School Board Meets At VES

The Calhoun County School Board took its regular monthly meeting “on the road” for the first time Monday night as it conducted business in the Vardaman Elementary School library. The meeting allowed for parents to come address the board. Three took advantage of the opportunity raising questions about the use of “rolling backpacks” at the school, school bus safety, and the future of the school’s agricultural programs.


By JOEL McNEECE

The Calhoun County School Board took its regular monthly meeting “on the road” for the first time Monday night as it conducted business in the Vardaman Elementary School library.
The meeting allowed for parents to come address the board. Three took advantage of the opportunity raising questions about the use of “rolling backpacks” at the school, school bus safety, and the future of the school’s agricultural programs.
The board agreed to look into a matter regarding a particular school bus raised by Janice Glaspie and referred the backpack question asked by Vicky Armstrong to VES Principal DeDee Lee.
She said the school forbids the rolling backpacks due to damage caused in the past to the floors, but said exceptions had been made in some cases and they would find a solution for the child in question struggling to carry the number of required books home each night.
The last question was asked by Bobby High inquiring if the agricultural program might eventually be consolidated into the career and technical center. High was opposed to such a move.
Superintendent Mike Moore indicated such a change wasn’t in the plans. 
In other news, Superintendent Moore expressed his pleasure over the recent school district report card handed down from the Mississippi Department of Education.
Moore said the district met the “adequate yearly progress” in all areas. He also noted the attendance rate was up from 93% to 96% and the graduation rate improved from 72% in 2006 to 85% in 2007.
Moore said he was “very pleased” that 97.3% of the courses taught in the district are instructed by “highly qualified teachers.” Only 2.7% were listed as “not highly qualified,” meaning the instructor may have a degree in a different subject area.
Moore also noted that Calhoun is one of the few districts in the state with no “emergency certificate” teachers.
“That’s unheard of,” Moore said, referring to the teacher shortages experienced by so many school districts.
Items approved by the board at the meeting:
•Changed November board meeting to Nov. 17 in Pittsboro.
•Personnel – created an ELL tutor position for remainder of year; revised coaching supplements for softball coaches Patricia Ellison and Josh Hathcock to $833.33 each.
Hired Linda Holloway as temporary custodian during Fred Edmondson’s extended absence; hired Tai Anne Fairley and Donna McCoy as substitutes at BUES; hired James Manuel III as substitute at VHS;
Accepted resignation of Perry Liles as assistant softball coach; hired Betty Bryant and Scottie Ward as substitute cafeteria workers; hired Laprecious Esom and Nakeeta James as student workers.

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