By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – School board trustees agreed to changes in the alternative school handbook during their second meeting of the month May 18.
Most of the changes were corrections, but one significant change was the removal of the GED option, which is being replaced with another program called “Success Bound.”
Trustee Cayce Washing-ton asked if the “Fast Track” program was being done away with and Kathy True, an instructor at the alternative center, explained that the two programs work hand in hand.
Trustee Pierce Epes questioned how the change would affect graduation rates. True explained that the Success Bound program was aimed at 9th and 10 grade students because the 7th and 8th grade students were not mature enough to appreciate the opportunity presented to them.
“We think this is going to actually increase our graduation rate because there will be fewer students,” she continued. “They will have more one on one time and have the opportunity to recoup credits.”
WVHS Principal Dr. Glenn Kitchens added that the school system couldn’t have both programs. “We can’t do everything and this seems to be the greater need given our current level of success.”
Among other actions Monday night, trustees:
• Approved a request for transfer for a student from the Lafayette County School District for the next school year. The request is for a student who transferred during the current school year so that he can remain in the WVSD.
• Approved the yearly agreement between the WVSD and the Water Valley Housing Authority so that youngsters can be picked up and brought to the school cafeteria for the summer feeding program. The housing authority reimburses the school district for the cost of transportation.
• Paid claims and heard a financial report from district business manager Randy Goodwin.
After several minutes of discussion on next year’s budget, Goodwin said that unless something major happened, the school district would be under budget for the next school year. “Overall we’re going to putting money back,” he assured trustees.
• Heard the superintendent’s report from Superin-tendent Kim Chrestman who said that testing is nearly completed for the school year. He noted that the retest for the 3rd grade summative reading assessment would be held the following day, Tuesday, May 19. “We are providing intensive remediation to these students to prepare them for the re-test,” he added.
The superintendent said that Awards Day for Davidson Elementary School was scheduled for Thursday, May 21.
DES also hosted/implemented “The Real World” program through Missis-sippi Cooperative Extension Program, according to Chrestman. The activity is for fifth and sixth grade students and promotes income management through mock spending activities. “Students were allotted a certain monthly salary and provided opportunities to purchase certain life necessities and luxuries such as cars, homes, food, groceries, etc,” he said.
The superintendent also thanked community members who volunteered at DES this year on behalf of the school’s administration.
Moving to Water Valley High School, he said that Blue Devil Lillian Lindsey earned a bronze medal after placing third in the MHSAA 3A State Championship Meet in the 3200 meter race. She also earned a 5th place finish in the 1600 meter race. Austin King came in 5th in the 3200 meter race. “This was the first season for either of them to compete in track,” said Chrestman. “Thanks to all the coaches for their work and time.”
He said that tryouts for our various sports teams are complete or taking place in the next few days and it is hard to believe how close we are to the opening and kickoff for the 2015-16 school year.
And finally, he said that Water Valley High School had finally completed testing for the year. It took through last Monday due to many setbacks with the test programming of the vendors, but the year is now drawing to a close. “It has been a great year at WVHS and we invite everyone to join us as we graduate the Class of 2015 this Thursday evening, May 21, 7 p.m. at the Tad Smith Coliseum on the campus of The University of Mississippi.”
Entered executive session to discuss personnel issues.