Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life is BUSY

I just keep adding more and more to my plate! I am still very active in PSO and wanting to do whatever possible to make more people interested and want to participate. One of the big projects we really wanted to do just to get the word out, and this was discusses last year with not issues about having one, was a PSO website for NWH. Originally they wanted the NWH Web master do to this but she let me know she does not have the time and if we wanted to make one ourselves and send her the link she would update it. This way we could post when our meetings are, our contacts and projects we are currently working on as well as post pictures of past projects. Well since she was not able to do this, we picked 2 people to be our web masters and design and keep up to date the info, however we have since been informed the most we can do is send our Names and contact info as well as 1 picture of a previous project and the dates of our meetings, other than that not much...Maybe a Line or 2 of what PSO is. The reason being that whoever makes the web page HAS to be a faculty or staff member of NWH and none of them have time to do this, so it is crazy. So far we are having a fairly good turn out First meeting had about 30 parents (of course they each wanted to help their child's class earn a pizza party). The next meeting we had about 15. So I hope it does not keep dwindling. I don't know how to get info out there. We can't do a site and link to it from the school site in any way shape or form. I just don't know how to get more of a word out there. Any way I guess that is my rant.

Now on to life is busy. Ryan Jr is in Karate and loving it, Ashley has started playing soccer with her first game coming up this Saturday. Ameera, is just Ameera and enjoying life. Ryan Sr has been traveling some with work and is out of town in Dallas several times but this week he left this morning for Mississippi. he will return Sat but not in time for Ashley's soccer game. With him gone it makes it really difficult to get my hours and still take care of the kids. We have the girls enrolled in Daycare towards where he works, A) they had the space and B) It is a REALLY nice facility. Ashley is in Pre-K until 3 then goes there, Ameera is there all day. They open at 6 and close at 6 and since that is 20 min from Durant and I work 10 min the other side of Durant this makes a really long morning. When Ryan is out of town I get up at 4:30 to get stuff together and shower. Dress Ameera for Daycare and just carry Ashley out as is. Drive to Daycare, Drop off Ameera, Drive back to town to my mom's Wake up Ashley and dress her then to work. I am suppose to work 7:30 to 4:30 but I am good to make it by 7:45 or 8. I usually try to stay until 5:30 to make up my time then run to get the girls getting there just before 6, however Tues and Thurs can't do this...karate at 5 and Soccer at 6. My mom usually takes my son to Karate but sometimes they have to go somewhere for meetings so I am just trying to find time to breath. On top of these things this week, I am also making Bday cake(s) for Saturday. We are having a Triple Bday Party for Ameera and 2 of her cousins Sat in the Dallas area. So I have to make the cakes and find a way to balance them down to Dallas since Daddy will probably be meeting us at the party...So...can the week get any busier...Oh I forgot I have to make Snacks for Ashley's Class and we have Friendly Friday on Friday night (Pine Car Derby) grandpa is helping Ryan Jr with a car, I thought about going to Sherman and just buying a couple of pre-cut cars and give the girls markers to color them but I don't have the time to run there. I have invited some friends to come so that should be fun. Also we are getting ready for Super Saturday next Sat the 27th, another full day for me. 8 am is Ashley Soccer game, 9-2 is Super Sat activities which I am the 1st counselor and teaching some of the classes, Oma (Cindy) and my friend Lisa are planning on coming. After the activities, Oma and Papa Dean are gonna do something with Ameera for her birthday, then 5 I am suppose to have a Woodman of the World Planning meeting (which I found out about after all my other plans were made) and then back to the church at 7pm for a RS broadcast...Wow another day of not taking a breath! and I am sure other things will pop up between to make it that more hectic. I know they were already talking about changing the time of Super Sat to 12-6 that way more will stay for the broadcast and not have to come back but I would not be able to do the classes I am doing so I don't know...Just too crazy!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


April 1st election is coming up for the City of Durant. If you don't live inside Durant please pass the word along as to how important it is for this issue to pass.

The issue is a New High School to be built on Gerlach. This will be a large project $41m to be exact. The land is already owned it will be the cost to build the school. Which if we keep waiting will be a whole lot more even waiting one more year as the price of steel and other manufacturing needs keep going up in cost.

This will involve a 5/8cent increase in what we currently pay on sales tax bringing the City of Durant's sales tax to 9.25% tax when places like Idabel are already at 9.5% so we are still doing well.

When we have businesses looking to bring a company into the area they look at the education that will be provided to their employees families. They go on tours of the schools and ask questions. Currenlty Durant is one of the Highest testing schools in OK. We have had many graduate with High honors.

We offer many programs for the kids. We try to make sure our kids get the best education. In building the new school for the High School they will be sending the Middle School kids to the High School The Middle school currently holds 2 grade levels and has out grown the Middle school. The High School holds 4 grades and is out growing or has out grown most of the school. They will be able to do what they need to to make the HS up to date for the Middle School Students to be able to use it with the 21 century technology. The Middle School was built in 1919 and they are not able to modify it enough to bring it up to the tech standards of today. The grade schools are able to incorporate more technology then the middle school. The middle school would become a good assest to the city. It is close to down town and the courthouse, library, etc. This would make a great place for many things including maybe a YMCA, Don't know what it will become but that is an idea.

The issue is not the whereabouts of where the school will be built...that has already been decided. The land at Gerlach was purchased in 2006. It has enough room for the school to be built with room also for extra curicular activities.

The land is also in a good central location for students. Not directly on the HWY as it would be if we were by the Sports Complex. Better roads for our teenagers to be on. Won't be as congested for Gerlach as 78. The growth of the city is going NW not E or SE. There as not been any new housing devolpements in that area and will not be as the land around has been bought for industrial use so it will probably get worse for them to drive in that area. Also the roads are 2 lane only and RR they would have to cross. It just would not be a good environment for the school the land they have is a good area and is the best situated.

Also the land offered by the sports complex is not enough due to : "According to Oklahoma State Department of Education guidelines as well as architectural recommendations, building sites for high schools should span 30 acres plus 1 additional acre per 100 students. Based on current enrollment, Durant High School would need a minimum of 42 acres to meet the guidelines for building space not including the consideration for future growth or outdoor practice fields and facilities. Of the 40+ acres available at the Multi-Sport Complex, approximately 10 acres have yet to be purchased. " This is not enough land and we would be spending more to buy or fix up the land for use and then the money to pay for the building of it which is the $41m so you are looking at even more money to build there.

I believe that if we build the better school that we will have the technology available to better educate our children, grandchildren, neices, nephews and friends. Just because you do not directly have family in the school system in Durant does not mean that you don't have church family who could use the better opportunities also what if one day you had family decide to move into the area. Don't you want the best education available? We as a community have to make this happen. We need to better the education so we can better our community. Building a better school will bring in more opportunities to the area. Our Property values will increase, as increases happen so will the money we are paid if there are jobs.

Please VOTE YES on April 1st.

If you want more info including information on the company that would be building school please go to www.durantisd.org

Please tell your family and friends in the Durant City Limit that this is a very important issue and they need to get out and vote...If you or them are not registered to vote in City issues then please go to your child's school and pick up and application or register there. You must be registered by March 7 in order to vote!

Again............................VOTE YES......................Your children need this opportunity for better education

Friday, February 15, 2008

I don't like tax increases but...

I do believe in education of our kids and the better the education the better the kids turn out. If we want our kids to succeed then we need to give them to tools to succeed. When they are in a HS that is over crowded and ther intermediate school is also over crowded and so forth it is time for change. Our current HS was built over 100 years ago and when I graduated 10 years ago (yes it doesn't seem that long ago but...back to my blog) it was pretty crowded and also much of it is out of date. They don't have room to build on without taking out the Durant Dixon Park (also better known as Northside Park or Rocket Park). They need a new place that they can improve and have updated stuff. With the improvements our kids can get a better education.

Currently they are proposing to build a new HS which will cost a total of $41 mil and though it looks like a lot of money and is a lot of money I believe it is actually a good price. The school will be bigger they are planning on puttin state of the art equipment and labs. and with the cost of everything rising this is a very good price. Yes that does mean a tax increase to pay for it and we all HATE tax increases but look at it as putting your child first. If you teach your child and make sure they are getting the benefits they need to succeed then they are more like to succeed than anything else. It is not like they are asking you to pay for this new school in 5 years they are proposing a 1% sales tax increase over a 25 year period to pay off the HS.

By building the new HS they can give the kids more room. They can upate the HS if needed to move the intermediate school or the JR High into once it is fixed up as needed so that they can get out of the over crowding they are in.

When this story was on our local news station KXII earlier this week, people are given a chance to comment and some of those comments is what has set me off.

When comments are made that we should spend the money on our jail (which yes need improvements but...) the comment said that, that is where a lot of the kids will end up anyway. It is not the education that sends them there but the choices they make. If we teach them better they are going to make better choices!

Also why not send them to Votech for Lab but ok that is 10 min away and a bus trip extra and did you know that in grade school for the kids to go on ANY field trip they have to pay for the bus ride. They are not free except to and from school. and do you really want that much more time outside of school on a bus when they could be learning and increasing their knowledge? Don't you want to make something out of our future leaders...May not be the leaders of our country but who knows...they could lead Durant, Tucson, where ever they live. If they have the education they need to succeed then they will bring where ever they live to succeed as well. If you cut off and limit what they can do then their leadership will only be minimal. I want my child to succeed and other children I know to succeed. I don't want to take that chance away from them i want to help provide them with everything they need so they can be better than I am!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why don't parents want involved in their child's education anymore?!

What has happened with parents being involved in their children's education. In the old days the parents were fully responsible for their up bringing and making sure they got an education. Now parents send their kids to school and want the schools to do it all.
They all want to have a say and tell you when teachers are not doing something they approve of but when they have the chance to participate in programs that will give them a voice in their child's education and to help improve the quality and things that they offer they don't want to participate.
Many schools have gone from having PTA (Parent Teacher Associations) to PSO (Parent Support Organizations) to none at all. Without parents involvement there are many things that can become negleted. What happened that made parents not want to get involved. I understand some parents work and it gets hard but for those who can spare one night a month to come and discuss issues that can better the school for THEIR children, I think they should WANT to participate. Without the PSO there would be many things that may not be addressed. The PSO has gone as far as to put Pea gravel in the play area at the school, provide shaded areas for hot days, provide a way for teachers to display work done by their students (tack strips in hall that are coming for all grade levels). We should be here to support our children and their teachers. Without support, things will not work as well. Being that this is a Support Organization we also need to have some of the teachers or representatives from the grades to attend so that we know we are addressing issues they have.
When your child goes to a school and there are over 300 students you know that there are more parents than 6. We currently meet monthly and make decisions for our school. We have a meeting of officers as they are the only ones in attendence along with the Principle. The parents put their trust in 6 people but what if our thoughts are different than yours. What if you think there is something that should be done that is not being addressed. Another thing that we do as a PSO is bring things to the attention of the school board that needs to be handled. Making areas safer for our kids.
I do not want to see the PSO at our school do as some of those in the area and become non-existant. It is our responsibility as a parent to make sure our children are getting the best education possible but if you are not involved in any aspect how will you know. Those who work during the day can't go help with class parties or field trips, those who work at night can't go to the one monthly meeting for PSO but you can help in your own ways. Take the time you do have day or night to go and help at the school Help your child's class, Help with field trips, volunteer your time when we have events at the school that require volunteers to help you, If you can PLEASE come to PSO and show support there and help us make the decisions neccessary to make our school better! Make your voices heard so that you can create a better education for your children and not complain that another school is better as they may have better parent involvement. The school does not always determine how well the kids are taught but how much the parents care.

My son goes to NWH (Northwest Heights) and I am as involved as I can be. I have 3 kids and a full time job. My husband works 2 jobs but my kids are important enough that I want to make sure they are getting the best they can. Don't you want that for your kids to? Then why not get involved with your schools PSO, PTA or what ever they have, if they don't have one, get one started! They need it!