“With growth in our district, we will probably always have temporary buildings, but they are only meant to be a bridge until we can build permanent buildings like with this bond.”
The second large initiative that Siano discussed was bond dollars that would be spent on technology if the bond issue passes. Eighteen percent is dedicated to technology.
The bond issue would be used to purchase new technology for every school site, upgrade the district’s network and technological infrastructure and maintain and replace, as needed, the district’s current technology.
Siano said the bond issue would allow the district to move in the direction of eTextbooks where applicable. Also, additional technology could help with testing by using online assessments.
“Right now, we have to stop instruction to complete testing,” he said. “With technology upgrades, this wouldn’t have to happen.”
The last initiative Siano focused on was freshman academies and university centers. The 2009 bond issue focused on middle and elementary schools, and Siano said both Norman High and Norman North are in need of additional classrooms. The 2014 bond issue would spend about $44 million between both high schools.
“Freshman entering schools don’t look the same as seniors,” he said.
He said Norman Public Schools doesn’t loose students as seniors but as freshmen and that the district hoped to lessen this with the addition of a freshman academy. The bond issue would create a transitional environment that integrates freshmen into the high school atmosphere and provides students with more support.
Currently, the way NPS teaches freshmen and seniors looks the same, Siano said. The university centers created by the bond issue would help accustom seniors to having more autonomy.
“We want our seniors’ experience to be similar to where they’re going, not where they’ve been,” Siano said. The university centers would extend seniors’ learning opportunities and allow for more collaboration between students.