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School Finances Are ‘Healthy’

Trustee Pierce Epes (left) watches as School Board President Lamar Burgess enjoys an Easter Egg shaped jelly bean during a break in the meeting Monday night. Superintendent Dr. Deborah Moran provided the leftover goodies. School Board members heard the good news that the District’s finances were in good shape and two buses had just been delivered to help with transportation needs.

By Jack Gurner
Reporter

WATER VALLEY – The School District’s financial condition is “healthy” as the end of the school year approaches, School Board Trustees were told Monday night.

The district will end the current fiscal year with a fund balance well above the seven percent mandated by the state, District Business Man-ager Randy Goodwin predicted.

Goodwin said that he expects the ending fund balance in the District Maintenance Fund June 30 to be approximately $1.2 million, which is about 17.5 percent of the total revenue deposited into the District Maintenance Fund during the fiscal year.

“We’re right in line with what the Mississippi School Board Association is telling us we need to keep as a healthy fund balance,” he added.

Trustee Dr. Steve Edwards asked Goodwin if a portion of the funds could be set aside. Goodwin answered that it would be his advice to keep at least 15 percent in the district maintenance fund and set aside whatever portion is above that.

As the financial discussion continued, Goodwin said that the District had received state funding for the next school year. “We got our money and it is very comparable to what we got last year,” he said.  

However, because of the complex system of allocation formulas used for the Mississippi Adequate Edu-cation Program, Goodwin said he wouldn’t be able to tell just how much less the District would receive. He said that he hoped to have those figures for the next board meeting.

The District Business Manager also said that he wanted to be able to set a date for a public hearing on the budget soon and hopefully adopt the new budget at the first meeting in July.

Among other actions at the Mar. 28 meeting, Board members received an informal report on the two used buses purchased by the District. Goodwin reported that the buses are 2006 models; one with 50,000 miles and the other somewhere around 76,000 miles.

Dr. Moran described the scene when the buses arrived Monday morning as almost jubilant. “You would have thought Santa Claus had pulled up,” she said. “We were all excited.”

The $105,000 purchase was approved March 7 after as many as four buses from the District’s fleet were out of service at one time.

The next regular meeting of the school board is scheduled for this coming Monday night, May 2.

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April 25, 2011 School Board Report

by Superintendent Dr. Deborah Moran

Our two buses have arrived! Thank you, Mario Weekley for getting these buses here.

Congratulations to our District Championship Softball Team! They will play Riverside Friday and at home Saturday. Times have not been set. Water Valley Baseball finished 2nd in District. Tonight our boys play a double header in the first round of the MHSAA play-offs beginning at 4 p.m. and 6p.m. Good Luck to both of our teams.

Dr. Burnham has made the suggestion that we add a statement to our calendar based on HB 1156 that has been signed into law: State law requires a student schedule of 180 days. The School Calendar is subject to change due to emergency weather conditions. Weather conditions may change our calendar as follows: The student day may start 1 or 2 hours later. This information will be on local radio and TV. Arrangements will be made for working parents to drop off students on these days. Make up days to be considered if needed, will be February 20, March 12, March 13, April 9, May 29, 30, or 31.

Month 7 Data has been verified in MSIS. Our ADA has improved once again. Davidson Elementary is 95.56%, down .32% and only .94% away from our goal, Water Valley High School is 93.08%, up 1.03%, which makes our District ADA 94.48% which is 2.02% below our goal. However, our estimated District ADA Average over the past 7 months is 97% which is .5% above our goal. We are still on track to reach our school and district goal of 96.5% at this time. Keep up the good work! Thank you faculty, students, and parents! We appreciate your support.

Discipline-Davidson Elementary has 600(84%) students out of 714 that have NO discipline referrals for the month. Water Valley High School has 414(77.25%) students out of 550 students that have NO discipline referrals.

Our total enrollment dropped from 1281 to 1264. Davidson Elementary gained a student and WVHS lost students.   District enrollment has gone from 1295, 1274, 1285, 1281, 1270, 1276, 1264. DBS started the year with 713 and now has 714. WVHS started with 582 and now has 550.

Our QSCB preliminary work is progressing. Thank you, Mr. Pierce Epes for taking time to attend the Pre-Bid Conference.   I also spoke with Mr. Flippen of Marchbanks to get the flashing on the Band Hall repaired.

Regional Superintendent Meeting-1 attended the first available meeting in Jackson at the MS School for the Blind and the Deaf. Dr. Burnham and Todd Ivey discussed and handed out information on MAEP & EEF funding by district. Dr. Burnham also reviewed House and Senate Educations Bills that have been signed or are waiting for the Governors’ signature. He also shared updates on Common Core State Standards, Inclusion of Special Needs Students in State-Wide Assessment, Use of Calculators in State-Wide Assessments, Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program-Literacy Grant (Dr. House is working on this), Graduation/Dropout Rates, 2011-12 Contract Form for Employment, and School Bus Safety.

MASS Superintendent Training- The last training included MDE Federal Programs Director Debbie Murphy and her staff to discuss budget planning, monitoring, and updates. Shane McNeill, Bureau Manager of Office of Healthy Schools discussed changes in his office and the requirement of policy for Abstinence or Abstinence Plus for all districts. Bill Cheney, Secretary of State’s Office discussed 16th Section Lands and other resources based on school districts represented.

MASA Spring Conference- Trey Allman and I had the privilege to hear Dr. Brian McNulty, Vice President of Leadership Development for the Leadership and Learning Center discuss Principal and Building Leadership Actions: 2011 Research Guide. To summarize the presentation, research shows, “The central task for leadership is to help improve teacher performance. School leaders who focus on student achievement and instructional strategies are the most effective.” The question is: Are we making progress? Why? Why not? Our SATP and MCT2 data will help us determine the answer. Dr. Burnham and MDE presented Legislative, Policy, and Programs updates.

Please find attached the completion, graduation, and dropout rates for the latest cohort of students along with rates from the previous year. The current cohort represents students who were first-time 9th graders during the 2006-2007 school year. The students in this cohort graduated in May, 2010.

Our next scheduled Board Meeting is next Monday, May 2nd, our next regular scheduled meeting isJVIonday, May 16th. I request we consider changing our regular meeting to May 23rd to allow the budget data to reflect all payments. We can use May 16th to discuss budget if you so desire.

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