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Yukon PS releases survey, begins meetings for bond planning

Yukon Public Schools are moving forward with the community wide bond planning process.

Superintendent gave a presentation during the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 6 about Yukon’s bond planning.

“For those that aren’t familiar, bonds basically pay for everything. They are the lifeblood of the school district,” Simeroth said during the Feb. 6 presentation. “Without bond issues, the schools that can’t pass them tend to go broke then you see the schools fall apart and the children not being educated well. You see families leave cities, a lot of those things. Fortunately, Yukon has a great history to not having to deal with that.”

During the presentation he also said one thing that is really important to YPS administration is transparency and community engagement, and that’s why they are going through the process.

YPS posted to Facebook and tweeted “The Oklahoma State Schools Board Association is assisting Yukon Public Schools in gathering information for a possible bond election this fall. The district would appreciate your input on multiple topics concerning YPS. Please complete the anonymous survey linked below. Your input is valued and the overall survey results will be shared with the school board. Thank you!”

The survey, created through Survey Monkey, contains seven questions and shouldn’t take long to complete.

The seven questions include:

1.       Should the district purchase new buses for the daily routes and for activity transportation?

2.       Should every elementary classroom have a Chromebook or iPad cart?

3.       On a scale of 1-9, with 1=least important and 9=most important, how important is it to you. There are 13 questions to rate.

4.       To reduce elementary class sizes, please rank your support for the following. Please use 1 to rank your top priority and 3 for the lowest priority. There are three options to prioritize on this question.

5.       Which sites do you believe are the most crowded?

6.       In which attendance area do you live?

7.       Select your age group.

Visit to fill out the survey.

The survey is set to close March 31.

All of the results will go into the planning sessions. Simeroth said the results will also be released to the public, but he hasn’t decided how or when it will be released yet. A lot of it will be published on the YPS website when they begin doing all the final prioritizing, he said.

“It’s quite a ways out,” Simeroth said.

Part of the bond planning process is eight community meetings to allow people “to provide input and help identify and prioritize needs for [the] next bond proposal package.”

The first community meeting was hosted Thursday for Surrey Hills Elementary.

The next meeting will be 6-8 p.m. Monday for Myers, Parkland and Shedeck Elementary Schools at Parkland, 600 Maple Ave.

The rest of the meetings are from 6-8 p.m. as follows:

—Feb. 23 for Yukon Middle School at Yukon Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Center, 801 Garth Brooks Blvd.

—Feb. 28 for Skyview at Skyview Elementary School, 650 S. Yukon Pkwy.

—March 30 for Independence at Independence Elementary School, 500 E. Vandament Ave.

—April 4 for Lakeview at Lakeview Elementary School, 872 S. Yukon Pkwy.

—April 6 for the high school and Yukon Alternative Learning Experience (YALE) at Yukon High School, 1777 S. Yukon Pkwy.

—April 13 for Central and Ranchwood at Central Elementary School, 300 S. 9th St.

“I really, really want to encourage people to attend those,” Simeroth said. “Right now we’re very early so there’s still a lot of chances for them to have input that will affect their kids and grandkids in the school district for many, many years to come.”

The meetings are being facilitated by an outside entity so the district’s opinions won’t be forced upon any attendees and they can give unbiased and honest feedback.

The plan is to host the eight community meetings then move on to district prioritization, and strategic planning committee prioritization.

The strategic planning committee is involved because during the strategic planning they set specific goals so they want to go over anything that comes out of the community meetings and district prioritization align with those goals.

“If it doesn’t then we’re not going to do it because it’s not what the community wanted,” Simeroth said. “I find it hard to believe that anything that comes out of this stuff won’t fit into one of those, but there may be some and if there is we just won’t do it because that’s what we said we weren’t going to do.”

The school board will then come together to review everything during a work session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 18. During the work session, the board will decide upon the priorities for the next five or 10 years, depending on the items that come forth, Simeroth said.

After all of those steps, Simeroth said he hopes to have the board call for an election with the ballot language during the June 5 School Board meeting and move forward to vote.

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