The Norman Transcript

Local news

September 7, 2013

Norman district superintendent discusses issues during luncheon

NORMAN — On Friday, the Cleveland County Democratic Party hosted guest speaker Norman Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano to discuss information and issues that affect community schoolchildren.

Siano covered an extensive amount of information in his presentation, including everything from enrollment statistics to academic performance to current programs, and he encouraged questions from attendees.

Siano said all of the statistical information presented was used by the school district as a tool to understand how the district might need to change.

“We use information about the ethnicity of our students or the number of students who receive free lunches to recognize we can’t do what we did 20 years ago because the student population isn’t the same,” Siano said. “Unlike other school districts, we don’t use these changes in demographics as an excuse to do poorly in other areas.

“Because of the quality of our administration and teachers, our academics have continued to increase. We consider the change of demographics a positive — a wealth of culture.”

The event was full of longtime Democratic party supporters and newer attendees like Sandra McMahan who said it was her first time to attend a Democratic Party function.

“I have three grandchildren who attend Norman Public Schools, so I am very interested in the direction Norman Public Schools will be going this year,” McMahan said.

Elma Gonzalez, of Little Axe, wanted to know if recent budget cuts since the recession had affected the quality of teachers and if these teachers reflected current student demographics.

Siano said the school district rarely has recruiting problems, but special education teachers are a challenge to find, and while the teaching staff may more closely resemble student demographics than it did in the past, the school district hires for quality. Siano said quality and leadership were key all the way up to the district level.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman students accepted to arts institute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Forty-nine Norman high school students have been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy hosted June 14-29 in southwestern Oklahoma. The Norman students were among 270 artists ...

    April 16, 2014

  • OU History of Science Department receives Sloan Foundation Grant

    The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Survey data web portal to be demonstrated next week

    A new tool is available from the Oklahoma Water Survey, at the University of Oklahoma, for organizations in the state that collect and use water data. Oklahoma Water Survey Director Robert Puls will demonstrate Phase I of a new water data ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014