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Simpson County School Board met Thursday, November 17, 2020 for their regular schedule meeting.
Minutes and Claims docket were approved.
A report was given on the first nine weeks of virtual and hybrid classes. The first nine weeks of school presented a challenge to many students, resulting in a higher percentage of students who received a failing grade(s). The failure percentages in grades K-4 were not unusual and the failure percentages were low at Mendenhall Jr. High. SCS had 9.09% of their virtual students (7 students) who received a failing grade. The percentage of failing grades at Magee Middle and both high schools was very high. Magee Middle had 15.84% of their hybrid students and 27.12 of their virtual students with one or more failing grades. Magee High School had 22.12% of their hybrid students and 33.96% of their virtual students with one or more failing grades. Mendenhall High School had 18.63% of their hybrid students and 27.5% of their virtual students with one or more failing grades.
The following items were approved on the consent agenda:
· Permission to accept an $18.25 donation from Mary Crosby to be used for student needs in Child Nutrition.
Magee High requests permission to accept a $1000 donation from Trustmark Bank.
The State Legislature and the Mississippi Department of Education have approved the School Recognition Program again this year. The following schools are being recognized as recipients of the School Recognition Supplement for their test scores in the 2018-2019 school year: Magee Elementary, Mendenhall Elementary, Simpson Central, and Mendenhall Jr. High. The supplements that the schools receive are based on their school’s enrollment and the number of certified staff that worked during the 2018-2019 school year.
Board President Danny Cowart requested moving the discussion of consolidation to the December board meeting. The board is waiting for information on the consolidation process that could be a key factor in a consolidation decision.
The board received schematics for the new building to house the Mendenhall 5th grade and demolition project for the old cafeteria and building located at Mendenhall Elementary.
The concerns of reimbursement of the CARES money led to a lengthy discussion. The district was approved to receive federal money from MDE for the purchase of chrome books for all students. All books were to be purchased, programmed, and delivered by November 30th. In addition, hotspots and additional equipment must be purchased, installed and fully in operation by November 30th to receive CARES money. The required vendor approved by MDE cannot supply the equipment due to supply and demand. If equipment is not received, the CARES money must be returned to MDE which will be applied to the Mississippi Unemployment Fund. In this case, the district will be fully responsible for the cost of chrome books. The board saw no other option at this time but to approve the payment of the chrome books and hope for reimbursement of the CARES money. If the money is not received, the district will absorb the cost.
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