School Is Awarded Dropout Prevention Grant

Superintendent Kim Chrestman explains the $25,000 dropout prevention grant at the school board meeting Monday night.

By Jack Gurner
Reporter


WATER VALLEY – The school district has been approved for a $25,000 dropout prevention grant aimed at lowering the dropout rate that hit 21 percent for the 2012-2013 school year.
The funds are for “improving and supporting effective, sustainable and coordinated dropout prevention and re-entry programs in the school district,” Superintendent Kim Chrestman said Monday night during the school board meeting after receiving notification earlier in the day.
The State Department of Education Office of Dropout Prevention and Compulsory School Attendance Enforce-ment is providing the money, which includes $14,000 for new technology, $8,000 for professional development and $3,000 for supplies and materials.
Chrestman noted that the grant provides some much-needed technology and professional development without using district funds.
He added that there will be a focus on such things as reading skills to keep students from getting behind and behavioral interventions. “A lot of this is going to come back to parental involvement and what they can do to insure that their child learns.”
“This is a major challenge throughout our state,” said Chrestman.
Trustee Casey Washington said that he had talked with two male students who were considering dropping out of school and working toward a GED. “It’s heartbreaking that kids just want to quit.”
Washington said that he told the young men, “What that tells me as an employer is that you are a quitter. When I see a GED on an application, the first question I ask is, ‘Why did you not complete school?’”
Among other actions at the March 24 meeting, school trustees:
• Approved several out of state trips to the Memphis Zoo including one from the Art Club, one from the biology students and from the first grade students at Davidson Elementary School.
The first grade will be able to make their trip thanks to a $700 field trip grant from Target, Inc.  “We received the maximum given in the grant,” Chrestman said and added that learning opportunities extend far beyond the classroom, but it is becoming more difficult for schools to fund trips to museums, historical sites and other cultural destinations.  
• Heard from the superintendent that Report Cards were distributed this past Thursday.
“Parents are encouraged to review the grade cards closely and check in with their children’s teachers with any questions or concerns they may have going into this final quarter of the 2013-14 school year,” said Chrestman.
The full text of the superintendent’s report will be included with this story and available to the Herald’s online subscribers at www.yalnews.com.

Superintendent’s Report

By Kim Chrestman

The final quarter of the school year is well underway at DES.  The campus is awash with a flurry of activity as students and teachers move forward into the final weeks of our school term.  Students continue to prepare for the upcoming state assessments participating in practice assessments, tutoring and general classroom instruction to ensure their readiness when the MCTII testing window opens in a few weeks.  Fifth grade students are also set to take a PARCC assessment which will be our school’s first formal experience with testing under the new CCSS standards based assessment.  Our teachers and test coordinators look forward to this experience as they hope to learn more about how the process will unfold as the transition to the CCSS continues. 
DES students are also anxiously awaiting a visit from the Body Walk exhibit which will be on our campus March 26th and 27th.  Nursing students from Northwest Community College will be on campus during this time to teach students through the Body Walk activities.  The walk lasts 1 hour for each class with classes moving through this wonderful activity before returning to their classrooms for discussion and continuance of the school day.  Thanks to Ms. Clement for coordinating this event.
Several groups on the campus are set to have field experiences this spring with trips to Avant’s Park in Oxford and the Memphis Zoo in Memphis, TN on the calendar.  These field experiences are enjoyed immensely by the students at Davidson and serve to assist our students in encountering crystallizing experiences that can foster a lifelong pursuit of knowledge in fields virtually unknown to them in our learning community.  Exposure is often the beginning of a passionate pursuit of more information.  Thanks to everyone who helps to make these experiences available to our children. 
The First Grade at DES has received a $700 field trip grant from Target, INC.  We received the maximum given in the grant.  Learning opportunities extend far beyond the classroom, but it is becoming more difficult for schools to fund trips to museums, historical sites and other cultural destinations.  Since 2007, Target Field Trip Grants program has made it possible for millions of students to go on field trips.  We are so proud to be a recipient of the 2013-2014 Target Field Trip Grant. 
Report Cards were distributed this past Thursday and parents are encouraged to review the grade cards closely and check in with their children’s teachers with any questions or concerns they may have going into this final quarter of the 2013-14 school year. 
Davidson students are also excited that springtime is now officially here. Even though we are still experiencing some very cool temperatures they know that warmer days and nights are close at hand as they are getting more and more playground time with each passing day.  Thanks to everyone for your support of the children of Davidson Elementary School.
Water Valley High School will be participating in the PARCC Field Test this Wednesday for the 10th grade English.  This field test is in preparation towards the new assessments coming in with the Mississippi Department of Education’s move to the Common Core State Standards.  This test will be administered “online” as more and more tests move towards being administered with technology instead of pencil/paper.  This test will be the PBA (Performance Based Assessment).
Special Olympics will be next week for Water Valley High School.  We wish our student who are participating the best of luck.  Thanks to Stefanie Talent for being the sponsor for the Special Olympics.
Congratulations to the Water Valley Track Team (Head Coach Bryant Mix).  These are the results from the track meet at Charleston last week:  Triple Jump:  E.J. Bounds 1st , T.T. Person 2nd –Long Jump:  T.T. Person 2nd , Kirkland Horton 3rd – High Jump:  Mark Gooch 3rd –3200 Meter: Libby Stark 1st – 110 Hurdles:  K.J. Lee 1st – 4X200 Relay:  James Washington, Dean Hillard, Cortaveous Hawkins, Mark Gooch 3rd  — 1600 Meter:  Libby Stark 1st – 400 Meter:  Brandon Smith 3rd 
Congratulations to the Water Valley High School Blue Devil Baseball Team.  Within the 2014 baseball schedule, the Blue Devils have a 9-2 overall record, with a 2-0 record in division play.  Also, congratulations to the Water Valley High School Lady Blue Devil Softball Team.  Within their 2014 baseball schedule, the Lady Blue Devils have a 9-5 overall record, with a 2-0 record in division play.  We have high hopes that both teams will make the playoffs.  Keep the great season going.
The Office of Dropout Prevention and Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement is proud to announce that the Water Valley School District’s Dropout Prevention Grant Proposal has been approved.  Water Valley School District will receive $25,000 for the purpose of improving and supporting effective, sustainable and coordinated dropout prevention and re-entry programs in the school district.  The grant will supply $14,000 towards new technology, $8,000 toward professional development, and $3,000 towards supplies/materials.
School Board meetings for April will be tentatively set for April 7 & 21. 

Leave a Comment