All agenda items were approved at Tuesday night's Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education meeting, including a renewal of Superintendent Leon Ashlock's contract.
Ashlock will have a three-year contract with an approximate $14,000 benefits increase for the 2020-2021 school year. His base salary was $118,000, with a total package worth $133,637; the increase makes his benefits package worth about $150,000.
"I'm excited to be able to be here another year, and I look forward to being here for a long time," said Ashlock. "I love Tahlequah. I appreciate the board giving me the opportunity."
The Tigers ROAR segment of the meeting was presented by Coach Brad Gilbert, who was accompanied by five senior football players. Along with recapping the successes of the Tiger football season, Gilbert thanked the board for approving locker room renovations.
Ashlock and Diane Adamson, TPS director of finance, presented good news, as the mid-term allocations were higher than expected. The adjusted allocation brought an additional $535,257 in state aid.
"We were one of the very few schools to see an increase," said Adamson.
Ashlock credited this to an increase in numbers for special education and the Free and Reduced Price School Meal program.
"This takes care of all the bonus we gave at Christmas time, with a little left over," said Ashlock.
He said he would be meeting with site principals and staff to ask what items they want, instead of what they need.
The board also heard a breakdown of the Oklahoma School Report Cards from Anita Lightcap and Deann Mashburn. They explained that due to a change in standards, the only years to compare are 2018 and 2019. Specific measurements - such as English language learners, disabilities, and chronic absenteeism - were discussed. The district is working on a new absentee policy, as it is now left up to the local level, which will be presented at a future time.
Ashlock commented that with so many societal issues, it is hard to determine how to judge a school.
"I see C's [on the report], but when I'm at sites, we're doing a great job. We have 'A' teachers," he said. "We're outperforming the average."
Another agenda item approved was the payment of the judgement in Stafford v. TPS to the plaintiff. This payment of approximately $8,000 includes back salary and retirement for an instructor who had moved from a position at the middle school to the high school, and the contract wasn't adjusted to reflect more days worked.
Ashlock explained that it had to become a legal matter because the district could not just write a check for this type of item.
"It's a friendly lawsuit; we're not opposing it," he said.