Tupelo School District councils would focus on solutions

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo School District hopes to have its first “Council of Excellence” in place at Tupelo High School by the end of this summer.
The idea for the councils was first presented by Interim Superintendent David Meadows as a formalized way to gather stakeholder input about the school district.
The idea is to establish a Council of Excellence at each of the district’s schools with participants including teachers, parents, business leaders, religious leaders, district administrators, alumni and civic leaders, among others. Students also may be included in the older grades.
The details on the councils are still being determined, and TPSD Community Liaison Mary Ann Plasencia made a presentation about their development during Tuesday’s school board meeting.
“We hope this is another vehicle, a meaningful vehicle for two-way discussions with the community,” she said.
Plasencia hopes the district can do some preparatory work during the summer and launch during the fall. She said they still need to select outside facilitators to lead the groups.
The councils likely will con tain 12 to 20 members and will be tasked with identifying two or three universally problematic issues. They will then break into subgroups to thoroughly study each issue and propose solutions.
Plasencia said district employees will work with them to help them gather data.
Council members would commit to serving for two years.
They will be asked to focus on three questions: What needs the most attention at this school, what could it look like and how do we sustain it?
After the first council is launched at THS, similar groups would be established at the other schools.
“We hope this becomes a permanent vehicle at our schools,” Plasencia said.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com