November 14, 2013

School board prepares for year of events

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
Guest Columnist


The Chickasha Board of Education met on Nov. 11 to discuss the A-F State Report Cards, plan for upcoming events, update policies and celebrate some successes. 

Chickasha High School's dropout rate has significantly decreased due to new polices and procedures that have been implemented. 

During the 2012-2013 school year, there were six dropouts. This is half the rate of the 2011-2012 school year and down from 37 dropouts during the 2010-2011 school year. 

One of the policies that has helped decrease the dropout rate is not enrolling any student who applies and requiring more stringent guardianship paperwork. 

The board decided not to waive the legal guardianship paperwork for a student whose parents live in Missouri, but who is living with his older sister and her husband in Chickasha. The mother and sister presented the case at the Nov. 11 meeting. 

Chancer McPhearson, Chickasha High School FFA Advisor, introduced Jake Grossnicklaus to the board. Grossnicklaus was named the National Winner in the 2013 National FFA Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance-Entrepreneurship Proficiency award program at the 86th National FFA Convention which was held Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Jake presented his winning speech to the board, about his work in welding. 

Grossnicklaus comes from a family of welders, of which he is the third generation. He said that he is interested in welding not just for the income but for the knowledge gained from working with the materials. 

Grossnicklaus gave a PowerPoint presentation showing himself working with different metals. He said that aluminum is among his favorites. He showed the different fences that he has repaired. 

"My aim is for 100 percent customer satisfaction," he said. 

Among the consent agenda items, which are generally voted as one item, Julie Hibbard, Chickasha School Board President, opted to discuss the out-of-state field trip for the Chickasha High School Band. 

The CHS Band will be performing at the Disney World Performing Arts in April 2015. The reason that the trip is requesting approval so early, according to Kent Barker, CHS band director, is so that students can begin fundraising and/or making payments to attend the trip. The cost is estimated at about $770 per student. There will be no cost to the district. 

"The school pays nothing," Barker said. 

There will be one adult sponsor per ten students. Any missed tests will be made up. 

One of the reasons that this trip is so important, Barker said, aside from the honor of being invited, is that about half of his students have not been outside of Oklahoma. 

The trip was approved. 

Sarah Drake, Chickasha High School educator, gave the Chickasha United Teaching Association report. This report discusses different projects Chickasha students engage in over the month. The students at Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center carved pumpkins as well as made charts over who liked pumpkin seeds and have been taking up archery. Lincoln Elementary, in a competition held by Arvest Bank, collected the most cans of food. Chickasha Middle School students in Robotics went to regionals. Students have also been writing letters to soldiers for the holidays.