2017-18 Starts with Positive Projects
2017-18 Starts with Positive Projects
Doug Brown
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

2017-18 Starts with Positive Projects

Idabel Public Schools has seen many positive projects and events in the last few years, but we have seen several in the last few months.  I would like to publicize those impacting our school in this letter.   Please remember all of these improvements have come in the midst of State and Federal attacks to public education and devastating cuts to public school funding in our state. These projects and events would not have been possible if without the dedication and hard work of Idabel Public Schools’ employees, volunteers, alumni, and friends.

One of the more noticeable projects underway is the installation of an outdoor classroom/alumni park. This project is 100% funded through alumni donations and grants solicited by Debbie Brown our VISTA Volunteer at Idabel Public Schools. This project is taking an area at the high school that was extremely difficult to maintain and keep attractive and creating a useful and attractive part of the campus. It will hold donated benches, a flagstone path, and landscaping.  Several graduating classes have contributed money to purchase nice metal seating for the area which will benefit students, staff, and parents for many years. We have seen increased activity with the Gray High and Idabel High School Alumni Association and the creation of the All Idabel Alumni and Friends Association.  Also coming up is the 2nd Annual All Idabel Alumni Banquet on October 7th including the 1st annual All Idabel Alumni Golf Tournament at Idabel Country Club.

If your students attend Idabel Central Elementary they may have told you about the new upgraded swing set area on the playground. This upgrade included a paint job and new modern borders with 12 inches of new shredded rubber cushioning instead of rocks for safety.  This project was paid for by another grant written by our VISTA Volunteer, also at no cost to the District.

Another project undertaken by Carolyn Janz and the Child Nutrition Staff has been to complete the massive amounts of paperwork to make sure that EVERY student can eat two meals every school day at no cost to the student.  So the dedicated cafeteria staff at Idabel Public Schools have made sure EVERY student eats for free.  This program has also allowed the District to update cafeteria tables, and seating at three sites. We also have replaced the cafeteria floor at Idabel High School. This has been an amazing transformation this past summer.  Our dedicated staff have insured ALL our kids get to enjoy a nice environment where they dine.  Not only have the IPS cafeterias seen an upgrade but the kitchens have as well. Much needed ovens and other appliances have finally been replaced after many years of just making it with old equipment that constantly needed repairs or caused problems during the school year.

The USDA has awarded Idabel Public Schools grant money to build a new greenhouse and a garden equipment grant to help improve our horticulture program and FFA. The greenhouse structure is completed but waiting electrical and plumbing to finalize the project.  The gardening equipment will be purchased this Fall and Winter to be utilized on a new garden plot at the school farm in the Spring.

Idabel Public Schools continue to depend on the support of our alumni. Through a sizable donation of Nautilus weight equipment the District was able to add a weight room for our female and younger student/athletes as well as District staff.  This donation by Simpson Pharmacy in Broken Bow was acquired through the efforts of IPS alum Brad Raney. Coach Dennis Parker, also an IPS alum, has donated the entire character curriculum “Coaching to Change LIves” to Idabel High School and Idabel Middle School to implement character education for every student grades 6 through 12.

Other projects are ongoing, like our 1 to 1 initiative, the increase to 1 Gigabyte bandwidth to make sure our students have access to the technology to keep them competitive in their academic endeavors. We have also increased our social media presence to keep parents and the community up to date on everything #ipswarriors! Projects include a new modern website and a new App that parents can be instantly updated of changes in activities.  We continue to strive to be a vital part of our community by hosting events like the Veterans’ Administration’s Job Fair this summer as well as the Remote Area Medical Clinic.  The Adult Education (GED) program sponsored by Idabel Public Schools is the only one in three counties and is continually recognized for its extraordinary success.

I remind you all of this has been accomplished while under increased accountability and decreased funding. The collaborative, dedicated effort of Idabel Public Schools’ board of education, administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and friends continues to allow Idabel Public Schools to “Prepare Champions for Life!” GO WARRIORS!