PRC’s new middle school schedule not quite ready

Published 3:53 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Superintendent Dennis Penton told Pearl River County School District school board Tuesday evening the modified schedule for the middle school has not been finalized yet, but the bones are in place.

All the calculations have been done so the students will have 90 minutes each for math and English classes everyday, he said.

“(Principal) Nilene Quave has been working hard on this,” he said.

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He will meet soon with the middle school teachers to discuss the pros and cons of the plan and to do any tweaking necessary.

State testing is slated for two weeks from today. Parents were encouraged to have their children at school for all days of the testing.

The English II Multiple-Choice test is April 24, Biology I is April 25, U.S. History from 1877 is April 26, Algebra I is April 27, Reading is May 1, Language is May 2, Mathematics is May 3.

Penton said Jim Young, the board’s accountant, will be back to talk with the board at its next meeting on April 26 to discuss dates for the bond issues for the new school project.

The board will meet again before the district will be prepared to hold another public meeting to discuss questions raised at the first meeting on the bond school issue.

Penton also asked the board to make a decision on whether student parking should be limited to seniors and juniors or whether expanded parking should be explored.

“Do we have the space for expanded parking,” asked board member Byron Stockstill.

Pearl River Central High School Principal Loren Harris said, “The old (football) practice field is the band field now. We’re landlocked.”

“If you want expanded parking, then it will have to be a very remote parking lot where the students would have to hike in,” Penton said. “They’ll get wet on a rainy day if they forget an umbrella.”

“Well, that would be their choice,” said board member Michelle Boyd.

The board decided to get cost estimates on expanded parking and land studies on where the parking could be located.

Ball park figures for gym renovations were presented to the board for feasibility. They were pre-bid figures and solely for the board’s understanding of the costs of renovations.

The gym was tested with a paint that would be more reflective and cover up the brown insulation without the brown bleeding through, Penton said. “Insurance should cover the cost of the flooring,” he said. “Painting the whole metal structure of the ceiling, installing new bleachers and a new scoreboard, moving the concession stand to the present coach’s office and the new flooring cost would be approximately $294,000 and a portion of it would be covered by insurance.”

The board unanimously approved advertising for bids.

Boyd asked if the district should require liability insurance of its leasees of its 16th section land.

“If someone gets hurt or killed on our land it could come back on us,” she said.

“That is discretionary to the board,” said Nathan Farmer, board attorney, about the insurance requirement. “The state has the oversight of the land and the board is just a trustee over it.”

“Are we likely to lose leases over (requiring liability insurance),” Stockstill asked.

“Well, yes,” said Penton. “Years ago the taxes on the land didn’t have to be paid by the leasees. Now, they do. When that happened, a lot of the leasees didn’t want to pay taxes on the land as well as the lease. They didn’t renew the leases.”

The hunting and fishing land lease issue was tabled to be put on the agenda for the April 26th meeting pending Farmer’s research on the insurance question.

Other items on the agenda passed with no discussion.