School Board discuss calendar

By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer

The 2013-2014 School Calendar was debated in the February 11 Choctaw County School Board meeting. The board pulled this item out of the consent agenda to discuss.

Ward 5 School Board Member Mike Thomas, also board president, said he does not like school starting on August 1 and thinks school should begin at the beginning of the week. Ward 1 School Board Member Derek Hunt said that students do not start school until August 8.

Superintendent Glen Beard said when making the school calendar they start counting at Memorial Day and count backwards 180 days then split it with 90 days each semester, if possible. He added that many holidays are in the middle of the week and affected the calendar.

The board discussed personal opinions of when school should start, if days could be changed during the Thanksgiving holiday or not.

“What’s wrong with this calendar is that there are too many non- educational days in the middle,” said Thomas.

It was discussed that the administrative and school staffs are asked if they prefer to begin school on a Thursday instead of a Monday and most agree it’s a good idea to begin on a Thursday. This gives the staff and parents time to fill out and return required paperwork and issue books before beginning to teach on the following Monday.

District 4 School Board Member Laura Gibbs said she has no problem with the calendar.

Gibbs made the motion to approve the school calendar and presented with a second from Hunt. It passed 3-1 with Thomas voting against the motion.

The School Board also discussed the recommendation of Dr. Michelle Larabee assuming the role of interim federal programs director.

Beard explained that Dr. Johnnie Henderson retired leaving this position open and it requires an administrative degree. He said the district is absorbing this position to finish out the school year.

Hunt said Larabee has added many responsibilities to her job and that he is very impressed with her. He is worried that she may not have time to complete all the jobs she has taken on.

“With the financial situation, we have to make time. She does the work of four people,” said Beard. “We’re trying to get through this school year. We may re-approach this for next year.”

The board approved the recommendation for Larabee to assume interim federal programs director responsibilities with a motion from District 2 School Board Member Clint Huffman and a second from Gibbs.

The School Board also briefly discussed the special education transition policy. They approved to look at it this month and will approve it next month.

They also discussed then approved to move their March board meeting to Thursday, March 7 because their normal meeting date was during Spring Break.

Teachers, paraprofessionals and the administrator of the year for the Choctaw County School District were recognized and celebrated during the meeting.

Teachers of the Year are: AES-Shelia Jackson, AHS-Kenya Lee, CCCTC- Kristy Camp, FCE-Kasie Dean and WAC-Yassi Talley. Lee was also named the District Parent of the Year.

Paraprofessionals of the Year are: AES-Joan Pruitt, AHS-Shaston Coleman, CCCTC-Glennis Wood, FCE-Mike Miller and WAC-Wanda Davidson.

Administrator of the Year is: Corey Blaylock, principal at AHS.

District 3 School Board Member Linda McDaniel was absent from this meeting.

The School Board approved the following in the consent agenda: -Approve school trips: -Ackerman Elementary School -6th grade PACE to Oxford for Forensics Demonstration and hands on activity. -6th Grade to Chattanooga, TN for class trip. -PACE Field Trip to Decatur, AL for Riverboat Trip on Pickwick Belle. -4th Grade to Arbor Day Celebration at Coal Mine -3rd-5th grade to Health Works in Tupelo, MS. -Ackerman High School -Jr. High Chorus to Holmes Community College in Goodman, for District 3 & 4 Chorus Festival. -Choir to State Choral Festival in Pearl, MS -Jr. High Chorus to State Choral Festival in Pearl, MS. -Academic team to U of M for History day Competition. -Academic team to HCC in Goodman, MS for Scholars Bowl. -Junior Beta Club to Tupelo, MS for State Beta Convention. -Biology Classes to Region V International Science and Engineering Fair at MSU. -CCCTC -FCCLA group to Design Technology for Fashion and Interior in Natchez, MS. -AEST/Ackerman FFA to 2013 Central District Contest in Carthage -FFA to Agriculture Power Machinery at Leake Central in Carthage -FFA to Agriculture Power and Machinery at EMCC in Mayhew -French Camp Elementary School -Beta Club to Tupelo, MS for Convention. -Jr. High Chorus to Choral District Festival at HCC. -Students to Natural Science Museum in Jackson, MS. -Students to Arbor Day at Coal Mine. -Weir Attendance Center -FFA to Legislative Breakfast in Jackson, MS. -Beta Club member to Senior Beta State Convention in Tupelo, MS. -Approve Workshop/Conference Requests -Kim Thomas to VIP Training in Verona, MS -Sue Tarver to ACDA/MMEA State Convention in Hattiesburg, MS. -Michelle Larabee to MS SOARS in Meridian, MS -Anthony McGee to MHERA.LEA Asbestos Training at MSU. -Sandi Murihead to MS-CPAS 2 Test Coordinator Training in Starkville -Morgan Scribner to Thomas Bus in Highpoint, NC. -Staff to Textbook Caravan in Tupelo, MS -Administrators to Common Core Training. -Heather Bunkley to ACDA Convention in Hattiesburg, MS. -Ronda Huffman to Pathway to Success at MSU. -Kim Maxwell to Common core Essential Elements and DLS in Jackson -Approve the M to M transfers. -Approve Dianne Chancellor to teach Adult Night Classes -Approve fundraiser requests. -Approve Corey Edwards as a substitute pending paperwork, fingerprinting and background check. -Approve bus right-of-way. -Approve resignation of Laurie Ward. -Approve change in travel request. -Approve recommendation for substitutes pending paper work and background check. -Approve maternity leave for Chastity Whittington. Approve long term substitute for Chastity Whittington. -Approve recommendation for Mrs. McGee to train and then assume the responsibilities of ERATE. The Financial agenda was also approved by the School Board: -Approve docket of claims. -Teacher substitute report. -Absentee report. -Financial Statements. -Approve diesel bids and immediate payment thereof. -Request for fixed asset disposal list.

The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting will be Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at the Central Office.