New hires approved for new school year
Jason Grewe, a representative from the 111 Project was invited to speak about their CarePortal program during the OPS board’s special meeting on Tuesday. He spoke about the possibility to partner with Okmulgee Schools to provide the service for students and families in need.
“Our goal and mission is to make sure every child in Oklahoma has a safe family to be with,” Grewe told the board. The representative said that they often engage with kids in the child welfare system, but said that they are working to meet the needs of families before they get to that point where they “have to be engaged with child welfare.”
Grewe added that DHS puts in requests for certain needs via Care-Portal, which essentially works as an online communication system. These requests are sent to churches partnered with CarePortal, and if the church accepts the request, they are then connected with the family in need.
“So in Okmulgee, we are meeting about 8090% of the requests,” he said. “We have 12 churches that are engaged, with more looking to jump on–to the point that our churches are asking us, ‘We need more requests to fill.’” Grewe told them that this is what prompted him to ask Superintendent Renee Dove to partner with the schools as well. She said that there will be a licensed social worker and professional counselors on staff to help with these requests if this program is eventually adopted.
Superintendent Dove also reported a good turnout for Back to School Night across all campuses and expressed her excitement about the start of the new academic year. She announced the hiring of a certified teacher to fill a position previously held by an adjunct teacher, and said that they “will continue to do that until we’re fully staffed with all certified teachers.” She added that they are still taking applications for various positions.
— Support Employee Vacation Days
The board also discussed moving the unused vacation days of 12-month support employees to accrued sick days. According to their current negotiated agreement, these vacation days rolled over into the next year, and some employees have not used any.
“I would recommend that we move their vacation days over to their sick leave days so that they don’t lose that time,” Dove said. This would affect about 21 current support staff.
Board member Leroy Parker said that it was his understanding that “in the past, you could not carry those days over.” Superintendent Dove said that the policy was changed and now there are employees with over 70 unused days who are now at risk of losing that time.
“Because it’s in their negotiated agreements and has been in board policy that they will get paid for [unused vacation days] when they retire, they just may not use them … and now the law says we can’t do that.”
Board President Rod Wiemer also voiced support for moving the vacation days over to sick days, saying, “Otherwise we are punishing them for a policy that has been hoisted on us by the legislature.”
The board has until the end of the year to decide on the matter and voted to table it.
– New Hires Adjunct
• Kaley Ray – 4th Grade
• Walker Taylor – 4th Grade
• Shane Bevan – 6th & 7th Grade Geography
• Molly Gardenhire 7th Grade Geography, 8th Grade US History
• Laci Clark – 6th & 7th Grade ELA
• Kacie Sitton – 5th & 6th Grade ELA
• Raelene Warren – US History
• Cordell Love – History, OK History & Government -Emergency Certified Teachers
• Cleta Vaughn – 1st Grade
• Dametria Dawson Algebra I
• Kylie Hushbeck – English I & II -Long Term Substitutes
• Tyra Harris – Kindergarten • Laura Jackson – 1st Grade -Temporary Certified Staff
• Daryl Christy – HS Asst. Band Director -Support Staff
• Greg Richardson Custodian
• Amanda Arnold – Bus Driver, Custodian
• Mike Revels – Bus Driver
• Margie Starkey – Receptionist • Verna Factor – Child Nutrition
• Alicia Hernandez Tier 1 Paraprofessional -Resignation and Retirements • Bill Springman
• Lynna Fox
• Lindsay Cline -Items approved at the meeting include:
• The minutes from the July 10 meeting.
• Encumbrances and expenditures for FY 24.
• Rental request by the Class of 1983 Reunion Committee for the OHS Cafeteria.
• Graduation requirements for the 2023-24 school year.
• Granting math and/ or science credits to students who successfully complete academic programs through GCTC for the 2023-24 school year.
• Rename the activity fund designated as “Senior Class of 2023” to “Freshman Class of 2027”
• Rename Activity Fund Project #838 OHS Vocal Music to Project #838 OHS Color Guard.
• Authorization to utilize the “1080 Instructional Hours with 165 Instructional Days to include 5 Professional Development days and 2 Parent Teacher Conference days” instructional calendar for the 2023-24 school year.
• Annual contract for Career and Technology Education Programs for the 2023-24 school year.
• The OPS Return to Learn Plan for FY 24.
• The District-wide Student- Parent Handbook for the 2023-24 school year.
• The Athletic Handbook for School Year 2023-24.
• Emergency Medical Services at District Athletic Events and Activities.
• Contract with Wonderfully Made Therapy Group, LLC. to provide speech therapy services for FY 24.
• An additional service vendor for FY 24,
• Memorandum of Understanding between Muscogee Nation and Okmulgee Public School for FY 24. (Creek language, and other classes)
• Updates to board policies.
• Request for a waiver/ deregulation for Parttime Library Media Specialist, Renee Dove for Dunbar School Library for FY 2024, 2025, and 2026.
• Alternate Education Program Cooperative with Schulter Public Schools.
• Request that a statutory waiver/deregulation be given for an abbreviated day for the Alternative Education Program.
• The application for the Academy of Okmulgee was once again rejected.
– The board also heard from their school accountant, Jack H. Jenkins, who presented on the turnout of the FY23 budget and the Estimate of Needs for the 2023-24 school year. Each board member was provided a packet with information about these items, and both were approved following the presentation. The appropriations for FY24 were also approved.