Students at the Great Plains Technology Center will see a lot of changes over the next academic year, but tuition will stay the same.
Dr. Tom Thomas, superintendent of GPTC, said the administration was able to avoid raising tuition after a small increase last year the first in several years.
Thomas presented the preliminary general fund budget for the tech center to the GPTC Board of Education July 3, during a regular meeting.
He said the school is looking at a slight rise in income for Fiscal 2013.
“All told, we’re looking at about a $600,000 increase in income for the year,” Thomas said.
He said GPTC will get much of that extra money from projected extra earnings from local ad valorem taxes and increased activities like corporate training programs for local employers that bring in revenue for the tech center.
Dr. Thomas focused on three primary changes. The school will adopt the TLE (Teacher and Leader Effectiveness) teacher evaluation system. He said Great Plains will pilot TLE in FY 2013 and plan to fully implement it in FY 2014. GPTC is also in the process of adopting the Model Schools program. Model Schools helps schools integrate additional academics into their curriculum. Also, Great Plains recently switched its student data management system to Sonis Web. The software system collects, stores and utilizes student and client data for management purposes. Sonis Web is web based unlike the previous data management system.
Dr. Thomas also announced that Great Plains was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from state lottery funds through the Oklahoma Department of Education. The monies will allow Great Plains students to access school software from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. Students in the more technology-driven career majors such as information technology will likely gain first access to the new smart software.