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Enid Public Schools Administrative Service Center

ENID, Okla. — More than 20 regular annual contracts for regular services provided to Enid Public Schools were approved during the district Board of Education’s final meeting before the end of the current fiscal year.

Nine outsourcing, six affiliation and seven ratified contracts or agreements for various EPS services — such as speech, language and hearing services, janitorial staffing, continued property sub-leases, a Coca-Cola sponsorship/rebate deal and Enid Police Department-EPS Campus Police equipment loaning — were unanimously approved en masse by board members Monday night.

Universal Management & Maintenance Co. will again be contracted for just over $600,000 to provide additional full-time custodians at seven EPS buildings, including Enid High School, Waller Middle School and four elementary schools a week before and during the 37-week school year. Universal staff also will clean the district’s administrative services center building year-round.

The district also will continue to provide educational and psychological services to students dually diagnosed with mental disabilities and mental illness at the Robert M. Greer Center, operated by the Liberty of Oklahoma Corp.

EPS will provide its own teachers, psychologists and appropriate educational curriculums, under the continued agreement regulated by state statute.

Construction on the new center, currently located on the campus of the now-closed Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid, broke ground in April. New and renovated facilities were expected to be completed in around 18 months, its director said during the ceremony.

Sixteen certified EPS teachers also were hired Monday under temporary first-year contracts for next year, as were 15 more awaiting pending certification. Nine certified staff and 13 support personnel resigned, as approved by EPS Superintendent Darrell Floyd.

Insurance coverage

Board members also approved two major insurance policy agreements for the next fiscal year.

EPS will again join the Tulsa-based Oklahoma School Insurance Group for its annual liability and peril insurance coverage.

The district will pay out the $759,100 premium in three installments, each due in July, August and September.

Board members had tabled taking action on the coverage renewal last month, requesting district CFO Sam Robinson seek out other insurance groups with possibly better premium deals.

Robinson said Monday that OSIG’s premium was the “very best rate that I could find,” with assistance from Messer-Bowers Company in Enid.

Premiums have increased significantly since fiscal year 2019-2020, when OSIG’s was $478,820. The current year’s was almost $200,000 more, at $678,230.

EPS also will begin a new workers’ compensation coverage next month, changing from the Oklahoma School Assurance Group (OSAG) to BancFirst Insurance, using Luba Casualty Insurance Group.

With an expected annual premium of $308,935, the district is set to pay BancFirst around $51,000 less than what it paid OSAG this year.

Robinson said he intends to lower future premiums by engaging several groups to bid for EPS. He also said in the meantime, the district can further lower premiums by decreasing its workers’ comp claims over the next year.

“We have a lot of control over what kind of shoes we are going to wear, how are we lifting things, how are we carrying things,” he said. “If we can save a teacher’s salary year after year, think of what we can do with those funds.”

Robinson also said the district’s books would be ending the fiscal year “looking healthy,” once the state provides Return to Learn funds at the start of July.

The board next month also will approve an addendum on reduction in force policies to a contract EPS finalized on June 3 with the Education Support Personnel of Oklahoma school union.

The ESPO agreement will follow a RIF policy adopted by the school board, as per state law for both support and certified personnel.

Abernathy resigns

Longtime EPS board member Colin Abernathy resigned Monday night after eight years on the board, ahead of a move to Tulsa at the end of July.

Abernathy said after the meeting that he was being promoted within his company, Groendyke Transport, taking him and his family to Jenks Public Schools.

Abernathy mug

Colin Abernathy

But he had mixed emotions about leaving, having served as Office 5’s representative since 2013 and having gone to Enid schools himself.

“We’re only getting better and better as a district,” Abernathy said. “We’ve come a long ways since I started.”

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Ewald is copy editor and city/education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Send an email to aewald@enidnews.com.

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