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Monday Is Sole Make-Up Day

Superintendent Kim Chrestman

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Students in the Water Valley School District will get the Good Friday holiday after state officials approved a revised school calendar late last week.

            But, school will be in session on Monday, April 6, to make up one of five days missed due to snow and ice earlier this year, according to Superintendent Kim Chrestman. 

            “We will not be making up the other four snow days,” he said.

            Chrestman added that school officials are waiting for an opinion from the State Attorney General to see if teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, etc. will be required to work the four missed days.                       

            “Some are saying the State Auditor has stated we could not pay those employees for those four days missed.”

            No word had been received from state officials on the employee pay issue as of press time late Tuesday.

            School board trustees had to revise the school calendar at their monthly meeting on March 23 because of the missed days. The superintendent gave them three options which included making up all five days, two days or only one. They chose the last option and their decision was forwarded to Jackson for approval.

            Among other actions at the March meeting, trustees:

            • Accepted a $2,500 donation from Walmart for the track team.

            District Business Manager Randy Goodwin explained that the donation came through the Oxford Walmart store and is for uniforms. “The manager has Water Valley ties,” he added, referring to WVHS alumni Brett King.

            • Approved a bid from Synergetics to upgrade the school district’s WiFi equipment and other computer capabilities under the Federal E-rate technology funding program.

            • Paid claims and heard a financial report from Goodwin. The business manager told trustees that the all-important fund balance as of Feb. 28 was $1,871,385.02.

            • Heard the superintendent’s report from Chrestman who told trustees that the spring PARCC performance-based assessment (PBA) began March 17.

            “So far, testing has gone pretty well with a few technology glitches,” he said. 

            Math testing begins March 27 and continues through April 2. The Summative Reading Assessment is April 15 and MKAS (kindergarten) is April 22. End-of-the Year assessments begin April 27 and continue through May 13.  The fifth grade Science Assessment is May 14. “Teachers and students alike have been very cooperative and receptive to the new online testing,” he noted.

            The superintendent continued that students at WVHS are well into the testing season with some form of testing administration almost every day. “Students have been real troopers working through issues that go along with a new testing program.”

            Chrestman emphasized that parents are encouraged to contact teachers if their child or children are struggling in any of their courses. “We are in the first days of the final quarter of the school year but there is much left to do so stay on top of things academically so that students do not fall behind and end up with a challenge as we close out the year,” he said.

            The State Board of Education approved a new policy that, beginning with this school year, students will not be required to pass any end-of-course SATP assessment as a requirement for graduation, according to the superintendent.  “The new policy allows students who are seniors in the 2014-2015 school year to use their end-of-course SATP score along with their overall course grade to apply for graduation.”

            Finally, Chrestman reported how the winter weather affected attendance for months five and six. He said that attendance ranged from 94.54 percent to a high of 95.15 percent. “It is down,” he added, “because of the snow and ice.”

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