TPS Summer Work Continues
As we close out the 2015-16 school year, students and most site faculty and staff return home for the summer. However, there are a few key groups of employees who remain at work through the summer to complete a number of capital projects and the on-going reporting requirements that must be met by school districts. Some of the least favorite phrases often heard in relation to our employment in a public school district include “at least you have the summer off” or “you don’t have to work during the summer.” This could not be further from the truth.
For the Maintenance Department, the list of large projects includes: replacement of 23 HVAC units at the Tahlequah Middle School, upgrades to the energy management systems across the District, replacing the roof of the original main building and lower gym at Tahlequah High School, and some roof repairs to the Tahlequah Middle School roof. The list of small projects includes: door repairs, painting, tile repair, and a number of other routine maintenance repairs.
The Custodial staff will also be painting, waxing floors, dusting, cleaning carpets and giving our school sites a deep thorough cleaning that can only be achieved when the buildings are not occupied.
The Transportation department staff continues work on the District fleet. School buses, vans, and automobiles along with routine maintenance, will get an inspection and mechanical check-up to make sure they are in safe condition to start up the next school year.
The Grounds crew will be mowing, weed eating, trimming trees and landscaping the District’s outdoor areas and playing fields.
The Board of Education offices: Enrollment, Finance, Federal Programs, Instruction and Curriculum, Human Resources and Personnel, Technology, Child Nutrition and the Superintendent’s office all remain open for business throughout the summer months. It’s a very challenging time as these folks work double time to close out one school year and start up the next. Much of the work is tedious and requires great attention to detail. Information regarding student demographic data, student testing results, personnel information, student enrollment, and financial data are just a few of the many reporting categories these offices will focus on. Each school site and the Districtwide Title I plans, along with our Special Education plan, must be submitted to the Oklahoma State Department of Education by June 30. While at the same time, new applications must be written and submitted to the OSDE for approval to receive funding for the upcoming school year.
The business office, much the same, will close out one fiscal year and begin the next. A few policies and procedures will be reviewed and updated prior to receiving Board approval. This will then allow us to move forward with our annual financial training schedule for faculty, staff, and booster club patrons. All groups must complete training prior to utilizing any of the allocated/fundraised dollars for each program, club or sport. The general fund operations budget will end the 2015-16 school year at approximately $32,000,000 and the 2016-17 operations budget will begin at just under $28,000,000.
There are a number of employees who are retiring this year with many years of service to this district. We congratulate them on well-deserved retirements. For those who remain on the job, we appreciate the hard work and dedication to Tahlequah Public Schools and remain committed to our mission – Removing Obstacles Achieving Results.