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Attendance At School Is Just Short Of Goal

Dr. Glenn Kitchen explained to the Board a request to change an entry in the parent/student handbook.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Average daily attendance (ADA) for the Water Valley School District was 95.45 percent during the first month of the school year.

That figure is just 1.05 percent below the district goal of 96.5 percent, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Moran reported Monday night at the regular meeting of the School Board.

Davidson Elementary ADA is 96.26 percent and Water Valley High School is 94.44 percent, according to data for the first month verified by the Mississippi Student Information System.

Continuing her report, Dr. Moran told Board members that Davidson Elementary has 75 students at risk of failing one or more subjects based on report card grades and Water Valley High has 210.

“My positive note is Davidson has 577 students out of 713 (81 percent) that have no discipline referrals for the first month. Water Valley High School has 308 of 582 students (53 percent) that have no discipline referrals for the first month.”

The superintendent said that faculty members have been invited to consider direct deposit of their pay beginning in January. “The payroll department is working with Mechanics Bank to get the kinks worked out.”

The last item of her report was about the grand piano stored on the stage in the gym. According to Dr. Moran, the piano was obtained in the 1950’s at the request of a music teacher. “It was not donated,” she said, “It was one of the things the community just did for our schools as they are continuing to do now.”

It has not been used since Dr. Glenn Kitchens has been with the District, she said. The current music teacher requested that the piano be moved to her classroom.

Dr. Moran explained that the district doesn’t have the resources to move the piano, repair it, or tune it. “We are also on the verge of renovations to the roof, so now is a good time to consider our options.”

She said that suggestions include but are not limited to offering the antique piano to the city art gallery or civic auditorium or another city/community organization that may have space and use for an antique piano.

The full text of Dr. Moran’s Report is in this top stories section of the website.

Among other actions at the first Monday meeting Nov. 1, the Board of Trustees:

• Changed the wording in the Parent/Student Handbook regarding making up missed school work.

Dr. Glenn Kitchen explained to the board that the missed work entry had been reduced to two sentences as part of an effort to streamline the publication.

It was suggested that the wording that had been used for the past several years be returned to the handbook with the exception that students be given a minimum of two days to make up missed work plus the same number of days they were absent.

The new policy will take effect Monday, Nov. 8. The full text of the policy is at the bottom of this page.

• Acknowledged the receipt of a donation in honor of Elsie Ashford to be used to purchase calculators for the high school. Ashford, a retired school teacher with more than 40 years of service, died Sept. 29.

• Recognized Coach Brad Embry, his staff, the football team, parents and the community for finishing in second place for the division.

• Approved the consent agenda that includes the district mission, vision, and goals for 2011; Davidson Elementary goals for the 2011 school year; Water Valley High School goals for the 2011 school year; and the “offer versus serve” cafeteria policy.

• Heard from William Mills of Mills & Mills Architects who presented the board an outline of upcoming renovations to the high school building. The work will include a new roof, ceilings, and lighting. Some paving may be done if enough funds are available.

• Heard the quarterly transportation update from Mario Weekley, Resource Officer/Transportation Director.

Weekley gave a bus-by-bus report on maintenance to the District’s fleet and informed the Board of problems with the most recently purchased bus that is still under warranty.

During a discussion of tires, Trustee Taylor Trusty offered the suggestion that the District purchase new instead of recapped tires for the small difference in price.

• Heard from Trustee Casey Washington, who commended Dr. Moran and the staff on the handling of the situation that developed from a rumored threat to the high school.

Police were called to the campus and spent most of the school day Friday, Oct. 22, watching over the campus. Rumors and gossip of possible violence at the school had spread through the community during the previous days.

Both Washington and Pierce Epps added that the superintendent and staff handled the situation very well under the circumstances. “It’s important for the community to know that their children are safe,” Washington said.

• Tentatively scheduled the next Board meeting for Nov. 18 or 19 to coincide with the Thanksgiving meal in the school cafeteria.

The regular meeting would normally fall on Nov. 15, but some financial information is not expected to be ready in time, Dr. Moran said.

• Entered executive session at 7:27 p.m. after meeting for 55 minutes.

Principal Schedules Open Forum For Questions

    Principal’s Questions will be held at Water Valley High School on Monday evening, November 8, beginning at 6 p.m. All parents and members of the school community are invited to come to this informal time of sharing and fellowship.

    There is no agenda, the floor is open to anyone to ask questions, make suggestions, share concerns or share hopes and dreams for the future. Join Principal Glenn Kitchens for this open forum.

Parent/Student Handbook Change Request

Effective Date: November 8, 2010 for the remainder of the school year

After any excused absence, students have a minimum of 2 days and up to the same number of days that they are absent to make up missed work. For example, a student who was out 1 day has 2 school days to complete missed work. A student who is out 4 days has 4 days to make up missed work. It is the student’s responsibility to work with instructors to complete any missed work. A student will be required to take a test on the appointed day if the test was announced prior to the student’s absence. If the student is absent on test day, the student will be required to take the test on the day the student returns to school. Graded work missed due to an unexcused absence may be made up at the student’s request in order to proceed with the learning process. A grade of 50% will be issued for this work and will be a part of the student’s grade.

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