Lots of kiddos are heading back to school this time of year, and Norman Public Schools resumes Wednesday. Here’s some information from the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.
The summer is over for children in Cleveland County as they head back to class and begin a new school year.
Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies encourage everyone to slow down in and around school zones and obey all traffic laws. Students will be walking or driving to school.
Beginning this week, deputies will kick off “Operation Back to School Safely” in the areas of Lexington and Noble Public Schools and Robin Hill Public School. The program focuses on school traffic safety.
Deputies are patrolling school zones throughout the day. Officers will strictly enforce the law. Motorists caught speeding or driving recklessly will be stopped and cited.
Sheriff Joe Lester said drivers should be alert for children around schools, especially pedestrians crossing roads in school zones.
“Please be careful as children walk to class and leave school each day,” Lester said. “Deputies will put an extra emphasis on school zones to remind the public that school is back in session and watch out for kids.”
Any questions regarding this press release and/or information can be addressed to Meghan McCormick, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, community liaison/public information officer. McCormick can be reached at (405) 701-8847.
And more from the Norman Police Department:
Norman Public Schools resume classes on Wednesday, August 22, and the Norman Police Department encourages citizens to slow down around schools and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. This year, there is one new school zone. With Reagan Elementary opening on 24th Ave SE, expect additional patrol officers in the area to help remind drivers of this new school zone. Another school zone, added at the end of last school year, is for a private school located on 36th Ave SE. Citations for school zones violations carry a $200 fine, plus additional court costs. As always, Norman Police Officers will be watching schools zones to ensure compliance and the safety of our young citizens.
Motorists should also watch for school busses stopped for loading or unloading with their flashing red lights activated. Driving in either direction past a stopped school bus with the red lights activated is unlawful, and is extremely dangerous to children who are boarding or leaving the bus. Disregarding a school bus signal may carry the maximum sentence from Norman’s Municipal Court—a $750 fine and/or 60 days in jail.
Now is also a good time for parents to review traffic and personal safety basics with their young students. Remind your children to:
• Always walk on sidewalks when they are available, or if there is no sidewalk, on the shoulder or roadway edge facing traffic. Cross the street only at the corner or at a marked crosswalk. Look both ways before crossing, and avoid crossing the street from between parked vehicles, as the parked cars may block the motorist’s and the child’s view of each other.
• If children ride their bikes to school, parents should remind them that they are subject to the same traffic laws as a motor vehicle, including riding with traffic on the right side of the roadway, as near the right edge as possible. All bicyclists younger than 18 years of age are required to wear an approved bicycle helmet. Now would also be a good time to inspect bicycles to ensure that the brakes, tires, and other essential equipment are properly adjusted and in good repair.
• If a child will walk or bike to a new school this year, the parent should accompany the child the first time or during the weekend prior to the first day. Ensure that the child knows the way, and the parent may detect potential hazards that the child may not recognize.
• Remind children of the dangers of approaching or going with a stranger, regardless of the reason given. Parents who drive their children to school should drop off and pick up only at the locations designated by their child’s school. Parents who fail to do so may endanger their child and cause traffic.
If you attend the Norman Public Schools Board of Education meetings, you’re probably aware that they’re in a building that doesn’t look so hot. In fact, it looks like this:
The good news is that building is getting torn down. The school board is getting the heck out of dodge for the next year while a new administrative building goes up. So, meetings will be in the city council chambers starting Monday. Here are the details from a district press release:
The Norman Public Schools’ Board of Education will begin holdings its bi-monthly meetings on June 4 at the City Council’s Chambers at the city’s municipal complex at 201 W. Gray. Agendas will be posted there, at 131 S. Flood and online, www.norman.k12.ok.us.
The change of locale for Board meetings is necessary because of construction scheduled to commence at NPS’ administrative and curriculum offices at 131 S. Flood as part of the 2009 bond projects approved by city voters. This is the last of NPS’ 2009 bond projects and includes demolition in June of the Board’s current meeting space, as well as its curriculum offices.
NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said he and the Board are very appreciative of the willingness of the City Council, City Manager Steve Lewis and Mayor Cindy Rosenthal to allow the Board to use the City’s facilities for its meetings for the next year at no cost to the district.
“We are very grateful; they have been most helpful and accommodating. This partnership with the City will help contain costs with the bond project, while also continuing to provide citizens and NPS faculty and students a safe, comfortable forum for Board meetings.”
In December 2009, voters approved making structural repairs to the district’s Administrative Service Center and construction of an addition. The addition is to replace four, non-foundation metal buildings that currently house the Board of Education (see picture), special services and curriculum staff, as well as athletics, counseling and NPS Foundation offices.
The Board announced earlier this month special services staff would be relocated to 222 E. Eufaula, Suite 120, and curriculum staff would be relocated to 500 W. Main, Suite 300, until the work to the campus is completed in August 2013. A temporary building housing athletics, counseling and the Foundation is to remain on campus during construction.
Robin Hill School District’s parent-teacher association will host a grand opening for the school’s new playground 11 a.m. Feb. 23 at the school, 4801 E Franklin Road.
Parents and students have spent the last two years raising the more than $50,000 needed to purchase and install the new equipment. The old equipment was beyond repair, according to school officials.
Robin Hill School District is located between Moore and Norman. The school has about 200 students enrolled in prekindergarten through eighth grades.
The playground’s color theme is red, white, and blue. Students will release balloons in the same colors at the grand opening.
“We are very proud of our group’s accomplishment in reaching our goals for this playground project and want to share this joy with our community,” said Betty Chagaris, PTA president.
The $10.5 million school is scheduled to open by 2010. It is expected to help ease overcrowding on the district’s west side.
The 64,948-square-foot building will house about 520 students in prekindergarten through second grade. The new school will be paid for with 2007 bond money.
The University of Oklahoma School of Art and Art History will host a chili cook-off fundraiser from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval, in Norman.
Chili will be sold in ceramic bowls made by art students. Cost is $15 for chili in a bowl or $8 for chili not in a ceramic bowl. The bowls are dishwasher and oven safe.
Money raised through the event will go to student scholarships.
For more information, contact David Akbaran at (405)325-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s the time of year that schools get very busy right before the hush of Christmas break.
Many students are practicing for winter programs through their school bands, orchestras, choirs, drama groups and elementary classes.
I’ll never forget my fourth-grade program, “The North Pole Goes Rock-n-Roll.” I was a poodle-skirt-wearing elf, and I had one line, which I can’t remember. Although I didn’t go on to star on Broadway, I thought I was a star at the time, and my family did too.
Students work very hard on these programs, and they’re some of the best and cheapest entertainment around.
The Norman School District has a fine arts Web site that lists all of the activities going on at district schools. Visit http://www.norman.k12.ok.us/fpa/CPA.htm to find out more.
Jennifer Griswold, staff writer