Okolona contracts for education services

OKOLONA Elementary School

By Hank Wiesner

Special to the Chickasaw Journal

OKOLONA – Trustees have voted to bring in contract education programs as a way to improve the district’s school test scores.

The Okolona Municipal Separate School District School board approved a tutorial services program for elementary school teachers and students, OK’d a partnership agreement to help the district better meet assorted federal program requirements, and approved a “Saturday School” designed to help district youngsters do better on state tests.

Trustees approved an external partnership agreement with The Kirkland Group

“(This will) provide student tutorial services for 3rd and 4th grade students to help increase each student’s assessment scores and to build teacher’s pedagogical skills for 16 days, for a total amount of $20,400, which is $1,275 per day,” said Suprintendent Dexter Green. “That includes all travel costs.”

Trustees also entered an external partnership agreement with CCS Educational Services for consultation and professional development training on Federal Programs compliance requirements, District Federal Programs Monitoring Instrument compliance, Comprehensive Needs Assessment, and Parental Involvement Policies as required by the ESSA for three days of training for $3,000 ($1,000 per day).

Additional dollars

The board approved an additional external partnership agreement with Education Resources, LLC (ER) to offer services to facilitate Okolona School District’s Federal Programs Comprehensive Needs Assessment Survey for total cost of $2,700 as required by the ESSA for three days of training for $3,000 ($1,000 per day).

These additional program totaled $26,000.

Trustees hired personnel for Saturday School to prepare students for the Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP) at Okolona Elementary and Okolona High School in accordance with a Rural and Low Income Grant.

The Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP) is designed to measure student achievement on the Mississippi College-and Career-Readiness Standards (MS CCRS) for English Language Arts and Mathematics and to provide results to guide instruction. The MAP will assess students in grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and Mathematics, Algebra I, and English II, according to information from the Mississippi Department of Education.

No cost estimate for Saturday School was given.

The actions came during trustees’ meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

In other business:

Heard from Nathaniel Cunningham during the board’s public comments period. Cunningham has repeatedly been hired by the board for various jobs.

• Acknowledged receipt of MSBA (Mississippi School Board Association) School Board recognition and awards.

• Recognized Regional Reading Fair Winners as follows: 2nd Place- Javon Pulphus, 6th grade; and 3rd Place- Savanah Chavez, 9th grade.

Hired Dr. Christopher Hill as principal at Okolona High School for school year 2017-18 at a salary of $73,806.98.

Hired Sandra Murray as principal at Okolona Elementary for school year 2017-18 at a salary of $65,000.

• Approved stipends for members of the Okolona Elementary Leadership Team for seven days after school for $75 per meeting totaling $3,150 ($525 per person).

Received a donation of 71.25 hours at an hourly rate of $100 that equals $7,112.50 to the Okolona School District at no cost from Major Designs Studio, LLC.

Voted to approve professional A/E services to Major Designs Studio, LLC for Okolona High School Field House Project (Phase II) for 71.125 hours at an hourly rate of $100 for a total of $7,092.33 for project management time spent.

• Approved pay application #10 for $5,415 and Pay Application #11 (final) for $13,447.50 for a total of $18,862.50 to JEM Contracting, LLC for the Okolona High School New Field House.

• Approved Dalton Sullivan as a substitute bus driver.

Accepted a $723.26 donation from the Community Heritage Program for the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Fund.

• Approved releasing Janette Fields from Okolona High School for the remainder of school year effective Feb. 15, 2017.

• Approved an out-of-state field trip for Special Education students to New Orleans, La., and to Biloxi.

• Approved an out-of-state field trip to the Incredible Pizza in Memphis, Tenn., for students scoring levels 4 or 5 on the upcoming Mississippi Assessment Test (MAP) in August.

• Approved Babette Griffin as a substitute bus driver.

Approved a revised Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for submission to the State Board of Education.

• Heard Principal Action Plan reports from Okolona High School- Hill; and Okolona Elementary- Murray.

• Approved a First reading and recommended adoption of several policies.

• Approved increasing Okolona High School’s District maintenance budget to $8,000 for building repairs.

Approved school board minutes of the board’s meeting Jan. 10, 2017.

Tabled, reported, stated

• Tabled a Memorandum of Understanding with Families First for Mississippi for a work force development online graduation program for students struggling with state tests.

• Tabled a recommendation to approve Demaria Robinson as librarian assistant at Okolona High School and Okolona Elementary effective Feb. 16, 2017 for 65 days at $67.38 per day with salary of $4,379.90 for the remainder of the year.

• Tabled a Memorandum of Understanding with Families First for Mississippi for a work force development online graduation program for students struggling with state tests.

• Heard discipline reports from Okolona High School, Okolona Elementary and Okolona Vocational.

• Said Okolona Elementary ADA (average daily attendance) was 96.31 percent; and Okolona High School ADA was 92.77 percent.

• Heard a Curriculum Offerings Report from Ms. Hoskins.

• Heard a Vocational Center Enrollment and CPAS Report from Ms. Anderson.

• Heard a Character Education Programs Report from Ms. Chandler and Ms. Ivy.

• Heard a District Graduation Monitoring Report.

• Heard a Superintendent’s Report, including a Superintendent’s Newsletter for February 2017; Safe Schools/Facilities Report; Accelerated Reader Report for OES; and an Accelerated Reader Report for OHS.

• Said a School Board Work Session was held on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the Parent Center. No action was taken during School Board Work Session and the following School Board trustees were present: Dr. Smith, Mr. Bailey, Dr. Gandy, and Mrs. Jenkins.  The meeting adjourned at 11:55 a. m.

• Said the next School Board Work Session is scheduled for Monday, March 6, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the Parent Center.

• Said the next regularly called School Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Parent Center at Okolona Elementary.

• Said the MSBA Fall Leadership Conference for School Board Members and Superintendents is scheduled for Feb. 20-22, 2017 at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson, Miss.

• Said the Okolona High School’s graduation rate for SY 15-16 is 88 percent, which is well above the state average.

• Heard a financial report from the Business Department manager. The report included an examination of the claims docket, current budget status, reconciled bank statements, statement of revenues and expenditures, cash flow statement by month, and combined balance sheet.

• Adjourned.

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