Superintendent to split time at schools

The Cherokee Board of Education met at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14 for their weekly meeting.

The meeting was called to order with Kory Littlefield, Shane Parker, Desiree Gibson and Amber Wilhite present.

The consent agenda was approved first as follows:

• Minutes from Aug. 10 meeting.

• General fund, building fund, child nutrition fund, complex bond fund encumbrances, purchase orders and balances.

• Activity fund report.

• Treasurer’s report.

• Activity fundraiser requests: FCCLA, Egg my yard, Rada Cutlery, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Valentine’s week fundraisers; eighth grade class, 50/50 raffle at rodeo; basketball, discount cards; athletics, selling ads; FFA labor auction/dinner, greenhouse plant sale, meat sale, FFA shirts; softball, popcorn fundraiser; baseball, hat sales; high school cheer, corn hole game raffle; and girls basketball, free throw-a-thon.

• Counseling elementary contract with Karole Robertson, MPC, LPC.

• Interlocal government agreement with Alfalfa County.

Bryce Schanbacher noted that the general fund stayed level.

He also noted that the seventh grade class fancloth fundraiser sometimes interferes with the sophomore sales. He talked to the sponsors and they are going to wait to not interfere with the sophomore sales and that item was not approved as part of the consent agenda.

Next, the board discussed the continued protocols for student health.

“I want to start by saying by how impressed I am with our students on handling everything we have asked them to do. We haven’t had any discipline issues,” Schanbacher said.

The school had one positive case in the junior high. Due to that, 14 eighth graders, two seventh graders, six freshman and two sophomores were quarantined and will return to school on Sept. 15. Most of the contact, excluding eighth graders, was outside of school. With 24 students out, that left 150 students still in the middle school and high school.

Schanbacher said he had heard there was a confusion on the students having to wear the masks all day and that wasn’t true. He said that they social distance first and then are asked to wear masks when social sistance is not possible. Masks are required tin some classrooms due to lack of space.

“There are some outside influences that we can’t control, I think it is our responsibility to control everything in the school while we are here to the best that we can,” Schanbacher said.

He talked to the student council last Friday to give them a voice on issues. He asked them about the masks and they said they didn’t want to wear them. Schanbacher said agreed to that, nobody wants to wear them. But, the students who spoke up said that if it gives them even a one percent to stay in school and do activities, then they were willing to do whatever the school asked them to do.

One question that came up, was when the school had to quarantine students who were in close contact was that if they had masks on did they still have to quarantine. The answer was yes, that was from the health department guidelines.

Wilhite made the motion to continue with the protocols that were set during the August meeting, Parker seconded the motion. During the vote Littlefield, Parker and Wilhite voted yes and Gibson voted no.

No action was taken on approving the estimate of needs as the school had not received it yet.

The board approved the employment of Stephen L. Smith Corp. as financial consultants to the school.

At 7:16 p.m., the board convened into executive session to discuss the employment of certified personnel so the board may return to open session to discuss the evaluation, employment including salary and contract of Donna Anderson as superintendent.

The board returned to open session at 9:43 p.m. and following the statement of minutes of executive session, they approved  Anderson as superintendent of Terral Public School and Cherokee Public School until an interim superintendent is appointed and paying her retirement and insurance until such time. 

Next, the board discussed and approved the SAT as the CCRA assessment for the 11th graders during the OSTP testing window and to provide community stakeholders with an opportunity to provide meaningful input regarding the district’s intent to request permission to administer the SAT in lieu of the statewide assessment.

This is the state’s test that they have chosen, it is just the English and math, not the science. Those college bound students will take the ACT twice a year offered by the school. The SAT will be the blanket junior test.

No action was taken on the contract of Karole Robertson for elementary counseling services due to it being listed on the agenda twice. This item was approved during the consent agenda.

Elementary Principal Ruth Richmond gave her report:

• They survived the first day of virtual learning. The school is hosting one virtual learning day per month. They had some questions for help and the teachers met to discuss on how to improve for the next one.

• The elementary enrollment is at 232.

Jeremy Hickman gave his report:

• Fundraising for athletics combined everything for the Skordle, Game Time and banners to raise $17,000 and that pays for the three items plus giving some to the athletic program.

• The school hosted the cross country meeting on Saturday, Sept. 12 and they had 476 runners.

• High school football is 2-0.

• High school softball is playing still and districts will be at Mooreland.

• Fifth-eighth football is ongoing.

Schanbacher gave his report:

• Sixth through eighth grade enrollment is at 83  and ninth through 12th is 104.

• Distance learning was Monday and the students have been practicing in the classes. It is a work in progress. He met with the teachers about issues.

• Madison Wheeler was selected as the North 1 District President and Bridget Wilhite was selected as the North 1 District Vice President of Community Service in FCCLA.

• There are 12 students at Northwest Technology Center and 22 enrolled concurrently at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

• Anita Jordan is meeting with classes on coping strategies on stress relief, she will be working with students on learning about themselves and she is working with seniors to prepare for postsecondary decisions.

• Senior college application week is Sept. 21-25.

• ACT district testing will be on Oct. 6 and the school has 37 juniors and seniors signed up. The test will cost $39.

• Blood drive at the school is Sept. 29.

• There will be a FAFSA meeting on Oct. 7.

• Grief counseling is available still for those who might need the assistance.

No superintendent’s report was given.

No new business was presented and the meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.

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