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Community Members Take Leadership Role In School Facility Improvements! Featured

Written by  Tuesday, 14 August 2018 10:10
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Press release


With school enrollment numbers soaring to their highest in history, priorities are shifting for the Poteau Public Schools.

“We now have nearly 50 additional students in the halls between classes at the Middle School ” said Superintendent Don Sjoberg. “District-wide, we are headed to record enrollments. The enrollment numbers we have seen in the elementary and primary schools in previous years are now affecting the middle school and will affect the high school within 3 years”.

“We can’t keep putting more students in the same spaces without expecting more behavior and safety problems. Some of our classes have up to 29 students in them because we are using all available rooms and that in itself is not acceptable if we want to provide quality instruction”.


Community members are participating in the development of long-term solutions for the overcrowding that is expected in the years to come. The district Facilities Improvement Team has expanded to include more community members who represent varying points of view. The number has increased from 15 in 2017 to 28 in 2018. According to Sjoberg, the Team has agreed on key points that have been part of past bond votes. “They have agreed that overcrowding needs to be addressed and that security needs to be improved at all district sites”.


A bond vote is scheduled for Tuesday, August 28th that if passed, will support the construction of two new classroom buildings- a 2 story high school building and a 7th and 8th grade center, and make major security improvements at all district sites. Such a bond project will require a 5.5% increase in property taxes, an amount equivalent to an additional $55 for every $1,000 paid in tax last year or $4.58 per month.

“The future of the facilities for our students is in the hands of voters who are willing to make a financial sacrifice to provide classrooms and security for our growing number of students. For most people, the monthly increases amount to less than the cost of 1 or 2 meals at a fast food restaurant”.


There will be a community forum hosted by the Facilities Improvement Team on Tuesday, August 21st at 6:00 pm in the Bob Lee Kidd Center. Written questions from attendees will be submitted at the beginning of the forum.


FITpic2 002

School Facilities Improvement Team members pictured from left: Jeff Jensen, Robert Holt, Tamatha Holt, Sarah Hamilton, John Hamilton, Ron Hall, Kim Wilson, Linda Newman, Jeremy Lamb, Don Sjoberg

Team Members not pictured: Jeff Shockley, BJ Barnes, Brenda Sheets, David Deaton, David Seeley, Jeremy Quarry, Karen Wages, Matt McBee, Ranada Adams, Rodney Darnell, Ryan Adams, Ted Sheets, Jeff Roberts, Lyle and Amy Whitworth

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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