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Cherokee BOE brings back staff

The Cherokee Board of Education met at 7 p.m., Monday, July 12 for their regular meeting.

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

Also present were Superintendent Bryce Schanbacher, Judy Porter, Amantha Sanborn, Kendra Puffinbarger, Principal Keela Patterson and Principal Lane Pruett.

The minutes from the June 7 and June 24 meetings were approved.

Next, the general fund encumbrances, purchase orders and warrants were approved.

Schanbacher reported that they paid $1,442.90 to fix plumbing issues at the ag building and then some other bigger expenses were educational services and subscriptions.

The building fund encumbrances, purchase orders and warrants and the child nutrition fund encumbrances, purchase orders and warrants were all approved.

Under the treasurer’s report, the fund sheet showed that the general fund had a negative balance of -$24,308.32. Schanbacher reported that number was closer to -$130,000 with the money judgement with ACB Bank.

The school is starting the fiscal year at zero, but the gross production is up compared to last year and the expenses are down.

He reported that the building fund looked good and they would pay some salaries out of that account.

The USDA is offering free breakfast and lunch to the students and that will allow the child nutrition fund to continue to grow.

The sinking fund show a negative balance due to the tax protest ongoing. The school has no control over what money is in that account.

The treasurer’s report was approved.

Also approved was the activity fund report.

Next, two transfers were approved as follows:

• $319.72 from the interest account to the beautification account. The school is required to zero out the interest account at the end of the school year.

• $664.73 from the Class of 2019 to the beautification account. After class money sits for two years, the account can be zeroed out and closed.

Principal Patterson gave her report:

• Excited to get started.

• June 30 the testing results were released. In third grade 97 percent are moving on, in fourth grade 90 percent scored basic or above and in fifth 93 percent scored basic or above.

• Working on getting the schedule ready.

• State department released new English Language Arts Standards and the school will begin moving to those standards because students will be tested on those in 2023.

• The school is working with Ministerial Alliance on getting school supplies.

• Enrollment is 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. August 4.

Principal Pruett gave his report:

• Junior and senior enrollment is from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 3 in the high school cafeteria.

• Junior high and high school enrollment (sixth through 12th grades and all new students in the junior high and high school) is from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 4 in the high school cafeteria.

• Heather Gottsch took several students to the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Nashville.

In the STAR events, Hope Jordan won a gold medal and second place overall and Madison Wheeler won a gold medal.

In the virtual business challenge in personal finance, Chandler Colvin, Kylson McDonald and Carson Schanbacher were national champions, Bridget Wilhite was national runner-up and Hope Jordan was third place.

Wheeler, Bridget and Jordan were three of the six national voting delegates from Oklahoma.

• Christy Snider has been busy with FFA. They just returned from FFA alumni camp and an officer retreat. Friday, July 16 the FFA are hosting a statewide cattle grading competition. They also have several other activities to attend in the near future.

Next, the board approved hourly rates for bus drivers for certified and non-certified.

The school was paying a stipend to those driving the buses and if they miss, the school pays a sub, so the school double pays for that route.

The board approved paying $16.50 per hour for certified and $15 per hour for non-certified. This does away with the stipend.

The board also approved changing phone companies from AT&T to KanOkla. AT&T was charging over $500 and that didn’t include long distance. KanOkla quoted $200.40 and that included long distance. KanOkla already takes care of the internet.

At 7:21 p.m. the board convened into executive session to discuss the employment of personnel.

At 7:51 p.m. they returned to pen session and voted to employ the following:

• Hailey Cudmore: part time district librarian.

• Malarie Cline: elementary special education resource teacher.

• Kelsey Chace: first grade teacher.

• Tamara Goeken: part time high school math teacher.

The contract with Jana Hickman for O.T. services for the 21-22 school year was approved.

Also approved was the agreement with Karole Robertson and Alisha Bighert for counseling services.

The school was awarded a Counselor Corp grant that will pay close to $45,000 per year to help pay a counselor. The school is looking to use $32,000 for an elementary guidance counselor and $13,000 to pay for the contract services with Bighert and then the Esser funds to pay for the rest.

A supplemental for the child nutrition fund was approved. The supplemental is because the school spent over what was allocated because the collections were up. In a normal year, the school has to pull from other funds to cover the child nutrition fund.

The contract with Kellogg and Sovereign Consulting for E-Rate Filing Services was approved.

Also approved was a resolution to enter into an agreement with ACB Bank for non-payable warrants continuing into July 2021. This is just in case the school needs to be able to use them. Funds are looking good right now.

Superintendent Schanbacher gave his report:

• The school is starting the new fiscal year with the revenue up and expenses down.

• They received the Counselor Corp grant for three years.

• On July 20 Sean Buchanan will meet with the administrators and then will be coming back to meet with the staff. He is the superintendent at Geary Public School and wrote a book that will help with small town schools.   

• Keystone Food Service has started and the responses have been good.

• The school is still getting a picture of the budget and what funds will be available. The school will remain being conservative.

• The school is not opening up a day care, they are renting property to person who will have one.

• Ministerial Alliance is providing a lot of the school supplies.

• He recognized Billy Irvin, Bucky Bell, Aiden Sanborn and Lathan Golden on making the place look nice.

• The school hosted the Fourth of July celebration.

After hearing no new business, the meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.

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