The Norman Transcript


August 3, 2013

School officials look ahead to upcoming year



High school instruction will be a priority on another major feature of the 2013/2014 school year: the next bond issue. Estimated to be proposed to the community in February 2014, Siano said this capital improvement project will go beyond just facilities.

“A number of investments we’ll prioritize will be another technology investment and a solid vision for instruction at the high school level. We’re currently completing our demographic and facilities study and expect to finalize and present our plans in the fall,” Siano said.

Fall also will likely include a workshop with the board of education detailing the district’s evaluations on school safety with international nonprofit Safe Havens International — including revamped intruder and storm shelter procedures.

“For topics like this that are very in-depth and of high importance, I like to have work days with the board members to take a detailed look at our findings and what we’ll do with the information. I suspect we’ll schedule a workshop in September or October,” Siano said.

Overall, Siano and Simmons anticipate a year focusing on continuing what has been set in motion and placing quality classroom interaction and student well-being above all else.

“One of my big goals is to make sure our teachers can see the connection between all these reforms and changes and see how they complement each other and bottom line, help our students reach their potential,” Simmons said.

“What we’ve come to in the district is this: Outside quantitative measures like the A-F system are there for whatever they’re worth and we can’t control those. What we can control is best practices and quality instruction,” Siano said. “If we put our resources in the right place, if you do the right things with kids every day, the quantitative assessment will reflect that.”

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