honored bus drivers Kenneth and RaNita King with a certificate of appreciation and bonus check.

“For going above and beyond the call of duty and voluntarily assisting with evacuation of the Mooreland Heritage Manor nursing home during a fires November 26, 2019,” Reynolds read from the certificate he presented Kings with. “The Board of Education recognizes and applauds your pioneer spirit.”

The 32 residents were evacuated in 17 minutes partly because of the help of the Kings when they took two of Woodward Public School’s handicap accessible buses to assist.

Each school principal introduced their 2020 Teacher of the Year nominee. From Woodward High School, Spanish teacher Dalissa Cruz was nominated. Woodward Middle School 5th grade English Language Arts teacher Lori Zimmerman was nominated. First Grade teacher Guadalupe Reyes from Horace Mann was the elementary school nominee. Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Long was nominated from the Early Childhood Center.

Ron Sunderland presented the annual accounting of dropouts and college remediation rate. Dropouts have decreased by 8 percent, three of 14 dropouts were enrolled from the Juvenile Detention Center. Sixty one students required no-credit college courses for remediation, which is down to 31 percent.

Reynolds reported that nearly 330 staff members have been certified in mental health training, 88 students have been referred for mental health services, and 38 are being seen internally. Woodward Public Schools does not have the capacity to deal with them all and there is a waiting list.

“The reason that I inserted here is to continue to drive home the point that a part of the work that we're doing is to make sure that we can deal with the whole kid,” Reynolds said. “Addressing mental health issues, there's a 10 point swing in academic performance.”

Deputy Superintendent Jerry Burch did a presentation of the accountability report card website. Several problems were pointed out in the system’s grading.

▪ Some students are being tested on a computer this year when they have been use to paper and pencil testing.

▪ Results aren’t available for teachers to evaluate and apply to their strategy.

▪ Attendance records aren’t consistent in taking into account medical and counseling.

▪ Once academic growth is achieved one year, it won’t show as much achievement the next year.

“This accountability system is happy to point out where we're not doing well. And yet, our state is not happy to provide resources to help us addresses needs,” Reynolds said.

Some helpful resources would be more advanced placement, ACT preparatory math, and English as a second language programs, according to the teachers and principles present at the meeting.

“You should never look at one set of indicators to judge how well or how you're not doing, you should look at multiple layers,” Burch said. “How we know that students are successful because they get when they graduated were they able to go and get a job… We want to prepare kids to be able to learn and continue to learn.”

According to Burch, the report card grade in no way affects the funding the school receives from the state.

The board approved a proposal for leasing communications towers to Chisholm Broadband in the amount of $100 per tower per month. Families of students enrolled in the school lunch program will be eligible for discounted internet services.

The board also declared an emergency for the roofs of Woodward High School Auditorium and 300 Hall due to hail damage in June. They also approved a commercial agreement with Coryell Roofing and Construction, Inc. contingent upon completion of “Final Loss Report” from the insurer.

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