Pandemic highlights Butterfield’s State of Education Address

Pandemic highlights Butterfield’s State of Education Address

As expected, Jenks Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield discussed several topics Wednesday during the virtual chamber luncheon.

However, one topic that seemed to get more attention than others was the COVID-19 pandemic currently taking place throughout the country and the globe.

Butterfield showed a timeline from the first time Jenks Public Schools issued any form of communication regarding the coronavirus, which was March 3 of 2020, to where we are now.

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Some of the health and safety protocols being taken by Jenks Public Schools to help mitigate the spread are masks are required for all staff and all students in grades 3-12, masks are required for all bus riders, contact tracing and quarantine guidelines consistent with CDC recommendations, limited seating capacity at athletic events, hand sanitizer, PPE, and cleaning supplies available for all school sites, water bottle filling stations, improved air filters in all buildings and expanded cleaning protocols for classrooms, cafeterias and surfaces.

Another area of discussion for Butterfield was the state funding issue. Recently, the State of Oklahoma announced is “Midyear Allocation” numbers on how each school will be funded through half of the fiscal year.

Like many other brick-and-mortar schools, Jenks faces a $2.682 million funding cut from its “Midyear Allocation”. Combined with the cut JPS received in the summer of 2020, which was $1.383 million, the district in total has been cut $4.065 million in the last year.

Jenks schools has received $4.162 million from the latest round of Federal Cares Act Funding, but the district must spread that money out through 2023, so it will not cover the entire deficit the district faces.

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Butterfield also touched on the Feb. 9 bond issue the school is asking its constituents to vote on in several weeks. The bond issue totals $16,105,000 and includes district-wide equipment, district-wide facilities management equipment/repairs, district-wide printing improvements, district-wide safety improvements, district-wide technology, district-wide textbooks and media equipment, district-wide transportation, improvements to baseball and softball facilities, improvements to East Elementary parking lot, Phase II expansion at Freshman Academy, and updates to Performing Arts Center.

Currently, there are 12,002 students enrolled at Jenks Public Schools with 13% of those being English language learners, 17% being special education students, 19% being gifted and talented and 33% receiving free and reduced lunches. The current demographics at Jenks are 50% white, 17% Asian, 11% Hispanic or Latino and 9% African American.

The Class of 2021 has 795 students and there are more than 1,600 employees currently in the school district.

Kyle Salomon

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