Board Asks Reentry Committee to Revise ‘Safe Return & Continuity of Services Plan’
Union’s Board of Education was unable to reach consensus when a revised 'Safe Return & Continuity of Services Plan' was presented for approval on Monday, Aug. 9. One of the primary issues is quarantines, and whether students or staff with close contact – within six feet and 15 minutes of someone who is Covid-positive – should be required to quarantine. As written, the draft plan leaves the option to quarantine up to parent choice, which is a change from last year’s plan.
The district’s Reentry Task Force will reconvene this week to address board concerns and revise the plan. As originally presented to the board, the plan does not call for grouping elementary students into cohorts as a preventative measure, but it does leave individual school sites the option of doing so when it is practical. The committee will reexamine cohorting considering new concerns about the delta variant and rising Covid-19 cases in Tulsa County. The first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 18.
It is expected that a new plan will be presented to the Board at a special meeting sometime later this week.
Board Formally Approves New Principal Positions
Board members approved the appointment of a new assistant principal at the High School and several assistant principal intern positions.
Crystal Pounds was named an assistant principal at the High School. Assistant Principal Intern positions were granted to Ashley Hamilton, Grove Elementary; Alli Blankenship, Jarman Elementary; Celesta Catcher, Jefferson Elementary; Peter Carter, 8th Grade Center; and Timber Satterwhite, High School.
In other action, Board members:
- Approved request to raise adult meal costs from $1.90 to $2.00 for breakfast and from $3.95 to $4.14 for lunch.
- Approved the purchase of graphing calculators for $200,036 from EAI Education.
- Approved spending up $154,000 from bond funds and $956,686 from general funds for more textbooks and software for the coming year.
- Renewed an agreement for two years for Renaissance software for $243,418.
- Approved a 13-month subscription to MasteryConnect and Item Bank with Infrastructure, Inc., for $91,625 out of bond funds. The MasteryConnect software will provide the district a superior testing platform for CRT assessments. Teachers and curriculum specialists will have access to test items (questions) that are aligned to the Oklahoma state standards to facilitate the efficient development and use of classroom and district assessments. The assessments will be used to gather data on student mastery of learning outcomes for all grade levels in core subjects on which teachers can make formative instructional decisions.
- Approved the purchase of professional development “blended coach membership” with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for $64,740. This professional development membership consists of four bundles. Each bundle includes four in-person and eight 30-minute online coaching sessions. This will primarily be used by math teachers and coaches at five elementary schools during the 2021-22 school year. Each classroom teacher at the five schools will receive two coaching experiences.
- Renewed for two years an agreement with Canvas Learning Management System from Infrastructure for $174,984 for online digital course content and activities. This will extend the use of Canvas through the 2022-23 school year.
- Approved three-year license for Turnitin Feedback Studio for $51,337. This is a three-year license for high school students for the Turnitin plagiarism utility connected to Union's Canvas LMS. It allows students to submit assignments through Canvas that are then checked for originality against all previous submissions and through internet searches.
- Purchases property insurance for the new stadium from BancFirst Insurance Services, Inc., for $85,805.
- Purchased software for teacher and principal evaluations for $109,675 from PowerSchool.
- Awarded bid for steamers to Curtis Restaurant for $63,252 for use in Child Nutrition, as the steamers at two schools are no longer working.