By Cary Ammons, Antlers Public Schools Superintendent
With the first full week of August here, many public schools will be starting school. Antlers Public School will resume classes on August 23, 2012. We are starting later due to the extreme temperatures, extracurricular programs such as football, softball and band are already underway.
I am certain there are many who wonder why schools have different start dates. First, Oklahoma schools have local control concerning their school calendar. This mean that the board of education approves the calendar recommended to them by the Superintendent. Many school districts usually develop a calendar committee to develop the school calendar. The committee is usually made up of teachers and administrators at different sites throughout the district.
The 2012-2013 school year will bring some new and exciting programs to Antlers Public Schools. First, we will enter into an agreement called, Provision II Pricing, this will allow ALL students to eat free breakfast and lunches. The program runs on a 5-year cycle with the first year being a pilot year. This means we will monitor the Child Nutrition Program and make any necessary adjustments. The key to make this work is 100% participation concerning the lunch forms. Antlers Public School must continue asking parents to fill out and sign the back of these forms, whether you think you are eligible or not. Every public school district asks for these forms to be filled out and signed. You may ask, “Why?” It’s funding, money to the district to provide programs and personnel.
Another new program includes a new High School Computer Lab. The lab will be made up of a mobile cart with twenty-six laptops. This is definitely something the High School has needed for some time. With state testing going primarily on-line, having a computer lab allows for easier scheduling of testing.
All of the projects, such as new flooring, painting, technology, playground equipment and buses are complete or have arrived. Our students will be excited to see their school buildings with new basketball goals, new flooring, a new lab, a new smartboard, or riding in a new bus. We encourage our students, parents, citizens and even our alumni, to visit our school district this week, or whenever, to see the exciting new changes for this year.
In closing, we want to remind our students that school is just around the corner. Parents, please make sure to start your school routine now, this will prepare you and your child for the first day of school. Such a routine includes being consistent with bedtimes, eating times and preparing the night before with clothes and homework so your child will be on time for the bus or arriving for school.