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Norman Public Schools reap benefits of bond success

Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report
Norman North High School received multiple new improvements thanks to a bond passed in 2014.
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NORMAN, Okla.- When students return to classes at Norman Public Schools this month, most will see more than a fresh coat of paint.  This year marks the mandated conclusion of 43 improvement projects funded by a 2014 bond issue. 

“It is all about the experience,” said Dr. Nick Migliorino, newly installed superintendent of Norman Public Schools, referencing programs, athletics, arts, and other offerings within the district.  “The academics are there.   All the ‘extras’ we are able to offer our students is what makes Norman stand out.”

The $126 million bond initiative included major overhauls to both Norman High School and Norman North High Schools, including a modern facelift and the construction of freshman academies and college and career centers.  One of the conditions of the 2014 bond was that all projects be completed within three years.

Allocation of funds generated from a passed 2014 bond proposal. (www.norman.k12.ok.us) 

Dr. Migliorino said they did not construct a building and try to make it fit their needs, but said the planners purposefully listed the new functions to be served in the space for the architects to customize every corner of the additions.

“They [architects] also made them look pretty darn good,” Migliorino said.

Also, every school in the district is now equipped with a secure vestibule to control visitor access to the school.

“It’s just the right thing to do when it comes to safety,” Migliorino said.

Arguably the most exciting part of the bond for students is additional technology specifically for student use, designed to give students a 21st-century education.  Starting this year, every Norman student in grades 6-12 will receive a new MacBook Air to use until graduation.

The computers are equipped with an internet filter to guard against objectionable content on or off campus.  Dr. Migliorino said they understood some of the computers will be lost, stolen, or broken and the district will work with each family on a case by case basis of that occurrence. It is against state law for funds from bonds to be used for teachers’ salary purposes, or anything other than the stated purpose.

Migliorino was the former Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services and the Chief Technology Officer for Norman Public Schools and replaced former superintendent Dr. Joseph Siano upon his retirement.

 

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Penny Ridenour

Penny Ridenour is a transplant Oklahoman of almost 20 years with enough red dirt under her...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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