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Administrators At Elementary School Present Plan To Address Test Scores

Superintendent Kim Chrestman presents his Superintendent’s report at last Monday’s meeting.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Three building-level administrators from Davidson Elementary School appeared before school board trustees Monday night to present a “plan of action” to address test scores and the third grade reading gate.
DES Principal Brad Parker and Assistant Principals Sharron Lipsey and Grace Dickerson met with the board in executive session to discuss their plan. Because the discussion was expected to include comments on the performance of individual staff members, the move into executive session appears to meet legal requirements.
The presentation was requested by board members last month after it was disclosed that a large number of third grade students may not be able to read on a proficient level and won’t go on to the fourth grade.
The administrators will return at the next board meeting, Nov. 17, to present the plan to the public – minus the individual performance comments.
Among other actions at the Nov. 3 school board meeting, Trustees:
• Approved a request from the BETA Club for a field trip to Pensacola, Florida. “I see we are going to a non-snowy place this time,” joked trustee Pierce Epes, referring to their last trip which found them stranded in St. Louis during record-breaking low temperatures.
• Accepted several donations including $500 from Valley Tool, Inc. to the robotics club. Donations for technology were $250 from Joe Black, CPA; $500 from Carothers Construction Co.; $250 from Farm Bureau; and $250 from Yalobusha agents advertising. “Thank you community. We sincerely appreciate it,” said Board President Lamar Burgess.
• Heard the superintendent’s report from Kim Chrestman, who explained that during professional development at Davidson Elementary School, teachers were learning how to properly implement the intervention process.
Chrestman added that teachers are required to provide interventions based upon diagnostic tests and the performance on last year’s state test. “Included in this intervention process is a focus on reading strategies necessary to prepare students for the 3rd grade reading assessment this year.  It is also essential that we prepare students to develop good test taking skills in preparation for the new online assessments being implemented by the Mississippi State Department of Education.”
The superintendent noted two important upcoming events including the first round playoff game between the Blue Devils and Kemper County at Bobby Clark Field Friday at 7:00 p.m. And progress reports will go home on Thursday, Nov. 13.  
Chrestman congratulated WVHS teacher Keli Lindsey and grant partner, the Water Valley Chamber of Commerce, for being awarded a Mississippi Higher Education Initiative Grant. “The purpose of this program is to encourage and facilitate high school students’ completion of high school and continuation into post-secondary education,” he said.
The grant provides funds to be used in student recognition, ACT preparation workshops, and remediation courses and materials.

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