Welcome to the November edition of the Superintendent’s Corner. Again I would like to thank the Ardmore community for in Ardmore City Schools by passing the district’s bond issue proposal this past May. The school district along with the Superintendent and staff will make every effort to keep you, the community, informed, continually ask for your input, and continue to make every effort to improve student success. This communication is currently being done through our Facebook page, the ACS Website, Channel 17, School Messenger, and school site newsletters.
This month and in the months to follow I will summarize the activities that are ongoing in the district in the form of the “ACS District Update.” The first publication is listed below. Enjoy the articles contained in the pamphlet below and if you have questions or suggestions, please respond by using the survey at the end of the update.
Sonny Bates, Superintendent
Ardmore City Schools
ACS District Update
AMS Roofing Project
Our roofers will not be back on-site until Thursday morning (10/31). The southeast portion of the building is completely covered and in the dry, some minor detailing is still to be done but the roofers are hesitant to do anything else until the rain today and tomorrow is past us. The section that is completed (98%) equates to about 8000 sq. ft. We got pass the rain last week and are facing the same forecast for this week.
Jefferson Elementary HVAC Bid Modifications
Allied Services of Ardmore was the low bidder on the HVAC bid package yesterday. Allied Services provided a base bid with Trane rooftop units. The bid package specifically asked for Trane units since this is the HVAC unit that is currently used throughout the district. In addition, Addendum No. 3,which was specified in the bid package, changed the roof top units to single stage cooling in lieu of two-stage cooling and removed the requirement for direct-drive, variable-speed motors. These specifications were made to meet the needs of the structure(square footage) and remain compatible with the other units in use at the facility.
Groundbreaking Ceremony at Jefferson
The Jefferson Ground-Breaking is scheduled for Thursday, November 7, 2013 at Jefferson Elementary School. The protective fencing barrier is up and equipment is being transported to the site. Students, staff and community members will wear their construction hats and have golden shovels for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Jefferson Elementary Addition / Renovation Project. Student representatives from each grade, our Mayor Sheryl Ellis, our Board President, Superintendent, Jefferson Principal, PTA Mom, Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce President Mita Bates, and Jefferson’s’ 2012Teacher of the Year will turn the dirt to make it official. All ACS Board of Education members are invited.
Proposal for Kitchen Consultant on Board Agenda for Approval
A growing emphasis on “from-scratch food preparation" is re-introducing stoves, cooktops, steamers, and fresh produce stations into school kitchens.
Whenever a school remodels or undertakes a new construction project, chances are the kitchen is one of the last areas to receive attention. However, pending changes in menu and nutrition requirements and a national discussion on childhood obesity are changing the way we look at kitchens. Kitchens are no longer the unglamorous domain of lunch ladies, but a vital cornerstone of a school's mission that requires long-term planning.
Influences and Complications
Because a kitchen should serve a school for 15 to 40 years, schools are faced with tough decisions when it comes to selecting designs and equipment that will serve their long-term operations. This is exasperated by a lack of awareness about the intricacies of foodservice operations. Many administrators are unaware of the complexities of a school kitchen, mistakenly viewing them as an expanded version of a home kitchen. Additionally, because kitchens are so rarely updated, even the kitchen operators aren't in tune with changes in the industry. Kitchen designs of the 21 century, and consequently school budgets, are also influenced by several prominent factors. For these reasons ACS will recommend the hiring of a kitchen consultant to aid with the remodel of the Jefferson kitchen and the new Lincoln construction.
35% Review of New Lincoln Plans
On Thursday, October 31, 2013, the 35% review was held for the New Lincoln Elementary Facility. Architects along with Trigon Inc. reported to the Superintendent that the new building would require the removal of all temporary buildings and the southwest portion of the existing building. This lead to a strategy discussion for the placement of the 5grade class for one school year. At this time the Steering committee has scheduled a meeting to discuss the relocation of the fifth graders to another suitable location.
In summary, we are moving right along with the plans for a new Lincoln Elementary. The architects met with the Lincoln staff on September 25 to discuss their specific needs for their school. As you can imagine, they had great ideas and insights as to what will work and what won't work. They provided the architects with invaluable information. From there the architects reworked the plan and had the Lincoln staff review it again. Once the final "tweaking" of the plan took place, the next meeting took place on October 31 for the architect and mechanical engineers to meet with district administrative staff and the Lincoln principal to discuss more specific details, type of heating and air, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, ....... From there the architects will finalize the plan and we will be ready to turn dirt and officially start the project around the 15 of May. Projected complete date, August 2015.
2014-15 District Calendar
District calendar meetings are being scheduled and should begin taking place during the week of November 19,2013. The process this year will involve parent surveys, committee meetings with ASPO, AEA, teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Start and end dates for this year’s calendar are imperative because of district facility construction and student safety. More to come…
School Resource Officer Training Scheduled:
Sargent Randolph, the officer who serves as are source for AHS, Second Chance Academy, and Charles Evans, is scheduled to receive his basic SRO training in January of 2014. This is the next scheduled session in the area. The Grove Police Department will host the training which will take place on the campus of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Education Center. The training will last from January 13 to January 17. Officer Randolph is doing an excellent job for Ardmore City Schools.
Celebrate Freedom Week
November 11-15 is Celebrate Freedom Week.
In order to educate Oklahoma students about the sacrifices made for freedom on behalf of the country and the values on which this country was founded, November 11 has been designated “Veterans Day,” and the week in which November 11 falls has been designated “Celebrate Freedom Week” for the public schools of Oklahoma.
As part of a social studies class, during Celebrate Freedom Week or during another full school week as determined by the local board of education, appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in their historical contexts shall occur.
The study of the Declaration of Independence is to include the study and the relationship of ideas expressed in that document to subsequent American history, including the relationship of itsideas to the rich diversity of our people as a nation of immigrants; theAmerican Revolution; the formulation of the United States Constitution; theAbolitionist Movement, which led to the Emancipation Proclamation; and theWomen’s Suffrage Movement.
The board of education of each public school districtshall ensure that each school in its district will on Veterans Day conduct andobserve an appropriate Veterans Day Assembly program of at least one classperiod that remembers and honors American veterans. In addition, schools maychoose to have a one-minute moment of silence beginning at 11:00 a.m. onNovember 11th.
Oklahoma Native American Day
November 18th isOklahoma Native American Day. The Third Monday inNovember of each year is designated as “Oklahoma Native American Day” inOklahoma. All citizens of this state are requested to devote some portionof Oklahoma Native American Day to commemorate the accomplishments ofOklahoma’s Native Americans. Teachers and students of the schools of this stateare requested to observe the day with appropriate activities. Each school site in Ardmore City Schools willobserve this day with appropriate activities. [25 O.S. § 90.12]
Professional Day Scheduled for November 1, 2013
Friday’s Professional Development Day was a day to take several of the ArdmoreCity Schools focused strategies and “dust them off” or “dig a little deeper.” Due to changes in staffing, as well as the instructional or site emphasis, eachbuilding had its own level of understanding and of implementation with severalof these programs. Site principals made an effort to ensure that everyonein their building was up to speed on district academic and behavior models. Principals then scheduled trainings that met site professional goals andobjectives. District and site goals andobjectives which were addressed are listed below.
School Connect Webinar: Push messages can bereadily used to text parents about inclement weather days, district and schoolcrisis situations, unexpected extra-curricular activity changes, studentgrades, behavior, and good things that are going on at their son or daughtersschool.
PD360 (On-Demand, On-Line ProfessionalDevelopment) “Best Practices for Teachers”. Time wasfacilitated for each teacher to get familiar with this amazing tool. ForFriday’s focus, as a group, teachers were assigned specific tasks related to TLE(Teacher Leadership Effectiveness Tool) allowing them to identify thecomponents that move the effectiveness of a teacher from developing to applyingor even on to innovating. By using these activities, teachers shouldbecome familiar with navigating this resource. PD360 can also be used to help teachers discern fundamental differencesas applied to the evaluation component (TLE).
Teacher Leadership Effectiveness(TLE). Principals spent time collecting questionsabout this transition to the new evaluation format. The purpose of this segment of theprofessional development day was to gather feedback and provide clarificationabout the TLE model.
Professional Development directed towardspecific sites
Love & Logic:Jefferson,Lincoln, and Will Rogers Counselors were trained in the use of Love &Logic. Counselors will be used as trainers in their respective buildings. Counselorswere given their love and logic kits at the meeting as well
KESAM (K-8 ScholarsAppreciating Mathematics):Math training for Charles Evans mathematicsteachers. The training was held at theNoble Pavilion. KESAM is a highlyeffective math teaching model that will be implemented in all of the elementaryschools. Charles Evans has been chosenas the pilot elementary school.
Document Cameras:Ardmore Middle School had a training, provided by thetechnology department, on the use of their document cameras. Document cameras were installed in each AMSclassroom this past summer.
Bullying & Literacy First:Bullying and Literacy Firsttraining was provided by the administrative staff along with district wideinitiatives, AVID, and AP training.
Other areas of professional development academicmodels which teachers received training on were Great Expectations and ReadingSufficiency Act (RSA).
ArdmoreLiteracy Initiative - Status
Mentoring Program - Executive Summary
The following paragraphs are a summary of the mentoring / volunteer component of the ArdmoreLiteracy Initiative. The pamphlet in itsentirety is attached to this document.
“Be a Star in our MVP” [Mentoring, Volunteer Program]
The DollarGeneral Foundation Literacy Initiative in conjunction with the Institute for aCompetitive Workforce, the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and Ardmore City Schoolsare working together to insure that all students in grades 4-12 can readproficiently enabling them to become more successful students and productivemembers of society.
The four (4) best practices that are essential for astrong and effective mentoring program are:
1. Conducting reasonably intensive screening ofpotential mentors
2. Making matches based on the interests andskills that each mentor and mentee share
3. Providing training for mentors (6 hoursrecommended)
4. Offering post-match evaluation, additionaltraining and support
Parameters of the Program
The need for a Literacy based Mentoring Program was identified by the educators, administrators and thecommunity of Ardmore during a series of four meetings held from April-July2013.
The Ardmore CitySchool’s MVP’s will serve students, identified by staff, who are in need ofadditional instructional support and encouragement.