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Superintendent's Corner March 2023

Superintendent's Corner March 2023

As we continue to work through the planning process for next year, one of the main areas of focus is our facilities. The facilities of Friend PS are, for the most part, in good working
condition. However, we do have some areas that we can improve on. For example, we have recently put quite a bit of emphasis on purchasing several new HVAC units. Study after study has shown that the environment in a classroom can have a direct effect on the ability of students to learn in school. If the temperature of a classroom is too hot or too cold, students lose focus on school work and begin to focus on finding a way to get cooler or warmer. Teachers also are more effective from a job performance standpoint when they are comfortable in the classroom. With that idea in mind, we have used federal funds to purchase new HVAC units for each classroom in our “Lower” elementary building. This is the building where our 1st-3rd graders have class. The units in this area are the oldest in the district. Funds used for the project are coming from Federal money we are getting to address COVID needs/supports.

To help us take a more thorough look at our facilities, we have created a Community School Improvement Team. The team is made up of Friend School staff members along with other folks who are a part of the Friend School and Friend Community. The team has met a couple of times to look at possible options. To help us work through estimated costs and to help us create building design ideas we have partnered with Joe D Hall Construction and Principal Design Architects. To help us with the financial aspects of a building project, we have partnered with Stephen H. McDonald and Associates. While each of these groups has agreed to help us work through potential project plans, we will not pay them anything for these initial services. Once a project has been approved and a bond has been passed (if it comes to that), the board will enter into official agreements with either these same groups or others doing the same work. It's important for us to have good partners from the beginning of a project so we can make sure our designs are meeting state and federal guidelines and to make sure we have a sound financial plan.

At this time, we have no definite plans for how we want to best improve our facilities. But we would appreciate your help. If you have an idea you think would be good for us to look at, please contact me. I can be reached at trogers@friend.k12.ok.us or at the school’s main number which is 405-224-3822. We appreciate your help and I look forward to hearing from you!

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