OPINION: School coverage takes on a new design

Welcome to the newly designed “In the Classroom” education page in the NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.
Every Monday, this page will feature a story focused on what is happening in classrooms in Tupelo, Lee County and Northeast Mississippi. Maybe it will be an art project, an integration of new technology, an extracurricular achievement or a different method of teaching. Stay tuned.
Along the side of the page is the Notebook, which will contain tips, upcoming events, announcements and achievements. The Notebook replaces the “Take Note,” “Did You Know,” and “Making the Grade” boxes that formerly ran along the bottom of the page.
At the bottom of the page will either be a second story about classroom activities or a column that looks at upcoming events or highlights the administrators, teachers or students in Northeast Mississippi.
The column may also discuss significant broader topics or be an extension of the Education Matters blog at NEMS360.com.
This page’s new design comes as students begin a busy semester, one that will be filled with science projects, state tests and graduations.
It is also a time when several larger education issues will play out across the state.
Tupelo schools will begin their laptop initiative this month as all administrators and faculty in the district will receive their Apple laptops and prepare to learn the new technology that will be given to all sixth- to 12-grade students next school year. Tupelo High School’s seniors will be the first students to receive their computers, likely in February.
Schools across the region will also be working on overdrive to continue to assess their students’ strengths and weaknesses from the first two years of the Mississippi Curriculum Test, second edition. Schools received their first rankings in the state’s new accountability system in November and will try to maintain or improve their rankings when students take their assessment tests this semester.
Those schools will also be carefully watching what happens in the Mississippi legislature, where talk of budget cuts and school district consolidation is a real possibility.
It will be a busy semester and you can follow it on this page, throughout the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and on NEMS360.com. Please feel free to send your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
Enjoy.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or at chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal