Sapulpa school board meeting December 2019

Report Cards, drug policy, move to 5A highlight Dec. board meeting
Posted on 12/10/2019
Carla Cale addressing the school board(SPS) -- For the final time in 2019, Sapulpa Public Schools Board of Education met on Dec. 9 to conduct business and hear from the public.

Before the meeting was called to order, the Howling Huskies of Holmes Park Elementary gathered in the Commons to serenade the group with Christmas carols. Principal Roger Johnson said the group is scheduled to sing at the Tulsa Oilers hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 14.

As for the meeting, district administration, among other items, reported about the release of the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s School Report Card grades, a first read of the district’s drug testing policy was heard, and Athletic Director Michael Rose discussed the reclassification of Sapulpa athletics from 6A to 5A.

The OSDE released its 2018-2019 report during the week of Thanksgiving. The report gives grades for indicators of Academic Achievement, Academic Growth, English Language Proficiency Progress, Chronic Absenteeism, and an Overall Grade for elementary schools, as well as middle and junior high schools. High school grades include Graduation rates and Post-secondary Opportunities but exclude Academic Growth.

Freedom Elementary improved to a grade of “A” overall. According to an article in the Tulsa World, Freedom was one of only two elementary schools in northeast Oklahoma to receive a top score. Jefferson Heights Elementary moved two grades from a “D” in 2017-18 to a “B” last year. An increase of two letter grades is very rare among schools across the state, according to OSDE.

Liberty Elementary STEM Academy improved to a “C” overall and Holmes Park Elementary maintained its overall grade of “B”. Sapulpa Public Schools was one of three districts in the northeastern part of the state to have three elementary schools increase their report card grades from the previous year.

The growth at Sapulpa Middle School, Sapulpa Junior High, and Sapulpa High School is not happening at the same rate as the elementary schools. The middle and high schools dropped to a grade of “D” overall. The Junior High maintained its overall “C” from the prior year. Director of Accountability Kim Castaldi and Director of Instructional Design Donia Doudican discussed that meetings with district and school administration have already taken place to review each site’s improvement plan in an effort to raise the sites’ scores.

A common theme among the schools was the low-scores indicator for each school other than Freedom. Castaldi and Doudican discussed the plans that are in place to help bring awareness to what chronic absenteeism is and why students need to be in the classroom.

Assistant Superintendent Johnny Bilby presented the first read of Policy 544.1.3 Student Activity Drug Testing which aims to revise the current policy. District administration first introduced the policy during the Discussion portion of the November board meeting.

During Monday night’s meeting, Bilby presented revisions to the first, second, and third offenses which included adding a mentor relationship for an offending student, pushing back the number of days for the follow-up test, and the opportunity to reduce the number of days a student-athlete is suspended from competition. A second read of the policy is expected at the meeting on Jan. 13, 2020.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released its tentative football classifications for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years on Dec. 6. The classifications are based on student enrollment.

If the numbers hold, Sapulpa will move from 6A to 5A. OSSAA will consider the classifications for approval at its meeting on Dec. 11.

AD Rose said that nothing changes for the remainder of this school year, but football and sports that are not affiliated with a district will move to 5A beginning in the fall of 2020. Baseball, wrestling, fast-pitch softball, and soccer just redistricted and will remain in 6A through the 2021-22 school year.

Carla Cale addresses school board
Carla Cale is seen as she addressed the Sapulpa Public Schools Board of Education during the Hearing from the Public portion of the meeting agenda on Dec. 9, 2019.

Prior to the Hearing from the Public portion of the agenda, Board President Larry Hoover made a brief announcement regarding the procedures, as well as the time limit, five minutes, that a speaker must follow to address the board. Carla Cale, a school employee, was one of two people to submit a request to speak. The second person did not appear.

Action Items that were approved include:

  • State-Local Agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. This allows the district to be reimbursed the amount of its deductible totaling $25,000 as a result of repairs following the Memorial Day weekend tornado that swept through Sapulpa.

The district’s school board meetings are expected to be moved back to the Washington Administrative Center in January. The district’s administration was forced to relocate while repairs were made to the building due to the severe weather last spring.

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