School board fills two more staff positions

August 19, 2021

The Comanche Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.  Board members accepted the superintendent’s recommendation to hire Ashley Lewis for the elementary reading assistant position and Meagan Cook for the Child Nutrition Clerical Assistant position. Certified Middle School teachers Tangi Zumwalt and Debbie Strickland were rehired to teach on a part time basis.

The board approved various routine consent agenda items, including the minutes of the regular board meeting held in July. The board also approved activity fund reports, the treasurer’s report, the contract for career and technology education programs, and the South-Central Oklahoma On-line Consortium Cooperative agreement.

Superintendent Julie Bills discussed with the board the possible need to hire two additional staff members to meet the class size requirements of HB 1017 that are in effect for the 21-22 school year. The district is seeing an increase over last year’s student enrollment at the elementary and middle school levels.

Contract amounts for non-certified 10-month employees were approved, as were the athletic and nonathletic extra duty schedules. The board determined that the 10-month non-certified support employees receive a much-deserved increase of $1.75 an hour.

Terry Davidson presented the financial status of the district to board members. He discussed the implications of the federal stimulus funds available due to COVID, the impact of declining enrollment, and the impact of the reduction of gross production taxes collected. Davidson also discussed the ESSER III funds to be spent over the next three years.

The ESSER III plan is posted on the school website. The plan is available for viewing and community input.
Bills indicated that the school year will start Friday for staff with new teacher orientation followed by in-service the next week with a focus on student advocacy, suicide awareness, and new and continuing curriculum software training. Students will return to classes on Thursday Aug 19th. Mrs. Bills and the staff would like to thank the First Baptist Church for providing lunch for staff on the first day of in-service and AFLAC for providing doughnuts.

Bills shared with the board that the Comanche Public Schools app will be available next week for parents and community members to download. Bills believes this will allow parents access to the data and information they need in a user-friendly format.

The district is ready for the return of students next week. While masks are not required at this time, they are strongly recommended.

“With cases in our area on the rise we want the community to remember our goal is to keep students and teachers in class with minimal disruptions,” Bills said. “If students are required to quarantine, teachers and students will follow the distance learning handbook guidelines. We have protocols in place for returning and are ready to get the school year moving.”