By SEAN ROWLEY
During Monday’s regular meeting of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education, the operational budget of $32.8 million for 2013-14 was passed.
The board heard TPS had 40 fewer students enrolled to start the current academic year than in 2012. The approved budget includes an 11.6 percent rollover of $3.2 million to cover operational and payroll expenses during the first few weeks of the 2014-15 school year.
The budget was passed unanimously, 4-0. Board member Donna Tinnin was absent.
During her report, Superintendent Lisa Presley briefly discussed the possible reconfiguration of the elementary schools. She said the committee had received several suggested adjustments to the three plans presented during a public forum on Oct. 7.
Presley said she wanted to expand the committee to include another teacher and parent from each elementary school site.
Asked by Shannon Pinson, board president, when a recommendation might be heard, Presley said November would be ideal, but January might be more realistic.
Board member Brian Berry asked what timetables might be associated with a reconfiguration.
Presley said the simplest plan of moving the fifth-graders back to the elementary schools could be done in one year, but implementing either of the other two plans could take 2-4 years.
Presley also noted that TPS will hold professional development training on Nov. 1, that all schools will start two hours later, and buses will run correspondingly late. Breakfast will not be served. Dismissal times are normal.
Another professional development short day is Feb. 28.
Schools will not hold classes on Nov. 11, when a full professional development day is scheduled.
Presley reported that the district had received two grants: a 4-year Demonstration Grant for Indian Children of $298,000 and a 5-year Drug Free Communities Grant of $125,000 per year.
The board also unanimously approved the consent docket, which included contracts, out-of-state and overnight trips for TPS students and staff, a Future Farmers of America raffle, the job description for an installation and service technician and policy revisions on staff evaluation, academic measures and tobacco use.
After executive session, the board was scheduled to receive the resignation of teacher Tara Whitekiller and approve eight new employees, including teacher Janet Lawrence.