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Superintendent search still underway

ONL Staff Report

The Okemah School Board met on November 12 with board members Randy Colbert, Jim Bill Copeland, J.C. Haddox and Patti Miller present. Board member Jason Bean was absent.

Interim Superintendent Bob Gragg reported that Stephanie Hyder plans to meet with the board in the first or second week of January to review applications for the superintendent’s job. There was no indication of how many applications have been received to date.

Gragg informed the board of $1,075 received from PSO as part of the Peak’s refund. He also noted the $5,000 received from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. He said the proceeds will be divided as follows: $700 for each of the three sites for library books; $500 for Pre-K Chairs at Oakes; $600 for lab equipment for High School Science; and $1800 for LED lighting upgrades at the Middle School Gym.

Gragg said the panels for the new digital sign are being returned because they are not what was ordered. He also said progress was continuing at the Baseball Hitting Facility with the dressing rooms and office being completed. The water and sewer is connected. The items still pending are the tinhorn, gravel for the parking lot, heaters and air conditioners for the dressing rooms and office.

The unanimously approved a $24,380.00 change order for ongoing construction. The Atlas Construction group said the original order did not include new wiring, breakers, raceway wire, boxes and outlets for 23 furnaces. The Electric installation will be on days when there is no school or after hours.

The board also approved a change order costing $4,558.00 for work being done at Oakes. This included new breakers, raceway wire, boxes and outlets to two furnaces on the second floor and new breakers, raceway wire disconnects to two A/C rooftop units.

The board tabled the agenda item to approve potential cost overruns for installation and materials to complete the safe room window shutters to meet FEMA requirements at the Okemah High School. The board is waiting until all of the costs are presented. There was also discussion to approve an additional scope of work at the Oakes Elementary School for outside ground conductors to be installed at the transformers.

The board approved two e-rate Category-2 projects. The first is adding eight network cable drops to the Alternative Ed and eight to Okemah High School room 200 for lab expansion. The second project is for upgrading thirteen older wireless access points. Noble systems bid of $2,112.00 was accepted for cabling. After the school’s 85 percent e-rate discount, the district would be responsible for $316.80. The wi-fi access point upgrade came was $1,747.00 from Beasley Technologies.

The total after discount was $262.05. The total liability of the school is $578.85. The board unanimously approved the two projects.

The board approved 20 board policies without discussion. They included bond campaigns; bidding on bonds; internal controls; forbidding the supplanting of federal funds and grant monies for local revenue; conflicts of interests; procurement; employee resignations; salary schedules; travel and expenses; DAAC- federal programs complaint resolution; special education services for children enrolled in private school; COB procurement; Director of Federal Funds; alternative education; equipment accountability; student residency; education of migratory children; student residency dispute procedures; limited english proficiency instruction and extra duty bus driving. Concerning extra duty bus driving the approved policy reads: “Sick, Personal, Emergency and Bereavement leave do not apply to extra duty. Should a bus driver need to take time off, said driver’s check will be docked for any time missed, and the substitute driver will be paid by the school.

Okemah Middle School and Upper Elementary teachers were awarded $7,787.70 in grants from the Okemah School Foundation. Mrs. Wallace’s 5th grade class received a $500 Devon Thunder grant for STEM projects in her classroom.

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