MPS

McAlester Public Schools will no longer partner with KI BOIS Community Action at its Jefferson Early Childhood Center.

McAlester Public Schools Superintendent Randy Hughes said the school will no longer partner with Ki Bois Community Action at its Jefferson Early Childhood Center.

Hughes said during Monday’s Board of Education meeting that the two entities decided to end a partnership based on verbiage used to determine federal funding.

He said Ki Bois officials had to follow federal guidelines stating students could not be isolated — which Hughes said meant the school could not place students in timeout for disciplinary action.

“We will sit them out if they’re not following the rules,” Hughes said.

“I’m not going to sign a piece of paper saying we won’t discipline kids,” he added.

Previous agreements between the entities called for Ki Bois to help fund some positions at Jefferson.

Hughes said MPS would still partner with Ki Bois at Washington Early Childhood Center.

• New website: An updated, more user-friendly website is close to going live.

McAlester High School teacher Delilah Rodriguez said the new website is expected to launch Wednesday morning.

Rodriguez and MPS Executive Assistant Lori Few worked for nearly three weeks to move content from the old site to the new one with the final stage being creation of teacher pages.

Teacher pages include biographical information to help parents become more familiar with the teacher, plus notes and assignments from the classroom.

School officials said throughout the meeting the new site is easier to navigate.

• Policies: Board members voted to approve school policies during the consent agenda.

A virtual school policy states students need McAlester Public Library cards, to devote a minimum of 25 hours per week to school work if full-time students, should be on campus four hours per week, will participate in state and federally mandated assessments, and will abide by MPS rules.

The virtual school policy states students must earn a grade of at least 60% to graduate; the log-in credentials will be disabled if the student misses more than 10 school days, and the student will receive an “F” and be dismissed from virtual school if courses are not accessed for 15 school days.

A policy allows authorized animals — those connected with “an organized and approved school activity” or otherwise approved by a principal — in school upon receiving written permission from the campus principal.

The policy states MPS accommodates students or staff with disabilities requiring assistance of a qualified service animal — “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.”

Additions to the policy state the district is not responsible for providing a staff member to walk the service animal and the service animals’ handlers are expected to care for the animals.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com