By Monique Harrison

Daily Journal

Tupelo Public Schools has been chosen to serve as a hub sight in a statewide interactive telecommunications network sponsored by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television.

MAET will provide the district with about $90,000 in free equipment in exchange for an agreement to teach a variety of Tupelo High School classes on the statewide link, which is designed to make it easier for school districts to pool resources.

“They had a real interest in having some of our more advanced math and science classes taught through the service so other school districts can take advantage of them,” said Director of Curriculum David Meadows, who told the Tupelo Public Schools Board about the grant during Tuesday’s regular meeting. “This exposure will be very good for our school district and other districts will benefit. There’s no way to lose.”

The arrangement will also make more foreign language classes available, Meadows said.

“There are some students who have a real interest in foreign languages but there’s not enough demand to hire a teacher,” he said. “With this system, we can have the students take the class while it’s being taught at one of our (state’s) universities.”

A special technology team provided by MAET will install the equipment and then provide technical assistance during the first few weeks of use.

Tupelo’s electronic classroom is expected to be in place by this fall.

The program was launched last year, with about 35 schools signing on. MAET’s goal is to eventually have at least one electronic classroom located in each county. They hope to sign on about 35 districts each year.

New Albany Public Schools is already serving as an electronic classroom site.

In addition to learning of the grant, the board also:

– Voted unanimously to approve the district’s mission statement. The board has been working on the statement since an August retreat. Several councils have met to discuss the statement.

– Voted unanimously to expel a student for repeated violent behavior.

– Voted to make minor revisions to several school board policies, bringing them in line with state policy.

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