The Morning Bell: 50 year vet of school board dies
Good Friday morning!
Don Crutchfield, who had served on the Claremore school board for 50 years, passed away Wednesday at the age of 90
According to the Claremore Progress, Crutchfield first ran for a seat on the Claremore Board of Education in 1965, and he remained on the board until his final year to serve in 2015, serving 50 years — a tenure which made him one of the longest serving school board members in Claremore as well as the in Oklahoma state history.
In 2002, he was selected to serve as president of the Oklahoma State School Board Association.
Chilly return to class in Sequoyah
Parents of students at Sequoyah High School say they are concerned due to a lack of heat in the classrooms.
“They have to be at school because they don’t have a choice. But the problem started before Christmas break. They were already bringing blankets to school a week before, so there’s been three weeks of not good heat in the schools. That’s the problem,” said one parent, according to KJRH.
The district's superintendent says that portable heaters were delivered to those classrooms the day before students returned.
Classes resume today at Capitol Hill High School, which was closed Thursday due to heating issues.
Tulsa renews agreement with two charter schools
The school board approved a renewal of its sponsorship of Tulsa Legacy Charter School and KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory Charter School for four more years and five more years, respectively, reports the Tulsa World. Tulsa Legacy serves 560 students, while KIPP Tulsa serves 305.
The difference in the length of the renewals for the schools is due to how they scored on the Tulsa Public Schools Charter School framework, which evaluates the financial, academic and organizational progress of the schools.
Wagoner school official accused of battery against student
Prosecutors charged a former Wagoner Public Schools official Thursday on allegations he took a 16-year-old girl into a janitor’s closet and forcibly kissed her twice on the forehead, the Tulsa World reports.
Robert L. Schaefer, 54, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery, court records indicate.
New autism sensory classroom
Broken Arrow Public Schools celebrated the grand opening of a new room specially design to help students with autism at Oliver Middle School, reports Tulsa's NewsOn6.
The room is full of different exercises with sounds, lighting and scents to help kids become aware of their environment.
“Students with autism experience such extreme frustrations and not being able to verbalize maybe or having over sensory stimuli, and so having this type of environment allows them to be aware of themselves,” Executive Director of Academic Programs Gena Koster said.
Former Putnam City employee charged with embezzlement
A former Putnam City Schools employee was charged Thursday with seven felony counts of embezzlement for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars in cash payments from parents for child care and fundraising programs.
Lea C. Diaz, 54, worked for the Putnam City School District for nearly 10 years and resigned this past summer, according to district officials.
Oil tax for education?
KGOU recently took a closer look at an effort to let voters approve an oil and gas tax increase to fund public education.
“Well, we are obviously circumventing the legislative process,” said Mickey Thompson in an interview as he filed the paperwork for State Question 795. “We don’t have a lot of faith in the legislative process, and I think it’s fair to say most Oklahomans would agree with that.”
State Question 795 faces many of the same hurdles on the ballot as it did on the floors of the House and Senate, reports KGOU's Joe Wertz. Tax increases are unpopular among many conservative voters. In 2016, 60 percent of voters defeated a 1 percent sales tax hike to fund education.
That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great weekend, see you Monday!