School Board Report

Water Valley High School Head Coach Brad Embry appeared before the school board trustees Monday night to ask permission for the Booster Club to begin the process of adding on a locker room to the field house.” – Photo by Jack Gurner

Coach Gets Nod For Fieldhouse

By Jack Gurner
Reporter


WATER VALLEY – The Blue Devil Football Boosters are looking at adding a locker room on to the field house at Bobby Clark Field.
Head Coach Brad Embry appeared before the school board trustees Monday night to ask permission for the group to “entertain as a booster club adding on to the field house.”
“The reason,” Embry said, “right now we have 102 kids signed up for football and 55 lockers.”
“I’m not asking for the money,” he emphasized. “Just asking for permission and we still have a long way to go as far as researching everything to get this project started.”
Trustee Taylor Trusty, who was in charge of the meeting in the absence of board president Lamar Burgess, asked, “Where are you looking at adding on to the field house?”
“I think the only feasible place to go is to the south toward the practice fields,” Embry answered. “We’ve looked and there is room there.”
Embry explained that the area for a 40’ by 40’ building had been stepped off and there is space for it.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done…dirt work and some other things before we can do anything,” he added. “Of course we have the first issue…we have to come up with the funds.”
“I can tell you the district totally supports what he is doing,” commented Superin-tendent Kim Chrestman, who noted the large number of participants in the football program.
The three trustees present – Trusty, Casey Washington and Chris Terry – unanimously approved the request.
Along with Burgess, trustee Pierce Epes was absent due to a death in the family.
Among other actions at the March 25 meeting, trustees:
• Approved the 2013-2014 school calendar.
• Granted permission for two groups to go on out-of-state field trips to the Memphis Zoo.
• Disposed of assets.
• Paid claims and heard a financial report from district business manager Randy Goodwin who said that the current fund balance in the district maintenance fund is $2,257,458.31. He expects the fund balance to be $1,759,208 at the end of the school year.
• Heard a report from Superintendent Chrestman, who told trustees that the district had been featured in an article in The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization focused on producing in-depth education journalism associated with the teachers college at Columbia University.
Chrestman explained that the article, Lessons from Water Valley, went into detail about how some of the programs already in place here matched the Governor’s objectives for education in the state. “I thought it was a real good article,” he said.

Water Valley High School Agri-Science Participates In Biotechnology Pilot Program

By Jack Gurner
Reporter


WATER VALLEY – The Introduction to Agri-Science program at the high school has been selected to participate in a biotechnology pilot program this spring.
The school will receive funding from Mississippi Department of Education for equipment and materials for the new units, Superinten-dent Kim Chrestman told school district trustees at their meeting Monday night.
“Total allocation for this upgrade will be $14,000,” Chrestman said. “This is to purchase the Learnmate LMS system and a biodiesel starter kit.”
The Learnmate system is software that delivers curriculum and provides real time data to measure student progress, while enabling seamless classroom management for teachers and administrators. And the biodiesel starter kit will allow students to produce a mini-batch of biodiesel fuel.
“I have to say I didn’t even ask for this,” said Chrestman. “This was sent our way by the vocational department, which I thought was pretty good that they chose us.”
Among other items presented during Chrestman’s March 25 report:
• WVHS seniors who lacked a passing score on any of the four subject area testing program (SATP) assessments just completed a retest this past week. This is potentially the final opportunity for these seniors to receive a score report before graduation exercises in late May.  There is always the possibility that other emergency testing opportunities will be added.
“Of course, any student can continue to participate in retesting until they bank a passing score on any SATP assessment even though the score may not return in time to participate in graduation,” he said.
• Two charity fund-raisers are ongoing with FCA participating in a fishing rodeo fund-raiser for St. Jude and WVHS is sponsoring a team at the community’s Relay for Life event in April.  WVHS and Coffeeville High School are in competition to raise the most money for the fight against cancer and a trophy will go to the winning school.
“Please make your Relay for Life donation to WVHS or purchase a t-shirt from WVHS and help us ‘Kick Cancer and the Pirates,’” said Chrestman.
• The Girl Scouts had been working with kindergarten through 2nd grade students at Davidson Elementary School on a rocketry program. The students made and decorated paper rockets and then launched them with 2-litre bottle launchers. “It was really cute, he said.
Earlier, the Girl Scouts had presented an archery program through the school’s physical education classes.
• Chrestman offered congratulations to Coach Richard Russo for being named Head Football Coach at Independence High School.
The full text of Chrestman’s report is on the Herald’s website at www. yalnews.com.

Registration Starts April 8 For Water Valley Schools


The Water Valley School District will be registering for the 2013-2014 school year on Monday thru Friday, April 8 – 12. Davidson Elementary School and Water Valley High School will be registering on their respective campuses on the same dates and times.
The schedule will be as follows:
Monday, April 8     9 – 5 p.m.    
Tuesday thru Thursday, April 9 thru 11     9 – 4 p.m.
Friday, April 12     9 – noon
DES will register in the library, and WVHS will register in a classroom on the main hallway behind the main office. Both school counselors will be available during registration times.
New students must provide the following documentation:
• copy of the certified birth certificate.
• original shot record – form 121 – complete for school entry, no copies.
• copy of the Social Security card.
• two proofs of residency – (post office box will not be acceptable) – Proofs must be in the parent’s or guardian’s name. If not, a notarized affidavit or residency will be required. The residency form is available on-line.
• report card from the previous school year.
• copy of court decree if custody is an issue.
• nurse form – available on-line.
• bus privilege application – available on-line.
Returning students must bring the following:
• two proofs of residency – (post office box will not be acceptable) – Proofs must be in the parent’s or guardian’s name. If not, a notarized affidavit or residency will be required. The residency form is available on-line.
• copy of court decree if custody is an issue – one must be presented each year at registration.
• nurse form – available on line.
• bus privilege application – available on-line.
This year the school district will have some of the documents available on the school district website. You may print these off, complete them, and turn them in during registration. Go to www.wvsd.k12.ms.us to obtain these documents.
There will be registration packets available the week prior to registration if parents would like to stop by and pick them up.
For any additional questions, please contact the schools for more information. The phone numbers are: DES – (662) 473-1110 and WVHS  (662) 473-2468.

Superintendent’s Report

By Kim Chrestman


The Girl Scouts utilized a free program to work with Davidson Elementary students.  In the first session, grades K-2, the Girl Scout leaders utilized a rocket project where students made and decorated a paper rocket.  During the 2nd session (last week) the students had the opportunity to shoot the rockets into the air with 2 liter bottle launchers.  It was really cute!!  Another activity the Girl Scouts utilized was archery.  This was done during and through the Physical Education program.  Students received “hands-on” experience on bows, arrows, and targets. 

Davidson Elementary School continues to emphasize the importance of reading.  DES used the book series of Dr. Seuss to promote reading.  A poster contest was held for K-6 grades.  Anyone student could do a poster on any Dr. Seuss book.  Posters were judged by grades.  It’s a great way to incorporate reading, art and literature into the regular schedule as we celebrate Dr. Seuss. (Also, see article by Hechinger Report: http://hechingerreport.org/content/the-literacy-crisis-searching-for-solutions-in-mississippi_11482/)

On Thursday, March 7th nine students from across the state, performed outstanding poetry recitations in the Poetry Out Loud Mississippi Finals. The trophy was awarded to Akane Little from Starkville High School. She will represent Mississippi in the National Poetry Out Loud Finals in Washington D.C. April 2830, 2013.  Kristen Dupard, the 2012 winner, who went on to win the national contest, was on hand to cheer for this year’s contestants.  Coming in second place was Denzell Jones from Water Valley and third place was Bailey Brilley, a junior at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Madison.  Congratulations to all the students who competed. It was an exciting year!

Water Valley Introduction to Agri-Science Program has been selected to participate in a Spring Pilot Program.  A biotechnology unit has been added to the curriculum along with other updates.  As part of the upgrade of the curriculum, Water Valley will receive funding from Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) for equipment and materials for the new units.  Total allocation for this upgrade will be $14,000 per laboratory.  This is to purchase the “Learnmate LMS System” and a “Biodiesel Starter Kit”.

Seniors who still lack a passing score on any of the 4 SATP assessments just completed a retest this past week.  This is potentially the final opportunity for these seniors to receive a score report before graduation exercises in late May.  There is always the possibility that other emergency testing opportunities will be added.  Of course, any student can continue to participate in retesting until they bank a passing score on any SATP assessment even though the score may not return in time to participate in graduation.
 
Several clubs are busy with field trips and activities during these weeks leading up to the close of the school year.  The Music Club, Jr. FFA, Sr. FFA, Art Club and the Sophomore Class all have scheduled outings over the next few weeks. 
 
Two charity fund-raisers are ongoing with FCA participating in a fishing rodeo fund-raiser for St. Jude and WVHS is sponsoring a team at the community’s “Relay for Life” event in April.  WVHS and Coffeeville High School are in competition to raise the most money for the fight against cancer and a trophy will go to the winning school.  Please make your “Relay for Life” donation to WVHS or purchase a t-shirt from WVHS and help us “Kick Cancer and the Pirates.” 
 
Callie Trusty and Garrett King represented the Water Valley Rotary Club, WVHS and the Water Valley Community at the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference this past weekend.  Rotary is always gracious to sponsor students to attend this worthwhile event.  Students always report an incredible experience and deliver a presentation to the local Rotarians upon their return during one of the monthly Rotary Club Luncheons. 
 
Prom is this Thursday evening at the Oxford Conference Center.  Board members are welcome to stop in for a few minutes if you would like.  The theme is “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” based on the Roaring 20’s. 
 
Congratulations to Coach Richard Russo for being named Head Football Coach at Independence High School.
 
Student Average Daily Attendance for Months 1-6:  Goal 96.5%
• Davidson Elementary:  96.11%
• Water Valley High School:  94.15%
• Water Valley School District:  95.18%

Teacher Average Daily Attendance for Months 1-6:  Goal 96.5%
• Davidson Elementary:  95.66%
• Water Valley High School:  95.32%
• Water Valley School District:  95.49%

All students and teachers are looking forward to a wonderful Easter Weekend before settling in for the final weeks of the 2012-13 school year. 

The Mississippi Department of Education is in the process of recommending that school districts in Mississippi move to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the 2013-14 school year (a year early).  The accountability model would include the following:
• TEST:  MCT2/SATP2
• Full implementation of CCSS
• Take assessments (MCT2/SATP2) but not used for accountability (school rating label).  These would count and be required for federal model.  SATP2 would be required for graduation requirements.
• Frozen Accountability Labels (Accountability label for next two years would be frozen to the outcome of the 2012-13 school year)

An additional concern is over another proposed recommendation for the 2012-13 Mississippi Statewide Accountability System.  For schools/districts with a 12th grade, graduation rate will be converted into a point system and then added to the school/district QDI for a new High School Value.  This value system is based upon 80 points (80% graduation rate).  The results for schools with less than an 80% graduation rate would be a deduction of points from the QDI score based upon the difference.  This could and probably would have the negative effect of lowering a schools rating by a level.  It is our belief that this unfairly affects school districts that are C, D, and F by almost ensuring they will not be able to move up in the statewide system.  Also, because MDE school rating labels may be frozen after the 2012-13 school year, a district would basically have this rating for an additional two years with no hope of being able to improve that rating/level.

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