Coach Jackson gives midseason assessment
A vote that would see Okmulgee Public Schools establish a youth football program, at nominal or no cost to OPS students, did not pass during a packed regular meeting on Tuesday.
Vickie Jones, a longtime supporter of the local Okmulgee Junior Football Association, was the only board member to voice their disapproval, saying she felt the school had enough issues to deal with and advised against taking on another organization.
“We have so much to do. I don’t think that we really need to bring on another extracurricular activity until we are where we need to be as a whole – as a school district,” Jones said. She went on to list a number of alleged issues with the school’s academic ratings, student behavior and the performance of several of the school’s athletic programs.
Board President Rod Weimer responded saying, “We have a lot of students in Okmulgee and they shouldn’t have to pay to play sports.” He said the board adopted what he called a “three-legged-stool” approach for the schools in order to focus on academics, athletics and atmosphere simultaneously.
“In my view, adding a program does not subtract from the program,” Wiemer said.
Board member Leroy Parker made a motion to “not establish a youth football program.” The vote resulted in one opposed, two in favor, and two abstentions.
— Needs Assessment
Superintendent Renee Dove invited Head Football Coach Randy Jackson to give a mid-season needs assessment during their monthly meeting on Tuesday. The presentation hit upon three main items; scheduling, equipment, and a “wishlist.”
One recommendation was to adjust the schedule to allow for more time with the coaches and students. One suggestion was to move junior high football practice to the morning rather than the afternoon.
He also recommended having the middle school practice field leveled, noting that they have to adjust certain practice drills to account for the uneven grounds.
Jackson then listed a number of pieces of equipment that they are looking to acquire for the middle and high school teams. This equipment includes things like shoulder pads, footballs, gatorade bottles and helmets – which have to be recommissioned in order to adhere to safety standards.
“I didn’t want any of this to be a surprise, that’s why I wanted to tell you in the middle of the season. This is what the purchase orders will be saying at the end of the season,” Jackson explained. “We have to properly prepare.”
Coach Jackson added that he was not there to complain but to provide a “realistic needs assessment” to be considered between now and the end of the season.
— Also approved at the meeting:
• The minutes from the previous meeting
• Monthly encumbrances and expenditures
• Rental request for the College of the Muscogee Nation to use Wilson Gym from October 2023 to March 2024
• Fundraising activities for both Okmulgee Primary and Aviation
• A trip New Mexico with the Space Engineering class to attend a Ballooning Field Campaign
• 12 adjunct teachers and two support staff were approved
• Form 207 supplemental appropriations to the building fund
• FY24 district resident teacher committees
• One resignation was approved – The superintendent’s monthly evaluation and a discussion of football game procedures was discussed during an executive session.
A general election for OPS board seat #4 will take place on April 2, 2024. The filing period for citizens interested in running for the office will be Dec. 4-6, at the Okmulgee County Courthouse.