Elementary reading scores ‘good’

By KALLYE SMITH,

The first concern for the July 3 Simpson County School District Board of Education meeting was brought forward by parent Nina Hollins Morvant, who wanted to discuss a concern about her child. The board decided to table the discussion until the end of the meeting.

Misty Hanna, director of Federal Programs, explained that the public schools are now required to have an agreement with Head Start, a federal program that promotes school readiness in children birth to age five from low-income families. More on this agreement will be discussed in the August meeting.

Debbie Davis, director of Curriculum and Instruction, presented test scores for the kindergarten assessment and third-grade gateway reading scores. She reported all schools doing well in the kindergarten assessment, with Magee Elementary doing exceptionally well. The third-grade reading scores also looked “really good,” she said, with high numbers of passing students in all the schools. At Mendenhall Elementary, 95 percent of students were passing the reading gateway the first time they took it.

Jeanie Pigg, director of Support Services, asked for the approval of IDEA, PART B, which is a part of the Early Intervention Program, and Preschool 2018-2019 Project Application-- Part B and Preschool. Both of these requests were approved.

The consent agenda was approved. New students were approved to transfer to the district, one from Hinds County  School District and one from Pearl Public School. Mendenhall Jr. High was approved to accept a $500 donation from Peoples Bank. Teddy Dyes was approved to attend the MAC Clinic for July 17-20 in Jackson. Dr. Paul Lawrence, Carla Lawrence, Dedra Clark-Allen, Amanda Busby and Rhonda Berry were approved to attend the iReady User Summit for July 17-18 in Biloxi. Elton Travis, Jeanie Pigg, and Veronica Brown were approved to attend the MIDAS Demonstration & Mississippi Council for Exceptional Children Conference on August 26-30 in Tupelo.

The human resources department asked the board members to look over the newest edition of the employee handbook. On July 17, a special called meeting will be held to go over the handbook in more detail.

A meal charge policy was presented by Joanna Maddox, director of Child Nutrition. This policy will be discussed more in detail at the July 17 special call meeting.

Director of Finance Duane Fewell presented the finances. A finalized copy of the 2018-2019 budget was approved. The claims docket was examined and the bills were approved for payment. The financial report for the month of May was approved. A request was made and approved to purchase a new school bus.

In Supt. Greg Paes’s report, the board discussed the Pinola fire department’s desire to use the old school building for training. They also discussed hiring police officers to work full-time at all of the public schools in Simpson County in order to better ensure the safety of the children.

The board went back to Morvant’s concern from the beginning of the meeting, and agreed to take it into executive session.